Skiing can give you lots of fun and exercise during the winter season. However, after the activity, most skiers feel foot pains. Aside from the injuries acquired in skiing that can cause foot pain, another factor can be on the poor choice of ski boots. Most people who experiences foot pain after skiing complain about numbness, burning, and aching pains.
According to the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, these are the most common causes of foot pain when skiing.
- Tight Ski Boots: Tight boot wearers often experience burning or aching across the entire foot where the pain spreads horizontally across the foot and down to the toes. This is why it’s important to look for boots with more supportive foot beds to avoid arch collapse.
- Inflexibility: When a skier experiences inflexibility, he often feels tightness and aching along the outside of the foot first. Then overtime, it may become more widespread. This is usually because the firm shell of most ski boots does not allow the foot to roll inwards to absorb shock or outwards to propel us forward.
- Pressure Distribution: Poor pressure distribution may cause burning beneath the ball of the foot. A better arch, ankle flexion, and stronger calf muscles can help skiers in this situation to improve and avoid foot pain.
If you often experience foot pains such as cramping or a burning sensation whenever you go skiing, here are some things you might want to consider to avoid those pains.
Choose the Right Size of Ski Boots
Most of the foot pains you experience when skiing is caused by the ski boots you’re wearing. You could be wearing the wrong size boot. That’s why it’s important to check your size to make sure that it’s not too big or too small on you.
When the ski boot is too big, the tendency is you’ll claw your feet to try and secure yourself and gain control. This often causes cramping. On the other hand, if the boot is too small, it will create crushing and pressure on the foot which also leads to foot pain.
Here are some of the things that will tell you if your ski boots fit you perfectly:
- If your toes touch the end at first
- If your toes are comfortable when flexed forward
- If it’s comfortable and does not crush your foot
- If your legs and shins are secure
- If you can fit only two fingers down the back of the boot
- If there is no heel movement when flexing forward
- If there is no side to side movement in the forefoot
If you’re unable to find the right size of ski boots, you can also go to ski shops who can made a customized size of boots for you.
Check the Shell of the Boots for Contact Points
Checking the foot in the shell for any contact points around the foot is also important because it can create a problem. If you have imperfections in your feet, the shells of your ski boots can be customized to fit.
Use Custom Insoles
Most of the ski boots come with a flat piece of foam in the bottom of the boot, however, this does not offer any support on the arch of your foot. Therefore, it’s recommended that you replace that insole with an off-the-shelf trim-to-fit insole or for a better fit, a custom insole.
Custom insoles are created by taking a mold of the bottom of your foot. This fills the arch which distributes pressure more evenly underneath your foot. It will be adapted depending on the flexibility of your foot.
Stretch Out Your Feet’s Soft Tissues Through a Massage
If the connective tissues under your foot are too tight, you will possibly experience foot cramps when you go skiing. These tissues are the plantar fascia and flexor halluces longus tendon which are both soft tissues.
It’s important to relieve the tension under your feet to avoid foot pain before and after skiing. You can use a pediroller or a small spiky ball to roll out the soft tissue under the arch to try and lengthen those muscles. You can also have a foot massage and if you have a foot massager at home, that will be better.
Other Helpful Things to Avoid Ski Foot Pains
If you do not have time or budget for a custom fit ski boots or custom insoles, the following things we’ve gathered might also be helpful for you.
Where to Buy
Sports Insole Inserts
TPE arch support cushion, advanced PU material, it is soft and comfortable Sports Insoles,Arch-support orthotic insoles For heel pain, plantar fasciitis,Maximum Comfort and Shock Absorption for Injury Prevention.
Thermo Compression Socks
The nylon/spandex blend is specially knit to ensure cushioning and support where it’s needed and reduce volume where it’s not. CEP’s high-tech compression blend of fibers and toe-box elasticity ensure a perfect fit and a reassuring feel.
Ski and Snowboard Heel Wedges
These are quality inserts you can wear all day long comfortably. They provide a heel liner as well as support the arch of your foot therefore relieving pain due to Plantar Fasciitis and low arches.
We hope these tips will help you avoid experiencing foot pain the next time you go skiing.