Improve Your Skiing With Custom-Made Footbeds

November 13, 2008 by  
Filed under features

Many skiers get their first taste of this exciting sport when on holiday, and usually kitted out with hired skiing gear. But having enjoyed the experience and with a determination to ski whenever possible, it makes sense to buy your own kit. So after spending a fair amount of money on new skis, poles, boots, helmet and warm comfortable clothing, as well as paying for tuition at a ski school, it’s a good idea to get yourself a pair of custom-made footbeds that are almost guaranteed to give you the upper edge in snow skiing ability.

Unlike the majority of sports, skiing depends on your feet having solid platforms. Footbeds, which are also referred to as orthotics, are custom-made insoles that are inserted into your ski boots, with the purpose of providing your feet with sturdy support. This allows you to transfer the movements from your hips, legs and knees directly to your skis. When moving your knees left, right, fore and aft, you are applying pressure to your feet and feet are designed to absorb this pressure by flattening or rolling in the arch, referred to as “pronation”. But in skiing, this natural action of the foot can work against you. Footbeds are designed to give support to the bottom of the skier’s feet so that as the ankles are flexed forward or to the side, the movements will be transferred directly to the skis resulting in perfectly controlled turns.

Prior to having footbeds made, ensure that your boots fit you properly. A boot fitting technician at most ski shops, particularly those located near ski resorts, will be able to help you with this. The boot fitting technician will most likely be able to assist you with footbeds as well, but rather than buying pre-made footbeds, it will be worth the extra expense of having footbeds custom-made for your feet, bearing in mind that the structure of each foot is unique. There are different techniques for custom making footbeds, but they are all based on the principle of taking a mould of the shape of your foot as a basis for making the finished product. It is essential that you try on your boots with the completed footbeds fitted so that the technician can make any adjustments necessary to avoid hotspots or pressure points in order for you to end up with the perfect fit – and then its time to hit the slopes to sharpen your skiing skills!