In search of comfortable feet.

There is nothing that gets in the way of a great days skiing more than painful feet. Blisters, numb toes and all sorts of other foot pain are the bane of many a keen skiers holiday. I suspect that ill-fitting boots may be the reason some beginners decide the sport is not for them. I for one have had just about every foot problem going and have never seemed to be able to find boots that fit properly. On longer tours, even having pre-taped my feet (duct tape being the best method I've found so far!) I would still get terrible blisters. By the end of every season I would always lose at least one toenail and I was totally fed up with having numb feet.

Over the years I've tried lots of different boots and have had boot fittings in various different shops - all who have advised different remedies but none of which have worked. At the begining of this season - and for a special Christmas and birthday present (I'm a Christmas day baby) I went to get an indepth ski boot fit at Sole in Chamonix. The guys in the shop tell you when you go in that they only get to see people with weird feet - thanks guys - but they promised to try and sort my ski boot problems out. After talking to me about what sort of skiing I do, they had a really good look at my feet and immediately identified the problem. I have very high insteps which explains the numb feet, as my existing boots were pressing on the veins in my feet and restricting blood supply - not good. The blisters were being caused by the fact that I have overdeveloped calf muscles (It's embarrassing really) and these whopping calves of mine are pushing my feet forward into a position that creates rubbing - hence the blisters. So I need a boot that can cope with a high instep and has a wide leg cuff. To further deal with my mutant feet and calves, I had heel lifts and instep supports added to the the footbed moulds they created for me. After 2 and a half hours of boot fitting I left the shop hopeful that my problems might be solved - especiialy so because an indepth boot fit like this one is not cheap. 

Despite the lack of snow at the start of this season I've still managed to give my boots a full appraisal with some long ski tours, off piste glacier skiiing in powder - yes really - as well as some pretty good piste skiing. This was definitely the best Christmas/ birthday present I've ever had as I'm now blister free and don't suffer from uncomfortably numb feet any more. I am now free to enjoy my skking without the day being blighted by painful feet. If you are suffering with ill fitting boots and it is taking the shine off your precious time on the slopes I highly recommend a professional in deopth boot fit. It could transform your skiing and if you happen to be in the Chamonix area, go an see the guys in Sole - if anyone can sort your feet out, they can.