If you are planning to ski or snow board this winter, don’t forget to take care of your feet. In recent years ski and snow board boots have advanced to provide more comfort to skiers. They have added heat molded liners to provide more cushioning and flexible boot materials to allow more movement and control. However, they still do not provide the support that is needed, especially to those who have deformities and pain in their feet. Examples of foot deformities are high arches, bunions, hammer toes, and flat feet. Custom molded orthotics is the most precise method of bringing the ground forces up to the foot, which provides support and relief by decreasing repetitive stress to the joints, ligaments, and tendons of the feet. This allows patients to have more stability and control with less effort and fatigue while skiing. Orthotics also improve proprioception, which is the body’s way of using its sensorimotor system to improve muscle activation. Accommodations can also be made to off-load or cushion painful areas and also to improve the function of unstable joints. With custom molding by your podiatrist, these devices lock the foot into a neutral position, which is the best position for high performance and injury prevention.
If you’ve been told that you need to have your boots canted due to genu varum/knocked knees or genu varum/bow legged conditions then you should also have custom orthotics in your boots to stabilize your heels and avoid slippage inside your boots. Orthotics may help to slow the progression of your knee arthritis and provide pain relief while skiing.
And don’t forget to purchase socks made of good wicking materials. It is best to layer synthetic moisture wicking socks under your thick, warm wool socks. When your feet are dry, they feel far less cold. Keep in mind, however, that these materials do wick the moisture to the boot liner, so it is important to allow your boots to dry out overnight.
If you have questions or would like to discuss custom orthotics, please call us today to make an appointment.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Alpine Foot Specialists!