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Cyclopath
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 1:51 pm 
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Is this something people do?  I'm guessing if you find a boot with the right fit and feeling, you'll have better control with the footbed it came with, but maybe people who know more than I do can chime in?

I'm getting over a foot and ankle injury, and temporarily wearing orthotics.  The podiatrist had me order an off the shelf orthotic that works well for this type of injury, and then modified them.  They've been helping.  They're not something I'm going to wear long term, though.  I need to go back for a follow up and I'm wondering whether I should get a second pair first, and have him modify them too, for my ski boots.
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hbb
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 2:05 pm 
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All my ski boots have custom orthotics. Pretty much any respectable bootfitter, whether independent or affiliated with a ski shop, will deal with orthotics many times a day leading up to ski season, it's commonplace.
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treeswarper
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 3:13 pm 
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Skied with them in boots for years.

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RandyHiker
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 3:53 pm 
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Very common to have orthotics / custom footbeds in ski boots.   Typically if you pay for a boot fitting , fitting the footbed is part of the process.
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RumiDude
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 3:56 pm 
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Well the idea is that you want a boot to respond to sublte shifts. That means you don't want slop in your boot fit. And that generally means a custom footbed. Whether that is considered an "orthotic" is a different question. Orthotics are generally used to correct a foot problem. In my case I had the cant of my boots adjusted for the fact I am slightly bowlegged. But that is not an orthotic. That simply allowed my skis to be flat on the surface when my legs are in a neutral position. I did have a custom footbed that conformed to the exact shape of my foot and thus gave me a snug but not too tight of a fit. I have had custom footbeds in all my ski boots since the 1980s.

I don't know if that is just semantics or what.

Rumi

PS: Now that I am legally blind, I no longer ski.

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 4:22 pm 
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Thanks, everyone.  These aren't the answers I expected!  Like a lot of things, it makes sense once it's explained, though.

I'm skiing Nordic classic.  Haven't been fit for custom boots, I've just tried a bunch on and picked the ones that obviously fit best.  I'm not sure how it'll work out this season, I need arch support which I normally avoid and to correct for supination.  My boots are already a snug fit, I may need another pair to accommodate.  Or, I won't be able to ski for a month and might be healed enough by then to go without them the few hours I'm on the trail.  That's one of the things I'm going in to talk to the doctor about.
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Bernardo
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 6:00 pm 
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I have used orthotics for about 15 years.  They are very expensive so I never have worn them while doing sports of any kind, even multiday backing trips.  I don't want to damage them.  I know that sounds weird, but it works for me.  I like to know that I can survive fine without them, but I do like them.  Bottom line is I think they help me, but I don't need to worry about relatively short periods without them.
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treeswarper
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PostThu Nov 21, 2019 6:10 pm 
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I've used, and use them in my downhill boots and my x country boots.  It is a pain to get them situated in the downhill boots.   I found some off the shelf orthotics that work better than the custom built ones and of course, cost a heck of a lot less. 

They don't slip around if you have your boots fastened up properly.

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thunderhead
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PostFri Nov 22, 2019 9:11 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I'm skiing Nordic classic.  Haven't been fit for custom boots, I've just tried a bunch on and picked the ones that obviously fit best.  I'm not sure how it'll work out this season, I need arch support

Ive got arch support in my nordic boots and it works great.  For both inline and skate.

Just put them in and went off.  Boots are a little snug now but still feel good.
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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 22, 2019 10:06 am 
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I take out the insoles that come with most shoes/boots and that usually makes the orthotic fit like it should--not too tight.  You probably already figured that out though.

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DigitalJanitor
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PostFri Nov 22, 2019 12:08 pm 
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I have feet described as "flatter than the floor", and had a set of 3/4 length plastic orthotics made almost 30 years ago. I use them in bike shoes, hiking boots, and ski boots.  Without them I notice more inward torque on my knees which are in band enough shape already.

One of these days I should probably get a new set made, but my understanding is that they are extremely expensive. And I'm cheap. So. :P

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joker
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PostFri Nov 22, 2019 1:57 pm 
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If you're using high cuff plastic boots, you might consider getting a shop that sells such boots to make a custom footbed for you,  as they'll form it to your foot while its in a typically skiing position - i.e. toes forward, which is a bit different from how podiatrists  have taken foot molds for me (for plantar fasciitis). The result for me was similar, but the ski-shop one I got late last winter felt even better than the doc-molded orthotics I'd been using for  years before that.

BTW if you have custom orthotics whose covers are wearing out, you can pay to get them re-covered (not cheap,  but cheaper than new orthotics and just as good if you  don't need a different shape now), or you can buy material to cover and underlay the  hard plastic part of the  orthotic, and use barge cement thinner to remove the old cover and its glue and then barge cement to put on a new cover. If you're doing this for multiple sets you can buy the needed materials for a little less than  having someone else re-do one pair of orthotics for you and you'll likely be set for the rest of your life as the material comes in somewhat  large sheets (I got the cover and underlayment from an online site that  caters to the  orthotics trade; not sure of the name but search  on "orthotics topcover material" and you'll  find multiple suppliers).
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Downhill
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 9:53 am 
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As Rumi said, I believe there's probably a difference between a "custom footbed" and "orthotics".

I've used custom footbeds made by bootfitters in ski boots for decades. My orthotics were made by a podiatrist.  For me, that's the distinction.  The bootfitter is making you a form-fit sole that will keep your foot evenly snug in your boot minimizing shift, slip and potential hot spots or voids - all good things to have.  A good podiatrist will give you all that and also consider your gait, posture, bone structure, history of injuries...etc., so in theory, an orthotic made by the podiatrist should have advantages over a footbed from a bootfitter IMO.

I wear orthotics in my ski boots 100% of the time.  I believe I get a more precise fit and I find I can keep my boot buckled more loosely, meaning more all-day comfort, less pain/fatigue and more control skiing.

I also wear orthotics in my street shoes, hiking shoes, work boots, and bike shoes.  Not only do my feet benefit but also my hips, knees, and back.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 10:51 am 
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I really appreciate all the insight.  Sounds like my instincts were 180* off.
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Brushwork
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 7:41 pm 
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I think it’s good to consider that you’re using orthotics as a means of recovering from an injury and not for a permanent issue.   I would pay more attention to how you feet (and knees!) feel after trips and make your decision based on that. 

It’s really helpful to be strengthening, and stretching the foot and ankle muscles, which will go a long way toward creating good alignment, though it can take time.....

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