Why do my toes hurt in my ski boots? -

Toes can hurt in ski boots when pressure on the toes is caused by one of two possible issues – either the boot being too small or, counter-intuitively, the boot being too big.

When the ski boot fits right
Ideally when the boot fits you right your toes should comfortably contact the front of the boot.  When you flex forward into your ski position, your heel will slide back releasing the toes from the front and giving you some wiggle room.

Constant pressure means more volume required
If you have constant pressure on your toes and they never release from the front, it is likely that you will need move volume around the toe box.

Wear the right socks
First ensure that you are wearing the correct sock, as this can make a huge difference. For a snug fit you should wear an ultra-thin ski sock without any padding around the toes. This will give you the maximum volume. It also gives you air space around the toes which helps to keep you warm.

The benefits of a custom footbed
Having a custom footbed in your ski boots will help you gain length as the footbed supports your arch, preventing it from collapsing and spreading in length.

Shell modifications
If the boot is still feeling tight, the shell of the ski boot can be modified by stretching it or grinding it to create more space. It may also be that the liner is restricting the toes, so this can also be stretched or modified if necessary.

Are the boots too big?
It could be that the boot is too long and your foot is sliding and hitting the front of the boot. This is a more common problem than you might expect and is often an issue with rental boots when skiers often choose a more ‘comfortable’ but too loose-fitting model.

The instant reaction is often to select a larger size, which will only make the problem worse. If there is space in the boot you will not have full control and will be working harder to control your skis. Moving into a smaller boot in the right size will give contact around the foot and prevent your foot sliding.

Taking volume out of a boot to secure the foot is more challenging. It’s possible to add a ‘tongue shim’ to force your foot back into the heel and help prevent you sliding forwards. Another alternative is wearing a light-medium cushion sock to help add volume.

Any good boot fitter will have volume reducers and foam aids to help secure the foot further but it’s important to realise that these are only temporary solutions – the only permanent solution is to change to the correct size.

Terrain, conditions and technique
Aside from the size of the boot, terrain, conditions and technique can affect toe pressure. A skier who finds it hard to keep forward lean in their boots will pull their toes into the top of the toe box and create pressure.

If you’re lucky enough to be skiing powder, your weight will drift back to allow the tips to float, and so it’s not uncommon to hear of sore toes after a powder day.

The way to ensure you have the best fit possible is to go to a professional ski boot fitter such as the qualified ski technicians at Profeet. The video below gives you more information about what you can expect from a ski boot fitting at Profeet.

To book an appointment, please call us on 020 7736 0046.

A version of this article first appeared in Fall Line Magazine, where Profeet’s Ski Manager, Janine Winter, is the Fall Line ‘Boot Doctor’

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