Answers to some of the questions we are often asked
We have divided the questions into three sections to make things easier to find. If you cant find the answer below, please just get in touch and we will do our best to answer your enquiry fully...
About our process
Are you open and will I be safe?
We are waiting to hear from the government about when we are allowed to re-open. When we do re-open we will wear masks and gloves and would ask you to also wear a mask. To help us implement social distancing measures we would ask that only the person with the appointment attends and we will only have two customers in the clinic at any one time, appropriately distanced from each other. As always between appointments all equipment will be cleaned. If you have a cough or fever we would ask that you postpone your appointment for a time when you are better.
Do I need an appointment to have ski boots fitted?
All the work we do at Solutions 4 Feet is by appointment so that we can give your feet the individual attention they deserve.
How long will my boot fitting take?
For most people a standard fitting, including having a custom insole made, will take around 1.5 hours. Occasionally it takes a little longer if you have specific problems.
When should I buy my ski boots?
We usually receive deliveries of the new season boots by the end of July so August is a great time to book an appointment for the most choice, generally the sooner the better! During the peak season Saturday appointments are booked weeks ahead and we are closed on Sundays so if you have flexibility to come midweek that is advised. It is also recommended that you buy your boots a while before you go skiing so that you can try them on at home and even better go skiing to try them out so that any required adjustments can be made in good time.
How much will it cost?
This is a difficult question to answer before we see your feet and understand your skiing ability but you should plan that you will need a consultation, orthotic insoles and the ski boots themselves. A breakdown of our charges can be found here.
I already have boots will you adjust them for me?
We can certainly take a look at them. Often when people bring a boot to us it may be worn out or a size too big. We will always do what we can but if a new boot is required a second appointment will probably be required. We work on boots which we have not supplied in the off season and Monday to Friday in the winter (we sometimes need to withdraw this service at peak times due to staffing levels and demand). We make adjustments to boots bought from us free of charge for two years following purchase at any time of year.
How long does it take to break ski boots in?
It normally takes 3-4 days to get the liner of a ski boot to pack down a little and bed in to your feet. This will depend a little on how hard you ski, and what you have been used to wearing. Flip flops all summer will most likely cause your feet to spread out a little, which may increase the time required to bed the boots in. It is important that a ski boot starts as a very snug fit as if they don’t, it won’t be many days before they feel loose and control is compromised.
Are custom orthotic insoles important in skiing?
Skiing as a sport relies on side to side motion of the foot. Inside a ski boot we need to keep the foot stable to transmit pressures to the ski. Just like building a house, the orthotic insole or footbed is the foundation for your foot inside the boot so we recommend them for all of our customers.
How should my ski boots feel?
A newly fitted ski boot will probably feel tighter than you are used to (especially if you have come from a rental boot or something bought without proper fitting). The closest description is that a new boot should feel like a really firm handshake. The hold should be even over the whole foot. When stood upright you toes will be aware of the front of the boot but when you flex forward you should feel that you have space to just wiggle your toes. The rest of the foot should remain firmly held and your heel should not lift at all when you flex and make normal skiing motions. However if you wrench your heel up by levering then your heel will lift inside the boot. Ski boots are not a vice and should not feel like they crush your feet.
Is it possible to make boots wider?
Yes, with the correct tools a boot fitter can make a ski boot easily 10-12 mm wider, more in specific areas. The key when fitting a boot is to get a really secure fit around the heel and ankle area. It is very difficult to make a boot tighter in this area and if this area is too loose to begin with it can give the impression of a boot needing to be wider in the forefoot as the foot is able to twist.
What are the best socks to use for skiing?
A specific ski sock is much more comfortable than using any other type of sock. The best thickness of sock is very much dependant on your foot and the fit of you boots but using a thinner sock will give better blood flow and is not, contrary to popular belief, any colder. In a rental boot you may want to use a slightly thicker sock but use a technical sock and avoid the old style “tube” type sock. Avoid cotton based socks. Different sock materials work differently with different foot physiologies. If you have colder feet wool based socks will always work best. For hot feet man-made fibres will pull moisture from the skin.
How do I know if my ski boots are the right size?
During an appointment at Solutions 4 Feet we will measure your feet in both weight bearing and non weight bearing positions. We will also measure the width of your feet and assess your foot & ankle biomechanics so we can select the best boot. If you have boots at home and want to know if they are the right size here is some guidance. When stood upright you toes will be aware of the front of the boot but when you flex forward you should feel that you have space to just wiggle your toes. The rest of the foot should remain firmly held and your heel should not lift at all when you flex and make normal skiing motions.
What makes a women's boot different?
Honestly very little, the colour, the cuff height and the flex are the only discernible differences. What is important is that you have the right flex boot for your height, weight and strength but this is not gender specific.
You stock a wide range of ski boots, what are the differences between them?
Our range is supplied by brands such as Atomic, Salomon, Rossignol, Lange, Head, Dalbello, Tecnica and Nordica. They vary in shape and width so we can accommodate all foot shapes and each brand has a range from novice skiers through to expert and racers. We also stock a range of freeride touring boots for people who like walking up hill.
What happens if my boots hurt when I ski?
There are many different types of foot pain that can occur from skiing and lots of things that can be done to fix the problems. Some of the most common problems we hear about and possible solutions are listed below but it is always best to consult a boot fitter in person to discuss.
- Rubbing. Likely foot is moving in the boot. Ensure all clips are adjusted correctly and you only have a single pair of appropriate socks on
- Pressure point. Likely a lump or bump on the foot. A stretch or grind can be made on the boot shell in the offending area. We can also work on liners to create spaces there too.
- Bruised toes. Likely caused by leaning back in poor conditions or the foot moving forward in the boot due to incorrect clipping or too much volume or, least likely, the boot is too small. Even a boot which feels too small can be stretched to give more space.
- Cramp or pain in ball of foot. Likely caused by either a lack of support which can be resolved with a quality orthotic insole, or lack of flexibility in the calf, foot or ankle. This is the hardest for the boot fitter to solve as it requires the skier to undertake a stretching programme to improve their flexibility.
- Pain on the outside edge of the foot. This is either caused by the boot needing to be a little wider OR limited flexibility again. It is really important that this is checked as making a boot wider when it is not required can make the problems worse.
I get cold feet in my ski boots what can I do?
Cold feet are most commonly caused by compression or restriction of blood flow or the physiology of the foot. Removing any compression points form the boot is the first thing to do but after this there are various solutions. Wool based socks are really good at moving moisture away from the skin which helps with keeping the foot warm. Drying boots out properly will also help as damp boots lead to cold feet very quickly. For those who still suffer, a heating element can be fitted to your custom footbeds which is powered by a small battery at the top of the boot and can mean happy, warm feet all day long. Heated socks are also available, but be wary about the fit of your boots as they might be too thick to fit comfortably.
I have had an injury, can I still ski and get ski boots?
I have always had problems finding ski boots as I have very wide calves, can you help?
This is something we can accommodate quite easily in many ways. Most boots can have the cuff flared back or cut to make more space, clips can be moved and liners modified or replaced with a custom aftermarket product, sometimes a combination of different modifications is needed. IF you have a large calf muscle and had problems finding ski boots please get in touch.