Janine Winter from Profeet answers your ski boot questions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your own
Question: Often when skiing I get a cramping and burning under the arches of my foot. Is it the boots?
Answer: Multiple factors could contribute to a cramping and burning sensation under the arch and yes, one of those could be that you are in the wrong boot. Initially it is important to check the size to ensure the boot is not too big or too small.
Typically, when the boot is too big you end up clawing your feet to try and secure yourself in the boot and gain control of the ski, which will often cause cramping. Likewise, if the boot is too small, it will cause crushing and a lack of circulation to the foot.
Once size and shape of the boot have been eliminated, we would need to check the foot is stabilised in the boot. All ski boots come with a flat piece of foam in the bottom, which doesn’t offer support in the arch.
It is possible to replace that insole with either an off-the-shelf trim-to-fit insole or, even better, a custom insole. This is built by taking a mould of the bottom of your foot in a neutral position. The insole supports the arch and distributes pressure evenly across the whole foot. A footbed alone will solve the majority of pressure points under the foot.
Quite often we find people suffer from tightness of the plantar fascia (which is the connective tissue under the foot) and flexor hallucis longus tendon (which runs through the arch). If these soft tissues are too tight, they will almost certainly cramp in a ski boot. You can help relieve some of that tension using a pediroller or spiky ball to massage out the arch.
There are also some good stretches you can do to lengthen those muscles which will certainly make skiing a more enjoyable experience for you. We may also need to raise the heel in the boot and adapt the footbed further for more severe cases.