PTskier

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Will everyday custom orthotics work as well as custom footbeds for skiing? If the orthotics are made full length so there isn't a hassle getting into the boots and keeping the orthotics in position?

I need new orthotics and footbeds. My feet & legs have changed over the years. I got a great evaluation from a physical therapist who also makes orthotics. She evaluated my feet, ankles, knees, hips, and gait. The temporary changes to my old orthotics feel very good, and I'll get new everyday orthotics.

Should I get orthotics for ski boots from her, especially if they can be full length? Or should I try for a ski boot person for new skiing footbeds and try to follow the design of the orthotics?
 

Rod9301

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There's no difference, orthotics or footbeds. Same thing, but I believe that the orthotics person may be more qualified. Of course, a doctor may be better.
 

Jilly

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My orthotics and my footbeds are 2 different species.
My orthotics account for my high arch, metatarsal pad and short heel strike. The orthotics were made with computer pattern of my feet as I walked across the pad and help correct stance problems. The metatarsal pad deals with plantar facistis.

The footbeds account for a high instep and deep heel cup. The footbeds were molded to my foot. They provide support to the foot. There is no correction to them.

Also my orthotics were over $ 400 20 years ago. The footbeds were about $200, 4 years ago. Footbeds are just customized superfeet you buy at a sport shop. Actually the brand Superfeet are one of the makers of custom footbeds.

Orthotics are covered by my insurance plan. Custom footbeds are not.
 

markojp

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There's no difference, orthotics or footbeds. Same thing, but I believe that the orthotics person may be more qualified. Of course, a doctor may be better.
Actually there is. Unless a boot fitter is an MD or Pediatrist, they can't call what they make 'orthotics'. Most orthotics are made for walking/running in shoes that are made for those activities. Ski boots are a different bag. If a pediatrist/MD?etc... knows skiing and the cost is covered by insurance, then have them make you one for your ski boots. That said, I've seen 'orthodics' that people have dropped into their ski boots from their tennis shoes that probably cause more issues than they solve, often related to trimming for a shoe and not properly fitting/seating in the heel of the shell above the zeppa, curled up in the ends, etc.... if it's a full length one. Shoes are almost always longer than your ski boots, so it's a pretty simple issue.

PT skier, what I'd suggest is talk to your podiatrist. If you don't have any really dire medical issues that only an MD can solve and only need a good, functional custom footbed, then there a couple of folks locally in the metro Seattle/Bellevue area that can make you a nice custom 'footbed'. One place will cost $160, the other $200 or so. Both are very good. I have my own preference that I'd be happy to share. PM if you need.
 

Blue Streak

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I asked my podiatrist about orthotics, and he handed me a box of Superfeet, saying "I could make you custom orthotics, but these are all you need."
I have them straight out of the box in all my shoes, and their CUSTOM CARBON WINTER™ version for my ski boots.
And I threw away the custom footbeds made by Surefoot.
Love them!
 
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markojp

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I asked my podiatrist about orthotics, and he handed me a box of Superfeet, saying "I could make you custom orthotics, but these are all you need."
I have them straight out of the box in all my shoes, and a heat molded version for my ski boots.
And I threw away the custom footbeds made by Surefoot.
IMHO, in the end it's about who makes your footbed much more than the plug they start with. Some folks are fine with trim to fit. Others, not so much.
 

Blue Streak

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https://www.tecnicausa.com/product-detail/?id_categoria=1595&world=1&product_uid=330397&color_number=BLU
IMHO, in the end it's about who makes your footbed much more than the plug they start with. Some folks are fine with trim to fit. Others, not so much.
I sort of agree, but having had custom orthotics made by very reputable podiatrists in Boulder - where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a sports podiatrist - as well as having footbeds made and modified by Surefoot, I am comfortable with my footbed sample size.
A few years ago a podiatrist turned me on to Superfeet, and I an delighted with them.
It's definitely worth a try.
And by the way, shimming them here and there if need be allows you to play with the performance.
New boots are on my list this fall, and I plan to add another set of custom carbon Superfeet in the new Tecnicas.
 
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raytseng

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i think the difference is you need to be sure to let your podiatrist know what you intend to do with the item.
There should be different considerations for low-impact versus high-impact activities, e.g. walking around and office work versus skiing.

A friend of mine just stuffed his podiatrist walking around custom orthotics into ski boots, and had a bad time, as it was too stiff and caused cramps/plantar fasciitis for a couple days. The bottom of the foot changes shape depending on how much pressure you are pushing through it; so too stiff of an orthotic will be wrong for high-impact sports.

Overall as far as the OP question on podiatrist vs bootfitter, both people should be able to get you the right item, so you should decide based on price. Price being equal, I'd go with the bootfitter. Also as noted above, there are multiple options at different price points(as I'm sure have been discussed in many threads).

I would agree that the sales pitch of "you can use this in all your footwear" is typically false in practice, and just assume that the footbed is only going to be specific for your ski boots.

If you are still in rental boots, that's a different story, and perhaps you'll be suited with just getting some squishy dr. scholls in there
 

Blue Streak

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Absolutely. Different orthotics are required for different uses.
The Superfeet Custom Carbon Winter foot beds are specifically designed for ski and/or snowboard boots.
They are custom molded by a boot fitter.
 

cosmoliu

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I've always put my podiatrist made orthotics into my boots and have done well. I have had bootfitters tell me that they are too stiff for skiing, but have not been swayed. I have very flat, pronated feet and the orthotics correct for that, as well as a complication I had begun to experience- chronic rupture of the tibialis posterior tendon. When they came in, I was instructed to use them for an hour the first day, then progressively ramp up the usage until they became comfortable. For the first week, it felt like I had a river rock in each shoe. That was about 20 years ago and now I don't go anywhere without them. The primary reason that I didn't listen to the bootfitters is that, at that shop, they fit for orthotics with the customer standing. My podiatrist did the plaster casts of the bottoms of my feet non-weight bearing, forming the foot to an ideal arch that didn't exist naturally. I figure that anything molded to the weight bearing foot couldn't possibly have a similar therapeutic value to me. I have since noticed that some bootfitters will mold to the non-weight bearing foot, and such footbeds could work out. You might query your bootfitter as to his philosophy on that.

Granted, my orthotics are meant to correct a pathologic condition. YMMV if you have normal feet.
 

David Chaus

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I have orthotics that were made by a podiatrist - in 1986. My feet probate, like totally collapse without the orthotics or footbeds. The coating on the orthotics was getting cracks and chips, and I thought maybe my feet have changed shape a bit in 30+ years, so I had a podiatrist take a look.

Nope. He said they still fit my feet, contours are still accurate. They were made back in the day with a resin that's pretty toxic to manufacture, so they don't use it anymore, but very durable. I had them resurfaced for $100.

I also had him look at my custom skiing footbeds, made 3 years ago. Also good to go, though they are not as firm and supportive as my orthotics. I'm in the market for new boots so I'll probably take both the orthotics and footbeds with me when I see a bootfitter.
 
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PTskier

PTskier

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I've had a couple of DPMs (doctor of podiatric medicine) make orthotics by making a plaster mold of the unweighted foot in the subtalar neutral position that is presumably neither pronated nor supinated. Then they would take the still-soft mold and manipulate it to get the shape they wanted. These were OK, but it didn't look beyond the foot, nothing of the ankle, knee, hip, or gait.


The latest evaluation by the DPT (doctor of physical therapy) evaluated all the foot/ankle/leg parts up to the hips and shimmed my existing old orthotics to get everything aligned. If the shimmed orthotics work well, I'll get new ones made to that spec. She said that she had 30 models of off-the-shelf orthotics, but I needed custom ones. The sports MD is the one who noticed my knee misalignment and got this ball rolling.

The best ski boot footbeds I've had came from the Harb alignment center. They're made in a semi-weighted position on the deep foam pad with a material that has a bit of flexibility to allow the foot limited natural movement as it is weighted, unweighted, inverted or relaxed inside the ski boot. I'm still trying to get in touch with Jay Peterson in Portland about having a new set of these made that will incorporate my current correction. If that doesn't work, I'll figure out a Plan B.

David, do you know what correction your orthotics are providing for you? I'd think that's what you'd need in footbeds. I don't know if less correction when used inside ski boots is satisfactory. No reason why your old footbeds can't work in the new boots...they can be trimmed if needed.
 
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