Please school me about buckling!

Discussion in 'Ski Boot Discussion by America's Best Bootfitters' started by Pat AKA mustski, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Quick background: long feet combined with narrow heel, small ankle, and poor dorsiflexion that is inhibited by bone means my left boot has always been too loose. My only option was to clamp down on the buckles and deal with the loss of circulation.

    Fast forward to the miracle of boot doc liners and my foot is quite secure in the new boots. However I am still losing circulation in the left foot. The right foot has never been a problem. Before I go back to my bootfitter, I want to make sure it’s not user error.

    I have tried leaving the instep buckle open on the chairlift but that seems to create more pressure. There are no footrests at my local mountain.

    Could someone please explain to me which buckles should be tight enough to hold my foot in the boot right? What is the purpose of each buckle? Sorry if this is a stupid question!
     
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  2. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    I feel your pain... but in the opposite foot. ;)

    I'll just offer up what I've settled on this season as it's quite different than anything I had previously ever done (and I've never seen this suggested by anyone else). This might work for you too. This technique gets my feet situated best in the heel/ankle pockets without needing to bang my boots on the floor.

    After slipping into the shells, I close the power strap first. While standing, I pull up on the rear loop of the liner while flexing forward in the boots (no buckles closed). I do this repeatedly until my heel is fully back. This works best for my liners/shells to get my foot seated into the rear of the shell.

    With my feet situated, I buckle from the top-most buckle on down. Keeping the buckles fairly loose until I'm at the top of the first lift. The key buckle for "performance" is the ankle buckle (second down). That's the only one I buckle more tightly, but this is AFTER I got the instep area to fit correctly (with no gap/slop over my foot).
     
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  3. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Lately I have been leaving the bottom two buckles loose. I wear boot gloves so they keep the buckles from flopping around.
    The shell fits snugly around my foot, so this doesn't leave any slop around the foot itself. Those loose buckles allow blood to flow through my feet. I wouldn't recommend loose buckles though if there's any air space in there.

    I buckle the lower buckle on the cuff very tightly as that is the important one for keeping my heel snuggled back against the spine and down where it belongs.

    The top buckle varies, depending on whatever I'm doing that day. There's a Booster strap that I keep very tight up at the top. I position it up under the shell normally, not on top.

    Like Noodler, I start at the top and work my way down, Booster Strap first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  4. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Buckle the top buckle first on a low setting. Flex into the boot to seat your heel. This eliminates the banging on the floor. I like noodler's pulling up on the strap of the liner in the back. You want to seat your foot well in the liner. Wiggle it around, etc.

    The best way to find out what all the buckles do is to start loosening them, or undoing them completely, and skiing. Don't do them all at once until you're used to it.
     
  5. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    My buckles at the lower cuff are buckled very tight. The 2 on the forefoot are finger (barely) tight and the 1 on the upper cuff is only slightly tighter than the 2 on the forefoot. The booster straps are pretty tight. YMMV
     
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  6. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Bottom 2 are done up enough to hold, or finger tight. Top 2 are firm and booster strap tight. I start at the bottom, buckle those 2 and don't touch again. Do up the top 2, then work each one tighter till good. Then do up the booster and maybe adjust one more time the top 2. I have stock liners, custom Sidas insoles with heaters. I've had a little work done on the liner with padding added to the liner near the ankle. Atomic Hawk Prime 100.
     
  7. Thread Starter
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    Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    So, I should start with ankle tight, strap tight, and everything else loose and see what happens? The hot spot on the instep when that buckle is open, and my foot hanging loose on the chairlift, is pretty intense!

    I already flex in well, but I will try pulling up in the back if the liner.
     
  8. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Sounds like you need some instep relief that can only come by visiting a boot shop.

    It can be a good idea to do your first run with loose boots so your feet aclimate. What loose is you get to decide. It varies a lot depending on fit and boot type. The power/booster strap should be on and the upper cuff should have some security. Whatever that means to you/your boot.
    I can ski all day with those loose, but I wouldn't recommend it. I do recommend trying skiing on easy terrain with loose boots.
     
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  9. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    I was taught by my bootfitter to bang my heel in, and once it's seated well to buckle the 3 highest buckle on my boot and work that one and my top most buckle until they are both as tight as you like them. Then I tighten my power strap as tight as I can get it. At that point I flex my boots forward in a ski position and while flex buckle my two lowest buckles until they are snug but not overly tight.

    Has worked really well or me. I sometimes make a small adjustment here or there after 1 run as needed but not every time.
     
  10. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I have found that pulling up on the liner loops BEFORE tightening anything allows me to make sure my heal is all the way back. Then I buckle the top two buckles and flex into the tongue to seat my heel. Then the power strap and the two bottom buckles.

    Have you tried pushing the tongue up and down and side to side a bit to see if that gives relief? Just a little movement of the tongue can give some relief.
     
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  11. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    There's a risk in using the bang the heel into the floor method. When you're banging your heel back, you don't have all of your weight pushing down into the boot. Thus your foot is not in the same vertical positioning as when you're fully standing on the floor/skis. When you start knocking back your heel you need to be careful to knock back AND down if you're going to use that method. That's why you see a few posts recommending the "flex into the heel" method to get your heel pushed back into the pocket.

    With a ZipFit liner, the kick the heel back has more risk because you will change the ankle/heel pockets by squishing the OMfit compound into the wrong places.
     
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  12. Thread Starter
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    Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yes, I have. I plan to get back up to Reno in April and will get some adjustments then. I feel as if the liner is pressing on the left side of my instep. It’s worse when loose than when buckled... I think. I’m still figuring it out. I want to eliminate user error.
     
  13. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Have you tried different socks just for kicks and grins? Also, micro-adjusting the instep buckle one twist looser, then another twist looser?
     
  14. Bill Miles

    Bill Miles Getting off the lift Skier

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    Buckling is when a long slender column under compressive load bows and collapses. Do you want the equations?
     
  15. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Pat you are in cabrios right?
     
  16. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    Agreed.
     
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  17. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Loose boots mean if you fall, the binding might not release. So be careful.
    Try wearing thin compression socks and see if that makes a difference.
    I'll second Josh's question. Are you in three-buckle or four-buckle boots?
     
  18. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I’d try that approach. If you have to tighten the buckles on the forefoot very much I’ve always been told the boot is probably too tight. I could easily ski my boots without those 2 buckled at all.
     
  19. coops

    coops Putting on skis Skier

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    I'd recommend this method pretty much...

    I just use the top buckle first (rather than the powerstrap) - it's not levered closed, but close enough so a good flex forward gets your heel back into its pocket (and your toes off the ends of the shell) without alarming the owners of any expensive carpets or wood flooring by doing the heel bang alternative.

    NOTE:- your boot doc liners are lace up like my Zipfits... so i'd imagine from the positive reviews i've seen of those boot doc foamed liners, that once snugly laced up your heel/ankle (and foot) is already nicely and firmly held in place, no slop or heel lift etc.

    Thanks to this you do NOT need to do those two top buckles up very tightly at all - they will and can and should be far less tight than the 'regular' liner.
    A normal liner you're having to crush the shell closed to get the liner tightened around your leg and foot - wiht your Boot docs (or zipfits) your foot is already secure in the liner, all you need is the liner to engage and be close enough to the liner, and oncer your heel is in the pocket there's even more security.

    I have the forefoot buckles only done up enough to stop them rattling, like most i'd guess.

    The difference is the top two buckles.
    Before you're probably used to having to use the heel of your hand to get enough leverage to close those buckles tight enough.
    Stop! Don't!
    With my Zipfits, I only need the kind of buckle tightness that can be closed with one finger (!) - so for sure give it a go as that will keep your circulation going for warmer feet and comfort but still with control and heel hold. (I suspect that with your previous liners needing the boot to be buckled up especially tight on your 'bad' foot that you're still cranking them down far too tight).

    Hope it helps... and it's an easy thing to try - don't be alarmed by how 'untight' those upper buckles seem compared to before.
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    @coops Thanks. am concerned that I am overtightening because I still feel as if I can’t trust my equipment. However, I don’t lace my liners because I leave them in the boot. If I put the liner on and lace it up, I can’t Get my foot into the boot, so my fitter said just skip the laces.

    No I used to be in the Kryzmas, but now I am in a four buckle - the Dalbello DRS LCAB90

    ETA: I almost don’t care about numb feet. For the first time in my life, I can open it up and not worry about my left foot!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019

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