24 Feb 2014, 9:22am
Colorado Shopping Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride:
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Finding Happy Feet at Bootdoctors

Standing Comfortably in My Cozy Boots Awaiting My Clients

Standing Comfortably in My Cozy Boots Awaiting My Clients at Telluride Ski Resort

Ouch, with almost a hundred days a year in my ski boots, I often feel the need for a foot massage. Sadly that’s not part of my regular routine and I’ve yet to hear my boyfriend volunteer for that job. I am, however, careful to have a proper fit with my ski boots in order to assure the best performance on the slopes and to stop any potential irritation at the source.

It’s been a busy winter and I’ve been in my ski boots most days since mid December instructing with the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. A podiatrist once told me that stilettos spurred the invention of podiatry. I’d guess that ski boots have also played a part in the need for treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle although fortunately most ski boot issues can be remedied with the right help before real problems begin.

Shawn Fixing Up My Boots

Shawn Fixing Up My Boots

First, you have to have an expert boot fitter set you up with the right boots and then craft you a customized footbed that will make you feel like an Olympic skier with every turn. (Never underestimate the power of your pinky toes.). Then you have to check back with this master craftsman/purveyor from time to time as your boots become broken in and your feet evolve. (You can bet my feet have become wider living my Rocky Mountain girl lifestyle in boots, clogs and flip flops—so much so that I can barely squeeze a big toe into the pumps I wore back in my Paris days.)

So when I began to develop near excruciating pain in my toes about a month ago, I almost panicked. I couldn’t imagine continuing the season with such discomfort. Of course I complained some in the locker room—the place where most of us work out our problems—and was grateful when a couple of fellow instructors recommended I head over to Bootdoctors for boot work. I should have thought of that myself, since I’ve trotted over there at least once a season in the past ten years I’ve been an instructor. But still, I had a block, kind of like how you feel about going to the dentist.

Bob Gleason:  Owner and Head Bootdoctor of Bootdoctors

Bob Gleason: Owner and Head Bootdoctor of Bootdoctors

Silly me. Shawn fixed me up in no time. It seemed as though I was suffering from a classic case of toe bang. Yup, my boots had become so packed out that my toes were moving around enough to hit all the wrong places. Definitely not a good thing. We talked about a couple of different options, including replacing the liner or even buying new boots, but I opted for the easiest fix, a boot wrap, invented by Bob Gleason, the master bootdoctor himself. Well aware that it might be a temporary fix, it has now been three weeks and this bit of foam has worked wonders. (A fellow instructor actually told me that she was able to ski two more years in her boots thanks to her boot wrap.)

My faith in boot work has been restored and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of staying on top of your ski boots. Upon further investigation, I asked Dr. Bob more about the follow up visits required to assure continued good fit from ski boots. (Remember you have to have the right boots and footbeds from the onset.) He reeled off issues such as pump bumps, surface knots, shin bites and more. “Nothing presses against the boot like the shin,” he emphasized. “One of the most common problems is ankle discomfort,” he continued. Wow, I had had my boots punched out for bunions and now adjusted for toe bang—never did I realize there were so many different ways to fix boots.

Now I not only have happy feet but I also have restored faith that almost everything is possible—at least in ski boot world. There’s no reason not to have a good boot fit. And hey, I might just get that foot massage some day after all.

For more on boot and ski shopping read Spring Skiing, Spring Shopping.

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