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  1. #1
    Beginner Snowatcher
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Northern NSW.
    Posts
    22

    Default Achillies tendon and/or calf muscle pain in ski boots

    For those with sore achillies/calf after skiing
    .
    DISCLAIMER: I do not consider myself a guru but am a reasonably experienced high end skier/racer/instructor/guide. Paul is the boot guru and will probably know all this. . Im just a punter.
    .
    When I started doing a lot of skiing and racing in Europe in the mid 80s most boots were fairly upright, some almost 90 degrees from footbed to stem. High end boots were very stiff. This was especially so with race boots. Technica, Lowe and Raichle race boots were pretty solid. They could be canted forwards with canting wedges or mechanical means to the desired angle.
    .
    Over the years most bot companies have moved towards a boot that is naturally angled or canted forwards. This can cause achillies/calf issues, especially in older skiers.
    .
    In the past I never had a problem with pain in my boots or lower leg. Over the past 10 years or so I have suffered from debilitating pain in my lower calf and achillies to the point where there was such cramping and pain after skiing that I could hardly walk. Being a bloke, I just put up with it with doses of voltaren and beer.
    .
    This came to a head 3 years ago. As I got older and less flexible the problem became worse. I went to a well known designer boot retailer in Jindabyne who diagnosed that I needed to spend $1200 on his particular brand of Austrian gucci boots and custom leather liners!!!
    .
    After considering this for about 3 seconds I walked away. A few days later I was chatting to an old racing mate on line who now works for Dalbello. He off-handedly suggested that I have \"Short Achillies Syndrome\". A relatively rare but easy to fix ailment. I had never heard of it.
    .
    Apparently about 10 - 15% of skiers (not boarders as the boots are soft) have this pain problem due to the achillies tendon not being able to flex as much as the boot wants to. The flex then being absorbed by the tendon.
    .
    The fix is to put a wedge under the heel, forcing the tendon to shorten and giving a greater range of movement. This fix, as well as decent Salomon Xpro 120 boots and liners, has made a huge difference to my comfort levels.
    .
    FYI.
    .
    # Paul - If this is total crap and the problem is elsewhere I wont be offended. It is just that the heel wedge has fixed me.
    .
    Dave

  2. #2
    Snowatch Owner & Snow Forecastor
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW
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    15,700
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    3

    Default Re: Achillies tendon and/or calf muscle pain in ski boots

    Thanks for sharing, interesting read. Boot fitting would be very hard considering not even your own left and rights are perfect matches. I think most people put up with a fair bit of pain in regards to wearing boots, I'm the same. It comes down to time and money, if had the time and money I'd sort it out.
    Follow the Snow! snowatch.com.au

  3. #3
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wodonga, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    13,785
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Achillies tendon and/or calf muscle pain in ski boots

    Quote Originally Posted by longy66 View Post
    For those with sore achillies/calf after skiing
    .
    DISCLAIMER: I do not consider myself a guru but am a reasonably experienced high end skier/racer/instructor/guide. Paul is the boot guru and will probably know all this. . Im just a punter.
    .
    When I started doing a lot of skiing and racing in Europe in the mid 80s most boots were fairly upright, some almost 90 degrees from footbed to stem. High end boots were very stiff. This was especially so with race boots. Technica, Lowe and Raichle race boots were pretty solid. They could be canted forwards with canting wedges or mechanical means to the desired angle.
    .
    Over the years most bot companies have moved towards a boot that is naturally angled or canted forwards. This can cause achillies/calf issues, especially in older skiers.
    .
    In the past I never had a problem with pain in my boots or lower leg. Over the past 10 years or so I have suffered from debilitating pain in my lower calf and achillies to the point where there was such cramping and pain after skiing that I could hardly walk. Being a bloke, I just put up with it with doses of voltaren and beer.
    .
    This came to a head 3 years ago. As I got older and less flexible the problem became worse. I went to a well known designer boot retailer in Jindabyne who diagnosed that I needed to spend $1200 on his particular brand of Austrian gucci boots and custom leather liners!!!
    .
    After considering this for about 3 seconds I walked away. A few days later I was chatting to an old racing mate on line who now works for Dalbello. He off-handedly suggested that I have \"Short Achillies Syndrome\". A relatively rare but easy to fix ailment. I had never heard of it.
    .
    Apparently about 10 - 15% of skiers (not boarders as the boots are soft) have this pain problem due to the achillies tendon not being able to flex as much as the boot wants to. The flex then being absorbed by the tendon.
    .
    The fix is to put a wedge under the heel, forcing the tendon to shorten and giving a greater range of movement. This fix, as well as decent Salomon Xpro 120 boots and liners, has made a huge difference to my comfort levels.
    .
    FYI.
    .
    # Paul - If this is total crap and the problem is elsewhere I wont be offended. It is just that the heel wedge has fixed me.
    .
    Dave

    Close enough.

    Basically if you have limited dorsiflexion, a heel lift wedge can help accommodate the leg being comfortable in boot, most often dosiflexion becomes more limited as we age and become less physically active, usually a boot fitter will suggest a stiffer boot along with a heel lift wedge.

  4. #4
    Beginner Snowatcher
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Northern NSW.
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Achillies tendon and/or calf muscle pain in ski boots

    Thanks Paul.
    Next time ill avoid Larry's, save a squillion $$$ and go straight to a pro boot fitter. The chap at "Last Run" was good and was happy to tweak the fit whenever i wanted for free. Cool.

  5. #5
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wodonga, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    13,785
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Achillies tendon and/or calf muscle pain in ski boots

    Quote Originally Posted by longy66 View Post
    Thanks Paul.
    Next time ill avoid Larry's, save a squillion $$$ and go straight to a pro boot fitter. The chap at "Last Run" was good and was happy to tweak the fit whenever i wanted for free. Cool.
    Peter Bird at Last run is a nice guy, he has been around the industry for a long time.

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