What you need to know: Custom Footbeds
You may have heard people speaking about ‘footbeds’ when talking about buying a pair of ski boots, but maybe you've never really understood what they are or why you’d ever need one especially if you’ve never had problems with your feet. In this blog post, Mark Watson, our Ski Training Manager explains why a Sidas custom footbed is important and why you should consider them with your next boot fit.
What is a Sidas Custom footbed?
At Ellis Brigham, we offer three main types of Sidas Custom Footbeds: SUREfit Performance or Premium Plus (stiffer support for hard-shelled footwear) and Multi TX (the walking boot equivalent).
All of our Custom Footbeds comprise of a material that casts to the foot which can then later be supported with a stabilizer, adding extra stiffness or stability to further support the foot's structure if needed. These insoles will replace the basic stock insole which tends to be a flat, foam sole on the inside of the ski boot liner (directly beneath the foot).
The purpose of this type of support is to control and support the foot in a neutral position unless your foot supinates (naturally rolls outwards), in which instance it is there to provide a much better platform for weight distribution. Unlike generic pre-molded insoles, the bespoke Custom Footbed provides support to all areas and arches of the foot, offering maximum control and minimising the collapse and changes of the foot. In-store we will analyse your feet to better understand what the benefits of an insole will be to you and choose what stiffness of insole will best suit your foot type.
Why are they so important within a ski boot?
Focusing on ski boots (but this can certainly can be applied to other types of footwear) it is widely accepted within technical boot fitting circles that custom footbeds are an integral part of a properly fitted ski boot.
There are three key reasons why experienced boot fitters ask that you supply or purchase some form of effective foot support:
- Stabilize the foot - The foot has naturally evolved to become mobile when placing the foot down onto a surface, acting as a shock absorber but then stiffening at the end of our stride to provide a rigid lever for propulsion. Throughout this motion the shape (width/height/length) of the foot constantly changes. Because the ski boot has no flexibility and is a rigid shell that does not allow for these movements, problems can soon occur and many boot fitters may assume that there is too little space in the shell for the foot, but the actual cause is the unsupported foot collapsing and pressing against the internal walls of the boot.
- Improve alignment – When the foot is held in a neutral position it’s surprising just how far the effect spreads across our bodies. Not only will the foot rest in a straight and suitable position for the ski boot, the legs and hips will also become straighter and in a stronger position to resist the forces experienced whilst skiing. This reduces fatigue of the leg and feet and significantly improves the stance, balance and control for all skiers.
- Improve pressure distribution- By taking an entire mould of the sole of the foot we can create a completely complimentary shape along it's whole length for the best platform to bear weight on. This improves comfort, reduces fatigue experienced in the foot and increases the contact area which gives more sensory feedback to the brain improving balance. Whether you’ve already got a pair of ski boots or are intending on buying a new setup, add this integral component to get the most out of your skiing and equipment.
Visit any of our Boot Lab stores to have your ski boots fitted with Sidas Custom Footbeds.