No, it's not normal to suffer from sore feet in your ski boots, neither from blisters, blackened toenails, or hot feet when you run!
Solutions are available.
And the most effective of these is called boot fitting and shoe fitting.
The aim is simple: to make your feet more comfortable, helping you perform better so you can forget about your feet and enjoy your sporting activities to the full, whether you're skiing, running, cycling, or hiking.
How do you define boot fitting/shoe fitting, a technique involving both innovation in materials and manual expertise? What are the benefits? Where is it done?
You can find all our answers in this article about boot fitting or the art of saying goodbye to sore feet by offering a unique and personalized comfort solution.
WHAT IS BOOT FITTING?
Boot fitting/shoe fitting is a personalized, sports-oriented comfort and performance solution for your feet.
Based on material innovation and highly developed manual expertise, boot fitting/shoe fitting starts from a simple observation: every foot is unique.
In other words, all feet are different.
Yet the products available for skiing, running, hiking, or cycling, such as shoes, socks, or insoles, are typically generic and not genuinely tailored for anyone.
This means they may not provide the best fit for your specific needs.
So, the boot fitter's role is to customize your shoes, ensuring absolute comfort. They use various techniques such as analysis, personalized insoles, and shoe modification to bid farewell to sore feet.
"Bringing you more comfort and better performance, so you can forget about your feet and enjoy your sporting activities to the full."
WHEN & HOW TO USE BOOT FITTING
We recommend boot fitting/shoe fitting whenever your feet hurt in your sports shoes, regardless of your activity.
There are two types of solutions:
- Boot fitting, which involves working on rigid shoes. So it's a term specific to ski boots, which are notoriously uncomfortable.
- Shoe fitting, which refers to the customization of softer materials and therefore applies to running, cycling, or hiking shoes.
For boot fitting/shoe fitting, naturally, you need to go to a boot fitter/shoe fitter, the expert in specialist sports shops whose job is keeping feet comfortable.
Their expertise is such that, at times, you'll feel as if you're dealing with magicians with a gift for making the pain of sore feet disappear!
"No, having sore feet in your ski boots is not inevitable!" »
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STAGES & TYPES OF BOOT FITTING?
Boot fitting/shoe fitting is a fairly general term encompassing all the individual adjustments to provide the foot with greater comfort.
1/ FOOT ANALYSIS
No matter the sport, whether skiing or running, it all starts with analysis.
The boot fitter will ask you questions, look closely at your foot, and get you on a machine that will detect all the subtleties.
The purpose of this analysis is to:
- measure the length and width of your foot, the height of your arch and instep, and the size of your calf.
- identify any rubbing, redness, black nails, bone growths, or sweating problems causing pain.
This analysis often determines the choice of shoe. And that choice is crucial. Choosing the shoe according to your foot may seem trivial, but that is already shoe fitting.
2/CHOOSING YOUR SOCKS
The choice of socks is also fundamental. This will obviously depend on both the sport and the unique features of your foot observed during the analysis phase.
Thinness is also one of our watchwords. We really must put an end to the idea that a thick sock is a warm sock!
Absolutely not: it's all about breathability.
Explore our range of technical socks for running or skiing just here.
3/CHOOSING YOUR INSOLES
Once the foot has been analysed and the right sock selected, one of the most effective comfort solutions is to use an insole.
The insole is the interface between your body and the shoe, hence its vital role.
It is designed to provide the foot with:
- stability by making sure it is well-supported in the shoe, particularly in the heel area.
- Support that limits fatigue-related sagging.
- And better pressure distribution through uniform support. No more specific localised points where you feel real muscular tension!
There are two types of insoles:
- Our 3Feet insoles take the first step towards personalization with three different arch heights to best match the shape of your foot.
- Our Custom insoles are designed to be worked on by our boot fitters, create a fully customized model that perfectly matches the specific features of your foot.
4/ CHOOSING & WORKING WITH SHOES
Then boot fitting, particularly for skiing, will allow you to work directly on the boot. You know that famous ski boot that hurts all winter long!
There are two ways of personalizing the product:
1) The ski boot liner. There are two ways of customizing this:
- Thermoforming involves heating the liner in a specialized oven and then molding it to the shape of the foot.
This process allows for precise coverage of painful areas using small patches, creating more comfortable space. It's a reliable solution to consider for a better fit.
- The less-common injected shoe, which is found more from a performance perspective for top-level skiers. Foam is injected directly into a mould around the foot. This eliminates any gaps between the foot and the shoe, maximizing precision, responsiveness, and energy transmission.
2) The ski boot liner. Made of rigid plastic, it can be slightly reshaped to release pressure points.
In shoe fitting - i.e., on running, cycling, or hiking shoes - the scope for working directly on the shoe is much more limited.
However, a few adjustments are possible to the width of these, especially the lacing!
5/ CHOOSING YOUR ACCESSORIES
To extend this personalization approach, we have developed a whole range of products that take the pursuit of comfort and performance even further.
This ranges from heated solutions and heating socks to foot protection accessories, which look like details but can make a significant difference.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BOOTFITTING?
Benjamin Couton, head of the SIDAS Academy, gives us an exhaustive and detailed explanation of the benefits of boot fitting/shoe fitting:
-"Overall, boot fitting/shoe fitting aims to create a better symbiosis between the foot and the sports shoe."
-"The key word is really comfort. So, sports lovers no longer have to worry about their feet. They can forget about them and just enjoy themselves to the full."
- "The other major aspect of boot fitting/shoe fitting has to do with performance. It's a means of achieving marginal gains in precision, responsiveness, and dynamism. Whether it's running, trail running, skiing or cycling
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE SIDAS ACADEMY?
The SIDAS Academy is the fruit of nearly 50 years of expertise in foot comfort. It was created so we could share our expertise.
We share our know-how through our three primary missions:
1) Inform and recommend.
We keep everyone informed about the latest sports developments, footwear, medical conditions, and new technologies. We also recommend expert shops for your comfort needs and refer customers to our trained boot fitters.
2) Train and certify
We educate and pass on our expertise to sports professionals and in-store technical advisors. We want the benefits of our expertise to trickle down to enthusiasts in the choice and customization of their equipment.
1) Animate and share.
We bring together different worlds (athletes, enthusiasts, shops, engineers), creating opportunities for them to meet.