This weekend marked my first turns of the season… and they were not exceptional. I did 4 runs over 2 days. 4 short terrible runs riddled with pain. There are people who would trade everything to be able to spend 2 days riding great snow like we had on this epic opening weekend, and there I was sitting in the lodge feeling defeated and depressed.
I’m a weekend warrior who’s enjoyment of this snow sport is very negatively affected by a lot of varying pains I experience in my feet and ankles while riding. I’ve been to three separate physios who have all told me different things. I tried to consult a Dr. to be referred to a podiatrist but it seemed the Dr. didn’t believe I needed any help and that my feet were ‘medically fine because they were not swollen’.
I have tried in the past to track the pain, taking photos with my boots off pointing to where I felt pain at that time. Keeping written notes about where the pain was, what I was doing when it hurt, or how it felt. The variations are overwhelming though and when it comes down to it, I really don’t know how to translate my problem into something that a professional can evaluate.
Some suggestions I’ve had have been encouraging, I’d like to try and spend some time strengthening my ankles as they have both been used and abused through biking and snowboarding and this could only be an improvement. I sprained one badly years ago and broke the other. Another friend has given me a contact for a podiatrist I will get in touch with in Squamish. Both my ankles have great mobility but despite that they feel janky at best pretty much on all occasions and I find certain movements harder and I do get random sharp pains now and then.
Lu’s husband Dan coaxed me into going to try on boots even though mine are not due for replacement, it never hurts to check things out. It was an interesting experience and I’m happy we went! I currently ride in a pair of 2015 Burton Supreme‘s, they have the old liner which apparently makes them feel more stiff than this years new supreme’s since they have changed it. Here’s a shot of what’s in my boots now:
Infinite Ride™ 4 Liner with NEW DRYRIDE Heat Cycle™ Lining
This old liner does not pack down, and it does not breathe. I always use a boot dryer after riding so I haven’t had any issues with them not getting dried out but if I didn’t have that option these would probably be pretty disgusting!
Here is a list of boots I tried on : for reference I would consider my current boots an 8/10 flex despite the website saying they are a 6/10 they are NOT by any means soft.
RIDE CADENCE FOCUS BOA
This boot had the best heel hold for me, far superior to any other I tried on including the Salomons with the straight jacket ankle system (and that system is awesome!). Although they fit okay in length I felt like they would pack out and be too large in a 6, but they don’t make the boot in a 5.5. They had quite a roomy toe box which I think could work because of the sheer heel hold – this could possibly allow circulation to my toes and help prevent any further frost nip.
Fit my foots shape like a glove! Felt perfect but didn’t have the same heel hold the ride boot did, and didn’t feel supportive enough in the ankle.
Lu ended up getting this boot and its hella sick! The features on this are very forward thinking and seem to work magic. Unfortunately the fit is not appropriate for my foot, the shape of the toe box is tight on my big toe but roomy else where.
SALOMON IVY BOA SJ
I tried these one despite them being too soft and it was a no go on the fit.
4/10 Flex (definitely did not feel that soft)
This boot was not an option as it did not fit well, sizing was too small or too big, and I quite disliked the lacing system and liner system. Nope nope nope!
“Medium Flex” 6/10
This boot did not fit my foot correctly nor do I like their traditional lacing system (only because the boot seems bulky and does not pull closed well in my opinion).
The fit of these is perfect for me, but since they changed the liner they are much less stiff than previously. The liner is now a foam one instead of the weird plastic one they have in the 2015’s. Still a great choice of boot if it fits right – for me this purchase would be redundant and a downgrade so I will try something new!