UKC

/ Numb toes after skinning

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kathrync - on 10 Apr 2018

My boots are absolutely fine if I am spending a day skiing off lifts and leave them in ski mode all day as long as I am careful to make sure that my heel is well back in the heel cup when I put them on.

However, if I have been skinning I often get numb toes, starting with my little toe and moving in.

I have very small feet - my boots should really be a mondo 22 but there are very few AT boots available that small so I have had to settle for a 22.5 liner in a 23 shell.  I have worked with a boot fitter to make this work for me for downhill.  I also have a very high instep.

I think what is happening is that if I settle my heels in the morning and ski downhill all day, my feet stay put.  But if I am putting my boots in walk mode, loosening the cuffs and skinning my feet shift forward slightly and then I squash the nerves over the instep when I do my boots back up for the descent.  I do try to re-seat my heels at transition but this isn't always possible if the snow is soft.

Has anyone had similar problems?  Is there a homemade solution I can try?  I am wondering if there is some way of keeping my feet still while skinning.  While my experiences with boot fitters have been excellent, I would like to see if I can find a simple solution before I spend more cash.

I am also aware that the obvious solution is to buy boots that actually fit, but at the moment I am not aware of anything available smaller than I already have apart from the women's Atomic Backland but while they are smaller they are not a good shape for me.

JuneBob on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to kathrync:

Which boots do you have? Quite a few have lace up liners or similar; it's important to make sure that's done up properly to reduce how much your foot moves about.

walts4 - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to kathrync:

I have a different problem that requires me to keep my feet in place in the boots whilst skinning.

My solution is to obviously skin uphill in walk mode, but have the boots at almost the same tightness setting as if I am about to ski down hill.

Then when finishing the skinning, give them the extra crank to fully adjusted & go to ski mode. This works for me.

kathrync - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to JuneBob:

> Which boots do you have? Quite a few have lace up liners or similar; it's important to make sure that's done up properly to reduce how much your foot moves about.

They are Scarpa Divas - a 4 buckle touring boot from around 2010 ish.  The liners are wrap-around Intuition liners like these https://www.scarpa.com/precision-high-liner-womens that don't have any fastening of their own.  They have tabs at the top to snug them around your calf and I do snug these up before doing my boots up but they are primarily held closed by the shell.

kathrync - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to walts4:

> My solution is to obviously skin uphill in walk mode, but have the boots at almost the same tightness setting as if I am about to ski down hill.

I have tried this - if I don't release the third buckle for skinning it causes me other issues but I tend to keep the 4th buckle and booster strap at almost the same tightness as for skiing downhill. 

 

galpinos on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to kathrync:

I'm assuming you are in Scarpa Geas as I think they are the only brand to do that re-shell size, 22.5 & 23 are the same shell in Scarpas (230mm long) , but 22 & 22.5 would be the same in others (225mm long).

 

kathrync - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to galpinos:

Scarpa Divas - they don't make them any more but you were correct on the brand.

My problem is that for most other brands 23.5 is the smallest shell they sell so the smallest liner size is 23. I can just about get away with the Scarpas but anything else is far too big in the smallest available size.

MG - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to kathrync:

At the opposite end of the scale (size 33) I have the same problem - I get number little toes.  I found all buckles and strap released when skinning solves the problem.  My feet move a bit in the shells but this doesn't really matter skinning.

If you try this, make sure the straps are velcroed to themselves - otherwise the results are... abrupt!

Post edited at 15:41
kathrync - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

> At the opposite end of the scale (size 33) I have the same problem - I get number little toes.  I found all buckles and strap released when skinning solves the problem.  My feet move a bit in the shells but this doesn't really matter skinning.

My feet are fine during skinning, the problem is after when I do my boots back up to go down because my feet have moved and I struggle to get them back into place.  When I put my boots on at the car I whack the heels of my boots on the ground to push my heels into the back, but that doesn't really work if you are transitioning on soft snow.

 

> If you try this, make sure the straps are velcroed to themselves - otherwise the results are... abrupt!

Ha, yes, I can imagine!

John Cuthbert - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to kathrync:

i often have a similar issue skinning. whats happening with me is that the ploy material on the top/front of the boot stiffens when in the cold of the snow going uphill, whilst my feet swell a little from the exertion. hence the tightness...

The way Ive got around it is to way a thinner sock on the way up, an then swap into a slightly thicker sock for the way down as my feet cool a bit...

John C

kathrync - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to John Cuthbert:

Yes, that's a good point - it is probable that my feet are swelling too which would definitely contribute.  It was very warm when I was out last weekend and the problem was more noticeable than usual which would indicate that this is a factor.


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