It’s around that time of year when snow has been falling on the Australian alps and you may be thinking about dragging your ski boots from out the cupboard and heading up to the slopes for some well-earned leisure time.
Unfortunately ski boots can be there own special torture devices. However there are some very simple steps you can follow to ensure you can get the most out of your ski trip.
Fitting – Although the temptation of that cheap internet purchase might be tantalising. A proper ski boot fitting from a well respected shop will go a long way to keeping your feet happy and healthy. Being made of hard plastic ski boots are not as forgiving of an imperfect fit as a regular sneaker and the source of a lot of people’s aches and pains can be narrowed down to a poorly fitting boot.
The Moisture problem – Lets face it skiing is a very athletic activity, you’re going to sweat, however the trick is to wick that moisture away so your feet aren’t sitting freezing in a pool of perspiration. A good quality sock made of merino wool is your first go to help wick that moisture away from your skin and keep you warm and dry. Never double sock !
Aches and Pains – In my experience one of the big reasons people end up with strains and sprains is simple, not enough preparation. Skiing is a sport which requires a high degree of flexibility , strength and coordination. If you do little other sport , it is important to prepare for your ski holiday by having a few months of strength and conditioning in place to make sure your body is ready for the rigors of the slopes. If you’re doing more than 2 days skiing it’s important to have some rest and relaxation as well to not overwork your body, hey this is a holiday not boot camp remember !
Lastly not every problem has an easy solution and sometimes a professional opinion can be required. If you suffer from any of the following problems it may be worth booking an appointment with the friendly podiatrists at Diamond valley foot and ankle clinic.
Numbness - Numbness and tingling especially if it persists after the ski boot has been taken off. Numbness indicates a nerve problem (commonly being compressed by the ski boot) and it’s important to have this assessed to make sure you’re not doing permanent damage.
Pain – Pain that is severe enough to stops you skiing is not normal. If this occurs it is important that you see your podiatrist as there may be steps we can take to make you more comfortable and support and offload the structures that are causing you problems.
Blisters – Are a condition of friction and indicate that you’re slipping around in the ski boot. Blisters can end up very nasty if the root cause is not addressed. If you have developed blisters you can see your podiatrist properly clean and dress the wounds and to assess the ski boot to make sure it does not happen again.
Rash – The moist environment of a ski boot is a popular hangout for fungus and bacteria which can cause a number of dermatological conditions the most common of which is tinea pedis. If your skin has a red, itchy or scaly appearance it is a good idea to have it assessed and treated.
Cold toes – Lastly the cold environment of the snow can definitely be unkind on your pedal digits. A a good watertight ski boot and a good quality sock should be enough to prevent discomfort in most people. However if you continue to suffer from cold feet it is worth explaining the signs and the symptoms to a professional to give you peace of mind.
Our very own Podiatrist Nick Walters is an avid snowboarder who knows more than most about ski boots. Nick worked in Japan to ensure holiday makers got the most out of their boots and feet with no pain.
Written by Nick Walters – Podiatrist at the Diamond Valley Foot & Ankle Clinic