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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Putney, VT
    Posts
    424

    Lower Leg Tendon and Ankle Pain from boots

    I've searched around and found bits and pieces of the issue I'm having but was hoping for some solid advice, suggestions, etc.

    I have Dalbello Krypton boots with superfeet non-custom footbeds and an intuition liner. I just put in the intuitions this season as I was having a similar pain last year and hoped that they would somehow fix it.

    I've been getting real bad lower leg pain in the tendon that goes down the outside of the back of my leg and connects behind my ankle. Leaning back in my boots adds to the pain and it runs from my ankle up to mid calf. Twisting of the boot while it's in the ski can also cause pain.

    By the end of the day my legs are tender to the touch and it hurts when I walk around. If I patiently wait to ski for a couple days, the pain doesn't come back until later in the ski day. If I ski the next day, it hurts after only a run or two. The worst conditions to exacerbate the symptoms are hard crud or anything that causes my skis to skip on the snow.

    I went to Superior sports at Snowbird to see what they could do. I was told that there wasn't enough room near the inside of my ankles and that was causing the outside of my ankles to be rolled out, stretching the tendons and causing pain. They blew out the ankle pockets but that doesn't seem to be helping. My ankles feel less supported now and the pain has not subsided.

    I quit my "real world" job and moved out to UT this past fall after getting so stoked on the West from reading things on this board and coming out to UT on vacation days. I'm totally bumming right now as my dream of a 100+ day season is starting to dim, but hopefully some other folks have been through this and can offer some advice.

    I promise to start contributing some stoke as soon as I'm back up and running.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    utah
    Posts
    4,668
    Go see Earl at the Sport Loft. He's not cheap, by any means, but the boots he put me in last year are amazing. Every other boot I've had has put me in varying amounts of pain, depending on conditions, how much I was skiing, sidestepping, etc. I used to consider some amount of pain to just be "normal". And now my feet finally don't hurt. (Now if he could fix my knees...)

    Earl Middlemiss @ the Sport Loft 4678 Highland Dr. Salt Lake City, UT 84117 (801) 272-3701

    It's one of those things where if you have reasonably normal feet and can get in comfortable boots from someone/somewhere cheaper, go for it. If you're having problems that are keeping you from skiing - he's totally worth the money.
    "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what a Ride!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    comptonwood
    Posts
    710
    dude i was having those same symtoms from those same boots/liners. i just put the regular liners back in, i think it had something to do with the rock hard nature of the intuition liners, as soon as i took them out the pain went away!!
    goodluck man
    -deane
    ayuh

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Putney, VT
    Posts
    424
    Deane, thanks for letting me know about the issues you had with the same setup. I still have my old liners kicking around and maybe I'll give them a shot tomorrow. I don't think the Intuition's are causing the problem, but I think they may be making it worse. The rock hard nature of the liner puts added pressure on the back of my leg (thinking it might be my achilles) when I have to lean back in the boots or when I point the tips of my skis down.

    I had this pain at the tail end of last year when I still had the stock liners in, so I'm not terribly optimistic going back to the stock liners will help, but I'll try them tomorrow.

    Some internet research leads me to believe I may have some sort of Achilles tendinitis, but I'm really not sure.

    Any docs out there who want to lend an opinion?

  5. #5
    Rooster Guest
    What thickness of socks are you wearing? Do not ever tuck long johns etc. into ski boots. Try wearing the thinnest socks you can possibly find or no socks at all as an experiment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Putney, VT
    Posts
    424
    Thanks Rooster. I always used to wear smartwool ski socks that were the padded version., but when I molded my intuitions I did it with a pair of darn tough ultralight socks and have used those since. I don't generally wear long underwear either so that shouldn't be an issue.

    At this point I'm willing to try anything to fix this issue. Tomorrow I'll start my day with the old packed out liners just to check those off the list of things to try. On Wednesday I will give it a shot with no socks at all, but I'm a little unclear how that could help the situation.

    If it is truly my achilles that is the issue, I have found some stretching/strengthening exercises online which I am going to begin doing. Even if it is not my achilles, it can't hurt to be strengthening it.

    I'm skiing on Blowers and Pontoons this season and read in another thread that skis like the Pontoon can put added stress/strain on the lower legs. I assume this is due to the added leverage/torque the ski can put on my foot because of the width and length of the ski. I skied on my old Enforcers the other day as they are skinny (98mm) and shorter (185) than my other boards. My legs felt a little better in those skis, but the conditions were softer snow and I was just hopping down some chutes and not hauling ass through crud, so that may have been the reason as well.

    On the upside, they don't hurt as early or as bad on powder days. It's the chopped up snow and jarring traverses that seem to really piss them off.

    I was going to just go get new boots as I'm desperate to solve this problem, but I'm not sure that will be the solution. I'd be looking to get Nordica Blower or Enforcer boots.

  7. #7
    Rooster Guest
    I really think that the thinnest socks possible will really help you out. I went so far as to go all of last ski season 50+ days using only 2 pair of socks. 1 being ultra thin the other , oddly enough, being smartwool(a thin variety). Yes I was a dirt poor bum without money enough to buy adequate pairs of socks. With moldable liners they are such a precision fit that any thing even slightly too large or even a slight wrinkle can really f*ck up your shins. My first season in heat molded liners a couple years ago I made the mistake of tucking my lj's into my boots. Once it hurt enough to notice the damage was done and I suffered thru the rest of that day and for days after. I hope for you that it is such a simple fix. Try wearing dress socks tomorrow. Goldtoes or anything else thin. Good Luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    park city
    Posts
    57
    There's a hot new bootfitter here in PC that everyone is raving about. Might be worth your time to give him a call and see what he says.

    His name is Brent Amsbury. # is 435-513-0672. His card says he's a certified pedorthist for what that's worth.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Putney, VT
    Posts
    424
    Thanks L.U.

    I'm actually going to be up in PC later this week. I'm sure it will be a zoo up there, but I'll give Brent a call and pick his brain. I tried the old liners yesterday at Alta and it didn't solve the problem. I'm going to give my thinnest socks a try soon and maybe even take a few runs with no socks. The boots felt a little better without the intuitions in, but after the money I paid for them I'd really like to make them work.

    I'll give Brent a call and keep throwing money at this problem until it goes away, which will hopefully happen before I run out of money.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    park city
    Posts
    57
    Hopefully either Brent or Earl will be able to get your problem figured out. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    75
    see a proffesican boot fitter
    go tohttp://www.bootfitters.com/FIND_SHOP.htm
    and find your local pro
    Skiing rules when you are the best one on the mountain
    That's more like every day

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    park city
    Posts
    57
    Funny, when I clicked Utah it took me right to the guy I recommended in my posts above. Guess he is the real deal, or else just belongs to the association that sponsors that website.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    75
    yes all of those bootfitters are the real deal
    If someone claims they are good and you checked their and their not they are not good enough to get certified.
    Wha t realy helps is going to one of the clinics in Pa
    What i want to do for an out of college job is be an apprentace to a pro boot fitter
    Skiing rules when you are the best one on the mountain
    That's more like every day

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah County
    Posts
    104
    Old thread..but did you ever get the problem figured out? I have the same kind of pain in the same spots you describe. On harder days, I have to take ibuprofen..

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    125
    I know this thread is old, but the problem is quite common. If the pain is low down on the outside of the leg somewhere above the ankle bone (distal leg superior to the lateral maleolus) it is often a peroneus longus or breves problem. These muscles extend and evert the foot. Here's a link to wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peroneus_longus

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    30
    hey altmanator or anyone,i have exactly the same problem/pain as you in the same boots and linners as you! at this point where i'm not able to ski! did you ever manage to get things sorted? i'm willing to try anything!!!!!!!!!!

    cheers toby
    Last edited by tobias; 11-25-2011 at 04:06 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    5,246
    "Oh Well" has the location and action correct.

    The Fibularius / Peroneus complex controls the "edging action" of the ankle. There are a few situations that can cause overload and unhappiness. (All of which have effected me)

    1. Too much of a mechanical load from skis
    - The average width of today's skis is pretty wide. I never ski anything under 100mm underfoot anymore. The distance from the center of the ski to the edge acts like a long lever arm, especially when skiing in manky conditions that are constantly wrestling your skis. This places excess load on the muscles on the outside (lateral) aspect of your lower leg. Sometimes its too much. I remember people would complain of this when the Spatula came out. It got me when I skied my Lotus 138's in anything but the deep.

    2. Boots that are not laterally stiff enough.
    - The say that kryptons are stiff laterally, so this may not be the problem. However, any time the boot can flex side to side it will increase the load on the muscles that hold you on edge.

    3. Unsupportive liners.
    - When my intuitions get packed out the heel pocket gets loose. This decreases the support and exacerbates all the conditions above.

    4. Over-tightening boots
    - Sometimes in an attempt to find relief from a sloppy fit or in an effort to improvement performance, you can over tighten boots. This will decrease blood flow to the muscle and increase mechanical pressure; both of which may increase the chance of irritation. The kryptons has a fairly wide heel pocket, perhaps this is where the issue is coming from.

    5. Under tightening boots.
    If the boots are not sufficiently tight, sloppyiness can occur (see above).
    For me, I always tighten the lower cuff buckle more than the top. This works for me and my calf shape.

    To improve the situation you need to fix the cause of the issue and allow the muscle to heel.
    1. Allow the muscle to rest.
    2. Ice
    3. NSAIDs (take these regularly at low levels instead of sucking down 4 once per day.
    4. Foam rolling- can help alleviate tightness and irritation
    5. Strengthening- This is the prime issue, but you need everything to be happy before you attempt it. Otherwise you'll be delaying the healing. Check out any exercises you can on ankle stability. There are too many and its too complex to list here.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    30
    thanks xtrpickles, i'll give it all a go and fingers crossed it helps out, i'm willing to try anything!

    thanks again

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    12

    Exact same problem!

    Hello,

    I'm in Utah too. My brother and I have the exact same problem! Has anyone found a fix yet?

    I skied 50+ days on Solomon Impact CS (110) boots with the stock liners in them and had ankle pain. My ankle would over pronate and push into the inside of my boots. I corrected this with custom foot beds and by placingOfa Pilivi

    extra "donut" material on the ankle areas of my liners. This seemed to help until they got packed out.

    Last year, my brother moved home from Germany and he had Tecnica Cochise Pro Light boots with Intuition Wrap Liners. I tried them on and they felt very comfortable. I was particularly impressed with the Intuition liners. They felt thicker, more supportive, and they seemed like they wouldn't pack out as quickly (especially in the ankle area).

    So, I bought the exact same set up (Tecnica Cochise Pro Light with Intuition Liner).

    Now my brother and I have the exact same problem as described above! Our legs hurt on day two of hard skiing in the exact same area. They are very tender to the touch. The problem is exacerbated when conditions are rough, choppy, or when we were bigger, fatter, and longer skis. Skiing two days in a row is almost impossible now. It feels like our bones/tendons/muscles are bruised in this exact same area.

    I'm thinking that it has to be the boots. But, it also may be the liners? Maybe Intuition liners are great to make your foot and ankle comfortable, but, it seems as though this NEW problem has occurred. I've never had this issue and now I have it with the same boot/liner set up as my brother. He has the same issues. It's either the boots or the liner.

    Thoughts?

    Shane

  20. #20
    I have dealt with this issue for 5+ seasons, and I think have finally solved it. I have followed this thread (and others) while trying to figure out my legs, so I figured I would post my little manifesto here. Hopefully it might help some people to ski without pain.

    Let me be the first to say that I am no doctor, nor a professional boot fitter. Just a man with a dream, who is uncommonly willing to cut boots and liners apart and read extremely boring medical publications about the physiology of the lower leg -- specifically the peroneal muscles. Lotta armchair quarterbacking here in terms of the medical stuff, but hey, it has worked for me.

    For skiers experiencing pain on the lower outside of the leg, roughly above the ankle and below the knee, I think there are two main causes: Peroneal nerve compression and an overload (tendonitis?) of the peroneal muscles in response to an instability in the foot or ankle. The compression and overload can work to together to create a shitload of inflammation (as in my case), but I think they can also work independently. You might be only battling one monster, and they have different solutions.

    Lets look at the nerve compression first. A ski boot is more or less perfectly shaped to compress, or worse, entrap the peroneal nerve. Upper buckles tend to snap down right in the nerve's path. Depending on how god made you, the nerve may be routed above or below your lower leg muscles, so individuals will have a wide range of sensitivity to potential compression. How to distinguish compression pain from overload pain? Do you have numbness/tingling? Do you have other symptoms of sciatia? Does the pain ghost -- do you have the sensation of wearing the ski boot long after (sometimes months) you have taken it off? Does the pain occur while wearing other high cuffed footwear like work boots? I think answering yes to the above would indicate a compression based pain. How do you deal with it in your ski boot? Trial and error. Have you had the pain in other boots? Did you just switch to Intuition liners? I think the Intuition liner can be both a help and a hindrance. Personally, I can't make an intuition work because the foam is to firm. I think it leads to too much compression on my lower leg. But the ability to spot punch and sculpt the intuition foam is an advantage for some people. Here are some things
    I have tried with some success to deal with compression in intuition liners:

    - Cut away the overlap, the overlap tends to land right at the source of my pain, by cutting it back to the edge of my shin it seemed to give my nerves a little room to breathe. For tongue models, start shaving away foam from the outer edge of the tongue. Dremel tool, utility knife and black gaffers tape are your new best friends.

    - Mold the intuition with a broom stick shoved down your boot, line the wood up with the path of pain. This will create a little tendon pocket.

    - Cut/shave the foam away in the area of pain. Replace with a softer craft foam/carpet foam. Joanns is your new best friend.

    Granted this is a lot of fucking around. Wouldn't recommend it unless you are currently stuck with a pair of intuitions, and trying to get some positive results. Not trying to make this an ad for zipfits but I feel the softer and more adaptable nature of the cork has helped alot with my personal compression issues. Softer high quality stock liners (high end nordica and head for example) could also be a solution.

    If you are still reading, bless your soul. Lets look behind door number two at the ol' peroneal overload theory.

    Maybe you got compression, maybe you dont -- but are your peroneal muscles physically sore? Do you feel relief from stretching? Can you recreate symptoms by lifting your toes/flexing your ankle forward/pronating/plantarflexin? Then you might be overloading your peroneals. There is a chance you are just a fat slob and your legs are too weak to turn your skis, but it seems likely that if your the type of guy or gal that reads esoteric articles about peroneal pains on TGR forums, you are probably in halfway decent shape. At least good enough shape to assume your lower legs should be able to handle a day of skiing without crippling inflammation. So why are you getting crippling inflammation? Because you have instability in your boot forcing your peroneal muscles to work much harder than they need to. Here are some things to try -- but before you try them you need to start with a good bootfit. Opinions vary, but to me, if you cannot tick off every mark on the following list you should start there:

    - Good heel hold aka your heel does not move (up or forward)
    - You can wiggle all your toes, toes never go numb except from cold weather
    - No instep pressure or general pressure points (these could contribute to the dreaded nerve compression in addition to creating instability by limiting your foot's natural ability to flex and adapt)
    - A quality foot bed that fully supports the metatarsal arch (major source of instability) in addition to the longitudinal arch. If you can get away with trim-to-fit, that is great, if not, pony up the cash.
    - Good interface of shin to front of boot.

    If you got all that going for you, try the following:

    Get more upright. This has been the the absolute most important thing for me. I was in a racerish type boot with 18 degrees forward lean. At that angle, with my biomechanics, it meant my peroneals were fully flexed all day, even when sitting on the lift doing nothing. Its no wonder they were stressed. I have since switched to a boot with 11 degrees forward lean and the difference is huge. Luckily many manufacturers are making more upright boots. Other solutions could be shimming the toe piece of your binding (dynafitters), grinding the bootboard, and/or shimming bootboard.

    Hopefully, if you made it all the way through that, you have some new ideas to help approach this issue. I am sure identifying the type of pain and ultimate solution is highly individualized, but I suspect that some of what has worked for me will work for others.

    Lastly, and probably a bit obvious -- none of this will help you unless you let your current inflammation heal. That means time off, ice, stretch, and vitamin I. Probably for weeks not days if you got it going real bad.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The old same place not the same old place
    Posts
    6,353
    One question to ask is, does the patient have a past history of severe inversion ankle sprains?
    Not at all, I disagree with you.
    But I understand how that could be confusing to you since you believe that you know what you're talking about.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    318
    I am having the exact same problem, but only in my left leg. The pain started late last season and has just started again this season. I skied 2011 krypton pros with Zipfit liners last season and 2016 krypton pros with intuition liners this season. I broke my left fibula in 2009 and the left calf muscle atrophied very slightly. It becomes so painful that I cannot even ski on it. It is exacerbated by hard choppy snow conditions. I can take my boots off and start sprinting, cutting and jumping with absolutely no pain. It is very painful to the touch (when i rest my calf on my knee to put my left sock on/ when I roll out my calf).

    It seems to be caused from constant use rather than an acute injury.

    Do we think it is a strained muscle or a strained tendon? pinched nerve? is it the krypton design that causes pain? Have people found relief by switching to a different boot?

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