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Written by a Paris Pedorthist

Close up of ski boots clipped into ski on a snowy mountain

Being restricted in a tight-fitting ski boot for hours on end can often be the source of foot discomfort because the hard shell, buckles, and mechanics of skiing can place different pressures on the foot than walking. Getting fit properly by a well-trained boot fitter can help minimize foot pain. So can adding more support in the form of a molded insole.

Can I use my existing custom orthotics in my ski boots?

Maybe! Some orthotic styles may be too bulky for a boot, but others could fit. And although your orthotic may fit inside, it's important to remember the mechanics of skiing, both downhill and cross country, is considerably different than walking or running.

Classic style cross-country skiing is more linear, like walking, but lacks the heel-toe progression. Skate-style and downhill skiing involves more lateral (sideways) movements, which we don't do in most daily activities. Due to the nature of the sport, the ski orthotic would need to provide support but not restrict the actions required to ski, namely the lateral movements needed for edging.

Someone downhill skiing

Not only are the mechanics different than everyday movements, but the fit of ski boots is very different than everyday footwear. Ski boots are usually narrower and shorter than casual or running shoes. Depending on your orthotics dimensions and support features, it may or may not sit well within a ski boot.

The nature of ski boots influences orthotic design. Ski boots have a stiff shell, making them more rigid than walking or running shoes, so there is less demand for orthotics to stabilize your feet. They are also tight-fitting and low profile, so ski, and snowboarding orthotics are usually narrower, thinner in profile, and shorter. In addition, the features that promote a smooth heel-to-toe gait pattern may need to be modified. Finally, more attention needs to be paid to offloading pressure areas created from the boot or the mechanics of skiing.

Paris pedorthist taking a 3D scan of a client's foot for custom foot orthotics

How do I get a ski orthotic?

It's best to book an appointment. However, if we've made an orthotic for you in the past 3-5 years, we might be able to use the scan of your foot, that we have on file, to create custom ski orthotics specific to your foot needs and ski boots.

Proper orthotic fit is imperative for the orthotic to function as intended, and an improper fit can cause pain. So if you're unsure if your existing orthotic is appropriate for skiing, we recommend booking an appointment with your pedorthist to check the fit. From there, we can determine if your current device will work or if modifications are needed for optimal performance and comfort.

Call us or book an appointment online.


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