too much of a good thing?
February 2, 2012 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Too much circulation in my feet: agony when the blood flow backs up with ski boots on.

So, unlike many wintersports enthusiasts, I have really warm hands and feet due to good circulation -- too good, in fact.

This leads to tremendous discomfort whenever I exert myself, due to blood pooling in my feet with the outflow constricted by my ski boots. My boots are not especially tight, just snug. I am always having to jump around to relieve the constriction, or undo my boot buckles completely in between runs?

What can I do?
posted by wutangclan to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First, do you own your own ski boots? If so, get them re-fit by a good shop. If you have specific pressure-points of pain, there are a lot of options that a tech has to give you a little extra space.

Second, if you are skiing in rentals, unbuckling the boots inbetween runs (on the lift) is completedly normal behavior. (heck I do this- the snug-ness I need for control on the way down is a little... tight for just waiting around in line, particularly in the beginning of the day. My feet run hot as well, but I have absolutedly no pain while skiing.)

Does the pain last throughout the day? or only while standing around after a run? Depending on what's going on, you can bring your concerns to a decent ski shop and they should be able to help you trouble shoot/give you options. I think we'd need more info to actually give you good advice.
posted by larthegreat at 11:11 AM on February 2, 2012

First, do you own your own ski boots?

Yes, high-end Lange's.

If so, get them re-fit by a good shop.

Done, many times.

If you have specific pressure-points of pain...

No pressure points, it is just general constriction that is restricting the blood flow.

Does the pain last throughout the day? or only while standing around after a run?

Only after a hard run, and it's not soreness due to a pressure point or fatigue. It's blood pooling.
posted by wutangclan at 11:49 AM on February 2, 2012

Well, that eliminates the easy solutions...

Not to be flippant, but after a really hard run your feet hurt. That's kind of how it works for me if I've just done a high speed, long tree (or mogul) run where I needed a lot of fine control. Generally loosening up my boots for the run-out and the lift ride back up is all I need to be ready to go again. Judging by my ski-buddies, everyone does the same thing. We get to the runout, and pretty much everyone unbuckles- particularly if they have racing quality stiff boots. (I believe that Lange boots tend to be stiff, but I've never owned a pair) I've never heard anyone reffer to it as blood pooling, so maybe I'm talking about something else?

Only thing that helped my foot pain after an intense run was transitioning from a racing boot to a softer backcountry (or park) boot (I ski in Full Tilts now after a lifetime of Technicas and Solomon racing boots). Granted I've only skiied on them this season, but so far, no foot pain even after highspeed bump runs.
posted by larthegreat at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2012

I'm assuming from your description that this specifically happens only with your ski boots and never during any other type of exertion (that increases blood flow to your feet)? Your description of your sensations made me think of compression syndrome, but your specificity to your boots would probably rule it out, and make larthegreat's suggestion more relevant. I have a mild case of it and I find that loosening clothing/shoes around the area makes it feel better, and so does that type of general moving around that you're doing by stomping. Anyway, if nothing else helps, it's something to to investigate.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:30 PM on February 2, 2012

I will second getting softer boots. I skiied for years in a pair of racing Atomics and it was miserable, and I had the boots professionally fit repeatedly. There wasn't really anything they could do to fix the boots, they were just wrong. If you can swing it, I'd seriously look into new boots and try something softer. Even if you can handle a stiff boot, they are much harder to fit.

Also, Langes are notoriously low-volume boots... perhaps they're just not the right brand for someone with your kind of circ issues? Otherwise, yeah, unbuckling is pretty par for the course... I'm lucky when I can go a bunch of runs in a row without adjustments. I also find using the footrest on the lifts helps a bit with the foot-stress that leads to pain. Maybe some pre-emptive Advil would help?
posted by annie o at 1:59 PM on February 6, 2012

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