View Full Version : XC-skiing question (running?)

01-27-2014, 04:20 AM
Do any of you get aches and pains in the ball of your foot while skiing, or afterwards?

I experienced this a few times last season, especially when I skied often, but today it's unusually annoying. It started as a pain in the ball of my left foot (never the right), but has moved to the arch of my foot, which is now aching in twinges, the day after.

I have pretty good technique, with strong kicks. My boots are well worn and sloppy, so they could be the culprit along with soft tracks, making me work harder to keep my balance, but I'm suprised I only feel it on the one side. It feels like I want to push something up against the arch to support it. I don't get this while running, but it feels like it could just as well be a running type injury, from weak arches.

Should I do something about it, or just ski more until my feet are stronger?

01-27-2014, 08:26 AM
I don't get it from x country skiing, but from snow shoeing or hiking. Not sure what it is, but for me it's after.
Any advice?

01-27-2014, 10:16 AM
LPH, are you kick-and-glide skiing or skate skiing? Do your ski boots have stiff soles or flex at the ball of the foot? I don't know how these things would affect your foot pain, but seem like useful information for a diagnosis. I ski in leather 3-pin backcountry boots that flex at the ball of the foot but are otherwise pretty stiff and have not had foot pain. Well-worn and overly-flexible boots will certainly make skiing harder on your feet and decrease control. Maybe rent some different boots and see if the pain is the same?

01-27-2014, 10:58 AM
I kick and glide, only skate every now and then to get a break but it kills my ankles. I have lightweight synthetic training boots that flex at the ball of the foot. I feel like I just lack support under the arch, but it's weird it's just the one foot. I have no trouble running in minimal running shoes, at least not there, so I've never thought I had particularly weak feet.
There's no ski boot rental around here that I know of (ski trails are like bike paths here, free use for all), but I could try to borrow a pair from a friend I guess. Problem is that snow season just suddenly started so no-one wants to give up their boots :-)
Oh well. I went out today too :-) My feet ache but the trip was great!

01-27-2014, 08:46 PM
lph, I had the exact same problem a few years ago when skate skiing. Ball-of-foot pain that then became arch pain, only in one foot. It turned out to be the insoles. I got some green Superfeet insoles and swapped them out for the ones that came with the boots, and that fixed it.

In my case the boots were new, and one foot just needed more support than the boot provided. If your boots are old, I'd bet new insoles will help, since the insoles break down over time. Hope your foot feels better soon!

01-27-2014, 10:43 PM
Great, thanks Ered. Come to think of it, I have some soles that are molded to my feet in my AT boots. I can try wearing them for a bit. In fact I think I'll wear hem to work today, my feet are telling me all about yesterdays outing...

01-28-2014, 07:19 AM
I'd try the superset thing too. That has fixed a number of my foot/knee problems.

01-28-2014, 12:34 PM
Thanks. Yup, I wore the molded insoles today just walking to work and aroudn town and my feet were a lot happier!

01-28-2014, 12:36 PM
+1 on the superfeet as a short term solution.

The typical pattern I see with this type of issue is weak intrinsic muscles of the foot (small muscles in the foot that help to support the arch), tight calves which create increased load on the ball of the foot, weak hip extensor, abductors and external rotators (weakness here messes with the alignment and loading through the leg, causing uneven loading through the foot.

I don't have any time to post links to exercises right now. I might get to that later.