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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O.K. I'm back from my vacation to Colorado! What a trip! This is the most snow they've seen in at least 30 years, and we arrived during a HUGE snowstorm. The ski base got 6 feet in that storm, 5 feet of it was in less than 24 hours! We made it, but we had to drive 30 mph for 4 hours with our cables on! Crazy! The pass to the ski base was closed for 2 days, so we didn't get to ski until Wednesday. We did do some cross-country skiing on Tuesday and a little bit of swimming (that was hard in high altitude!). DDs are almost faster than us now, at age 6!! This was their 3rd year to ski, though, so they were quite confident by the 2nd day. We were worn out!<br><br>
I have a question, though. Everyday when I started skiing (downhill), my calves were super tight and would even cramp up for the first few runs. I have skiied for 27 years and have never had this happen before. It was very painful, and I had very little control until they finally loosened up. It could have been the boots, as I had 2 different pair, neither of which fit quite right (I think it might be time to purchase my own boots). I was wondering, though, if it has something to do with running. I've not skied since I started running. I was not dehydrated either, so that wasn't it.<br><br>
What do y'all think?
 

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The boots are the likely culprit. Some boots have a more pronounced forward lean than others. Your calf muscles get stuck in a static position from the time you put them on until you get up the mountain. Once you start actually skiing there should be enough motion to get the muscles working more dynamically. I couple runs is about right to get over it.<br><br>
Which area did you go to? Conditions are excellent just about everywhere and powderhounds have been in heaven! The above normal mountain snowpack should be very helpful in refilling the reservoirs that have been drawn down by several years of drought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I thought it was probably the boots. I have large calves and small heels/ankles, so the best boots for me are the rear entry boots with the ankle adjustment. Those are the ones they usually have at the rental, but this year, they just had rear entry with a toe adjustment and some other boots (front entry) with 4 latches, but none really tightened around the ankle. So, I had to keep the calf adjustment as tight as I could stand so my foot didn't lift up 2 inches inside the boot. I tried a smaller size, and they were too short, so I know I had the right size. It was very annoying. I just didn't know if it had anything to do with running.<br><br>
I had a hard time getting my calves uncramped because skiing with DDs was pretty slow and easy. I wasn't moving all that much. I tried rocking forward and back as much as I could to loosen them up, but you just can't move your foot much in a pair of ski boots!! LOL<br><br>
We ski at Wolf Creek, which is in southern Colorado (the most snow in Colorado!). My grandparents live in Pagosa Springs, which is just down the mountain (60 miles east of Durango). I've skied there since I was 7. I've only been a couple other places to ski, but I like Wolf Creek because it isn't huge, and they almost always have good snow.<br><br>
The skiing was excellent! We had a great time!
 

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Small world. My father lived in Pagosa Springs. He started elk hunting there in 1965 when we lived in California. We actually moved to Colorado because he loved the area around Pagosa Springs. Wolf Creek Pass brings back a lot of memories.
 

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I was a big fan of rear entry boots as well. Those boots did allow a more upright position. Unfortunately they are a thing of the past and all boots now are virtually clones of each other regardless of brand. When my last rear entry boots wore out I took up snowboarding so I could have comfortable boots.<br><br>
Wolf Creek is a great little area and they do generally have the best snow in the state. They have been getting buried this year! I think they've already received about 450 inches of snow so far and there is still a few months left in the season.
 

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DW always prefers rear entry boots but now is really struggling to find a pair and the newer front entry boots she really struggles with.( SHe is still in her 12 year old rear entry boots and dreading the day that they give out)<br><br>
My best advice is to get a proper fiting done including a custom fitted liner - That can make a huge difference .<br><br>
N
 

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I've just about worn out my second pair of four buckle boots - both were custom fitted. While the fitting made them tolerable, they never offered the comfort of the rear entry boots - and never will. In addition to the four buckle boots I've owned, I've demoed several models as well. The "wisdom" of the ski powers that be is that the four buckle design provides superior support. I never had any problems with support while using rear entry designs and doing lots of extreme skiing. My old boots took lots of abuse from repeated high speed mogul runs, and jumping off ledges up to around 30 feet high. I had binding failures and broke skis, but the boots didn't fail.<br><br>
If one of the boot companies were to come out with a new rear entry design I think it would be an instant best seller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So no more rear entry boots? That stinks! I have a REALLY hard time even getting my foot into the front entry. I also don't like the "tongue" of the boot rubbing me. That was the problem I had with tightening the top two buckles -- the tongue part would bruise my shin. I tried shifting it around, etc... I even have great socks that have extra padding on the shin area! I've always felt I got a good fit with rear entry until the pair I got this time. They had one buckle and just a little twisty adjustment at the toe (which is worthless!). I liked the ones with the adjustment in the back that would tighten around your ankle. I was able to get a nice snug fit that way.<br><br>
Kimber- That is so cool about Pagosa! My grandparents built their house there in 1977 and retired up there about 20 years ago. The town only had one stop light then (if that) and one chain restaurant (Pizza Hut), which is now closed. Have you heard the song about Wolf Creek Pass? We used to listen to it on the way up there from Houston as kids. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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The problem with rear entry boots is you don't get a nice snug fit at the top of the boot. That's critical to be able to transfer the forces from your leg down to the bindings. rear entry boots have long been popular with beginner skiers because they are easier to get into and they aren't skilled enough to fully utilize the equipment. But as soon as you start really leaning on your boots, that slop around the top quickly makes the rear entries less desirable. There's also something called a "mid entry" boot - kinda like a front entry boot but the back is hinged. That might be what you want to look for.
 

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That might be true for people not blessed with big calves. I never had that problem. My rear entry boots fit much better than any four buckle boot I've ever tried. The contention that rear entry boots were for beginners is laughable. At one point rear entry was the only kind of boot made by Salamon and their top end boots were far above beginner level. Take a look at some old Warren Miller films featuring guys going off 100 foot cliffs using rear entry boots and tell me they were made for beginners.<br><br>
The only rear entry boots made in the last 10 years were specifically made for beginners by leaving out many of the features. Perhaps that's what are referencing as opposed to the models from 15 years ago. Of course back then people had an actual choice where now all the boots are virtual clones.
 

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I also have wide calves (the nice boot technician called them "muscular"<img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> and a narrow heel. I found that custom foot beds made all the difference in the world. It raised my foot up enough so that the widest part of my calf was out of the boot. I used to have calf and foot pain all the time when I skied and my arches would cramp. With the footbeds I have zero pain and my calves are not sore the next day like they used to be. The best part is that the footbeds (like orthotics) will transfer to my next pair of boots. I wear orthotics to run so this made a lot of sense. I was fighting to keep my feet level in the boot which caused the cramping. Sounds like you may have a similar problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have large calves (of course, it is ALL muscle!!), though not as large as SOME of yours, but for my size (and being female), they are large, so getting the top snug is NOT the problem. The problem is getting it snug enough around my heel and ankle. My dad has large calves, so I guess I get it from him. I never had this problem in the past, but since I've been running for 1 1/2 years now, and I've not been skiing for 2 years, it could just be that my calves are tighter and are more sensitive to cramping up. DH has very small calves (very muscular, but compact, which might be part of his foot problem says his podiatrist), so he doesn't have this problem at all.<br><br>
I remember when rear entry boots came out. It was so great. I hated the front entry ones. They are more comfortable now than they were then (ouch!), but I still don't like them much. I'll look for mid-entry if I decide to buy some. I guess what do I expect for $14 ski rentals? I don't do too difficult of slopes, but I used to. Now, I ski with DDs, and they are only 6. When it was just DH and me, we did all the hard stuff. We were younger back then, though.<br><br>
Sniggle- It sounds like I do have the same problem you do. I may look into custom footbeds. I only ski 3-4 days a year, though, so it might not be worth it. I live in Texas. I know I have narrow heels/ankles because I have problems finding dress shoes that don't slip on my heel. They are not too long, just too wide in the back. I have to go with a slingback with an adjustable strap around the heel. I just discovered this in the past couple years. DH wears orthotics in his shoes for plantar fascitis. I don't have a problem with my feet, just my calves being too big. I have a hard time with ANY kind of boots in that respect. I have to have good support too.
 
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