After a little time off for the holidays, we are back with more knowledge for you on your outdoor lifestyle! We are diving right into it talking about this ski season that is already off to a great start! While skiing is amazing, the discomfort of wearing ski boots can be a deterrent that limits your day. In all sports, I can not think of a more uncomfortable pair of footwear. Taking a few measures to keep your feet comfortable can go a long way.
Let’s start with something simple. Once you are done for the day, take a tennis ball or a golf ball and run your foot over it on the floor. Get the ball in on the areas that are bothering you most. Be sure to run it along your arches between your heel and the ball of your foot. Also, focus on the area right in front of your heel. Your plantar fascia attaches there, and you want to make sure that it gets attention. Active individuals have a higher chance of getting inflammation of the plantar fascia, which can be very painful. This gives you a chance to be proactive and prevent this from happening!
Be sure to hit some stretching on the bottom of the foot as well! Take your toes, pull them back toward you and hold for about 15 seconds for 4-5 reps. This helps to stretch the plantar fascia and keep it flexible to avoid excessive stress that can lead to inflammation. Stretching the calf can also be helpful. Since your ankle is generally locked into position for most of the day, it is likely to make your calf muscles a bit stiff. Relax on the couch and move your ankles around. Trace the alphabet to loosen up in multiple directions.
One of my favorites is to work on strength in the calves through a large range of motion by standing on a stair or a stool with heels hanging off the edge. Rise up onto the toes and slowly come back down until your heels are lower than the edge of the step. Repeat 10-20 times, depending on how easy this is for you. Make sure you control the lowering of yourself with each repetition. This helps to actively use the whole range your ankles have, which is also beneficial for performance as well while you are out hucking cliffs or shredding groomers!
These are just a few killer strategies for making ski boots a little more bearable! If you want more info on anything you read today, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Backcountry Physical Therapy’s social media pages. Be sure to check back on the website for more blog posts and follow us on social media for ideas on how to keep yourself pain-free!