What we do - the full story
We love skiing. We believe everyone should be able to comfortably enjoy it too.
We have taken a life of skiing across the world, working in the ski industry, the podiatry profession and the medical product development world, and put it all together to create a clinic ski boot service to help you love skiing even more.
We take a scientific approach to custom fitting ski boots. Combining a podiatrist’s anatomical knowledge with a boot fitter’s technical expertise to measure and diagnose the skiers’ needs/requirements, we then prescribe ski orthoses and customise their perfect set of boots. Finally, we fine-tune the set-up with a stance alignment. This results in the most enjoyable skiing experience – superior performance in total comfort.
But what does all this mean? Let’s get into it…
How does it work?
We’re a sports podiatry clinic and our favourite sport is skiing. We want to spend uninterrupted time with you to assess and analyse you, your body and your skiing. This is so we can truly tailor your boots perfectly for you. We like to book you an initial appointment with us so we can give you our undivided attention.
Our podiatrist takes control over this aspect, using their experience and training to provide a thorough ski assessment, which means you can claim this appointment on your health fund.
We start by asking you lots and lots of questions. We want to know the real you, and that includes warts and all (literally). What is your medical history? Do you have any circulation problems or diabetes? Any history of surgeries or injuries? Then we delve into your ski history. What is your favourite run? How hard do you like to push your skiing? Do you turn one way better than the other? Have you had sore feet from ski boots before? Have you hit a learning plateau in your skiing? How do you take your coffee? “So many questions!” you say. “All the better to get to know you my dear,” we reply.
Next up, a biomechanical analysis of you and all your necessary moving parts. Understanding how your body works is imperative in getting the boot to work right for you.
From there we diagnose and plan the best way forward for you. You are all different (“yes, we’re all different,” yell the hordes of Brian’s disciples). So, from here it’s choose your own adventure – but you get the professional guidance from our podiatrist on the right direction for you.
We break our service into five distinct activities:
Your adventure could involve any of these options, or a combo.
Assessing you and identifying your body's functional strengths and limits is key to getting you in the correct boot set-up. We measure, move your body, and mark down all relevant measurements in this initial appointment. Our podiatrist will do a full biomechanical assessment and history. This is when we find out all about what kind of skiing you like to do, previous boot problems, injuries, biomechanical function and anything else relevant. This is all claimable through your private health fund.
A thorough assessment and history is the key to diagnosing and putting you on the right path to ski bliss. We want to know how your body behaves when you are using it as well as when at rest. We will look at things like ankle flexion, knee angle relative to the hips, foot posture, core strength and the beat goes on. So please come expecting to bare your knees for the duration of this appointment, as your lower limb alignment will be thoroughly assessed.
Podiatric ski orthoses
Any boot fitter worth their salt will advise you to get custom made inserts in your boots. It's generally accepted that these benefit the skier in three ways.
Even pressure dispersion
Foot alignment and support
At Ortho Ski, we use our podiatry expertise to create custom ski orthoses for your ski boots. These are designed specifically for your foot. The ski boot is a very firm and rigid support for the foot on the sides and across the top, so having support from a ski orthotic device underneath is vital. Think of it like filling in the gaps or empty space in your boot. With no empty space there is less energy loss from your movements to the ski. This means better control and performance. Oh yeah!
Pressure dispersion is very important for foot comfort, blood flow and nerve pathways to prevent cold toes, cramping, and nerve impingement's and numbness. These symptoms can be common in ski boots and this is why ski orthoses are one of the first places we go to when alleviating ski boot issues.
Supporting the foot in its ideal position aims to provide the best alignment for your ankle, knees, hips and flow-on to the upper body, giving you the best neutral stance position to start from. A good neutral stance position can reduce muscle overuse and fatigue, as well as reducing injury risk and improving ski performance.
A ski orthosis is the first place to start to resolve any boot fitting problems. Without stabilising the foot, any changes made to anywhere else in the boot won't fix the problem.
Ski orthoses are claimable through your private health fund. For even more exciting information about ski orthoses, check out our blog post about them.
Boot selection and alignment
There is no piece of ski equipment more important than boots. No other single item has as big an impact on your skiing experience as boots do. This is why we offer a range of custom boots and liners within our clinic that we can tailor to suit your needs.
A well-fitting boot will provide warmth, performance and comfort. However, if you have had chronic ski boot issues, or trauma to your feet from knee and hip reconstructions, bone fractures, scoliosis, limb leg length differences, ankle and foot injuries, or neural and blood flow problems like Reynaud's phenomena, then these may sound like secondary luxuries compared with just getting through a day in your boots. Custom boots are ideal for people with chronic foot and leg issues as they allow complete customisation of shape and fit to accommodate the foot's complex needs.
Alignment is an important part of getting your boots to work correctly for your body. At Ortho Ski we assess your biomechanics and physiology and then align your boots to function best for you. Our boot fitter has been working with ski boots for over 16 years, and he still can’t get enough of it. In fact, they drove him to study product design so now he has an even better understanding of what the boot and its materials can do. If you have a funky foot we have the fitter for you.
Stance alignment involves boot adjustments and modifications, combined with custom ski orthoses to get your equipment set up in the best position for you. This will improve ski performance, reduce muscle fatigue and reduce your risk of injury.
We clearly understand the role of all pieces of equipment in your ski set up and how they work together. To give you the best possible day on the hill, you and your boots need to work within this system.
We know the scope of possible modifications that can be made to a ski boot and how to balance these to get your boot to work best for you. Read more about about custom liners here.
Custom liners are a foam injected liner. The liners are injected with a foam that forms and sets around your foot's contours creating a truly bespoke fit – the perfect interface between your foot and the hard shell. When done with our expertise and knowledge, these custom boots will give you your best ski boot yet, and have you skiing better and enjoying yourself on the snow. If you'd like to know more about our custom boots, please contact us here.
Ski boot canting / sole grinding
This is a highly specialised service that we can offer you in our mountain clinic. Once you have been assessed and set-up properly in your boots, we do a further alignment check to see what angle your ski boots are at on the snow. This is an important angle. It determines whether your skis sit flat on the snow, on an inside or outside edge.
We measure the boot sole angle when you’re in your boots. Do some testing as to what angle is best suited for your body. Then we take your boot and grind that angle onto the base of you boot. We’re talking half degrees here. Tiny changes make huge difference. Read our blog post here for more info on canting.
Imagine the beautiful feeling of being even and taking the same amount of energy to edge from one turn to the next. Perfect edge roles and two even tracks on the snow. This is what dreams are made of (not champagne and chocolate like we first thought).
How to book
Jump onto our booking page and select a day and time that suits you. Or you can give us a call on (03) 5758 3662.
If you have any questions about Ortho Ski, please give us a call and we can have a chat. We love any excuse to talk about skiing, especially ski boots. (We admit it, we're just a bunch of ski boot nerds.)