I've been on vibram five fingers and vivo barefoot shoes for 2 years. I used to have planters fasciitis, pain in running, pain in skiing, etc.
Pain is now totally gone from running. I still love to ski and I haven't changed anything in regards to boots yet. Just by my feet getting stronger, 70% of the pain I had skiing has gone away.
I'd like to buy the right type of boots and I haven't found anyone that skiis or fits boots, that also follows the minimalist mindset.
Any suggestions for boots or boot fitters???
I ski Dalbello for my twin tip powder skis and my stiff semi-race carving skis, and I use Scarpa TX Pro (with thermally adjusted liners) for all my telemark skis.
What goes for minimalist ski boots? I don't give a damn. When I ski I want as much support and contact with the ski as possible. My barefoot experience/stimuli will be enough from all the workouts and running I do in my VFFs. I have more loose boots with more of a minimalistic mindset, and I hate skiing in them. I feel unsecure, my form gets sloppy and I ski like a whimp. I remember the first season with my Scarpa TX Pros, they hurt like hell under the middle of my foot, and I had to loosen them after every single run. After a few times, my foot strengthened and no more pain! I assume it will be the same this season as well. I've heard some soles might help, but I am not willing to try this out because I know my foot will adjust to it within a couple of days.
If you want a good ski boot: Try several different boots (brands as well, not just models), if no one fit perfectly the first time, they might if you get them thermally molded to your foot. If everyting else fails, Surefoot has some awesome boots if you don't find any boot that suits you, but they are PRICEY.
Remember, everyone has different feet. Ski boots is not like VFF where "one model pretty much fits 'em all". The boot that fits perfectly for me feels like horrible for my friend, and vice versa, so don't make the mistake of buying the highest rated boot without trying other boots as well.
Just my 2 cents, Lars, free heel skier.
I'm both a barefoot runner and a skier. Barefoot running makes sense under the theory that man evolved running and persistence hunting. Unless you are descended from exclusively Scandinavians and your ancestors moved there a million years before any other humans, you did NOT evolve to ski. This is why boots significantly modify the biomechanics of you foot by being insanely rigid. I'm an avid skier too, and nothing beats the feeling of taking off those boots and walking barefoot at the end of the day, but I don't think you've got anything to gain by seeking out minimalist boots.
Minimalism makes sense only for things humans are built optimally for.
For example, minimalist flying? Jumping. Doesn't get you to Maui very fast!
There's no such thing as a minimalist downhill, telemark, or AT ski boot. However, there IS a way to fit boots that will make your feet much happier, and it has nothing to do with how most bootfitters work.
Most bootfitters will do a "shell fit", where they evaluate the fit by how many fingers they can shove behind your heel. They'll try to put you in the narrowest "last" (measured at the ball of the foot) they can, and with the least amount of room for your toes that they can.
This is baloney. Crushing your toes does nothing for control of the ski. Zero. Zip. Nada.
What gives you control of the ski is a tight interface between the boot shell and your shin and instep. Your heel shouldn't be able to come up off the boot board by much, if at all, and your shin should contact the entire tongue of the boot, not just at the top. Otherwise you need a lower-volume boot, where that contour matches the contour of your own shin and instep. (A low instep is a "low-volume" foot, and a high instep is a "high-volume" foot.) Alternatively, if the boot crushes your instep, you need a higher-volume foot.
Concentrate on the place where your foot and shin meet. If there is space there, your foot will slide around no matter what you do! Find the widest boot you can that holds that area down securely. If the shin/instep interface is good and your ankle/heel is held securely, you ought to be able to saw the toe of the boot off entirely with no loss of ski control.
Contact me through my website if this isn't clear. I know my skiing biomechanics, I know my ski boots, and I know what you're after here. And there's more to it: this is just the start.
ski boots are the polar opposite of minimalistic footwear! not every aspect of your life needs to fit into a bare bones paleo life. Skiing, you absolutely need decent boots, as a 30 year veteran on the snow I can attest to this. As for the best footing boot, I have found the Tecnica are the best for wide feet. I tried on dozens of different brands, and tecnica were the ones many people recommend for wide feet and I concur with that. My advice is to try on as many pairs as possible and buy the ones that fit you best, thats what I did. Get them properly fitted by an expert and you are away. My current pair of boots are perfectly fitted to my feet, never had a problem. Prior to that was nightmare after nightmare.