The determination of pressure patterns underneath the footsole inside ski boots may reveal reasons for foot pain and injury risk. In our study a newly developed 72-point measuring mat was used in 5 different ski boots. Data were collected on 10 subjects in different forward flexion positions. In addition, a determination of the pressure distribution over the instep was done by means of single measuring points.
The results prove that a proper adaptation along the dorsum of the foot does lower the forefoot load during flexion. A tightly closed and well-adapted boot will lead to a significant reduction of the total load on the footsole. High shaft models show similar pressure patterns even at earlier forward flexion angles. A pressure-related discrimination between rear entry and traditional boots that was found along the tibia was not the case underneath the footsole. The force transmission is mainly performed along the shaft of the boot. The effect of orthotics designed mainly to support steerability of the ski is therefore doubtful. The results may help to improve our knowledge of the interaction between boot and skier and lead, together with future field research, to a reduction of equipment-related injuries.