SIDAS foot beds test: happy feet ski more and better

SIDAS foot beds are market leaders. What’s the fuss all about and do you need custom foot beds?

Lead Tester Steve Crazy Leeder has the downlow.

Setting up SIDAS custom foot bed machine
Jet Totemeier cleans up for his next customer, our tester Steve © Steve Leeder

Everyone says your ski boots are your most important piece of ski gear but I want to take that one step beyond that and say that the foot bed inside that ski boot is even more important.

Yes, a ski boot connects you to your ski, it transfers all your power and energy to your turn, but what if you have bow legs or knock knees?  This means your skis are always on edge, but the wrong way. A really bad case of pronation means both of your skis are sitting on their inside edge and you will be crossing your trips all day.

What if you have a really high arch? A high arch with no support means that every time that you push your foot down your arch flattens and your toes get jammed into the front of your boots. A high arch flattened can extend the length of your foot by a full centimetre. All these factors come into play when trying to keep your ski flat on the snow and then putting the ski on edge to make a turn.

Every single ski boot comes with a foot bed of some sort, but to be honest they are just space savers. They offer nothing in the way of support. They are throw aways. I wouldn’t even put them into my running shoes.

Lining up the feet on the SIDAS foot bed molding machine
Jet Totemeier checks Steve is lined up correctly © Steve Leeder

That’s where SIDAS comes in. They have an option for everyone: skier, snowboarder and even us telemark and nordic skiers SIDAS makes heaps of options when it comes to foot beds, but a custom is the best way to go by far.

I spent some time with Jet Totemeier from SIDAS footwear to go through what they offer and to experience how the real pros mould a foot bed. When people thing of anything custom they think it’s going to take a long time, and probably a bunch of hassle.

In fact to mould a set of SIDAS foot beds takes all of 15 minutes, it’s a very easy process.

The first step is to build up the gel beds that actually mould around your feet. This is where getting your knees lined up with the rest of your body, and your feet sitting flat and straight, as well as making sure that you have just enough arch support happens.

While all this is happening your new foot beds are in the oven getting all toasty warm and mouldable.

Once the SIDAS foot beds have hit their right temp they get placed onto the gel pads and you step onto them with the close watch and help of your boot fitter. They will make sure that your feet are exactly in the right spot and help you to get your knees in line again. NOW FREEZE

This part gets a bit boring but most rad shops have epic ski movies playing so it’s not that bad. A cold drink always gets me through this part. After the moulding finishes the boot fitter puts them into their secret box and works their magic to make them fit your ski boots.  

Now here’s the good thing, whether you have these made for an old boot and might be upgrading soon it’s totally sweet cause these new foot beds are a mirror image to your feet and really don’t have much to do with the boot itself. But it’s going to make any boot fit and work for you a thousand times better.

So maybe custom doesn’t fit into your budget, what can you do?

SIDAS makes a really good range of drop in foot beds that can accommodate all types of arches. I even use these in all of my other footwear from normal everyday shoes to my mountain bike shoes. They even make versions with extra gel for cushioning, and there are a few models of custom and drop in with extra insulation for those with circulation problems that will help with warmth. 

Speaking of warmth, if you have really bad circulation problems maybe a heated foot bed would be best for you. Don’t worry SIDAS offers this as well in a custom or non-moulded option.

SIDAS

Custom footbed prices generally start at AUD $199 and run up towards $299/$349 depending on the level of work & expertise. See below image gallery for list of Aussie SIDAS stockists (not all offer custom moulding).

SIDAS footbed dealers

Alpine Sports Jindabyne
Alpsport Pty Ltd
Altitude Sports
Aussieskier.com
Australian Snowboard Group Pty
Balmoral Boards
Belconnen Ski N Board
Bright Chalet (SDO)
Bumps Ski And Surf
Central Snow Sports (FCCS)
ESS Boardstore – Erina (SDO)
ESS Jindabyne Pty (SDO)
Falls Creek Ski Lifts Pty Ltd
Findsports.com.au
First Tracks Boardstore
Gravity Skis Boots Bikes Jindabyne
Gravity Thredbo
Harro’s Snowsports
Inski Pty Limited – Sydney
Kiewa Valley Snowsports
Larry Adler Ski
Margarita Hire
One Tree Sports
Pauls Ski Shop Pty Ltd
Perisher Blue Pty Ltd
Pretty Valley Alpine Lodge
Proski (SDO)
Rays Ski
Rocky Valley Bikes & Snow Sports
Skater HQ
Ski Rider Hotel Motel
Snow Monkey
Snow Skiers Warehouse-Rockdale
Snowbound Sports (SDO)
Snowy Mountains Skis
St Moritz Ski Centre – STM
Straight Line Sports Pty Ltd
The Boot Fitter
The Boot Lab
The Ski Company
Tirol Sports
Wild Earth Australia Pty Ltd
Wilderness Sports (SDO)