How To Stop Snowboard Foot Pain – Custom Footbeds & Heat Molding

Your new snowboard boots fit perfect, but they’re still causing you foot pain.

Here’s how you can fix this problem with custom footbeds and heat molding.

Custom Footbeds

Custom Footbed

What are footbeds?

They’re the things directly under your feet when you wear your boot.

Why do I need custom footbeds?

The free footbeds that come with your boots suck. They don’t offer any support and that results in painful feet. Even a perfectly fitting boot can cause painful feet if you have a bad footbed.

Everyone’s foot is different. Some of us have high arches and some of us have flat feet. You need a footbed that’s aimed at supporting your foot type.

How much are custom footbeds?

That depends on the type of customization you want.

For those on a budget

You can get simple, ready made custom footbeds for $20-50. The most common brand is ‘Superfeet’ and most snowboard shops will have them for sale.

Even these cheaper custom footbeds are a HUGE step up from the junk footbeds that come with your boots.

For those who snowboard a lot and/or want the best footbeds

For about $175-250 you can pick up some custom footbeds that are molded exactly to your foot type. These are available at some bigger snowboard/ski shops and at any good bootfitting shop.

These footbeds are molded and cut exactly to your foot shape.

You’ll find A LOT of avid snowboarders and skiers who will swear by their custom footbeds, myself included. It really makes a difference if you spend a lot of time on the hill.

Snowboard Boot Liner

Heat Molding

What is heat molding?

Basically, it’s when the shop sticks your boots on a special heater and you then wear the heated boots to mold them to your feet.

Note: Not all boots are heat moldable, make sure yours are heat moldable before trying this!

Why do I want to heat mold my boots?

Snowboard boots are usually painful for the first week or two when you’re still breaking them in. The padding and liner take time to compress and mold to your feet.

Heat molding speeds up this whole process and can help to get rid of any painful pressure spots.

Does it cost anything?

Most stores will do this for free, if you bought the boots from them, otherwise them may charge you a small fee of about $10-20.

Are custom footbeds & heat molding worth it?

Custom footbeds are easily worth the money. Even if you only buy the cheap $20-50 ones, they make a huge difference in supporting your feet.

As for heat molding, it’s optional, but you can always try your boots on the hill first and go back to the store to get them heat molded later.

I hope this helps you to get your boots nice and comfortable! Let me know if you have anymore questions or feedback.

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  1. By custom foot beds do you mean orthotics too?

    • Well they are very similar to orthotics, in fact you can even get them made at most foot doctors, however custom snowboard footbeds are usually a bit thicker than orthotics.

      Most ski/snowboard shops will sell premade custom footbeds, but some shops with a bootfitter will make and sell custom footbeds that you can get moulded to your feet for perfect fit. Pricier but in my opinion worth the cost if you snowboard a lot.

  2. Stupid question but…. do you put your custom footbeds inside your liner (so between your liner and your skin) or outside, so between your liner and the base of the outer?

  3. Ian Fernandes says:

    Got a quick question. If I am riding with an old used burton flex 2’s and the heel cuff is packed out will this cause foot pain as if it is being suffocating. so my to foot gets super painful. It is not even the foot that is not getting blood through i beel as if it starts at the top of the boot then it becomes a chain reaction cause no blood is flowing. Any comments on that… thanks for reading

    • Hrm honestly that’s a tricky one. It’s possible that the boot has packed out and you have too much loose space in there now, but I can’t say for sure.

      Your best bet is taking the boots to a good local store and finding an experienced bootfitter to analyse the problem for you.

  4. I have a plethora of factors that kill my feet while riding. I have 4E width, about a 9½ length, skinny ankles that run in the family, and an extremely high arch. I am forced to wear larger boots to accommodate my width, which makes my heel hold down sloppy at best. So I use foam inserts to try to fill the space, but they end up moving around causing pressure points. My arch can be easily assisted with footbeds, with one catch. My arches are so high that the top of my foot gets crushed by the top of the boot, even with well practiced strategic lacing. I have been snowboarding for 12 years and it is my favorite thing to do. But I suffer from the moment I lace up. My feet usually stay numb and hurt beyond belief for about a day after riding. I don’t expect to be comfortable ever in board boots, I’m just looking to make the pain stay within a bearable level. I’ve literally taken my boots off and walked in socks down half the mountain back to the truck.

    • Ouch that’s rough. I believe Avran over at has a similar issue with his feet due to some accidents (or something causing his feet to be very weirdly shaped).

      From what I recall his advice for anyone with similar extreme foot issues was basically to find a very good bootfitter and footbed specialist who can work with you and keep making a lot of regular adjustments until you slowly figure out what works bit by bit.

      It’ll take a lot of work to get that sort of problem solved and it really comes down to finding someone who’s both good and willing to put in the time to help you and work with you step by step. If you can, I’d go drop him a comment/email and see if he has some advice for you, he’d be the guy to ask for this sort of issue since he’s experienced it with his own feet.

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