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Intra-Sole Ski Boot Cants... the angle on better skiing!



The 'How' of Canting

Cant strip placed under the binding

Figure 4 - Ski Cant Strip Under Binding

NOTE: The leg and wedge angles in the following diagrams are exaggerated for the purposes of depicting geometry differences. Actual ski boot cant angles are typically 3 degrees or less.

There are many ways to cant your ski boots or skis and these approaches are described and contrasted below. Note that most techniques are very effective in introducing the necessary angle into the foot-to-ski connection. The differences are best compared by looking at the deficiencies or 'cons' of each approach:

Place Canting Strips Under the Bindings - Cantology Wedge Strips

A strip of plastic wedge material is inserted between the binding and the ski. (Figure 4)

Pros

  • Very effective to accomplish the necessary angle change.
  • Ski canting strips can be removed to sell the skis or changed to add or remove angle after you try skiing with them.

Cons

  • You can’t easily swap skis with a friend, or try out demo skis, or rent skis.
  • If you own several pair of skis, you will need to have each pair canted. (costly)

Plane the Ski Boot Sole

The sole of the ski boot can be run along an electric planer to slice off the boot sole material on one side of the sole or the other. The upper surfaces of the toe and heel are then built up with epoxy to compensate for the removal of material. Alternatively, a lifter may be added to the bottom of the boot sole to restore height. Either way, the upper surfaces of the toe and heel are then trimmed down with a router to restore the proper ISO 5355 standard height dimensions so the boot sole properly interfaces with the binding. Note that instead of inserting a cant wedge, material is removed from the opposite side to create the necessary angle change. (Figure 5)

Diagram of the result of planing a ski boot sole to accomplish ski boot canting

Figure 5 - Plane the Ski Boot Sole

Pros

  • Very effective to accomplish the necessary angle change.

Cons

  • Ski boots are cosmetically desecrated and resale value is reduced, if not eliminated. You can’t give the boots away unless the recipient requires essentially the same degree of canting. Returning the boots to the shop may not be an option.
  • The planer and necessary jig or fixture to precisely position the boot in the planer is an expensive piece of equipment and some planing setups are downright dangerous to use.
  • Boot soles may be slippery to walk on as the standard tread surface has been removed by the planer.
  • Certain boot models do not support this method of ski boot canting.
  • The toe and heel epoxy fill material may come loose and thus need to be replaced from time to time. If some or all of it falls out, the boot-to-binding connection may become dangerous and ineffective.
  • If lifters are not used, as boot soles wear down from walking, the cant angle may be irreparably diminished.
  • This is a labor- and time-intensive process; soles must be precisely planed, and not over-planed. If lifters are not also used, dams must be created around the toe and heel, and wait for epoxy to set to restore toe and heel height.
  • In all cases, the top surface of the toes and heels must be routed to restore proper height dimensions.

Inter-Sole Cants - Cantology Intra-Sole Ski Boot Cants

Plastic wedges are inserted between the removable boot sole toe and heel treads and the boot shell. The upper surface of the ski boot toe and heel are then trimmed down with a router to restore the surfaces to the ISO 5355 standard. (Figure 6)

View of inter-sole cant wedges

Figure 6 - Intra-Sole Ski Canting Wedge

Pros

  • Very effective to accomplish the necessary angle change.
  • Simple and fast – the technician unscrews the toe and heel treads, inserts the wedges and reattaches the treads. The toe and heel are then routed. No epoxy is needed before routing.
  • Ski boot soles appear unmodified to most observers.
  • Cant wedges can be removed and toe and heel height restored with epoxy to restore resale or hand-me-down value.

Cons

  • Certain ski boot models do not support this method of canting. Inter-sole cant wedges can only be used with ski boots that have multi-part soles that make relatively flat contact with the boot shell.
  • Toes and heels must be routed to recreate the proper ISO 5355 dimension.
  • Rather than use Cantology Wedges, shop technicians may use imprecise methods of creating the cant angle such as auto body ‘bondo’ or metal or plastic washers or shim strips. Insist on Cantology Ski Boot Cants!

Canting Wedges Under Toe and Heel Lifters - Cantology Lifter Cants

Canting wedges can be inserted between normal ski boot lifters and the boot sole. (Figure 7)

Diagram of Cantology wedges sandwiched between lifter and ski boot sole.

Figure 7 - Cantology Wedges with Lifters

Pros

  • Very effective to accomplish the necessary angle change.
  • Allows for legitimate traction improvement when optional Vibram ™ toe and heel lifters are used.
  • Easier and faster than boot planing for mono-injected boot shells.
  • Works with most after-market lifters.

Cons

  • Toes and heels must be routed to recreate the proper ISO 5355 standard height.
  • Rather than use Cantology Cant Wedges, shop technicians may use imprecise methods of creating the cant angle such as auto body ‘bondo’ and/or hand-made shims. Insist on Cantology Canting Wedges to get the exact angle you need from your cants!

Replaceable Canted Toe and Heel Modules

Some boot manufacturers provide models for which they offer pre-canted toe and heel modules that can be installed in place of the standard toe and heel modules that come with the boots. (Figure 8)

Pros

Removeable toe and heel modules

Figure 8 - Canted Toe and Heel Modules

  • Very effective to accomplish the necessary cant angle.
  • Simplest and fastest method of ski boot canting.
  • Cants can be added or removed quickly and easily without altering the boot shell or sole.

Cons

  • Most boot models do not support this method of canting.
  • The removable modules may not provide as rigid a connection between the binding and the ski boot as toes and heels that are molded into the boot shell.
  • As boot soles wear out, and the boot model becomes obsolete, replacement modules may no longer be available.

Canted Toe and Heel Lifters

Special lifters with cant angles built in are available. (Figure 9)

Pros

  • Very effective to accomplish the necessary cant angle.

Diagram of canted lifters attached to boot sole

Figure 9 - Canted Toe and Heel Lifters

Cons

  • The cant material becomes the sole surface of the boot, comes in contact with the ground, and is thus subject to wear and inevitable degradation of the wedge angle.
  • Toes and heels must be routed to create the proper ISO standard height.

Adjust the Boot Cuff

Use built-in features of the ski boot to change the angle between the boot cuff and the lower section of the boot shell. (Figure 10)

Pros

  • Allows the boot cuff to more closely conform to the natural angle at which your leg connects to your ankle and the shape of the interior of the boot to better conform to your lower leg and calf.
  • Allows fine tuning of the alignment between the knee and the ski boot.

Cons

Diagram of boot cuff adjustment

Figure 10 - Adjust the Boot Cuff

  • Provides only limited canting effect.
  • Only certain boot models have this feature.
  • Over-adjusting the ski boot cuff angle may cause the leg alignment with the ankle to be abnormal and cause ankle pain. (To prove this, try standing on one foot, pressing your weight evenly onto the sole of your foot, and then press your knee to one side or the other. You will quickly feel discomfort within your ankle.) The leg should interface with the ankle in a neutral and natural way.