How do you get shin splints from skiing?

Something came along that surprised me the other day – a ski instructor with shin splints. Now you’d imagine that with your feet and lower legs locked into a pair of ski boots, shin splints would be an unexpected eventuality. However, in this case the boots didn’t fit properly. They were brand new, top spec boots (Salomon) in November, but were basically too big for the occupant. Over the period of a few weeks of heavy training the inner boot began to disintegrate because of the amount of movement inside and things went downhill (forgive the pun) from there.

The person concerned felt the pain but pressed on, not really knowing what else to do, until she got to the point where she simply couldn’t ski any more and went to see a boot fitter who asked her how many years she’d had the boots for because they were so knackered! With the boots diagnosed, she still had no idea what was wrong with her lower legs (and lower back), hence we met. Basically, her poor tibialis anterior and posterior had been working so hard to stabilise her feet against the forces produced by her skis they were going the same way as the boot linings. Three weeks of rest and rehab and she’s now pretty much back to normal.

And the moral of the story is…you may prefer the feel of larger boots when you try them on in the shop with warm, relaxed feet, but ski boots must fit firmly. They are not meant to feel like slippers! Salomon replaced the boots with a brand new pair – of the correct size.