Have been skiing in Zipfits for 5 years now. My old boots are Nordica Hot Rods and my new boots are Lange WC 130's. Tried my old Zipfit Expresso leather liners in the new shells and they were uncomfortably tight. Started looking about a month ago for a Grand Prix or World Cup or Gara in leather and none were to be found in the US. Steve Bagley at Superior Ski, Snowbird started looking for me and called last week to say he had just received a brand new pair of next year's World Cup with the custom leather interior. This model has a new slightly thicker and firmer leather than the previous versions. Went to the Bird Friday and had Steve fit them to the Lange's and WOW. I'm again impressed with how well the leather lined Zipfits hold your foot in place and are just plain comfortable. I have over 210 days on my old ones and they are still going strong. I'm keeping the Nordica's as my powder/freesking boot and will use the Lange's as a groomer/NASTAR boot. Zipfits are not as widely distributed as Intuition but are worth the search IMHO. Also, the leather liners are worth the extra money. Check them out if you are looking to improve your boot fit, feel and performance! I also have the Hot Gear bag which warms your boots overnight and in the car riding to the area so the Zipfit flow material easily reforms to your foot each time you ski. I've gotten so used to putting on a warm boot I doubt I can ever go back to not having that.
Zipfit World Cup Leather Liner
Yes my ZipFit liners are great. I got them to use in my old techica boots 4 years ago and they have fixed ALL of my boot problems. They have probalby 125 days or more.
And, I fit them myself without a problem. Just put your shells in a steam bath literally in a big pot wrapped in towels. be careful not to melt boots against side of pot or burner. Heat for about 20 minutes. dry then off with a towel. Dont worry they will stay pliable and hot enough to heat the liner for a long time.
Put the liner back in the hot boot and buckel 'em up as you like them. Then flex forward on a 2x4 so your toe is higher than heal and work them around like you are skiing for as long as you can take the heat. Then go out in the cold and let them set up. They will still be alittle warm when you take them off. let them sit till cool and resist putting them back on....let them cool all the way.
I have done this process maybe 4 times a year whether they need it or not. But certainly at the beginning of every season.
- the heat from the shell heats the liner enough to form to your foot. The liner and the shell form ot your foot.
- the actual instructions say to slip on the liners and then put liner in boot while on foot. I find this unnecessary. heat the shell, dry the shell, put the liner in the boot, slide foot in the usual way. flex it hard, adjust buckels as you like. YOu may find that you could max out your buckels but dont give in to this tempation. make them firm but not tight. they willl form up nice when they cool.
- I was having some pain in the middle of my foot which indicates that boot or liner is too narrow. I put a spacer next to my foot and that solved a years old problem that boot fitters could not fix multiple times. Foot beds did not solve this problem previously.
- You can repeat the fitting process many many times with thte ZIPs whereas I understand that with other brands, you can only do it a few times.
- No need for a boot fitter. I suppose if you had specific problems a fitter would help but these will solve most problems right away. Really amazing.
- Heat up your shells, dry them, put liner in boot, slide in foot, flex, flexx, flexxx, buckel boots, flex, let cool, go outside cool.
- Bag heater. These liners are very hard to get on cold. Very hard and not just cuz Im a gaper. like racing boots tio get on even at room temp. But if you can heat the shells a little warmer than room temp, great, they slide in witout distortion of your custom fit. I have used a small electic blanket $20 in my boot bag that plugs into car and it works great. Nice toasty, custom fit boots every time you put em on. No kid, these are more comfortable than my gloves. And performance is tight, close and way better than when my boots were new.
- The intiial fit should go easily. But you will get better and better at it the more times you do it.
- If you are using a boot fitter, make sure taht they are heating the SHELL and not just the liner. The fit will be much closer if you heat the SHELL and allow the liner to heat passively in the shell next to your foot. Fitters will almost always want to heat the liner directly and not the shell at all. Big mistake.
- I love my boots again and these liners will last forever er so. My boots will crack up before these liners are through.
Steve Bagley heats the shell and liner at his shop. I have about 10 days on them now and the are simply awesome!. I use the Hot Gear boot bag every time I ski and haven't felt the need to reheat the shells beyond that. Thanks for the post and detailed information on self fitting the Zipfits.
I hear that they take about 7 or 8 days to get comfortable?? I have a narrow heal that I would like to snug up a bit - will they fill in that area at all? I really don't need much. Also, my tongue, in the present liner seems too stiff and I am not able to flex well or "drop down. How is the tongue? I am thinking that better fit in front of the ankle will give me improved leverage.
My boots are Nordica Dobi, 120. The ones with the white upper shell.
I am seriously considering this liner.
I am no boot fitter but posted here because these were so easy to customize. Everything got better with these right away. Things I would call Flex-power, power transfer to the ski edge, heel hold.
The tounge is thick and if there is a criticism, there is no pull loop on the tongue. The ones I have are laced up front and they have their power straps inaddition to the one on the shell.
Yes I have read where it takes a few days to get comfortable....I dont knwo why people say that...I refit them at beginning of easch season-mandatory and sometimes once during season.
These have a heel pocket with alot of padding above the heeel and less in pocket. I suppose that if you cant get the desired heeel hold for your particular heals, you could place a small pad between shell and liner at heal to make even a tighter fit during the heating. The liners are very responsive to the heating.
Amd dont forget that you are heating the shell too which really helps the total fit, I think better than, systems that only heat the liner.
And the instruction is to put the boots on warm. If you dont do this , they are really hard to get on. If you do warm them slightly they go on like butter and micro form for your foot the way it is today.
I would say that if it is taking someone 7-8 days to feel comfortable, they did not fit them correctly in the first place and the consecutive days skiing have become the actual molding process....these will self correct daily. But 7-8days?...someone didnt do it right.
And dont slam the buckles on the heating-molding phase.
As I mentioned before, I had center of foot pain so I tweeked the width fit by just using a thick sock for the fitting and that fixed the pain I had for years. performance was still excellant with my regular thin sock while skiing.
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I own the leather-lined ZipFit NeoPlug liner from a few seasons back. IMO it is not good practice to attempt to put on or take off your boots without the liner staying on your foot. The action of entering or exiting the boots will change the forming of the OMfit material - especially if they're warm. Honestly, if you can get your foot out of your boots without the leather lined ZipFit coming with it then your shells are most likely too large. There's no way after a day of skiing that I could get my foot out of the moistened leather of these liners without removing it from the shell first.
ACtually it is quite easy.
I ski in the Head Raptor WC 150. It has a lace up liner. Liner goes on foot and is laced then the whole shooting match is shoved into the shell.
Comes off the same way. Get in the lodge, let boots warm up. Unbuckle, squirm foot around a bit and then remove liner with foot in it from shell.
2 things assist greatly.
#1. I bring a hair dryer and warm up shell and liner in lodge. (No big deal because I never ever ski in the socks I wear to the hill. And the shell overlap is so stiff I can't get the boots in the parking lot anyway!)
#2. I spray the rear insdie cuff and shell with food grade silicone spray (Same stuff you use on rubber dry suit seals) Really helps facilitate entry & exit!
My boots and liner have a t least 4 season on them now. Maybe 120-140 days Still working Good!!!!!!!!!!!!
A good reason to buy in person and work with a bootfitter!
In general Internet purchase and boots are a bad combo, unless you do your homework locally first. But then you are taking up a local retailer's time and and not purchasing from them. A bit of a cheesy move!
^Seconded. I have the WC liners in a Lange RX130 Pro (however were purchased for another shell) - have had to do some extra OMFit in the tongue and ankle area - glad I had a bootfitter to assist. As far as the lace-up line getting in and out - it is far easier IMHO than a stock liner if you have a fairly tight fit and a fairly stiff boot. I skied the stock liners for the Langes last week (just to try them) @ Alta and in the cold, snowy parking lot really had a hard time getting my foot out. Same situation with the lace-up = no problem. Once you get the process/technique/balance down and use your leverage - piece of cake. That said, I have a Hot Gear bag which helps getting them on.
I did not notice any real "break-in" time but the bootfitter heated the liners on a hot stack and I have a heated boot bag. When I went to the new shell - just followed the heated shell method and no problem. I have had a PITA with boots - wierd since every bootfitter says i have "pretty normal" feet - the ZipFits have been the best as far as performance, fit and warmth. Wish i had found them earlier.
They are a far superior product then my skiing deserves..
The match up of shell to liner can be investigated on the zipfit web site. But the range that fits each shell is very wide because you heat the shell which in tern heats the liner.
If you like the Zip and the fitter only heated the liner using a common stack heater, you may be missing something.
Heating the shell provides half the fit. Why would a boot fitter ignore the directions that come with the liners?
I had quite a number of email discussions with Sven himself who is the originator of the ZipFit system. And heating the shell is an innovation that matches the shell to the liner and creates the intensely close fit without the pain. He expressed a subdued disdain for bootfitters who want to use this porduct in a generic way and refuse to heat the shell when using the product.
I can see where someone would be apprehensive about heating an expensive shell especially if it belongs to someone eles but it is well worth it.....and really really easy sans magic.
Great guy. I had a major illness and he emailed me probably 20 times encouraging me to get back out on skis ASAP. He has a true passion for this product an dhas been involved with boot design for much of the evolution of boots.
In my case I had a couple of punches and assume that the heat from shell molding would have eliminated or reduced them. Its all good and I have new shells w/o any work and i did the whole thing by myself in a convection oven.
So you are supposed to heat the shell, steam is easiist fo rme, put shell on foot then slide foot into shell after liner is on foot.
For me that was really hard to do so I just put the liner in boot and slide foot in as usual. it works just fine.
This is just me, but had/have the foam liners from a well known boot fitting store. the Zips are much warmer and I like the feel a bit better. the fur inside the toes is really nice. YMMV. BTW - I like the foamed liners too and i have had nothing but good experiences w/ them. If I had not been having an issue at a place where they did not have a store - would have just lived with it. But I did, and now I have the Zips.
I've found it unnecessary to take the liner out of the shell. I have the leather lined Zipfits and they go on and off very easily. I pump the liner up and down a few times after my foot in is place by holding the shell spoiler down and moving foot and liner up and down per Steve Bagley's instructions. This seats the heel deeply in the pocket. I use a spray silicon for leather periodically on the insides of the liners. I think the decision as to whether or not to remove the liner with the foot still in it partly based upon the shell you are using and how the fit is. Steve fitted mine initially that way and used a "shoe horn" made from a 5 gallon paint bucket that he cut to resemble a shoe horn. The liner went in and our very easily with that in place. Those of you taking the liner off with your foot still in in may want to build one of those for yourself.