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Vacuum Fitting My NON Vacuum Fischer Boots

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

The Preamble:


I ski on Fischer X120's. Overall the boot fits the shape of my foot well. The shell fit is close (I have a fairly wide for-foot). I never really liked the liners all that much being used to the Intuition liners in my Full Tilts, but mostly I found them very cold in comparison and not a great heel pocket. More on this later.


I read Marshall Olson's article on Blister about heat moulding his Technica Cochise boots as well as the articles he referred to on the Zip Fit site. It all sounded pretty interesting. So I discussed all of this with my local ski shop, who is a good friend, so I wasn't too concerned about living with a disaster. After much discussion we decided if we were going to do this let's go ALL the way. We decided to heat the shells in the Fischer oven and use the Vacuum machine and cold packs.


The Process:


Since I liked my Intuition liners, we used them instead of the stock liner. 


I needed a bit more room on the outside edge of my right foot so I padded that area of my foot.


I have a bone protrusion just behind the big toe of my left foot (bunion?) so I padded that area as well.


I put on toe caps and a sock and tried the boot on. It was pretty clear right away that there was no way my foot beds were also going to fit in the boot, so I left those out for now. The overall fit was very tight. 


Poped the shells only into the convection oven for 10 minutes slid my padded foot, toe caps and all into the liner and then into the fairly hot boot. I bucked the boot fairly tight, but not overly so.


The vacuum machine was already set for stance etc. and set to 200 Bar. 


Wrapped the cold packs around the boot, into the vacuum bags and away we go. Time set for 7 minutes I believe.


Once the pressure was at the max the overall sensation was pretty extreme pressure but not painful. I wiggled my toes around to ease the pressure a bit and try to make room for the outside edge of the right foot. 


The other sensation that I can say was distinctive, was that I could feel the shell getting considerably closer, again not painful, around my ankles and instep.


The Result:


So I take of the toe caps and remove the padding from my feet and boot the boots back on.


Honestly...NIRVANA! I have never experience such a precise yet comfortable fit in a ski boot.


I have the perfect amount of space around my right forefoot, a perfect pocket for the bone on my left foot and a locked in heel with zero lift and no pressure points ANYWHERE. Sounds too good to be true but it is not.


Three, four days later everything has stayed the same. The shell has NOT returned to its original shape.


Given our success, the shop has done 3 other Lange boots with equal success (as well as numerous Fischer vacuum boots). They cannot imagine punching and grinding boots again for most people.




All I can say is that if you can convince a shop to do it for you DO IT! 


I cannot say yet how I would deal with a brand new Intuition liner and shell moulding but we intend to figure that out too.


I think I will probably remould my liners with my footbeds or mould a new pair of liners with my now perfect shells.




post #2 of 4

Great information. Still unanswered questions. Any updates? Was it the heat on the plastic that improved the fit or the combination of heat and pressure? Did the shells retain their shape? Did you use the Intuitions? How were they different from the Fischer liners?  Did you use your foot beds and how did that work out?

post #3 of 4



i'm certainly not saying that you didn't do this successfully, but I will tell you that the Fischer ovens only heat up to 175F, which is much to low of a temperature to beat the memory effect in a traditional PU material shell. You would have to heat that up to 250-300F to be the memory effect to the point that it would retain shape, but you also degrade the material substantially and will actually change the flex of the boot.


The Vacu-Plast material only needs to be heated up to 175F and can be remolded up to 5 times. The great thing about this material is that it does not break down or degrade like other PU materials that need to be heated to a much higher temp.


That being said, it's an amazing process and product!



post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

In response to the two posts above........


First of all as to the exact temperature that my boots were heated to, I do not have that answer. Most of the motivation to try this was as a result of seeing this video:  http://www.zipfit.com/howtozipfit.html. Zipfit has been promoting this method of fitting boots for quite some time. I do not recall if it is in this same video or another produced by Zifit, but they also recommend boiling your boots. I know of a Ski Shop nearby, that boils almost every high end pair of boots that they sell. As another "recommendation". Marshall over at TGR and on Blister Ski Review described in detail how he fitted his Technica Cochise boots by that method. So while I cannot say that you are patently wrong in what you are saying "Mberky07" there are many proponents of the method that suggest otherwise.


All I did to further the process, was use the Vacum machine to further shape the boot and complete the fitting process. In doing that I found the fit over the instep and around a bony protrusion on my left foot to improve tremendously. AS I did not try it without using the machine I cannot say if the results would have been the same or not.


After my little experiment several people followed the same process and at least one 17 year old FIS racer I know who could never get comfortable in his race boots now swears by the method.


I guess I would not recommend doing this to an inexpensive boot with inferior plastic but so far I am thrilled with the results and so are others that I know.


Hope this helps!

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