Has anyone else noticed that Intuition liners aren't as good as they used to be?
I got some Full Tilt Konflict boots to replace my Raichle Flexons recently. The Konflict comes with the Intuition Pro liner, and having done the fitting procedure three times previously, I was surprised that the new liner's fit and hold wasn't as good as either of my two different liners' fit and hold.
After about seven years, my Flexons' original Raichle heat-molded overlap liner (no tongue, like the Intuition) became packed out and I replaced it with an Intuition liner in about 2005. Today that second liner still feels as good as new, and each of my first two are/were more perfect than the new Intuition Pro.
I attribute this to two traits of the new liners:
ONE-- The Pro has a softer, spongier feel on the inside than the firmer foam of my originals. Looking at the cross-section from Intuition's website, next to the foot in the new design are two different layers of lower density foam that conform without an oven's heat. I figure that those layers are like wearing a thicker sock. Not good for holding the foot, ankle and leg securely with a minimum of pressure.
TWO-- The new liners also feel like they don't quite fill every valley of my foot while giving room to every mountain. They don't seem to articulate as perfectly to the shape of my foot as my previous two inner boots do/did.
When reading about the new liners, the description includes a compilation of foam that, in addition to being heat-moldable, also is said to mold in response to pressure and one's body heat.
From the Full Tilt website, Konflict page:
QUICK FIT™ LINER TECHNOLOGY
MOLDS 100% TO FEET!
Full Tilt Quick-Fit™ liners use authentic Intuition® foam that is body heat activated to mold 100% to your feet during use, or can be instantly heat molded by a shop in minutes.
PRO LINER DESIGN
Quick-Fit™ Intuition™ EVA foam is engineered into a combination of layers, thicknesses and densities for a custom fit liner that is light, warm and molds 100% to your feet for a one-of-a-kind custom fit.
4mm Open Cell Foam
Warm & comfy layer conforms quickly to your foot upon entry
2mm Soft Density Foam
Softest cross linked EVA closed cell foam molds to feet quick
7mm High Density Foam
Firm & responsive closed cell foam molds to your feet & transfers the most energy!
My theory is that the earlier models had only the high density foam. And making the liner partially moldable without the high temperature from an oven will compromise how much the liner can flow, distort or compress to accommodate the shapes of the foot's firmer and softer portions, resulting in a less precise mold of the foot. In other words, heat-moldable foam is more pliable when hot, more firm when cool, and retains its precise shape better than anything else.
Has anyone else had similar observations?
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