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Hair dryer safe for warming up ZipFits each morning?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I got a pair of ZipFit liners last season, and the first 3-4 days skiing with them, before they were fully molded, were pretty painful. By the end of the week, though, they were excellent, and really comfortable. Putting them on first thing in the morning was still a little unpleasant, though, and the first couple of runs were not comfortable until they had warmed up.

 

When I next go skiing, I want to do something if possible to improve this, by warming the boots up first. I know there are things like heated boot bags around, but I don't reckon I really need one of those because the hotel I'm staying in is right by the slopes and I'm hoping I can just do something to warm the boots up in the room before setting off out (i.e., I don't need to keep them warm for very long). One simple option would be to give them a blast with a hair dryer but I'm wondering whether this would be safe or whether I risk inadvertently remoulding the liners, or worse.

 

Is there anyone on here who has done this before and can vouch for its safety and efficacy? Other suggestions also welcome, of course.

post #2 of 17

Just watch out for wrinkles in the liner that develop as you put your foot in.

post #3 of 17

Do not send the hot air not into the boot where your foot goes.  Wedge the hairdryer between the two plastic flaps that wrap around your shin, and have it pointing down onto the top of the tongue where it connects to the boot.  Blast away at the plastic.  This will soften up the plastic so the boots are easier to get on.  The softness won't last.

 

If you have custom footbeds in there, DO NOT send hot air into the boots.  I did that and really messed up mine.

 

Others may have experience with Zipfits.  Sorry but I do not.

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Just watch out for wrinkles in the liner that develop as you put your foot in.


This is important enough to re-emphasize it. If you get too much heat into a zipper, the "flow" material will become soft and malleable enough that when you put your foot in, it may actually push some of that material out of place and down lower in the boot. Usually, this will form into a fairly substantial wrinkle or bead of material down near the footbed. This won't ruin your liner or your life but will probably ruin your day. Be careful.

 

SJ

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

So is it not safe to use a hair dryer? Or do I just have to be careful and use it only for a short time on low heat, say? Or maybe heat the shells and not the liners?

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by J2R View Post
 

So is it not safe to use a hair dryer? Or do I just have to be careful and use it only for a short time on low heat, say? Or maybe heat the shells and not the liners?

 

It's not really about method, more about total heat.

You're just looking for initial comfort, yes?   When we're looking for comfort we usually look for things that are warm, oh, like oven-baked bread is warm or like a  mug with freshly brewed coffee is warm.  

What I'm saying is that that level of 'warm' sensation is a risky goal on Zipfits, especially if the material gets warm enough to knead with your fingers.     "Risky" as in 'blister by lunchtime'-type risky and 'needs a remould with a pro and a plastic shoehorn'-type risky.

 

How cold was the room you were staying in last time?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

How cold was the room you were staying in last time?

 

Not especially cold, but I had a 15 minute drive to the base of the ski area which would have meant the boots cooled down below room temperature. I guess the temperature I'm aiming for for the liners is only really the temperature they would get to after, say, an hour with my feet inside them. I just want to avoid that uncomfortable hour...

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by J2R View Post
 

 

Not especially cold, but I had a 15 minute drive to the base of the ski area which would have meant the boots cooled down below room temperature. I guess the temperature I'm aiming for for the liners is only really the temperature they would get to after, say, an hour with my feet inside them. I just want to avoid that uncomfortable hour...

 

If you have a 15 minute drive, try putting them on the floor in front of the passenger seat and then directing the heat down there on the ride up. I used to do that on the last 5 minutes of my ride to the mountain so I could get my foot into my Langes.

post #9 of 17

There isn't much to be concerned about as long as you remove the liners before putting on the shells.  Use some silicone on the inside of your shells and on the exterior of the ZipFit and go in/out of the shells racer style.  That actually helps improve the fit of your ZipFit liners over time.  Trying to shove your foot into a ZipFit when it's in the shell is prone to cause problems if you're not careful.  I would also argue that if you can actually put your boots on that way (when using a ZipFit liner) that your shells are most likely too large.

 

As far as heat goes, I see no issue with warming the ZipFit with a hair dryer.  Just go with moderate heat and keep moving the air flow around to avoid melting/burning anything.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post
 

 

If you have a 15 minute drive, try putting them on the floor in front of the passenger seat and then directing the heat down there on the ride up. I used to do that on the last 5 minutes of my ride to the mountain so I could get my foot into my Langes.

 

That was last time - this time we'll be in a hotel by the slopes, hence my hair dryer question. But it's something to remember for next time, thanks! It's something I should have thought to do on the first day in Austria last year, when I first tried out the Zipfits. We had flown into Salzburg airport late in the morning and then drove to the resort to get some skiing in that afternoon. So my boots were cold from the hold of the plane, and were then in the boot of the car for an hour or so. No surprise they were difficult to get on that day!

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post
 

There isn't much to be concerned about as long as you remove the liners before putting on the shells.  Use some silicone on the inside of your shells and on the exterior of the ZipFit and go in/out of the shells racer style.  That actually helps improve the fit of your ZipFit liners over time.  Trying to shove your foot into a ZipFit when it's in the shell is prone to cause problems if you're not careful.  I would also argue that if you can actually put your boots on that way (when using a ZipFit liner) that your shells are most likely too large.

 

 

The shell fit is about 15mm - not super snug, but my feet aren't swimming in them. I've seen you mention this technique before. I may have to give it a go!

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by J2R View Post
 
 

 

The shell fit is about 15mm - not super snug, but my feet aren't swimming in them. I've seen you mention this technique before. I may have to give it a go!

 

Test at home first - some Langes frex have an annoying toe dam protuberance that makes the liner stick without letting the heel down.   If it works for you - then wear the liners to breakfast?

post #13 of 17

I used a hair dryer for mine for a year until I broke down and bought a hot gear bag. Dryer worked fine.  Highly recommend the latter however, because it's a more even heat and heats the whole boot.

 

The hot gear bag is nothing more than a large heating pad in a bag. You can make one and then get a converter for your cigarette lighter in the car to plug into.

 

But it's a lot easier to just buy the bag. It is one of the best dang ski gear purchases I ever made. can't imagine doing without it now.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
 

I used a hair dryer for mine for a year until I broke down and bought a hot gear bag. Dryer worked fine.  Highly recommend the latter however, because it's a more even heat and heats the whole boot.

 

The hot gear bag is nothing more than a large heating pad in a bag. You can make one and then get a converter for your cigarette lighter in the car to plug into.

 

But it's a lot easier to just buy the bag. It is one of the best dang ski gear purchases I ever made. can't imagine doing without it now.

Buy the bag its the best investment next to the Zipfits, also put the liner on and then step in shell, you will be much happier in the long run plus your boots will be dry. don"t fight it go with the whole program. 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
But it's a lot easier to just buy the bag. It is one of the best dang ski gear purchases I ever made. can't imagine doing without it now.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad J View Post
 

Buy the bag its the best investment next to the Zipfits, also put the liner on and then step in shell, you will be much happier in the long run plus your boots will be dry. don"t fight it go with the whole program. 


Quoted for truth. ZipFit + Hot Gear: The best ski-related purchases I ever made.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'll look out for the bag, but I haven't found it for sale anywhere in the UK yet.

post #17 of 17

You can always convert your current boot bag into a hot gear bag by getting a large heating pad (you know, the kind for sore muscles) and putting it in the bottom of the boot bag and up the side as far as it will go. (best if you can cover it with a nylon or water resistant cover and make the bag a bit insulated by putting some towels or your coat over the boots in the bag.) And then buy a converter for your car lighter so you can plug it in there. Then plug it in your house (or hotel) outlet the night before you go skiing and in the car if you have a long way to go to get to the hill.

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