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Moldable Liners for ski boots

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I am posting this in Ski Gear Discussion because there seems to be a lot more activity here then in the boot section.

 

I always need extensive work on my boots with bunion punch outs and a punch around the little toe. I usually cut a hole in my liner for the bunions and then tape over because they are so large. I usually have to install c pads and ankle pads on one because I have a 1/2 size difference in my feet. 

My liners are pretty well shot and I am thinking about a after market moldable liner. I have a close shell fit, ski GS groomers, and some Nastar almost all East. So, skinny ankles, room in the forefoot,, stability and fit is what I need

 

My current boot is a Solomon Max 130. 98 last, 27.5

 

When I look at the tongues of most aftermarket moldable liners they do not look to me to have the support of a stock liner.

 

Any help with a great modlable liner would be appreciated.

post #2 of 25

I hear what you say about the tongues of aftermarket liners, but I haven't found them to be a problem once I have the boot on and I'm skiing. I have a booster strap, which solves any tongue problems. 

 

I did have an issue with the tongues while getting the boots on and off - the wimpier tongue would sometimes pop out of the shell causing the raw shell to poke into my instep. Ouch.  I solved this by putting the liners on my feet first, and then putting foot and liner into the shell.  It's actually easier to put boots on this way since there is less friction between the liner and the shell than there is between the liner and my sock. I'll never go back to putting boots on the old way.

 

Anyway, I'd say go for it.  My one piece of advice is to try several models and sizes, which is best done by going to a shop that carries them.  I bought my first pair "over the phone" and never got them to fit right despite over a dozen trips to the boot fitter.  turns out I bought the wrong model - they were Intuition Luxury Liners, and the right fit for my foot was the Dream Liner.  I figured this out by going to Intuition's showroom in Vancouver and trying on a bunch of models and sizes.  Intuition were great - they exchanged them at no cost, even though the dream liners were more expensive than the the others.

 

I've only had experience with Intuition, so can't speak to other brands.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
 

I hear what you say about the tongues of aftermarket liners, but I haven't found them to be a problem once I have the boot on and I'm skiing. I have a booster strap, which solves any tongue problems. 

 

I did have an issue with the tongues while getting the boots on and off - the wimpier tongue would sometimes pop out of the shell causing the raw shell to poke into my instep. Ouch.  I solved this by putting the liners on my feet first, and then putting foot and liner into the shell.  It's actually easier to put boots on this way since there is less friction between the liner and the shell than there is between the liner and my sock. I'll never go back to putting boots on the old way.

 

Anyway, I'd say go for it.  My one piece of advice is to try several models and sizes, which is best done by going to a shop that carries them.  I bought my first pair "over the phone" and never got them to fit right despite over a dozen trips to the boot fitter.  turns out I bought the wrong model - they were Intuition Luxury Liners, and the right fit for my foot was the Dream Liner.  I figured this out by going to Intuition's showroom in Vancouver and trying on a bunch of models and sizes.  Intuition were great - they exchanged them at no cost, even though the dream liners were more expensive than the the others.

 

I've only had experience with Intuition, so can't speak to other brands.

I have read very good reviews on Intuition and I have the booster strap.

post #4 of 25

My boots with custom foamed liners are the best boots I have ever worn. 

 

Just because the liners are custom foamed doesn't mean the fitter won't need to perform some work on them.  Expansion of the foam "pockets" within the liners only goes so far.

 

Make sure the liner you get matches the shell.  A fellow patroller on a budget ordered liners on-line for his Solomon and did not /could not get the correct size.  I suggest you approach this problem with the aid of a good boot fitter.

post #5 of 25

It sounds like you have a lot of issues with your feet. You have also mentioned fore/aft issues etc.  Given your skiing preferences, I think you should invest in a proper boot fitting.  Going at it piecemeal is going to take a long time and by changing all the variables, it will be difficult to tell what is the best set up for you.

post #6 of 25

+1 on foamed liners.  Not a simple option because there aren't many folks who really do enough of them to get the process down pat.  It also involves a lot of prep work on the shell and precise padding of the trouble spots on your foot before foaming to negate all pressure points.  And it requires that a custom foot bed be factored into the equation.  However, if you get this right and the foamer know his/her craft, you will end up with the best skiing experience you've ever had.  I've used Intution liners and they are warm and light, but they do not produce the ultimate performance fit that a foam liner delivers.  I use Intutions in my touring boots and they are ideal for that application, but they don't compare to foam for precise skiing.  I don't know who does a lot of this work in the US and Canada.  Hopefully other folks with more knowledge of good North American boot foamers can chime in on this one.  It's worth traveling to get this kind of work done.  It ain't cheap, but if you get it right, you won't have to mess with your boots for many years. 

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

 

When I look at the tongues of most aftermarket moldable liners they do not look to me to have the support of a stock liner.

 

Take a look at Intuition wrap liners.  No tongue and very supportive.  I've been using them for several years now and I'm very pleased.

post #8 of 25

I decided to go with a foam liner last season, when I bought new boots. My daughter had moved out of a very tight plug boot {like almost no room in her shell fit, and a hours of grinding by her tech, and moved up one shell size in her first post college, post "retirement", post race boot. She ended up in a Lange RS130, and had a BD {Boot-Doc} foam liner molded. She was blown away by the comfort, warmth, and performance. She also has a three band Booster Strap on the boot. 

 

I spoke at length with my bootfitter {who had done my daughter's fitting, too} about liners, once we had decided on a boot. I was coming out of a Dobermann Pro, which had really been dialed in, and in which I probably had my fourth set of Dobermann lace-up liners. I ended up with a Lange RX130, in the narrower last, and a pretty tight shell fit. My guy sells every liner made. He's a former French National Team skier, and has a phenomenal touch on the snow. I'm 60, and we split our ski time between Maine and the Rockies. I have an extensive background in the sport. I wanted it all…….fit, comfort, performance. So he put me in the same liner that he uses, a BD.

 

It's phenomal. I buckle them up, and I don't need to touch them and fiddle with them. No unbuckling at the bottom of the hill, and rebuckling up top. The foam isn't anywhere near as "firm" {aka hard} as foam liners were back in the day. BD makes a whole line of liners. For my purposes, I ended up with their Comfort Foam model. a tiny bit more volume than the World Cup Liner, which, BTW is used all over the World Cup. Hirscher, for one uses it. 

 

www.boot-doc.com  is their site. I think it lists dealers by country. 

 

I have zero interest in the business, just a raving fan of the product. I will say that I think having a boot fitter who's done a lot of B-D liners helps. My fitter has. I had thought hard about Zip-fit, Intuition, and I'm glad with my result. Have about 60 days on them…..zero issues. They perform, and are almost embarrassingly comfortable. 

 

Might be worth a look. 

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you
There are no dealers in the USA listed maybe you have a phone number and the dealer I could call
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

The company is huge in Europe!

post #11 of 25

They are big. Like I said, you'd be very surprised how many people on the WC are in BD's. You will NEVER see pair near a podium, or a camera. Pretty sure that the boot suppliers wouldn't be on board with that. 

 

I thought the website had dealers, but guess they don't list the North American dealers. 

 

I know that they have a Facebook page:   BootDocNorthAmerica  Not sure how current it is.

 

Mine were made by my friend Lionel Hering, who owns Happy Tunes in Carrabassett Valley, Maine {up at Sugarloaf, end of the railroad}. 

 

BD is owned by Wintersteiger, BTW.  I know that PJ Dewey at Race Stock Sports in Waterbury, VT, sells them. I think Snow Sports at Okemo does. Alpine Options in Warren, VT. Heino's in NJ. Those all show up on the public FB page. 

 

I know that at least a couple of years ago, the guy who imported most of the liners was Brent Amsbury, who owns Park City Boot. I'm sure a Google search will come up with his phone number. He could probably point you to a place where you could get dealer names closest to you. 

 

Worth a look, I think, particularly if you're pleased with your boots. 

post #12 of 25

I have a friend who works for BootDoc NA, let me know where you are and I'll ask him for the closest (recommended) fitter to you, if that would help?

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

I am in Columbus Ohio but will travel for someone who is a great tech.

post #14 of 25

I have very skinny calves and Intuition Power Wraps worked well for me because of the extra material in front of the calf. I also get good hold down of my skinny heels. My boots are also 98mm last although the fit is more on the comfort side. I have the regular power wraps--if your fit is close you might need the plug version. The powerwraps are the stiffest Intuition and are advertised as stiffer than most stock liners. However, my boots came with a very stiff tongue and the Powerwraps are not as stiff--like walt said, you can get the stiffness you need by tightening down the booster strap. I've even thought about going to the WC version of the strap; even though I don't ski that fast or aggressively I seem to like stiff boots. One thing about the Powerwrap--I found that the extra material in front of the shin made my stance too upright--a rear spoiler and a little heel wedge fixed that. A spoiler with velcro hooks (my boots came with them) sticks nicely to the Powerwrap.

 

I bought mine from a shop and had them molded there. I haven't tried doing it myself. I've been back a couple of times for adjustments--not remolding-- which was free. They say you don't necessarily need footbeds with a powerwrap but I have footbeds in mine. Mine were fitted with an ultrathin sock. My regular socks were thin and the first day skiing with the Intuitions was agony. I bought ultrathin socks and problem solved. That's how close the fit is. They do pack out but not as much or as quickly as standard liners. They can be remolded a couple of times. When they are molded they put a hard cup around your toes so that you have plenty of room for your toes after the cup is removed. I'm not sure but I think there are different cups that can be used if you want extra room in the toes. The fitting process, with the cup in there, is fairly uncomfortable--don't judge the process until after the liners have set and the cup is removed.

 

I suppose finding a good tech in Columbus might be an issue. (Goddamn Buckeye!) You might have to mold yourself or get them on a trip. The intuition site does give good instructions for self molding, last I looked. It does take 2 people to do properly.

 

M Go Blue!

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your help and all I can say is good luck on the blue part.
post #16 of 25

If not foamed, I like ZipFit.

http://www.zipfit.com/about.html

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

I am in Columbus Ohio but will travel for someone who is a great tech.



Did you find one? 

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Not yet
post #19 of 25

Levy, I've had very good luck with Intuitions, all done by email. They have a excellent website that helps explain the various models (both tongued and wrap). And their customer support by phone or email is weirdly helpful. As in, they'll give you detailed personal advice after some questions, send you liners, you can see how they fit into your boots (because matching to a particular shell can be challenging), and you can send back the ones that don't work, all on their nickel. 

 

Give their website a look. Their liners are excellent build quality, warmer and better potential for fit than anything made as OEM. They'll last IME about 2-3 times as long as a stock liner. 

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

Done, Thanks

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

Done, Thanks

 

Drat, I was hoping you'd go the BootDocs route and post about it ;)

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey I'm not done They are working behind the scenes to find me a boot fitter for BD so I'm just waiting on the information.
You know darn well I have to explore every avenue thoroughly
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

You know darn well I have to explore every avenue thoroughly

I think the adjective you're seeking is "exhaustingly." ;)

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you,you are so right!
post #25 of 25

If you don't want to go with foam, and get a moldable liner with a traditional tongue but want to upgrade, I'd recommend foam tongues (see my post at:  http://www.epicski.com/t/129388/ski-boots-for-a-guy-with-shin-bang-problem#post_1774474).  I'm currently using an old Conformable foam tongue with a new pair of lace-up flow race liners in a Dalbello Scorpion SR130.

 

If you decide to go full foam, I've heard the Nordica is excellent (though you may need to stretch the elastic around the toe box, and/or the toe box itself, which some find a bit tight).

 

If you decide to go with Intuition, I've heard the the Pro Tongue is excellent (and has more toe box room than the Nordica foam) (or if the Pro Tongue is too thick, there's the HD race and the somewhat less stiff FX race).

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