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Foam Liners?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What are people's experiences with foam liners? What would I be getting out of a foam liner above and beyond what I get from custom footbeds?

A boot which has peaked my interest is the 'surefoot' boot which is a Lange shell with custom beds and foam liners.. but it's on the pricy side (900 or so)... so I was kind of wondering if that was money well spent or if I would be better off going to a different bootfitter and getting a normal boot just with footbeds.
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
anyone have any input, thoughts, or experience on this?
post #3 of 12
A foam liner is a liner that is made specificly for you. They have a number of advantages over a normal liner.
1- By having the liner molded around your foot, a firmer material can be used in place of the traditional soft cushy liner material. Normal liners have to be soft and cushy to accomidate all the different shape feet out there. A foam liner is again made for your foot, so there is no need to use soft material that will eventually slightly mold to your foot over time.. It is already in the shape of your foot... The advantage, MUCH better control and energy transfer to the ski.
2- Since the liner is already molded to your foot, the comfort factor is obvious... One word of caution... be honest with the bootfitter regarding your skiing level... The foam can done with different "firmness". Generally if you are a ski racer, you will want very hard foam (not so comfy). if you are a blue level skier, then you would want a softer foam (much more comfy). This is a decision for your bootfitter to make after finding out what type of skiier you are.
Bottom line.. I love foam liners. I have the Surefoot boot and have made all of my friends go get em as well. Everyone loves them. as far as cost, the surefoot boot works out to be substantally less then buying all of the components on there own, and if there is ever any issues with your boots, they have a rock solid guarantee with locations to help you out all over the world. (that alone is worth some $$ to me)
I hope this gives you some decision making help...
post #4 of 12
Foam is only as good as the bootfitter.

I find it cold and uncomfortable. I think there are a variety of other aftermarket liners that are better.

I have used an Intuition liner for the past two years and am very happy. I've given up on foam.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Someone mentioned to me that the insulating properties of foam liners are less than those of a regular liner (ie - they are colder). However, this person's experience with foam liners was about 10 years old or more.. so I am wondering if the technology has changed. Anyway - any thuth to that statement?
post #6 of 12
There are several different technologies that are referred to as "foam." Intuition and Thermoflex are a heat moldable foam that are the warmest liners I know about, but some say they don't perform as well as standard liners. San Marco had a silicon injection system that was not foam at all, and that one performed well but might not be as warm as some others. You need to do a little research to find what's best for you.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
hmm.. anyone knows which technology the surefoot foam liners are and how they perform (from an insulation vs. a standard liner standpoint)
post #8 of 12
I tried surefoot foam liners 3 years ago and it was very hard.
If you need performance and do not care about comfort it may be good for you.
I like their orthotics though.
post #9 of 12

Foam injected boot liners


Sounds like you're basically on the right track. Once again, I agree with coppernyc. It would probably be helpfull for you to check into the "Boot fitting expectations/ettiquette" thread that was started on 8-16-04.

The more time you're in boots, the more absolutely crucial it is to eliminate problems. I'm a tight boot fanatic and a "challenging fit" myself. After an often painfull several year struggle, I switched to foam injected liners in 1992, been in them ever since. I'm not sure how long, but foam injected liners have been around awhile. They were good 12-15 years ago; even back then, the foam was a drastic improvement for me. Nowadays, the earlier problems have been addressed, they're even better, and a little easier to have installed. I'm now in my 3rd pair of extensively re-worked Salomons with the Conformable foam liners. For me, it's the only way to fly.

There are a number of advantages to foam. For one thing, since the foam will conform to almost any shape, you have somewhat more latitude in shell choice - although obviously, in the first place, you still have to pick a shell that's a close match to your foot shape and ability level. This critical first step is deceptively easy to go badly wrong without highly objective professional help.

The foam essentially does for your entire foot and lower leg what a custom moulded orthotic does for only the sole of your foot. The more even pressure distribution allows a tighter, firmer fit than a conventional liner, eliminates slop and enhances sensitivity, feel, and overall control. The more even pressure (to me at least) seems to be less constrictive overall; better circulation; warmer feet. The insulative properties of foam were slightly inferior up until about the late 1990's, but that's been completely resolved; if anything, the newer foam compounds are warmer. Also, I've found over the years that the foam is definitely more resilient and doesn't crush and pack out nearly as quickly and easily, which means significantly better durability. So once you've undergone the hassle and expense of new boots, you're all set for a good long time. Mine have been good for 300 to even 400+ days.

Fitting and installing foam is a bit of a technically tricky business. I've found them to be a Godsend, but they're only as good as:

1. You preparation, in terms of patience at working with the fit tech person - this isn't always a quick and easy one-day process.

2. The saavy/skill/expertise of the boot fitter tech people.

3. Your honesty with the above person regarding self assesment of your skiing strength/ability level. In other words, even a perfect fit in too much boot will detract from your control.

Surefoot is a good bet, especially if you're in the east and planning on doing extensive traveling to ski.

The only relatively minor disadvantage that I can think of is that since foam has to be done professionally in a specialty shop, not in someplace like a big sporting goods chain store, it's more expensive. It isn't really neccessary for everyone. Again, I'd recommend taking a look at that thread from last month. Hope this helps some.


post #10 of 12
Foam liners can be made rock-hard and stiff or nice and comfy. You can get what you want. The foam boot worn for a few minutes during a race should not be the same boot worn all day for your ski-vacation, and it isn't.
post #11 of 12
They use Con'formable liners.
post #12 of 12
I found my Conformable liners to be warmer than stock. As I tend to have cold feet and was warned that foam is colder, I was surprised. My theory is that because the liners fit so well, my blood circulation was improved. "Your experience may vary."!
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