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Foam Ski Boot anyone?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Does anybody here use a foam boot that has been foamed within a year or so. My old Dynafit F3 (1989) got retired and I had no possibilities of getting new foam boots here in Finland last year and this year the situation is even worse. Last year I bought the Nordica Beast 12 and its a good boot but the fit compared to a foam boot is a lugh.

If you have a new foam boot please speak up and tell me what brand and if its any good or not. Is it still worth the money?
post #2 of 13
I do not have foam boots but I have foamed numerous pairs over the last couple of years and personally had several pairs in the past. I have recently used kniessel, Head, Lange and Salomon foam kits.

I can tell you that the foam has gotten a lot easier to work with and from a foamer's or user's perspective nothing has a greater impact on the final product than that.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
L7, I agree, foam boots rule, but this issue is sadly enough way overlooked today.

I went to one boot stand on a ski fair not long ago and asked one manufacturer if they had foam boots. The 21y old salesman replyed with a big smile on his face that "all our boots are foam..... soft foam". Time to walk over to the next stand....
post #4 of 13
I'm not sure where you got agreeing with me that they rule as I didn't say anything like that. I said the foam has become easier to work with recently. I almost put in my first post that I'm not a big fan of them. I had them and don't anymore. For a few years i skied with foam tongues which I think have more merit than a whole foam liner. Among the drawbacks, they tend to be colder than regular liners and it's one shot deal which could be an issue if say your foot changes in shape through the season (swells for instance) or maybe due to varying elevations.

Regarding your initial question I think it's better than when I imagine you got your foam boots.

Some people love them and those are the people I foamed them for. I neither recommended the foam or sold it in most of the cases. In fact most of the cases the users didn't pay or paid next to nothing.
post #5 of 13
Foam boots - is there any other kind?

Count me as one who cannot live without them. Everything else feels sloppy to me, but that’s probably from skiing a foamed Grand Prix WC for over 12 years.

I’ll be the first to agree that foam is not for everyone. Foam used to be colder than any normal liner – for a very good reason. Foam liners were hard as a brick, and when combined with a low volume plug boot there wasn’t a lot of thermal insulation value because the whole premise was to get your foot as close to the shell as possible.

I had to abandon my GP’s after my 4th time with frostbite. We had an epic day at the Canyons – so much snow we never even took a break for lunch. When I took my socks off at the car I realized my trip was over – my toe was black.

The Doc said, “One more time and the toe has to go”. So, being particularly fond of that little piggy I set out on a new boot quest. I have size 13 feet so plug boots were no longer an option (I used to wear a UK10 … talk about work to make it fit, which is why the frostbite).

I changed to a Tecnica Icon Carbon without foam – hated it. It felt like a big box on my foot. Then last year I picked up a pair of Atomics, which were much more minimalist and more like my old GP’s. But, I still missed the fit of foam.

I bought a pair of aftermarket Conformable foam liners and now I am in skiing nirvana. The fit and performance is so close to my old GP’s it’s scary – without the pain.

Foam has come a long way too. I remember the first time I got foamed I thought my foot was going to be crushed. I used to have my boots foamed while standing in a squat rack with 300 pounds on my shoulders, which worked really well to counteract the crushing …

Not any more. Also, the new foam can be mixed according to your liking – harder or softer. As always the trick is to find someone that knows what they’re doing and fit the shell before you foam.

Most of the top end race boots have foam options, but good luck actually finding one in stock – you’ll most certainly have to order them. The aftermarket liners like the Conformable work great, but aren’t cheap.

Once you go foam you can’t go back.
post #6 of 13
If you are going foam, I believe the conform'able is better than the oem foam liners. The foam tongue alone is worth the price of entry. I change shells every other year with the color and have had liners that outlasted shells. It is NOT a cure for boots that are the wrong size. I often see this touted by places who sell you the wrong size boot and than sell you an aftermarket liner to "fix" the problem. A well foamed liner is the best alternative, arguably better choice, for the performance skier who lacks the resources (steady supply of replacement parts and a skilled boot tecnician on retainer) to ski in plugs.
post #7 of 13
Does anyone have any thoughts on the Nordica foam liner vs. the Conformable?

I'm going to be getting my first pair of foams as soon as my Diablo Race Pro's arrive. I've heard good things about Nordica's foam liners and was wondering if there would be an advantage to sticking those in my Diablos over the Conformables. You can read my questions regarding foam and others replies towards the bottom of this thread:

PS: Has anyone heard when the Diablo Pros in the larger sizes are supposed to get into the US? The snow is fallin', and I don't got no boots!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
L7 - ok, now I understand what you mean.... new foam rules for comfort!

Most people say that foam is a lot colder than normal linear but I have a slightly different view of what makes your feet cold. Its not all the material itself, its also a Q of how well the boot fits. I have found that a foam boot not nessesarily has to be tightened up as tight as a normal one. Since a foam boot doesent pressure any sertain spot more than others less stagnation in bloodflow is happening.

Which foam innershoue is suitable for last years Nordica Beast 12? Somebody told me the Doberman works and somebody else said that by no means and that one by Reichle would be good.
post #9 of 13
HMMMM. I guess I will be the voice of discent. Back in the 70's, 80's, and even into the 90's boot science left much to be desired. Especially liners. Thats why foaming boots back in the day was the thing to do. It has always been a gamble. Like L7 said, its a one shot deal. Foam boots come one of two ways, right or wrong. Today, stock boot liners are much better. They take a more anatomic shape and contour the foot much better. They are more consistent. The materials form/mold and hold shape better.
I purchased the Lange 140 two years ago -its the 130 with a foam liner, the foam gives the boot the 140 flex. I took it to one of our local boot fitters with a solid reputation for foaming boots. The liners came out anything but consistent. One of the tubes was kind of clogged so the foam went to the lateral side of the liner and now feels like knuckles being smashed into my feet. I got frostbite for the first time last year. And, they are a constant wrestling match for comfort and circulation.
My point is this. In todays ski industry you should be able to find a boot that works off the shelf. Make sure it starts off a LITTLE tighter than comfortable and work with a professional bootfitter. This way you can get that custom fit you are looking for. I would recomend the Lange 120, 130, or the Nordica Doberman 130's -the Beast series is a waist of time for those looking for ultimate in performance as it is a huge volume shell with a pillow for a liner.
If you must foam your boots, do your research, custom fit your shell before you do the foaming, find out who's the most qualified boot fitter in you area and have them foam it, and most of all be aware that its an expensive gamble. If it turns out well, I won't deny that they ski extremely well. Your perception of lateral sensitivety will reach new hights, and you will feel more connected with your ski. Or, you might get frost bight, unbuckle your boots at the bottom of everyone and in the middle of many, use language reserved for sailors, be out two the three hundred bucks and have to start over again.
I tried it, and won't do it again.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by fressen
Foam boots come one of two ways, right or wrong. Today, stock boot liners are much better. They take a more anatomic shape and contour the foot much better. They are more consistent. The materials form/mold and hold shape better.
I like that line about right or wrong. I might just have to use it some.

I too had foam boots that used to freeze my feet. My heels to be exact. The foam had been pounded into those puppies and it was firm and pressed so tight on the sides of the heel behind the ankle it cut of blood flow.

It is a one shot deal and with any lack of volume in one area it can be easy to cut off the flow of foam causing all the foam to jam in the other size as Fressen refers.

I haven't had any real problems foaming a pair but it is so uncommon it's hard to find someone with much experience. The manufacturers are pretty bad at giving solid instructions as well so it's up to the guy foaming to know what problems to anticipate and overcome. Blowing in the tubes on both sides of both feet is a key one to confirm good flow.

The Raichles/Kniessel do a nice liner that is solid with a leather outer. Don't know if you can find any now though and the foam doesn't keep. That one would likely fit the dobie. One shortcoming is they don't have vent tubes, just gas vents so it's hard to check flow. The foam job went easy though. That was the one foam job gone bad that I had. Old foam and it set up oddly. That guy just went to a stock liner which was all he wanted in the first place I just gave him a rippin' price on the foam boot to get rid of it.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have the last years Nordica Beast 12 in size 29,5. The bottom measures 335mm. My previous boots were Dynastar measuring 340mm and before that I had Koflach's that were even bigger.

Last year when I bought the Beasts the guy in the store said that if I could have them on my feet for as long as I had them they were ok. He was wrong obviously but I went ahead and had the shell enlargened after I lost all the feeling on the skin of my feet. However, Im not really comfortable with them still and my toes are touching the front end of the boots. Today I went into a store and had my feet measured. It measures about 29,8 and now Im wondering if I should abandone the beasts and get new ones in size 30. Why are you saying that the Beasts are not any good if Im looking for the ultimate in performance since I bought them in the first place only because they were supposed to be the next best thing after the Dobermans. By the way, I tried some Dobies in size 29 and I could not even get my toes into the shaft so my feet are big. I still believe foam boots are really good if a master bootfitter does it for you. Had mine previos ones done in Valdisere. Now I have to go to Schruns in Austria.
post #12 of 13
Hey tdk6,
Sorry for the negative tone. The reason I'm not a fan of the boot is the overall philosophy of the boot. Comfort is their ownly concerne. Its a cushy, spongey, flexy fit that does not connect you to your skis. What Nordica is trying to do is sell boots. The easiest boots for boot-fitters/sales-people to sell are the ones with the best off the shelf impression. Nordica delivers just that. Different companies have different ideas on how a boot should be designed. Lange for years has been the brand focused on performance at any cost. As a result they have developed a bit of a bear-trap reputation. In the last couple years they have started to make their boots a little more user friendly. If you have an expert boot-fitter walk you through the process, these boots with the lower volumes and snugger fits can be made comfortable.
One thing that should be said is that different boots fit different feet. It sounds to me like you might have a thick meaty high volume fit, in which case the Beast boot makes more sense. Before you trade your current boots for the next size try having your local boot fitter stretch the SHELL of the boot for length. Its easy to make a small boot bigger. Its not easy to make a big boot smaller. My foot measures a 29.5 by length, but I can wear a 28 from most manufacturers without any custom fitting. It shouldn't be too difficult to get your current boots to work.
Question, are you using an orthotic/custom insole? These can make a huge difference. The insoles that come stock in ALL boots are worthless. They offer ZERO arch or ankle support. They also allow your foot to flatten out which makes your foot longer. A good insole such as Super Feet or a custom insole by Super Feet, or Comformable will help pull your toes away from the front of your boots. Start there if you haven't already done so.
Hope this helps.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello fressen

No offence, Im just a little puzeled over all this contadicting information. It seems that the model named Beast doesent exist anymore. On the Nordica www site I find something called the speedmashine that has a bigger flex index but looks like the Beast in slightly different colour.

My boots shells have been enlargened, the innershoue modified and the regular insole swapped for the Conformables I had for 14y in my old Dynafits. The new insoles made for me last year were simply terrible. They are thick and not shaped at all the way my old were. They also made the boots much smaller. But if you are able to fit your 29,5 foot into a 28 of any sort I think I have a mental problem. If I take the inner shoue out and put my foot inside I can barely slid a finger behind my heel. Is that ok? How should I feel about the elastic bottom of the boot?
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