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Heat Moulded Liners or Foam Injection?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Firstly, thanks to everyone who has offered their advice regarding new ski boots. I've just booked an appointment with Profeet, who are boot fitters in London which is 260 miles from where I live but i'm determined to get the job done properly this time.

My question now is that obviously whichever boots are recommended they will have heat mouldable liners but as I don't really want to go and see them again and I am trying to achieve the ultimate fit, should I insist on the more expensive full foam injected liners?

Again thanks to everyone who has replied to my previous question.
post #2 of 19
260 miles?: You probably love skiing just as we do!

Why are you so worried about the liner the boot comes with?

I think that neither the foam injected liners nor the heat mouldable ones provide the "ultimate fit". IMO what matters is how thin the liner is.
post #3 of 19
I've learned this the hard way, injection foam liners are NOT the ultimate solution. They help, but you still need a proper fitting job, and that may involve a shell that's close to, but not exactly what you need, and then having work done on the shell to customize it to your foot. I had injection foam done on my new boots last year. The shell was just a bit too big and I decided with the guy I was working with that the rest of the roominess could be taken up by a good foam injection that gave a great mold of my foot/ankle. It worked at first, but the fit wasn't ideal. I would have been better off with a smaller shell that was too snug, and have certain areas of the shell punched out to make room.
Also, injecting foam is not foolproof. In my case, the injection on the tongue wasn't done all that well. The guy tried to back-inject through the ejection tube, but that didn't work too well and caused other problems (a bolus of hard foam above my foot that hurt like hell on the mountain).

Injection is NOT a science and does not always work out perfectly.
I thought it was the ultimate solution. I was wrong.

Going for a slightly smaller fit and having it punched out after a couple of trying it on the mountain, I believe now, is the only way to do it. The risk of getting a shell too big when shooting for the ideal fit so that you don't have to come back for work is not worth it. A shell too big is useless. A shell a hair too small can be worked on.
post #4 of 19
I'm leaning toward foam, but it really does depend more on the fitter than the technique.

You had better COUNT ON going back. In order to get a good fit, unless you are very fortunate to match their last exactly, you have to start with a really tight shell and stretch it out in the proper spots AFTER you have skied in the liner for a couple of days. Starting with a small shell and not going back works performance-wise, but is painful. You don't have to be in pain to have decent control. It's worth the effort to get it done right.
post #5 of 19
can you loose some excess space in a boot when u form fit (heat mold). Cause someone told me that it makes your boots tighter : .
post #6 of 19
I just remembered. In Jeff Bergeron's opinion, foam injected liners cause a lack of feedback from the boot. If you want to look for this statement, check out his '06 thread. I would not spend 300$+ for a pair of foam injected liners. They are way too expensive IMO.

With regards to heat mouldable liners, IMO it's hype. Where did you hear they are better than the others? There are some companies which have various heat mouldable liners. Tecnica's Hot Form comes to mind. It costs more than the Ultrafit liners. IMO this is another useless feature.

If i were in your place i would spend a lot more time thinking about the folks at profeet or whatever it's called. Pray for a good bootfitter If you are lucky to find one, this can make a world of difference.
post #7 of 19
I have been molding my own thermoflexes for 10+ years..I have been blessed with easy feet.
post #8 of 19
I spent my morning at the Backcountry Store in Truckee this morning doing final fitting and cooking the Garmont Adrenaline boots. For me it was worth the service fee, and the fit really seemed to come together well. Before fitting I tried on alternative sizes and definitely eliminated any doubt I had picked the right one. I have never had a custom orthodic, my alignmnet is correct without shims, cants or cuff adjustments.

I don't suppose this is very helpful to Jack, but at least I got to say, I spent my morning in the mountains at the ski store
post #9 of 19
A fat cushy foam liner in a too big shell is one man's version of a custom-foamed boot.
A tight fitting shell with extremely dense rock-hard foam in the liner is another.

edit: just ask Daron Rahlves. http://www.redbullcopilot.com/
post #10 of 19
I molded my own & have found better luck in my kitchen, than in any shop!
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
A fat cushy foam liner in a too big shell is one man's version of a custom-foamed boot.
A tight fitting shell with extremely dense rock-hard foam in the liner is another.

edit: just ask Daron Rahlves. http://www.redbullcopilot.com/
VERY cool website, especially for those who aren't familiar with racing.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemosyne's lobotomy
...injection foam liners are NOT the ultimate solution. They help, but you still need a proper fitting job, and that may involve a shell that's close to, but not exactly what you need, and then having work done on the shell to customize it to your foot. ...

... A shell too big is useless. A shell a hair too small can be worked on.

Take these comments to heart. Overall, I prefer foam or silicon injected boots because they provide excellent comfort and precise control. For me, this is the only way I have been able to get high performance boots for my narrow, low-volume feet. I have had less success with heat-formed liners.

The successful boot starts with the outer shell. If you have a good boot tech, he/she will implicitly know to get you into a tight, slightly too small (in width) outer shell. Careful stretching and grinding can make the rigid outer boot fit your foot shape. Done properly, you should be able to ski the uninjected foam liner for a couple days to pack it out. (Of course, this may not be very comfortable, but it gives a better final fit after the injection.) If the outer boot is a reasonable fit, good control should be possible without the foam fit.

Fitting foam and silicon injection liners is an art. Over the past 16 years my local shop (in Wash, DC) has made up one foam fitted boot and three silicon injected boots for me—all of which were very comfortable and precise. (The tongue seems to be the most important single element in a good fit.) During this same period, I've had friends who were fitted with foam or injected boots in a well-advertised ski shop chain in western ski country and were very unhappy with their fits. In short, it’s the skill and knowledge of your tech that matters most.

Good luck!
Jeff
post #13 of 19
Jack, if you're thinking of going the custom liner route & Profeet do Zipfits then I'd recommend them over foam injection - I've had both and found Zipfits much better - I've gone with them in my last several pairs of boots. In addition the fit in Zipfits gets better over time whereas the opposite tends to be the case with foam.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I have been molding my own thermoflexes for 10+ years..I have been blessed with easy feet.
Though vastly less knowledgable than Phil, I too have learned how to heat my own liners and it's wonderful. I can re-heat any time. I have a convection oven, which makes things easy.

We talked about it here:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=22083
post #15 of 19
[quote=mnemosyne's lobotomy]

"Injection is NOT a science and does not always work out perfectly.
I thought it was the ultimate solution. I was wrong."

It didn't work for me either; fortunately, Surefoot gave me my money back.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Seems to be a lot of mixed opinions, maybe I should buy both!

Still not decided but at least I'm getting to know all the pro's and cons before I buy my boots.

Should be the most informed client Profeet have had by the end of this!

Cheers fellas keep the opinions coming.

Jack
post #17 of 19
Jack - As you can tell from others, foam liners are not really a panacea. I've skied on both heat moldable (Thermoflex liners) and ZipFits, which I purchased last season.

The ZipFits, in my case, are far superior in fit. You may want to consider them. They utilize a silicon/cork based material that, if necessary, is injected into areas of the liner to imporve fit. This worked best for me as I have a low volume foot. Of course, as others have stated, finding a good fitter is key.
post #18 of 19

My Experience with Injected foam liners

I have a narrow, 94-97mm, forefoot width. Ended up getting Injected foam liners though was seriously considering Zipfit. I’ve now had two sets in two seasons. These were Tecnica’s house liner of a few years ago. and what I experienced hopefully would not be the same with Conformable brand liners. With the first set, the Right one seemed to degenerate its firm fit over not too many hours of skiing; looser and looser. The Left only a bit. So, the shop owner called and Tecnica sent another pair. I relined the following year. The Right liner leaked foam as the pressure of injecting intesified. Considerable padding was done to effect fit. The left liner required no padding. Fit being good after initial pack-out, the big problem I’ve faced is they are cold. Not a problem I’ve experienced with other boots unless I over-tightened them.



Cold when the ambient is below twenties, plenty cool in the twenties & cool in the thirties. Quite comfortable, when skiing in the 40 to 60 degree ranges



In trying to ensure that I wasn’t over tight with my boots, thus in some way restricting blood (heat) flow, I skied toO loose one day; which packed them out, at least one, if not two buckle notches. I’ve looked into heaters. Hotronic and Therm-ic both have very good reputation. I’m going that route. Having narrow feet can be rather expensive.



I’ve had considerable experience with ‘Fitters’; they are quite a variable, in knowledge and expertise. And it can be pot-luck as to who is working that particular moment.. I’ve tried to utilize those on the Americas Best Boot Fitters list, which besides being a marketing tool gives indication there has been some training done. It has been interesting. Study up so you know a bit.



Zipfit’s web site talks of warming the liner and boot before skiing, which may lend itself to condos, particularly slope-side, but not so well to the motel, breakfast on the way, 20-30 minute or more drive, put’um on in the parking lot set or similar. Which asks the question, what’s the toast factor of Zipfits?



Are these liners characteristically cold?, cool?, neutral?, or warm? in relation to Standard Stock Liners?- in relation to Foam? I’m throwing that out at the readership for possible answer, and for you to question. I’ve don’t recall hearing any bad reviews about Zipfits, or the burrito wrap type either.



Good-Luck, noah
post #19 of 19
Hello Jack,

Well, as some Bears said earlier, foam injected liners have disadvantages. Not as warm as heat moulded liners supplied by your boot manufacturer - although for the record I didnt experience problems with that as I skied with Zipfits in late March - abt +12C in the sun - and then in July when temp was around 0-4C. In colder weather injected liners become harder (uncomfortably hard at times). They (Zipfits) make the boot stiffer too, so keep that in mind with regard to where you like to ski (what terrain) and how. But the main thing for me was that while Zipfit undoubtedly was a massive improvement on/in what I had (a large boot) it still did not quite give the same tight fit as the new pair of boots with standard heat liner which I bought later. Because the new pair was half a size smaller. And that takes me back to several earlier posts in this thread - seek a VERY tight fitting shell ("correctly" tight, tight in the right places). there have been many threads on Epic earlier re boot fit (back in summer i believe or even earlier), you will find some very useful tips there.
good luck.
A
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