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Foamed Boots?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
In 40 years of skiing, I've never had ski boots that I've loved - or even liked. Regardless of the boots, fittings, orthotics, punching, and pads, all have pinched, pained and molested my feet.

I yearn for snug boots; at fit that promptly transfers the slightest impulse to my skis.

A local boot fitter, with years of experience at Surefit and Footloose, assures me that foam bladders will satisfy my quest, and cure my ills (pronation, knock-kneed, canting requirements, etc.).

Another fitter told me that foamed boots are hard and uncomfortable - only suitable for racers seeking the ultimate in performance, regardless of comfort.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 22
newer foams are softer and warmer, but are still stiff, hard and cold.

great fit, should make the fit correct, and can be comfortable

like the "other fitter" said they are for the ultimate in performance. if you want that great. enjoy them

might go with a plug boot too....
post #3 of 22
my experience for what it's worth: Noooo. don't do it. spent years in misery with foamed boots. It wasn't just that the foam was hard, because it wasn't really. but it didn't fit properly either. It's very hard to get your foot in exactly the right position, so the foam can easily end up in the wrong place(s).
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato

Another fitter told me that foamed boots are hard and uncomfortable - only suitable for racers seeking the ultimate in performance, regardless of comfort.

Any thoughts?

I have used foam over the years. I think it works great unless a change is needed afterwards. If your foot has a tendencey to change ie. weight change, that can be a problem. Foam is colder and it also can make a boot too stiff. I like the fit but would avoid foam in the future if I could. My foot changes too much.

I have used Hot Form from Technica and that system can deal with the changes that occur better than foam. It is not as good but it will improve fit.
post #5 of 22
Have you considered ZipFit liners? These are aftermarket liners that allow a custom fit by injecting a cork/silicone based material into the liner. I have a pair and they're working quite nicely.
post #6 of 22
My experience with foamed liners was not good either, and I had one of the best bootfitters on the east coast do it twice! The first time the foam was simply too tight! The second time it went to the wrong places and there were hot spots all over the place. My foot was never comfortable, nor was the fit ever even close.

I am happy now in Lange Comp 120 LF that have been punched and tweaked as you would say. Keep trying, it took me many years to finally find the right fit. I finally ended up doing the work myself in my basement bootfitting workshop. Gordo
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks all! It seem that the upshot is thumbs down. Very good to know!!

I'll proceed with greater reservation, and perhaps investigate other options (Intuition, Zip Fit and others).

Thanks again for the sage input!
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_steep
Have you considered ZipFit liners? These are aftermarket liners that allow a custom fit by injecting a cork/silicone based material into the liner. I have a pair and they're working quite nicely.
I went to the the ZipFit liner website and it appears that some of their liners are inserted into the boot WITH your foot already inside the liner?? Am I reading that correctly?... That you put the liner on your foot first, and then insert both into the shell? It doesn't seem possible to do that with some shell designs. Gordo
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordopost
I went to the the ZipFit liner website and it appears that some of their liners are inserted into the boot WITH your foot already inside the liner?? Am I reading that correctly?... That you put the liner on your foot first, and then insert both into the shell? It doesn't seem possible to do that with some shell designs. Gordo
Nordica speed mashine used to be like that the first year it came arround.
post #10 of 22
I've had both. If you have wierd feet (bumps in all the wrong places), then a foamed liner might be the way to go. However foam is not a replacement for custom bootwork (punching out the shell, etc). You still need a good boot fitter. I think the best way to go would be with a good reccommended fitter who has a lot of experience with foamed boots.
post #11 of 22
Sorry that I have to spoil this thread but I happen to love foam liners. Had them for almost 20y in two different boots and they were perfect. Now I had to switch to hot foam liners and although the salesman tried his best to convince me they would be much better than foam the fact is that its the other way arround. You cannot beat foam for fit. No freeking way. Disclaimer, you also need to make some extensive molding to your shells sometimes.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Sorry that I have to spoil this thread but I happen to love foam liners. ...
Agreed. I've had foam since the mid 80's for a reason ... can never go back.
post #13 of 22
Used to be you could vary the density of the foam quite a bit by the amount of foam packed into the liners. Mine were "race-fitted" with a couple of extra cartridges of foam per liner, the resulting liner was rock-hard and stiffened up the boot quite a bit, but the location of all the holes and bumps for ankle bones, etc. were in exactly the right place. The only problem was I never went back to get the toebox punched out. My old custom foamed "raceboots" fit the description of Daren Rahlves' boots, except mine were Koflachs. I was so pleased with the performance that I didn't bring them back in for final fitting until it was too late. As I got older I decided I didn't need the race performance and brought them in. Unfortunately, when I did the shop had gone belly up (another life ruined by cocaine so the rumor was). Another shop tried to fix them for me but to no avail.

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...hlight=redbull
post #14 of 22
My boots have foam liner and have been punched in toe.

Awesome fit; best fitting boot I've owned in almost 30 years.

Stiffer / harder? Yes, but not bothersome. I like the snug fit and fact they don't pack out as easy.
post #15 of 22
The problem with foam is they are a one shot deal and it is either right or wrong. Modern foam kits are much easier to deal with and tend to come out better more often. You may run into trouble if your heel or forefoot barely leaves enough room for the foam to flow around.

The key is to find a guy who does lots of foam and is good at it. I've done several and it generally went ok but it takes some detailed setup to get it right and it's easy to miss something minor with big implications. Guys who do lots of foam liners are few and far between but if done right they can solve problems.
post #16 of 22
foam injected boots are good for those who know what they're good for.

foam injection used to be much more common. then someone created the precursor to the cork/silicon gel type of "flow" mixture used in the ZipFits, and foaming died out with flow packs taking up the bulk of the "precise fit" duties. but soon enough the mfrs realized that softer "low memory foam" could be the padding, without injection and all that finicky flow-moving with heat guns, etc., and since these newer simpler liner boots were cheaper the precise fit sorta went out the window. at that point, only foam boot fanatics kept doing it.

the renaissance in plug/consumer plug boots reminds me somewhat of a return to those older days when good foot/shell relations weren't so rare.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_steep
Have you considered ZipFit liners? These are aftermarket liners that allow a custom fit by injecting a cork/silicone based material into the liner. I have a pair and they're working quite nicely.
I just posted a review on the new Plug Leather ZipFit. FWIW, Bud Heishman will be carrying these in his shop in Reno. I have skied foam. These are way better, in my opinion, since they will continue to conform to my feet.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordopost
I went to the the ZipFit liner website and it appears that some of their liners are inserted into the boot WITH your foot already inside the liner?? Am I reading that correctly?... That you put the liner on your foot first, and then insert both into the shell? It doesn't seem possible to do that with some shell designs. Gordo
If I can do this with my XTs, trust me when I say that pretty much anyone can do it with theirs. However, you don't have to do that. I found it much easier with the XTs, since the ZipFits were just too snug for me to get my foot into the XTs with the ZipFits already in them.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Sorry that I have to spoil this thread but I happen to love foam liners. Had them for almost 20y in two different boots and they were perfect. Now I had to switch to hot foam liners and although the salesman tried his best to convince me they would be much better than foam the fact is that its the other way arround. You cannot beat foam for fit. No freeking way. Disclaimer, you also need to make some extensive molding to your shells sometimes.
Used to be that I'd agree with you, but not anymore. The newer style liners (ZipFit, etc.) are much better than foam, IMO. Not stock liners, though. No way.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Used to be that I'd agree with you, but not anymore. The newer style liners (ZipFit, etc.) are much better than foam, IMO. Not stock liners, though. No way.
I dont know anything about the zipfit but the hotfoam liners I have in my nordicas or in any other brand boot cannot possibly be compared to true foam liners. There is good and bad in everything but when it comes to best possible fit foam cannot be beaten. Maybe in an equation consisting of parameters such as availability, money, fit etc. something else might beat foam but for the best fit nothing compares to foam. IMHO offcourse. So why do I have my original hotfoam liners then? Because a smooth talking salesman convinced me that the hotfoam would be much much better and because I could not get a top of the line bootfitter to make me foam liners where I live. But I will as soon as I head to the alps .

I need to investigate in the zipfit because they might be a good option.
post #21 of 22
I hated the original Lange foam liners in my 140s - my boot guy (very experienced) had problems with one of them when fitting and it was very painful to ski on. Both liners were hard and not very comfortable. A boot tech in New Zealand made some mods to the liner for me that made it possible to ski with without too much pain but then the fit was not right and basically the liner ended up ruined.

My boot guy replaced the liners with Atomic foam liners last season and they're great. The Atomic foam is a little softer and I can comfortably leave my boots on all day without releasing the buckles. They fit my bony feet well and perform really well. They haven't markedly stiffened up the boots.

I tried on a bunch of boots before going for the custom foam ones and am now glad that I did because they work very well for me. I would have given the opposite opinion though if asked when the Lange liners were in because even the one that did fit well was hard and not very comfortable. I must say though that I have hard feet to fit and so wouldn't bother with custom foams if standard liners fitted me well.

cheers

Closh - in snowless Australia
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by closh
I hated the original Lange foam liners in my 140s ... liners were hard and not very comfortable ... My boot guy replaced the liners with Atomic foam liners last season and they're great. The Atomic foam is a little softer and I can comfortably leave my boots on all day without releasing the buckles.
Heh heh ... all kinds of tastes out there. I just replaced my Conformable foam liners, which were nice and hard, with some stock Atomic foam liners that I find too soft and plush. I'm already thinking about going back to another set of Conformables ...
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