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Zipfit Liners

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Boots: Lange L10 world cup (heavily punched,ground etc.)
Foot: narrow, low volume
Liner: not sure which Zipfit, has leather lining and green nylon exterior

I got the Zipfit at the end of Jan. out in Utah. The initial feeling was "this feels rubbery" when on snow. One quickly gets used to it though, but it is a different feeling from standard liners. They probably are a little colder than a normal liner, they do feel a little clammy.
The problem with my previous liner is that even after massive amounts of foam glued and ground (partic. in cuff area) I just didn't have a good fit. Well, the fit would be great until you skied in it a little bit and it just got sloppier and sloppier.

So I tried the zipfits. To fit a zipfit you measure the inside of the shell and then get the appropriate liner to fit. Then you heat up the shell (not completely necessary) and put the zipfit in a microwave (yes) for 40 seconds. The material in the flow packs heats up and when you stick your foot in there it moves around. The advantage is that you can repeat this process many times.

The zipfits for me are great in the cuff area. Their edge to edge quickness due to this cuff transmission was really quite amazing. Ironically, the feature I liked most in the store has turned out to be one of the worst. That's the tongue. In the store I thought it was great- it contacted across the whole shin, not just the middle like most cuffs, so in flexing forward it didn't have that hard spot in the midle of the shin. It almost felt like there was no tongue. Wow, this is great!

Well out on the hill skiing it often does feel like there is no tongue! This is because the tongue is so wimpy. Looking at it closely it's probably the softest tongue I've ever had in a boot-it bends forward quite easily. The section above the cuff bends forward or rolls over the cuff way too easily. In my previous liners I got rid of a Nordica foam tongue I used to have because it was too stiff and went back to the stock Dobermann tongue which turned out much better. This zipfit tongue is so soft though it becomes a problem when you run into clumps of snow or are skiing difficult terrain. (As in Alta in Jan.- the first day on the zipfits which was a little bit of a nightmare.)

What annoys me is I violated the "never get major boot stuff while away on vacation" motto. I'd made this mistake before at Taos with a foam liner. With these zipfits I ended up having to get them stretched back here. I got some frostbite on the tip of my big toes and will loose one nail mainly because they were a bit short.

I think if you don't need to fill up volume they probably could be great (as many people attest). In my case I think I needed to fill a little more volume than they're capable of. The tongue issue though will really depend on the boot it's going in and how the tongue is supported by the plastic in front. I notice in mine there's a bit of a gap in the middle between the tongue and the plastic. Still, where the tongue sticks above the cuff, it just rolls over with no strength at all.

If I was skiing out west, I'd would immediately have to solve the tongue problem or get rid of these liners. As it is here I can get away with solving the problem a bit more slowly. I suppose one test of a product is if there was a "money back gurantee" would you return it? In this case yes, I would. They do some things great, but overall I don't find it worth it. I'd use the money to try a different path- foam which isn't smooth sailing either but...
post #2 of 6
I'll stick with my ZipFits. They're at least as warm as what I had before, and the shaft does translate to better lateral stiffness. I have no idea what that tongue thing is about because I haven't experienced anything like it. The leather lining does not feel at all "clammy", and is smooth enough so I can get my foot into and out from the boot more easily. The imprssion is of a "close to the shell" feel, but quite comfortable. I previously had my boot buckles relocated to be looser - moved them further to the inside. Since the ZipFits take up less space than the previous multi-duct-taped liner, I'll have the buckles moved back to their original positions to make the fit snugger. Right now, I need to go to the tightest notch to get it right on the top two buckles, and I think the micro-adjustable buckles could be better adjusted if I had more choice.

When I can, I'd like to get more work done on them. My left foot is a discernably higher volume than my right, and my right has an area which can use more "stuff" - and I understand that the "stuff" can be injected.

Would I return them if I could? NO! Would I get them again? YES! Would I also try another method of boot customization? Oh, you know me - I'll buy and try and number of things! Of course I would . . . and probably will . . . try something else in ADDITION to the ZipFit but not necessarily in place of.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oboe, glad they worked out for you though it sounds like they still need a bunch of customizing. Buckles maxed out is not a good sign. This is what is highly misleading about the zipfits- just microwave and all will be well. Of course I "knew" this couldn't be true, I just "chose"to forget about it. I just chalk it up to research so it's no big deal except this year there is no research budget.

One thing about the leather. We were told that it would be extremely difficult to take the boots off at lunch once the leather gets damp. I did not find this to be the case at all. Actually they're somewhat easier to get off than the old liners.

Now to find out about the "reinjecting" process. My impression is that they cut a small hole in the packs and squirt some more stuff in there.
post #4 of 6
Perhaps I described it wrong, Tog - the buckles are not "maxed" out, but they're just the opposite. It's a small matter, and even if no other work ever is done on them, they're a lot better than what I had before. A "touch" of injection in one place would meake them perfect, but I can live without it. So basically, they could benefit from but don't need a little messing with, but certainly don't require a "whole bunch".

I understand that, of the others who got the ZipFits in Utah, most like them and at least one other doesn't. Hey, folks are different, and we never know until we try.
post #5 of 6

Sorry to hear that you're not satisfied with your Zipfit liners. As Oboe pointed out, we are all different. At this point, I would have to say that I am very happy with mine and would recommend them .... along with the custom non-weight bearing foot beds Steve made me.

I agree that they have a different 'feel' than a normal liner, but I wouldn't necessarily call it "clammy". I think I can relate to what you're describing, but to me it is not an uncomfortable and/or moist feeling as I would associate with a clammy feeling. To me it feels as though the liner is contoured to my foot and 'firmly' holding it. But, definitely not the soft feel of a traditional liner, and it doesn't really yield when I try to move my foot .... sorta feels like having your hand in a perfectly fitting leather glove that is surrounded with foam. Nonetheless, if it feels clammy and uncomfortable to you, then I can understand your displeasure.

Where do you need to take up volume?? Could be wrong here, but as I understand it, those two tabs on either side of the tongue right above your instep are openings where additional flow material can be injected. I got the impression that this was an entry point for a needle type injector that could reach in and squirt (highly technical term) the material where it is needed. Additionally, on the front of tongue is an opening, I believe is for the same purpose .... right at the top-center of the plastic, you'll see a break in the stitching that attaches it to the tongue padding. Again, injecting with a needle type apparatus would let you put the material in the tongue where you need it.

Wimpy tongue ..... yeah, I can see that if your shell has no provision for support in the area. My shells have a continuous tongue of their own that starts from the first buckle on the toe and comes up to the top of the cuff ... it extends about a 1/4" above the velcro strap on the Zipfits (actually makes itself a darn pain when trying to secure that velcro - but, I guess I'll deal with that after hearing your dilema). I have seen several different boots (Technica is one) that come with tongue inserts, to stiffen the area of the tongue you are describing as folding over. Maybe see if you can snag a couple of these, or some different thicknesses of plastic sheet, and simply slide them between the liner tongue and the top buckle (or top two buckles) strap to experiment with. I wouldn't think it would take a very substantial piece of plastic to make a huge difference once you form it into a curved shape. If it works, tack it to your shell and go on your merry way!

Have you talked with Steve since you bought the liners? Seems like a good fitter could handle the volume and tongue issues, although the clammy thing might be the end all for you.

Good luck,

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Nonetheless, if it feels clammy and uncomfortable to you, then I can understand your displeasure.
This "clammy" thing is almost a non issue as I really don't care about it. I was just attempting to describe the difference to a "regular" liner. I would say they are probably not as warm as a stock liner but is that a factor here? Not really. I didn't get frostbite because it wasn't warm enough but because it was too short. When the toe contacts the liner it pushes the blood out of the tip and makes it even more susceptible.

The tongue solution you described is one I'm thinking about myself. I have an older tongue (that was too stiff actually) that I could take the plastic off and mount at least part of it to the other tongue.

I think the upshot is that some people's feet need way more work than others. To expect to be able to just pop that baby in the micro and put it on and to have everything hunky dory is, in my experience for my feet, a pipe dream. What annoys me is I bought into it when I know better (and actually was once advised that the zipfit would not be good for my situation).

Is the zipfit the be all and end all in bootfitting? I think not. In fact I know of one shop who just recently returned -all-their zipfit liners. They were tired of having a lot of slack leather in the heel area that ends up wrinkling. I believe I'll try foam again though that has it's own problems.
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