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Custom Ski Boot Liners | Which One Should You Buy?

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Conformable VS. Intuition

I should start out by saying that either of these products will be a 100% improvement over the stock liner that comes with your boots. Each product has their own pros and cons, so it will be up to you to decide which one better fits your desired results. I should also say that each of these products requires a proper custom footbed to hold your foot in the right position within your ski boot. Finally, have a professional bootfitter “build” your custom ski boot liners. Don’t leave it to some kid woking in a ski shop in Atlanta or Dallas.

 

Conformable

sidassport.com

Conformable ski boot liners are made by injecting liquid chemicals into an empty liner. The chemicals react with one another and expand within the confines of the ski boot. Over the course of a few minutes the liquids turn to foam, expand, and harden. This process creates a mold of your foot, which then becomes the guts of your liner. The process can be very uncomfortable due to the high pressure but the result is a firm liner that gives you a tight, high performance fit.

Pros:

  • High Performance Fit
  • Very long life span

Cons:

  • Difficult to break in
  • Notoriously cold
  • Feels very stiff

Intuition

intuitionliners.com

Intuition liners are molded by heating the liner up to 245 degrees fahrenheit. The heat makes the foam malleable and allows the liner to mold to the foot. Since the amount of foam within the liner is preset, Intuitions are unable to provide the sung fit of a Conformable liner. However, Intuition liners provide a softer feel and greater warmth.

Pros:

  • Very warm
  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to get on and off

Cons:

  • Can feel a bit sloppy
  • Tends to pack out quickly

 

There is another type of custom liner known as a Zipfit, but I have never used them and can not speak of their comfort or performance. 

 

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22 comments
  • tpnwv

    Comformable liners were great 20 years ago before EPA requirements downgraded the foam quality Sidas could use. The key fit back then was the foam tongues that were like power steering, gone today.

  • Ulti-Gape

    Foot Bed is Crucial. I have had a bunch as I am sure many of the readers here have, but I have to say that my surefoot foot beds were so unsupportive my foot actually pronated while skiing and it has been the derivative of some excessive pinky toe destruction. The problem was fixed when put in a temporary shim under the arch (somewhere under there). Surefoot’s liners however are supper nice, but cold. I mixed the liners with a pair of more supportive foot beds and now I have a dialed ride.

    TO each his own foot on this one, so go to a boot fitter. Make sure he/she sees the advantages/disadvantages of both liners too cause they are so ridiculously snoby/biased and will sell you what ever they have typically, which will either be surefoot at surefoot or intuition and zipfit everywhere else.

  • Local Mounter

    I took this information about the Zip Fit liners off our shops website.

    My boss lives and dies by his Zip Fit liners, however, you must have a great shell and the shell size must be fitted properly to your foot FIRST before buying a replacement liner (no matter what brand).

    “ZipFit liners are filled with a material kind ‘a like “Silly Putty”. It’s a bit different but the concept is the same…It molds to the shape of your foot. It physically moves to conform to all the nooks, crannies and curves of your foot. Just like Silly Putty, when you press on it with your thumb, it conforms to the shape of your thumb but instead of your thumb it’s your foot! The result is an extremely accurate imprint of your foot inside the boot shell. It results in the most amazing fit…. Super comfortable… very intimate… very little slop.
    One of the great things about this custom liner verses other custom lines, is that you know how it will fit before you purchase the liner. Because you can wear it around in the shop for as long as you want. With other custom liners such as “foam injected liners”, you have no way of knowing how they will fit until after you’ve injected them with foam and at that point, you’re fully committed to purchasing them and your options are some what limited as far as customization at that point. So you are basically stuck with them.

    Other things to note about ZipFit liners:
    1) The flow material in made of ground-up cork. Cork is a fantastic insulator, keeping your feet warmer. Plus cork is a sustainable product.
    2) The flow never gets hard. So, if you change shells or your foot changes it will remold to your foot.
    3) The flow does not change or move by itself. It takes pressure to make the fit change. So once the liner has molded to your foot, it will not change on it’s own.
    4) The liner has soft lambs wool sewn around the entire toe area! Further enhancing warmth.
    5) Flow material can be added if you find that the boot is to loose.

    I’ve had all of the other types of custom liners (e.g. foam injected and thermo moldable) and ZipFit are hands down the BEST!”

  • Boot Builder

    Disclaimer: I am a professional boot-fitter and certified pedorthist and also ride for Intuition.

    First off, the Intuition Dreamliner IS NOT the best choice for any hard charging skier. The HD Race, FX Race, Pro Tour or even one of the 3 Powerwrap liners are better suited to the more advanced skier that spends a lot of time on the mountain. The one caveat regarding the Wrap liners is that they can affect some skiers alignment due to the extra material at the overlap. Generally speaking however, this is rarely an issue.
    While it is true that they will tend to pack out faster than the other custom liners, they can be re-heated and brought back a bit. This also allows for more custom fitting should the skiers feet change or develop issues after the initial fitting (the company doesn’t support the claim of being able to re-heat the liners, but in my experience you can).
    The key to a good Intuition fit is going to an experienced fitter that won’t overheat the liners, which makes them very hard and pretty much ruins them!

    The Conformable liners are great for some fits, however, they are ONE AND DONE, meaning that once the foam is shot, any additional work to relieve problems requires extensive surgery to open the liners and grind/remove the foam. They do still offer a true custom fit and are especially beneficial to skiers with low-volume feet. Racers really like them as they do provide the most crisp steering response, at the expense of warmth and overall comfort. They do continue to offer foam tongues, but most shops don’t stock them.

    Zip-Fits are also a great option and do provide a much better fit over a stock liner. I like the fact that they can be remolded several times without any impact on the overall fit.

    The bottom line is to find a competent, trained, professional boot-fitter, have a custom footbed made and go with your fitters suggestions regarding the boot/liners best suited for your needs.

    • Brent Amsbury

      Note: I am also a professional bootfitter and certified pedorthist with 30 plus years of ski boot fitting experience.

      There are other options out there, and the BD (BootDoc) Quick Foam liner
      that is now being sold by shops could be the best of both worlds.
      While the Conformable has been popular with some fitters, the foam used for this system has been known to be very firm and the injection pressure very high
      which sometimes causes the ski boot shell to distort during the process resulting in a fit that is way too tight. Especially when using a 110 or lower flex ski boot shell.
      The BD Quick Foam system uses a proprietary injection process that puts the foam material into the shell as a liquid, before it catalyzes and expands, therefore it only uses the amount of foam needed to fill all the voids around the foot. The result is lower pressure, reduction of a misfit due to shell distortion, and a complete cast of the foot. The extra bonus is that the foam is not hard.
      A much more supple and forgiving foam is used, so the feel is like a dense stock liner or even an Intuition, just very custom.
      For those who need complete heel and ankle snugness and want a good balance of comfort and warmth, the BD Quick Foam liner system is hard to beat.
      I’ve foamed a lot of liners during my career as a fitter, and this system is top notch. Lot’s of happy skiers last season.

      • tpinwv

        Is there a US list of dealers,for Bootdoc, I couldn’t find it on their website, and their WC liner looks great.

  • ann

    The combination of the Surefoot custom liner and orthotic is where it is at! The Surefoot boot fitters know what they are talking about. My feet are more comfortable and warmer then ever.

    • shut up and ski

      yes, but surefoot liners and boots will run an astronomical amount. at least they did in 2003 when I got a pair, I doubt they suddenly got cheap. I say ski with your boots/liners for at least 3-5 years then get a new pair. its cheaper and what everyone did before skiers got so picky. there was no other choice! keep em dry and wear good socks

  • BIG O

    SOREFOOT and ZIPFIT both suck for the money you’re going to drop. Its lame how the nerd bootfitters speak right up about the product they push. Surefoot are heavy and stiff and zipfit cork resin moves around and doesnt provide consistant fit, plus the neoprene toe box is pretty much the whole forefoot, providing very little comfort for the toes. Intuition seems like the best bang for the buck.

  • Davethegoat

    “I took this information about the Zip Fit liners off our shops website.”

    I read that. It reads like it was written (by a ten year old) in less time that it took for me to read it. If the liners are any good, please take this as constructive critisism. Come on guys, put some effort in! ;-)

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