Skiers love to tinker with and worry about their gear. Most skiers have heard some liftline discussions of topics like the ride height of a certain binding, the progressive flex of a boot, or how much tip rocker is ideal on an all-mountain ski. Many hardcore skiers will opt for custom ski boot liners in lieu of the ones that came stock in their boots.
Custom liners have been around for a very long time. These high-end liners sell for up to $500. A couple of the most popular brands are Intuition and ZipFit. Many of us can simply stick a foot in a ski boot, find that it is comfortable, and go skiing. That begs the question. What is the deal with these expensive custom liners?
An article in CMH Heli does a great job explaining the benefits.
Comfort/Warmth: While any mid to high-end ski boot will come with a moldable liner, not all foam is created equal. Stock boots have open-cell or lower-quality closed-cell foam liners. Quality aftermarket liners use a high-end closed cell foam that is easier to mold, provides more warmth/insulation, and is easier to work with following the initial mold. This quality foam also dries out quicker than open-cell foam.
Performance: Custom liners have a stiffer and more precise feel. While most people think boot stiffness is just related to the boot shell, the liner plays a significant role as well. ZipFit uses cork while Intuition uses a stiffer foam that delivers more precise handling and performance…often while saving weight.
Durability: The higher quality materials tend to last longer than a stock liner. In addition, they don’t pack out as quickly.
Custom: Custom is the name of the game. You can get different styles of liners to tailor to your skiing style and needs. When paired with a custom boot fitting, you can achieve the perfect blend of fit and desired performance.
This, of course, is just touching upon the surface of the very complicated realm of boot fitting. This is the tip of the iceberg as they say and you can go down some serious rabbit holes on the matter. Next time you overhear a conversation about these custom liners, you will be armed with just a bit of knowledge.