Custom Plastic Boot Liners - any experience with them?

Posted by: The Lisa

Custom Plastic Boot Liners - any experience with them? - 05/03/05 04:21 PM

Assuming anyone still reads this particular forum at this time of year!
I have bought a pair of Intuition Sports custom boot liners for my Koflachs. They are apparently a lot warmer than the standard Koflach liners.
I will go to a ski shop to get them molded correctly but was curious as to people's experience with them. They seem so flimsy compared to the 'less warm' standard liners. They are much lighter, though - a big plus.
I will use them for mountaineering, although perhaps they will be useful for iceclimbing too.
Thank you,
Posted by: cfa

Re: Custom Plastic Boot Liners - any experience with them? - 05/10/05 07:48 PM

Yeah, i sometimes still glance in here (it's spring snow and ice season out here in the Rockies... ). I just got myself a pair of Scarpa Magics for skiing. They come with custom liners. I've had a little bit of a problem with the fit, but only because they don't make the Magics *quite* small enough for my feet, so my boot fitter had to do some weird stuff to try to *make* the boot smaller (and of course the liner expands into the shell, so...). It being spring, I haven't had a chance to take them out in ultra-cold conditions, but I wore them on top of the Continental Divide at Loveland ski resort on closing day, and my toes were pretty toasty. I'd say they are definitely toastier than the standard liners in my Koflachs (tho' they were a dorky variety called the "lady soft viva," and I don't think they're as warm as normal Koflachs). As I said, I haven't tested them in *truly* cold conditions, but just cuz it's spring doesn't mean it's always warm here in CO, and so far they've served me pretty well. The weight factor definitely wins points with me too, since I'll be using these boots (hopefully) primarily in the backcountry and the less weight the better for going uphill! Of course, YMMV since you're talking about Koflachs instead of ski boots. But that's my .02, for what it's worth...

Posted by: zachres

Re: Custom Plastic Boot Liners - any experience with them? - 05/11/05 07:22 PM

Most thermo-moldable liners don't actually fit perfectly until the second time you bake them.... I typically have mine fit once with no additions, then I go out and wear them a few times. After the resulting blisters and sorenes have dissipated to a reasonable level, I have the boots fit a second time... This time I add a custom foot-bed, and I can intelligently tell my boot-fitter where I'm having problems. This way, he can add and take away material where necessary.

I just went throught this with a pair of Garmont. Mega-Rides... We had to go as far as slightly expanding the toe-box of the shell for my left boot.

You will definitely be warmer than with the stock liners.


Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Custom Plastic Boot Liners - any experience with them? - 05/11/05 07:40 PM

Thanks for the repsonses. Good to know there is snow out there somewhere still! We will definitely get ours fitted in a ski shop - yes there is one in Manhattan that does business all year long.
I am anticipating a wearing-in process so will be wearing them a lot. Always wanted to wear my plastics to the office so now have a reason!
Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Custom Plastic Boot Liners - any experience with them? - 07/05/05 12:07 PM

As a follow-up to my own question, and in case anyone else needs to know in future -
We got our liners heat moulded in a ski shop and it was a simple enough process. Actually, I then helped someone else do this at home using an ordinary kitchen oven.
We all have Koflach Arctic Expe boots and so had to fill in the heel of the plastic shell with foam cut to fit, since the Intuition liners have no footbed structure of their own. Heels cut out of a mousepad worked just fine.
While we wore the liners and boots around as much as possible to ensure a good fit, there was no way to test them in the cold until we actually got to Denali - not ideal but all research pointed to them being warmer than the standard Koflach liners.
Indeed, they were so warm that when we took them off when going to bed we found them to be damp - warm, but damp. Obviously this was due to sweat. We were surprised at this and wondered if this would ever affect their thermal value. On a few occasions some of us had problems with toes feeling cold, usually from standing around after a move or a carry, when we could feel that our feet were damp with sweat. We regularly dried out the liners on the tent loft and dried our socks against our skin within our sleeping bags.
On summit day we put in toe warmers to be safe - it was -20F - and we were mostly comfortable although again some felt a chill creep in on a rest stop while descending.
No system is perfect, obviously, but I was satiisfied with the liners overall - they are definitely warmer and lighter than the standard liners that came with the plastic boots.