A ski boot can generally be broken down into 3 different components. The outer shell the inner boot and the insole inside the inner boot.
The plastic outer shell is the chassis of the boot. This gives you the driving force through the binding and will help dictate how well you control the skis. This will only work efficiently if the boots are the correct size and ability level for the skier.
The inner boot is in contact with the foot and lower leg and is designed for comfort and warmth.
The insole is a comfort layer under the foot.
Ski boot liners need to be snug when the boots are new as they are only going to’ pad out’ and get bigger with use. Too many customers buy boots purely on the comfort aspect, which generally means they are too big. Once they are used for a week they end up with the foot moving around and then over tighten the closure buckles which causes cramps and restricted blood flow leading to cold feet, numb feet or pins and needles !!
Most standard alpine ski boots come with inner boots that are heat mouldable. This means that they can be placed on a heating device in the shop which warms the inner boot up. Layers of foam around the ankle area will expand with the heat. When the customer then walks around the shop the inner will bed down to their feet especially in the ankle area. This is the initial customisation, as all inners will naturally bed down to your feet whilst skiing anyway.
A majority of ski touring/mountaineering boots are sold with a fully thermo mouldable inner boot. The advantages are that they are naturally lighter, warmer and more comfortable. 100 % of the inner will conform to the foot and lower leg during the fitting process. The fitting of these types of inner boots are more technical and time consuming. The whole inner boots goes into a heating oven for around 10 mins. Whist they are ‘cooking’, the shop will make a customised insole, place neoprene toe caps onto the customers feet and also pad out any potential pressure points on the feet. The toe caps are designed to push your foot back into the back of the boot and eventually leave plenty of space for your toes to move once they are removed.
When the inner boots have been heated the insole is placed inside the warm inner, the customers foot placed into the inner and the inner boot is then covered with an elasticated stocking to hold everything in place. The foot and inner are then pushed into the shell and the ski boot buckles closed.
The customer is then required to walk around the shop with the ski boot in the ‘walk mode’ position to help pack out the mouldable material. After about 15 mins the inner will have cooled down sufficiently for the inner to be removed and all padding including the toe caps taken off the foot.
Once the foot has recovered the boot is then placed back on the foot and the customer asked to walk around to ensure that the fit is correct and comfortable.
These fully thermo mouldable inners are available for any make, model and size of alpine ski boot. There are more expensive but are generally more comfortable, lighter and warmer.
They do need to be fitted correctly by a ‘specialised ski shop’ which has the correct heating oven.
Ski boot liners can easily be replaced. There are various reasons why they may need to be replaced, these include packing out too much, melting the inners whilst drying by a radiator or very commonly, the inners being eaten by mice whilst left in the loft or garage.
If the inners have packed out too much the customer can no longer tighten the boots sufficiently. This can lead to loose heels or the foot slopping around inside the inner leading to lack of control of the skis.
We stock a range of ski boot inners that will make your boots feel like new again. We cannot stock every size of every model. Call 01539 734701 to enquire if we have an inner that is suitable for your requirements.
We stock the following:
Nordica Ski Boot Liners
Tecnica Ski Boot Liners
Lange Ski Boot Liners
Salomon Ski Boot Liners
Sidas have created a mouldable ski boot liner in the form of their Sidas Conforfit Premium Range.