The liner in your ski boot is the foam and fabric that conforms to your foot. You used to have to ski several times before your liner would break in and match up with the shape of your foot. These days, however, many liners feature material that is molded by heat.
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Custom Thermal-Formable Foam
Look for liners that feature custom thermal-formable foam to gain an instant fit. You need an artificial heat source to fit these liners to your foot. This process is usually done at a ski shop by a boot fitter. However, you can fit the liner yourself using an oven or hot-air blower. Many of these are a wrap-around style with no tongue. High-end versions have extra material in the heel area for a stiffer fit. This is your priciest option; the more thermal-formable foam your liner has, the more it is likely to cost. This option is especially useful if one of your feet is larger than the other.
Regular Thermal-Formable Foam
If price is a major consideration, you still can get liners that conform to your foot relatively quickly. Such liners feature thermal-formable foam that relies on your foot’s heat to achieve a custom fit. It takes a day or two of skiing to break them in.
If you are looking for extra warmth, seek a molded foam liner with a down toe box. While not heat-moldable, these liners are constructed by molding foot sections and liner tongues individually. You might prefer standard liners if you are seeking a stiffer fit, which makes for better power transmission. Another alternative to heat-moldable liners is a custom injection-molded liner. The injected foam sets more firmly than the thermal-formable foam. You’ll find this option in manufacturers’ higher performance models. Good lateral support helps you avoid ankle pain, notes Martin Heckelman in “The New Guide to Skiing.”
Another consideration in a ski boot liner is weight. Some are more lightweight than others. Generally, the lighter the weight, the higher the cost. You can find other bells and whistles as well, such as quick-drying liners and liners made with anti-microbial material.
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