The Boot Hell saga continues. If you haven’t ready Boot Hell Part 2, you should. In this episode, I think I’ve reached a final solution.
After buying and using 3 pairs of new boots this season, I found one that I thought would work: The Dynafit Mercury. Alas, I was wrong. Even after numerous stretches and punches at Peaked Sports in Victor, ID and at Teton Mountaineering in Jackson, WY, the boots still hurt both feet at the 6th toe (little toe bunion) and at a bone spur a couple inches behind that. And the longer I walked, the more they hurt.
The Mercury’s hurt so bad, I resorted to using my Dnyafit ZZero boots because they didn’t hurt my feet. And then one day, I had a crazy idea. Why not try the ZZero liners in the Mercury (they are very similar in size and shape). Bingo! I took them out for a tour and was amazed.
It’s the liners dude! However, my ZZero liners were very packed out, so I ordered new Intuition Pro Tour liners. And since I was in a big hurry to try them out, I cooked them myself in our home kitchen convection oven. More on that later, but if you’ve ever had a liner cooked in a shop, then doing it yourself is pretty easy and very satisfying.
Nirvana! It worked! It worked! Any of you with hard-to-fit feet will know what I mean. After several months of frustration and a LOT of $$$, I had ski boots I could ski in all day with no foot pain. I’ve talked to lots of skiers and read lots of blogs where the skier raves about Intuition liners. I’ve even had several pair of them myself. But with each new boot I got, I thought, “How much better can Intuitions be over the stock line?”
The answer, for me, is that stock liners and Intuition liners are not the same thing. Stock liners are a Ford Fiesta. Intuition Liners are a fully loaded Audi A6: high performance and luxurious to ski in.
One big difference is that the Intuition liner forms to your foot like a cast, filling every nook and bulging out where it needs to. Stock liners seem to vaguely form to your foot. One reason for the better fit might be that if you cook a liner in an oven, it is totally pliable mush when it comes out and molds exactly to your foot.
Unfortunately, most shops today, even the reputable ones, use the dual heat guns to heat the liners while they are in the shells. I don’t think that method gets the liner hot enough to form to your foot or to the boot.
Look at these images of both liners to see the difference:
Bottom Line: If your ski boots kill your feet, and punching doesn’t do the trick, try Intuition liners. You’ll be amazed.