Hot Water Molding Intuition Liners

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

I had a problem. My fresh new pair of Dynafit TLT5 didn’t have my lean-lock mod for lesser knee abuse, and I didn’t have time to retrofit. What to do to avoid that tippy-toe 1960s forward lean weirdness? Yeah, I’ll admit that some of that is caused by my aftermarket liners with thick foam behind the calf (though you get less of that effect than appears at first glance, since your heel is also farther forward in the boot.) So, to get rid of any excessive thickness in the cuff, spot molding was in order.

Hot water molding

Hot water molding Intuition liner. Not quite hot enough for super gushy molding, but works for spot adjustments.

You can spot mold liners by torching with a heat gun, but I’ve never liked that method because it heats just the outside of one area imprecisely. Dipping the offending area in boiling water seemed like it might work, though salted water at our altitude only boils at around 200 degrees, and you need more like 225 degrees for the nice gooey molding effect.

Nonetheless, it worked. I dipped just the upper rear of the cuff in the salty soup for about three minutes, shoved back in the boots, buckled tight, and thus thinned out the liner cuff about 4 millimeters or so. That’s quite a bit when multiplied to reduced forward lean.

In case you’re wondering, I added quite a bit of salt to the water and it only brought the boiling temperature up a half degree or so. Hot oil would have worked better, but that seemed a bit problematic (the understatement of the month for WildSnow.com). As it is, I spent five minutes under the kitchen faucet washing out as much salt as possible so the rats in some hut wouldn’t dine on my boot liner cuffs.

I’d still rather combine this with a reduced angle lean lock, but it’ll work for the upcoming enjoyment of the massive Alps snowpack we’re seeking. Oh, and yes I’m sure some of you will ask, I’ve not gotten definitive word on availability of Dynafit’s own lean adjustment add-on for the TLT5s. I wish they’d speak. Perhaps I can find out something about this when I’m in Munich. If so, I’ll add info to this post and so forth.

Comments

22 Responses to “Hot Water Molding Intuition Liners”

  1. Mike April 2nd, 2012 8:21 am

    Lou,
    Which Intuition liner are you using? I’ve got TLT5 boots and am not happy with the stock liner. I was thinking about the pro tour as a replacement. I need to take up volume around the ankle and I was hoping the intuition would help.
    -Mike

  2. Skian April 2nd, 2012 8:54 am

    Lou, Did you go up a size on your shells? If I tried to fit that liner in my TLT (because of the thickness) my metatarsus would curl up like an upside down U creating hot spots everywhere. For me it’s a volume issue with a lifetime of tight ski boots and flat and wide Scottish forefoot and narrow heel. Pushing and grinding plastic is the only way i get I luv in fit. My youngest son had a hot spot in his boots this week from his new liners when we were on vacation and although a have an intuition oven at home we were hours away. This is something someone ( ie. me last weekend) could do at the rental house when on the road. These intuitive home cooked efforts for modification by Wildsnow. It’s what drew me to your site many years ago. I also like the G12 camera bag reviews lately to.

  3. Mike Bannister April 2nd, 2012 9:15 am

    Somewhat unrelated Intuition question. I’m on my second pair of Intuitions, I had no problems with the first but my heels are rubbing the lining off of the second pair. I’m currently experimenting with trying to cover the holes up with nylon tape and aquaseal. Do you have any experience with this Lou?

  4. John Milne April 2nd, 2012 9:39 am

    Lou,

    You can swap the spoilers fairly easy, just take a pin punch to the pin holding it on and hammer away. It’s a one direction pin, hit it from right to left when looking at the back of the boot. Pound it all the way out (you may need to pull it out of the actual spoiler with pliers if it sticks) reset it and then pound it back in from right to left again.

  5. Tom Gos April 2nd, 2012 9:40 am

    I remember reading some forum post once about using a turkey cooking plastic bag to mold liners in hot water – the turkey bags won’t melt at high temperatures the way a garbage bag will. Putting the liner in the bag before dipping it keeps it dry and goo free. Lou, did you consider using automotive coolant rather than salt water? I would think a coolant mixture would allow you to get quite a bit hotter than salt water would, but you would certainly want to use the turkey bag with the coolant.

  6. Skian April 2nd, 2012 9:46 am

    @Tom, great tip!

  7. Ralph April 2nd, 2012 11:41 am

    I’d try a pressure cooker and blasting it with superheated steam before using Ethylene Glycol or similar. Irritating to skin, unknown effects on plastic/foam.

  8. Mark W April 2nd, 2012 2:35 pm

    Very innovative spot molding technique, Lou. First I’ve heard of it. By the way, I say a guy in the Denver airport carrying Dynafit Vulcans with some Intuition liners. Is it just me, or do more people switch away from Palau liners to Intuition?

  9. Ben April 2nd, 2012 9:10 pm

    Mike B,
    I had the same issue with a pair of intuition alpine wraps last year. I called intuition and they replaced my liner for free. The customer service rep also told me that in certain liners like the alpine wraps you can tear the fabric liner out completely and the liner will not be hurt.
    Question for Lou,
    What do you suspect the logistics or going to be for the installation of the lean lock adjustment add on? Replacing rivets ect..?

    Thanks

  10. Joe April 2nd, 2012 10:53 pm

    @Mike I will run over to Wildsnow HQ tomorrow and check which liner Lou has thrown in there. (If I can find the box) Unless Lou chimes in sooner. Last I heard he was speeding on the Autobahn listening to techno while sipping on espresso in the Wildsnow Porsche… Aka Renault minivan

  11. Mike April 3rd, 2012 6:50 am

    Thanks Joe. No hurry. I won’t be replacing them ’till fall.

  12. John Milne April 3rd, 2012 1:58 pm

    Ben, likely you’ll need to replace the spoilers like I detailed above.

  13. John Gloor April 3rd, 2012 9:59 pm
  14. Lou April 4th, 2012 3:36 am

    Hey folks, I’m finally online again for enough time to get some work done. Am in town (Chur) here in Switzland, but no Internet connection at relative’s house where we’re staying so we have to go to library or cafe to connect, slows things down, especially when you spend your first day skiing (he he he).

    At any rate, the liners I was working on are a pair of Pro Tour. Spot molding with hot water should work for any Intuition thermo liner I would think. Lower altitude would probably be better, the temp we got (just under 200) seemed barely enough. Getting the liner wet is not a problem, they’re designed to be wet or damp for days on end. Just try it out after you’re done.

    As far as I know, my method is really only useful for the cuff, doing it on the lower shoe of the liner without the liner in the boot would cause you to ruin the lasting of the liner. On the other hand, one has to wonder if one couldn’t heat up both the boot shell and the liner to the point where the liner would mold? We shall see, someday.

  15. Ben 2 April 4th, 2012 3:10 pm

    Following the TGR thread: the liner goes in the boot, turkey bag goes in the liner, boiling water goes in the bag … We’re gonna need a bigger bag.

    I intend to try this sometime to remold the inside of a liner. I guess you could try to preheat the inside of the shell by filling the shell with a bag of boiling water, then removing it and inserting the liner and filling that with a second bag of water, but the shell probably doesn’t have enough heat capacity to stay really hot.

  16. frank joyce April 8th, 2012 9:37 am

    hello all,
    firstly apologies for being somewhat off topic but as a very frustrated AT skier would appreciate your thoughts. As a regular nordic skier (live in the uk so ski mostly in Norway).Because my downhill skills not that good especially on the steeps tried to ease myself back into AT using my 5-7 year old Garmont G-Lite boots. Previously worn about 7 years ago for 3 weeks total but when I tried them recently God awful painful on both inner ankle bones. Bruised bones so badly agony every step which lasted subsequently with borrowed boots when originally the G-Lites were comfortable. Okay over the years I have taken instruction en piste to improve my downhill technique but these days cant afford any more tuition so just want to gradually improve during the trip. Can’t understand why previously comfortable boots are now so awful which really dented my confidence? The inners which are a close fit were baked in an oven with my foot impression all those years ago-can feet change that much, i’m 65? So do any of you have experience of this type of boot and what in your view are currently the most comfortable? Probably a bit of a wimp but boots do seem very heavy and cumbersome no doubt not helped by the pain and consequent lack of confidence. Anyway thanks for any comments, All the best, Frank.

  17. Lou April 8th, 2012 2:03 pm

    Dear Frank, after that many years and so little use, you need to re-fit the boots. Yes, feet change, and especially the protrusion of your ankle bones can easily change in seven years. Do the refit before exerting energy on anything else.

    As for what is most comfortable, I’d advise you to upgrade to a modern boot such as the Scarpa Maestrale.

    Your ski technique could also have something to do with the boots hurting. But logic dictates that you get the re-fit and/or new boots first, then go on to the next problem if it still exists.

    Lou

  18. Michael Pike January 30th, 2013 10:40 pm

    Intuition has details on their website for home molding liners using short grain white rice in a thin sock shaped like a sausage. You heat it in a microwave for various times depending on the type and size of liner.
    You then put it into the liner for a set amount of time.
    It worked fine for me and I’ll be using it to compress the rear cuff by just putting it in the cuff area.

  19. Jen Santoro November 21st, 2013 2:16 pm

    Hey Lou!
    I read the info here on spot molding, and I wonder if you have ever written an entry about doing the whole molding process at home. Previously I have had it done in a shop with their special little oven and toe things etc. But…I just got a deal that is almost too good to be true on some new TLT’s and will be stashing them in the closet for a time when I really need them. And since I bought them online..well you know the rest.

    Have you already discussed this (I looked through posts and didn’t come across one)? I usually go to my local retailer and support them, and will continue to, but this deal, well, you know….
    Jen

  20. Skian November 21st, 2013 2:21 pm

    Sportden Salt Lake is worth the coin if you don’t want to do yourself.

  21. Jen Santoro November 21st, 2013 2:25 pm

    Thanks Ian! I should have just put it on FB! If they don’t get offended by my interwebs purchase. I bought my last pair at Wasatch Touring. They treated me so well there – so very well. In fact I am heading there to buy new liners for my old boots because it is time. So maybe I will inquire there. It’s just that you can’t beat $280 for a $650 pair of boots…

  22. Skian November 21st, 2013 2:43 pm

    Nothing wrong with a great deal from a web vendor on a closeout boot that fit’s your foot. Lou must be skiing….

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