J.W. emailed me with a couple of questions this morning that I figured would make a fun blog:
J.W. — I just tried on the new Spirit 4 with the new Intuition/Scarpa liner. The inside of this liner has a very rough texture. Have you or your wife (anyone who has skied in them) found that this lining is somewhat abrasive on your foot?
Lou — We did wonder about that, but it has not been a problem. Using socks your feet like is key with any boot. Also, any rubbing points in the liner will smooth a bit over time.
J.W. — Now that you have a convection oven, do you think it is actually superior to using a plain old kitchen oven for boot molding? Some of the companies are recommending just using the blower type heater for their liners. Seems like this is ok if the liner is pre-molded to the shell (as the Krypton liners and the new Scarpa liners are), but if you are using them as an aftermarket liner, does this work adequately? FYI, the Krypton ID Gold liner is pretty sweet, you should check it out.
Lou — Indeed, Scarpa recommends that their new liners be molded by heating the interior so as not to loose the lasted shape. That makes sense to me, since one of the toughest parts of liner molding is getting the squishy hot liner to align correctly in the boot shell and come out with no wrinkles.
As for our convection oven, it is indeed superior and was worth the money since we mold a lot of liners, but we’ll be switching to the interior heating when necessary. And yes, if you’re fitting aftermarket liners to a boot then you’d indeed need to oven mold them since they wouldn’t be lasted for that exact boot.
We molded Lisa’s Scarpa liners in the convection oven, and it seemed to adversely affect some of the foam up around the top of the cuff, so perhaps they truly are not compatible with being baked in an oven.
Whatever the case, our convection oven won’t get thrown away anytime soon as it makes decent chocolate chip cookies, even if they do taste slightly funny.
J.W. — Lastly, in the past you have mentioned shimming the fore foot of a shell (such as the Spirit) to take up extra volume and to flatten out the “boot board”. Do you just use a thin dense bootfitting foam or Bontex and then taper it for a smooth transition into the arch area? I’ve been skiing in Megarides for a few years, and they’ve been good, but some of the features of the Spirit 4 are nice (taller stiffer cuff, amazing walk mode), but they are just too roomy in the forefoot.
Yep, for me the Scarpa foot board feels like I’m standing on the tip of a baseball bat, so I do flatten it out by building some shim under the fore foot. This also takes up some volume and just like you my Scarpas fit better if I do that. So as not to pick on Scarpa, I’ve had the same problem with other AT boots as well, to varying degrees. I use Bontex insoles, taper them, fasten to the boot with doubled duct tape, etc. Have noticed the Bontex deteriorate over time if left in moist boots, but have not found a better substitute. We tried plastic, but it was too slippery and difficult to fasten with tape or glue. I don’t like using foam for this sort of shimming, since the foot support in AT boots is often gushy enough as it is.
There you go, a few Thursday boot tips from the WildSnow modshop!