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  1. #1
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    Tutorial: Molding Intuition Liners

    I've personally used Intuition liners for many years. They work great, provide an unmatched precision fit, and are warm and comfortable. I am convinced that the only reason that ALL ski boots don't come stock with Intuition type liners is because of the difficulty of molding them properly.
    I've come up with a few tips and tricks to make sure that they come out right. There are two main issues with the molding process:
    1. Folds and creases in the foam
    2. The fit ends up TOO TIGHT on your foot

    The chances of developing folds and creases can be diminished by the use of a boot shell stretcher.

    The tightness problem can be taken care of with toe caps, appropriate padding, thicker socks and buckling your boots the appropriate amount during the molding process.

    Intuition liners don't eliminate the need for custom boot fitting. The boot shell must still fit your foot. Before I began, I did some grinding in the heel area, and under my right ankle bone, where I have a protruding bone. Then I punched the shells at both navicular areas, and both sixth toes. When I was satisfied that the shells were right, it was time to mold the liners.

    Probably the number one key to your success is the ability to open the shell wide to allow the liner and foot to slide in easily without bunching up or creasing. I built a fairly simple stretcher by mounting an old binding to a piece of plywood.



    I bent a couple pieces of metal to use on the edges of the shell, and then bought some ratcheting rope type things at the local hardware store. Alot of different things would probably work well... Here is what I used:



    With the shell in place, it's time to heat the liners. Although the picture shows both liners in the oven, it's best to stagger the heating so you can form one at a time. I heat mine in a special convection oven that I was lucky enough to score from a ski shop that no longer uses it, but I've also used a regular home cooking oven with good success. If you use an oven, the heat should be at 240 degrees, and you cook the liners for 10 minutes (at sea level).... you may have to cook them a minute or two longer if you live at altitude.





    While the liners are cooking, prepare your feet. Cut the toes off a thick pair of wool socks to make a toe cap. This will create extra space in the toe area so you can wiggle your toes and your circulation won't be cut off. Additionally, you may want to cut some self adhesive high density foam padding and apply it to your feet in any area where you will want additional room later... sixth toe for instance.

    I've heard a lot of discussion on whether to use footbeds or not. Personally, I do, and have had good success. I have a very low volume foot, though. My instep is very low. If you have a "tall" foot, you may not have room in there for a footbed. If you use one, put your bare foot on the footbed, slide the toe cap over your foot and footbed, then a sock over the whole works. For a tighter, more precise fit, use a thin sock. For a little extra wiggle room, use a thicker sock.







    When the liners are ready, take them out of the oven and step in. WEAR GLOVES! Those bitches will be HOT! Before stepping into the shell, make sure the seam that goes around the bottom of the liner is even all the way around. Wrap the liner around your foot and leg, and step into your wide open shell.



    If the liner is going to fold or crease, usually it will happen in the heel area. While you are stuffing your foot in the shell, there can be a lot of friction from the warm power wrap material and the plastic of the boot shell. To minimize this and to help the liner slide in easier, I rub baby oil on the inside of the shell in the heel area and along the back of the inside of the shell.

    Once you are in, and confident that there are no creases, go ahead and release the shell stretcher and buckle the boots to a medium setting. By medium, I mean that when the boot is finished, you should be able to put the buckles on a looser setting. At this point, it won't feel medium! It will feel tight as hell!! That's OK. The tighter you make it now, the more room you will have when they are done. When you are done buckling them, immediately put the toe of your boot on a 2x4 and try to put all your weight on your heel, forcing the liner to form a heel pocket.



    Keep the boots on as long as you can stand the pain.... Which probably won't be more than 10 minutes After you are done, take your socks, toe caps, padding and footbed off, put the footbed in the liner and try them on. If you did it right, it should feel PERFECT. They will feel even better the next day. At this point, your feet will be a little swollen from being jammed in a smoking hot vise.

    Ski on them a couple of times.... they may still be too tight. If you ski in them and they still feel too tight, you may have to form them again. The foam gets more dense and thinner with each time. Rarely will you have to form them more than twice.

    Once you get it right, you'll be in love. Warmth, comfort and precision at all times!!
    "Shit, I'll choke her while she's cleaning, and I'll do it wearing a helmet cam mounted on a full-face helmet.
    I'll have meatdrink9 do the lighting for the shot. He'll make it artsy as fuck."
    - Phunk

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by yooper View Post
    Finally, someone found a good use for markers!

    Might be time to finally mold mine - thanks for the help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Divebomber View Post
    OR sign it with a fake sig, then later they say "we have your sig!" NO you dont!

  3. #3
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    instead of baby oil, ive heard people and fitters use a product that is essentially armorall. and its nice cause you can just spray it on real quick.

    nice work and thanks

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pechelman View Post
    instead of baby oil, ive heard people and fitters use a product that is essentially armorall. and its nice cause you can just spray it on real quick.

    nice work and thanks
    Ah... good idea. I just looked around the house, and that was the first thing I found. It worked pretty well. I just put a little on a piece of paper towel and wiped it on.
    "Shit, I'll choke her while she's cleaning, and I'll do it wearing a helmet cam mounted on a full-face helmet.
    I'll have meatdrink9 do the lighting for the shot. He'll make it artsy as fuck."
    - Phunk

  5. #5
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    There's some great ideas in this post. Thanks.

    I have a set of demo binders that have a mising piece... I might use them for this boot stretching idea.

    More Intuition moulding info at Cooking with Big Tim.

  6. #6
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    This is pretty damn close to what we did at my old shop... nice work. Another alternative to using gloves when handling the hot intuition is to put hand lotion on before they come out of the oven. It really helps prevent burning the fingers. Also using duct tape on the inside of the shell to cover up where the cuff and lower meet, helps in a smooth entry. Try this with some silicon spray and they slide in no problem.

  7. #7
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    great work yooper. I've never used a shell spreader, but your method of toe cap over the footbed and foam padding over pressure areas is exactly how I do it. to gain a slight pocket on sensitive areas (like my chicken ankles) I use shelf liner from the hardware store, the rubber mesh like stuff you put in the bottom of toolboxes and such. Provides just enough extra space and conforms well to your contours. I also tape the footbed to my foot and the toecap around my foot in the footbed as well just to keep it from shifting around and sliding forward. Your boot spreader is a sick idea and a great low price solution. Good thinkings. Now people have a good reference thread for forming.

    you skiing this weekend? rumor has it nubs might open saturday or sunday. I'll be there so PM me if you might head down./
    Hunter
    Quote Originally Posted by 3centshort View Post
    I figure when he realized he was still 10-15 feet off as he flew the K his asshole puckered so hard it ate his nuts
    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    In the other scenario, you would be like "Peanut Butter, cool, fuck I'm stuck HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME oh fuck I'm screwed, but at least I have time to think about how screwed I am. I guess that is a blessing. FUCK NO IT'S NOT A BLESSSING I'M STUCK AND I'M DYING.

  8. #8
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    Another good idea is to place duct tape over any rivets that may be sticking out on the inside of your boot.

  9. #9
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    looks easy enough. think its worth trying to save $40, or do they do it that much better?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfree View Post
    looks easy enough. think its worth trying to save $40, or do they do it that much better?
    "They", meaning a ski shop? I guess if you are lucky enough to have a ski shop near you that is experienced with molding intuitions, then you can go give them your money.
    "They" aren't going to do anything that I didn't describe, though. If they have a shell spreader and you don't, and you don't want to make one, then yeah, it's probably worth it. The spreader is the key.
    "Shit, I'll choke her while she's cleaning, and I'll do it wearing a helmet cam mounted on a full-face helmet.
    I'll have meatdrink9 do the lighting for the shot. He'll make it artsy as fuck."
    - Phunk

  11. #11
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    Excellent tips, yoop, thanks.

    Time to redo mine the proper way using a spreader. (I had my wife hold my shells open while squeezing my foot in...not the best method)
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  12. #12
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    if you do get a crease, how do you fix it?

    also it may be worth $40 if the shop guarentees the fit

    Hayduke Aug 7,1996 GS-Aug 26 2010

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by haydukelives View Post
    also it may be worth $40 if the shop guarentees the fit
    If you get a crease, you can either just leave it, or reheat and do it over. It depends how bad it is.
    "Shit, I'll choke her while she's cleaning, and I'll do it wearing a helmet cam mounted on a full-face helmet.
    I'll have meatdrink9 do the lighting for the shot. He'll make it artsy as fuck."
    - Phunk

  14. #14
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    so having two guys at my ski shop hold the boot open isnt going to work as well as using a spreader of some sort? Thanks pretty nervous about trying mine tomorrow...

  15. #15
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    I just did mine this morning. I had my brother trying to spread them, which didn't work so well. If you have a way of making a spreader like yooper has, it's worth it. One went in close to perfect, one small crease. The left foot is all messed up, the foot seams go halfway up my ankle and i have two large creases. I skied them, and they worked OK, but i'll probably reform.

    Next time I will make sure to:

    Keep the boots spread wide until you make sure you're all smoothed out.

    Try to avoid clamping the top buckle all they way. Now I can buckle the top all the way and still have wiggle room.

    If you have people holding the boots open, make sure they have gloves, as everything gets pretty warm when the liners go in.

  16. #16
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    This should be a sticky-ish kind of post. Great pics, yoop - and great job for finding a use for marker twincams.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik View Post
    So there I was McGoverning down the mountain but I McConkeyed the hell out of a Morrison and landed on my Harrisons. Just then I Skogened off a Tuffelmire but hit my McMurray into a Holmes. As I came to the Burke I Steele Spenced over a Moles and stopped on a Krietler. Then I saw Gaffney, and then two Gaffneys, but they Moseleyed me into a Hall. So I said, "Pep!!" and Saged on out of that Thovex.
    Poetry, on motion.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiED View Post
    so having two guys at my ski shop hold the boot open isnt going to work as well as using a spreader of some sort? Thanks pretty nervous about trying mine tomorrow...
    It doesn't matter how you hold them open, but it is the key. If two guys can hold it wide until you are confident that you're in there right, then you should be good.
    "Shit, I'll choke her while she's cleaning, and I'll do it wearing a helmet cam mounted on a full-face helmet.
    I'll have meatdrink9 do the lighting for the shot. He'll make it artsy as fuck."
    - Phunk

  18. #18
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    Yooper,

    I was wondering what you used for the 'self adhesive high density foam padding' material for adding extra room when molding? I had mine molded & skied them today. They felt perfect at first, but 1/2 way through the day, I was in major pain. Hot spots on 6th toe, both inside ankle bones, shins, ball of foot. I was hurting so much I had to quit early.

    I had 2 pair of thin socks on when molding & buckled up medium, so should be plenty roomy enough. Do they require a break-in time or should I just remold with padding for hot spots & thicker socks?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard604 View Post
    Yooper,

    I was wondering what you used for the 'self adhesive high density foam padding' material for adding extra room when molding? I had mine molded & skied them today. They felt perfect at first, but 1/2 way through the day, I was in major pain. Hot spots on 6th toe, both inside ankle bones, shins, ball of foot. I was hurting so much I had to quit early.

    I had 2 pair of thin socks on when molding & buckled up medium, so should be plenty roomy enough. Do they require a break-in time or should I just remold with padding for hot spots & thicker socks?
    There could be two answers here. You may need some shell work. Even though I use intuition liners, I always have to bump out a spot for my sixth toe, and do some grinding in the ankle and heel area. My boots are plug boots, though, so they are pretty damn small. If your boots are fairly high volume, you may be able to just remold them with some thicker socks and some padding.

    If you go the padding route, try some of this boot fitting foam sheet from tognar.

    You might try taking your liners out and feeling inside and out at the pressure areas. If those areas are already paper thin, the foam isn't going to work. That means that there is simply no more room left in the shell.

    They do break in a little over time, but if you were in that much pain, you might want to do them again.
    "Shit, I'll choke her while she's cleaning, and I'll do it wearing a helmet cam mounted on a full-face helmet.
    I'll have meatdrink9 do the lighting for the shot. He'll make it artsy as fuck."
    - Phunk

  20. #20
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    thanks for the info, very helpful! I'll remold & see how it goes.

  21. #21
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    The other thing I learned when I first got Intuitions is not too buckle them too tight.

    Seriously. After years of cranking down on regular liners to get any sort of control, I was doing the same thing on the Ints, and it was just causing me unnecesary pain. I backed off a bit on the buckles, and Voila! the perfection that had been promised.

  22. #22
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    Nice work - thanks for the detailed info!

    For what it's worth, Intuition is now selling a forced air heating thingy that they fitted my liners with. The only advantage is that you don't need the spreader because the liners are baked while in your shells.

    Regardless, good work homes.

  23. #23
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    No matter how many times I asked over Thanksgiving weekend, my mother refused her to let her oven be used for cooking anything other then food. So, I had to improvise. Being that the house has about 6 hairdryers in it, I had an idea. First off down to the garage, see what kind of card board boxes I could find. To my great surmise I found a nice little box that was about the size of a pair of shoes, what is it for, read on. I quickly assaulted the womens bathroom, and stole all six hair dryers(no one caught me because of my ninja like speed, or maybe it was because I used the back stairs whatever...). I made it out to the shop undetected with my bounty of hair dryers and card board box, and proceeded to make a testing rig, but I had forgot something, a thermometer. So, back inside the house up to the kitchen full of people prepping thanksgiving dinner the next day. I skillfully played off my entry as if I were getting something to drink(if they only knew). Before they knew it I was off with the cooking thermometer in my pocket and no one was the wiser.

    My third trip out to the shop, I was finally set(or so I thought). I used a utility knife to cut a hole in the side of the box, I inserted a hair dryer, set it to full and let it blast. The temperature for hair dryer number 1 maxed out at measly 150 degrees. I thought I was doomed, but with tremendous, and un-characteristic optimism I plunged forward. Hair dryer number 2 hit the 200 degrees before the thermal switch killed the power. Hair dryer number three hit 200 degrees also and kept running for 20 minutes. Each hair dryer failed to make it to the specified temp of 240 degrees, it was all over for me, done. Then I got to thinking, well boots are much more insulated then cardboard boxes. Hmmmm, tin-foil has excellent heat shield properties. I raided the extra stores of bulk costco items, and found a large roll of tin-foil, wrapped the box in said tinfoil, and enlarged the hole for the hair dryer to simulate the boots diamater of entry. Hair dryer number three seemed like the most likely candidate, so it was reinserted back into the box. With the thermometer reinserted, and hair dryer on, the temp quickly hit 235 degrees, then 240 and hovered between 240-250 for around 20 minutes before the thermal switch kicked in. Success, in essence I had a boot heater/former thing with little to no cost.

    I quickly grabbed my boots, inserted liners, and began to heat boot #1. After about 13 minutes I pulled the hair dryer out, inserted foot(with toecap, and spacers). Made sure no creases or wrinkles occurs, and buckled it up. Followed the rest of the steps from yooper(thanks for the directions). Once boot #1 was cooled, I proceeded to #2. I am happy to report after wearing them today for 2.5 hours doing homework they felt "incredible".
    Last edited by TyeStick; 11-25-2007 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Paragraphs

  24. #24
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    I molded my intuitions this weekend. Baked them in the oven for 12 minutes at 240. The thread over on Telemarktips.com has some great advice as well. I had to do them twice since after the first time they ended up being too short. After molding them a second time with a much beefier toe cap the result was much better. I skied them Saturday at brighton and was very pleased however they still are *just* a bit short, hopefully as they break in this will become a non factor.

    My most important tip for anyone doing this is to MAKE SURE you get out an extra beer or two from the fridge and have them at arm's reach before you stick your foot in to mold the liner. This is crucial, you don't want to forget to do this.

    ..and Tyestick, paragraphs? that block of text is a little hard on the eyes.

  25. #25
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    Another idea that I got from a Scarpa rep: slide one of those ubiquitous thin disposable plastic shopping bags over the liner on your foot to help it slide into the shell. And/or use spray silicone.

    I've seen an Intuition liner get wrinkles/folds around the Achilles tendon, so careful insertion and pulling is essential.

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