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Thread: Stratos Pro Liner Choices?

  1. #1
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    Stratos Pro Liner Choices?

    As a last ditch effort before I take the $500.00 Surefoot plunge I'm thinking about replacing the stock liners on my Heads to a thermo liner. I'm not sure how this is going to work since the stock liner has a beefed up shin section that would surely be missed? What have others done to get a custom fit on their Heads? The only thing I have "custom" now is Superfeet footbeds which probably aren't the best but should be better than the stock footbeds. I also went to REI and "molded" the thermofit liners with the "hair dryer" tubes and it didn't seem to matter much.

    A little history: My issue is a width issue. It's gotten better since I switched from narrow SB225s to the Heads but it's still pretty painful. I have not tried Deeluxe shells as I've been told they are narrower anyways. It's gotten to the point now that I don't even bother with the 2nd buckle up from the toe. I just do the ankle, shin, and powerstrap and leave the bottom two buckles undone. The furthest (toe) buckle has never seemed to do anything anyways; even on the tightest setting I don't notice any pressure difference between the buckle being engaged or not. My toes start to get numb which contributes to the pain-especially if it's cold (they obviously go numb faster when I ride with all buckles fastened). I had a pair of SB325's that I had stretched in Aspen at SES 06 by a fitter recommended by Jim Callen. That was ok-it didn't cost me a ton of cash and they seemed to know what they were doing. The guy stretched the shells and I hit the slopes. Still painful so I went back and he stretched them some more to the point of the buckles starting to distort. He didn't want to go any further as he was pushing the integrity of the shells (his words). The whole time this was going on I was staring at the Surefoot out the shops window in envy. Too bad Bordy didn't do his foam bladder review sooner. I bought some Heads later in that season and as mentioned earlier they've been better, but still not perfect.

    Oddly enough the "best" fitting pair of boots I've owned were 2.0 MP bigger than my shell test size results. I've actually had thoughts of trading up to a bigger pair of shells to remedy my width situation, but that just seems like a band aid. I'd like to get this issue fixed properly once and for all. It's too bad that they closed the Surefoot in Taos because I'm looking at 6+ hours to Breck or 7+ hours to Aspen on top of the cost of the orthodics+bladders. The biggest problem I have with going the Surefoot route is the shop isn't remotely local to me so I'll have to do 12-14 hours round trip to get any fine tuning done. Granted I would head to Aspen/Breck and get the fitting done first, ride some, let them do fine tuning if needed, and ride some more. I'd actually want to do at least two days of this "testing" to ensure they got it right. If I'm shelling out that kind of cash I expect properly fitting boots once and for all....you know the all-day-comfortable boots that everybody else seems to attain without this much headache.

    Well enough of the rant. If you've used thermos in Heads I'd love to hear about whether it worked or not.

    Oh yeah I saw a podiatrist in the offseason and he started some custom footbeds for me. I was all about it until my insurance said no dice on the coverage and the doc said they were $400. I figure for that price I'd just get the works at Surefoot.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    It really sounds like you need to have work done on the shells not just liners. yes, deeluxe thermoflex liners will work just fine in head boots. I have them. They can't create more room, however. If your feet are simply too wide for the rigid surface that is the boot shell, the only option is a bit of work to make a little more room. You wrote a lot and I admit I didn't read all of it, but on scanning I don't see that at any time you saw a bootfitter that worked on your shells.

    I'd be willing to bet that this would solve your problem. I'd still say get thermoflex, because they rule, but no liner, not even the best, is going to create room where it doesnt exist. Seems that way at least.
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  3. #3
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    I've done around 20 days of riding to custom-fit head original liners and never wanna go back to thermoflexes and such. have ridden thermoflex in heads for some days - boot feels like noodly sb324 under my 90kg meatball.

    next year I punched shells a little for my old&odd feet, and now heads is uber-comfortable

    and yes, overall stiffness of heads depending at large on very stiff original inners.

  4. #4
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    My issue isn't width, but so far here is my experience with using the Head Stratos Pro in combination with the Deeluxe Speed Thermoflex liner:

    I was having problems with my toes banging up against the front of my boots. After several weeks of hoping that the standard stratos liners would pack out, I opted for a deeluxe thermoflex. That has afforded me a bit more toe-room in terms of length and width. It's still not perfect, but its *definitely* better. They also seem to be much warmer.

    Some extra bonuses that I found with the speed liner: The material around the cuff is slightly thinner overall than the head liner, allowing you to close the cuff further - which (seems) to result in less boot deformation when you flex the boot. More comfy when you bend your ankle, and more consistent throughout the range of motion.

    The thermoflex speed does seem to result in a slightly softer boot, but its not a huge difference. You can probably offset it by using the race tongue ... I may just switch to the red springs on my bts kit.

    The liner is higher - if you use a booster strap to prevent shinbang this is a godsend. The head liner is too short, and the result is your booster strap eventually works its way up, disengaging from the liner, making it worthless - that does not happen with the speed liner, as it is tall enough to allow the booster strap where it wants to naturally.

    MUCH, MUCH easier to get in and out of the boots with the speed liner - night and day here. I'm in and out in seconds with these.

    The only negative so far is this: the sole material on the speed liner is THICK compared with the material in the standard head liner and results in much more downward pressure on your foot. This may go away when I get the liners properly moulded, but so far it is my *only* complaint about this combination.

    As always, your mileage may vary.
    Last edited by queequeg; January 23rd, 2008 at 07:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    You might also check out the ZipFit liners. I put them in my Burton Wind boots, and they are comfy and warm. They also made the boot noticeably stiffer than the stock Burton liners. They have a separate tongue piece rather than the wrap-around style.

    www.zipfit.com

  6. #6
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    I had all kinds of trouble with my wide feet and it took a lot of work to fix it. First thing was to widen the shells. Last thing was Intuition liners. Expensive, but not $500.

    I still have to unbuckle at the bottom and re-buckle after getting off the chair.
    "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Denis Diderot

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yard Sale View Post
    I still have to unbuckle at the bottom and re-buckle after getting off the chair.
    See that to me means the problem isn't fixed. Having to unbuckle means there is still some pressure/pain. I'm so sick of not having comfortable boots! IMHO it's getting to the point where it's holding back my progress which isn't cool.

    Bola can you PM me the number to Larry's? Denver is a little over six hours, but I'm booked up through Feb 9/10 weekend anyways. What would be the closest resort to be able to "test" the fit?

  8. #8
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    surefoot

    You might want to talk to the local ski and snowboard instructors about Surefoot.

    They advertise regularly in AspenTimes.com and even have an add running now. You may notice that they have no prior experience requirement.

    Take the advice of a skilled pro who works in his boots for a living..every resort has a guy in the race department who can steer you towards a really good boot fitter. Likely they will have to blow out your boot.

    I also use the Head boots- and to stop the power strap riding up issue and also to reduce shin bang I had The Starting Gate in Stratton VT. bend the top of the lip of the boots.. A big improvement (shin bang reduction) as well as blow out part of the heel section.

    IMHO some of the best boot fitters do their work right in resorts just steps away from the lifts- (and actualy Surefoot is just steps from Aspen Mountan's gondola- but still you need an experienced boot fitter to deliver a precise fit) mostly because then a customer does not feel badly about coming in multiple times to get the right fit. Of course the boot fitters learn from this....quickly ....and rather than trying to solve a problem over several weeks- they can do it in a couple of visits in the same day.

    The head liners seem to pack out very quickly...I'm in the market for either a Thermo liner or new Head liners.
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    Last edited by John Gilmour; March 9th, 2011 at 08:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thermo Liners Good

    I spent my first few seasons suffering in AF600 boots that were just too narrow (did the unbuckling in the lift line, cold feet from low circulation etc). I ditched the AFs for Head Stratos Pro, and the first thing I did was toss out the stock liner. Itís contrary to some of the other posts in the thread, but I am certain that switching to Thermoflex unlocked some boot volume that the stock liners were wasting. There was more freedom up front for sure. Who knows, maybe there is just more room in the Mondo 30 shell.

    Anyway, for what itís worth, I am using footbeds in Thermoflex liners (cooked by Michelle at Bomber) with a Booster strap feeding through the slot in the back of the shell that the stock liner strap went through originally. This setup works really well for me, and I can wear my boots locked down all day with no problems. Although, given all the different responses to this thread, an ace boot fitter is going to save you time and frustration if the easy stuff still doesnít give you the fit you want. I say try Thermoflex liners on your own and see if thatís enough.
    "The way these women manage to charm us with every conceivable psychic perfection until they have attained their purpose is one of nature's greatest spectacles.Ē Letter from Sigmund Freud to C. G. Jung

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bola View Post
    RDY_2_Carve:

    Take a drive up I-25 to see Larry here. It will do you a ton of good.
    R2C - this is the absolute best thing you could do!

    I don't have feet, I have flippers with a high arch. Larry stuffed my Stratos Pro's with thermoflex liners and cork insoles. I have no issues when riding other than the outside of my foot getting cold on really bitter days (i.e. -10deg F and colder) becuase the liners are so thin due to my wide feet.

    People travel from all over the country just have Larry fit their boots. He is that good!


    GO SEE LARRY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #11
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    Anyone have unused 27.5 head stratos liners?

    Just wondering...Mine are nearly packed out will but for $50.
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    Last edited by John Gilmour; March 9th, 2011 at 08:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    A blast from the past, rather bump this thread than start a new one as its a very minor and kind of obvious question:

    I have a measured 29.0 cm foot, and my foot in a custom foot bed take up total 29.3cm. My feet are quite normal except for both big toes jutting out more than they should

    I currently ride 29.5 HSPs with the original liner and they fit incredibly well right out of the box. With no liner and my bare foot in the shell, with the big toes just barely touching the shell, I could fit two fingers between the heel and the rear.

    Only when I stood up straight or flexed backwards did my big toes hit the front of the liner. However, the boots are on their way out, had them for over 5 years and the liners are starting to pack out (width wise they are bit too loose), plus the shells have cracks and I lost two buckles.

    So my question is, the only HSPs I can find in my area are 28.5s. Can I risk using them? Should I immediately look into getting some Thermoflex liners to get make some more room?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by benttech View Post
    So my question is, the only HSPs I can find in my area are 28.5s. Can I risk using them? Should I immediately look into getting some Thermoflex liners to get make some more room?
    can you try them on without the liner?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieran View Post
    can you try them on without the liner?
    Unfortunately no, its an online store and I probably wont be able to return them if they dont fit.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by benttech View Post
    Unfortunately no, its an online store and I probably wont be able to return them if they dont fit.
    ahh, blue tomatos last pair. if you have two fingers at 29.5, then you'll probably have quite a tight squeeze at 28.5. any reputable bootfitters who can blow out parts of the shell for you?

  16. #16
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    Dunno what happened with the OP, but for New Mexico folks I've heard good things about Boot Doctors in Taos. Never used them - I'm a Larry's customer - but have heard good things.

    http://www.bootdoctors.com

    And Larry's easy to find. Just Google "Larry the boot fitter" or:

    http://larrybootfitting.com/

    Chris

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieran View Post
    ahh, blue tomatos last pair. if you have two fingers at 29.5, then you'll probably have quite a tight squeeze at 28.5. any reputable bootfitters who can blow out parts of the shell for you?
    Yup When I.. maybe not squish... but press by toes against the shell then I can easily get 3 fingers in. No bootfitter in my area that I could call reputable, there might be one a 4 hour drive away from me though. Im just wondering how thick the liner in the HSPs compare to the Thermoflex, if they are thin enough I could try molding them with a toe cup and should be good.

    Hmm.. I found a pair of Deeluxe 325s in 29.0, except they dont come with a Thermoflex liner. Gotta think this over as Id prefer to stay with the HSPs (modded of course with BTS and a bit of plastic cut out), but dont want to risk riding in a size too small.
    Last edited by michael.a; February 8th, 2012 at 03:04 AM.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Scarpa heat mouldable liners are much lower volume than others, also very easy to slip your foot into.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieran View Post
    kieran saved the day for me. A new pair of HSPs in my size for a great price. A big thumbs up and thank you!!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
    Scarpa heat mouldable liners are much lower volume than others, also very easy to slip your foot into.
    I've had good luck with Scarpa branded Intuitions in my Heads. They are the full wrap version, found them online for about $45 so they were hard to pass up. Good heel retention, slightly taller cuff and comfy fit.

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