DIWhy? Plan to "Expand" Salomon S Pro HV 120 Liner

Rich_Ease_3051

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Continuing from this thread:

Summary: Australian 3rd year skier buying skis for the 1st time. Bought Völkl Deacon 84 V Werks, blindly (as in I haven't demo any skis at all ever), as first skis. Skitalkers suggested I need to upgrade my boots, which are Head Advant Edge 85 (same ones I've used since I started skiing 3 years ago), to take advantage of Deacons. Saw a bootfitter who hooked me up with Salomon S Pro HV 120's. Happy with the boot overall. Really tight on the heels, but not so keen on the break-in period for the forefoot to widen. The liners are really crushing the metatarsals of my wide feet.

Here's a picture of the HV 120's:

1622308996844.png


Picture of my foot and the liner. As you can see, my metatarsal widest point is way wider than the liner. (Shell width is fine.) Breaking in the boots in the last few days caused my morton's neuroma (stone-in-ball-of-foot-feeling variety) to come back. Fortunately it goes away after 1 day of spreading my toes.
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The liner is way narrower than the shell. It's hard to capture it on camera. But trust me, it's narrow for the wide shell. I feel like somebody mixed up the normal S Pro liner for the S Pro HV liner.

Or realistically, just a case "it's the correct liner, but it just needs 50 days of skiing to break-in".


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Well I'm not willing to wait 50 days. I normally just ski a week per year (2 weeks this season). Enter these earmuffs I found lying around the house

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Rich_Ease_3051

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Took out the earcups and the plan is to insert them into the liners in the area where my metatarsal joints normally lie. To expand the liner forefoot.

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Earcups into the liner

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Normal liner (left) vs liner with earmuff inside (right). I adjusted the earmuff after taking this pic so that it's a bit lower on the right to match the point where my small toe bunion is.

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I didn't put the earmuffs with the footbeds on. Left the footbeds in the shell.

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It looks like the liner can now accommodate the width of my foot with the earmuff on compared to before where it's crushing my forefoot.

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Rich_Ease_3051

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Will leave the liners with the earmuffs inside the closet for a week or two, three, four, and see if it makes a difference in expanding the liners.

1622310542415.png
 
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Rich_Ease_3051

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Why my plan could fail:

Liners need moisture and heat to expand to the shape of the foot. Obviously, the earmuffs are not providing the heat and moisture necessary to permanently expand the forefoot.

But we'll see. I will report back in a few weeks if this DIWhy? makes a difference.

If it doesn't, well, I have a month to wait (my first day on snow is early July). I will just buy an aftermarket Zipfit Gara or something wide if this earmuff expanding DIWhy? plan fails.

Or just suffer the 50-day break-in period.
 
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Dakine

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I make a wood plug the shape of my forefoot and about 3/4" thick and pound it into the toe of my boots with my hand.
Let them sit someplace warm.
Heat them with a heat gun if they need more persuasion.
 

François Pugh

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Good luck with that. I don't think those will fit your feet without some cutting, and if you cut them, you're left with incomplete coverage and cold feet. Best to get a custom foam liner that has enough room to begin with (before foaming). Still worth trying though.
 

ScottB

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Not sure if your just sharing your DIY efforts or if you are looking for feedback. I will assume you would like some feedback, so here goes.

1. I agree with Dakine and I would have made a wooden plug with a jig saw and a belt sander to mimic your foot plus some extra width for liner contraction, how much extra width is a judgement call.

2. Liners are almost always heated to stretch them. I or the shop have always heated them, put them in the boots, added footbeds, I put my foot in the boot and wear them for 15-30 minutes to stretch them to my feet. I usually add toe caps and any other padding to get extra stretch in needed areas. They shrink back some after cooling. Shops do this for free if you buy the boots from them. Get the shop to address this if you can.

3. I would have gone back to the shop you bought them from and confirmed they are the right liners, pulled some liners out of the same and other boots to compare. If they have a Part number, would have checked that with the factory to confirm they are the right ones. You can call the factory if you can find a part number on them. Just to make sure before putting effort into modifying them

4. The wooden block is better than your ear muffs cause you can heat the liner with the block inside. I would not heat the liner with the plastic ear muff in there. Two ways to heat the liner. Use a blow dryer with some distance (they can melt plastic if too close) and put heat into the inside of the liner. After heating for 20 minutes, put in the block and then heat the outside for a while as well. Or put them in your oven as long as it can be set for low temp's (you will have to check on the web, but I think something like 150 F is a ball park temp. Then put the block in (or put the block in before putting them in the oven). Leaving the block in for a week after heating would make sense too. You need heat, otherwise the liners will try to return to their original shape.

5. Lastly, it sounds like you did a shell fit, where you put your bare foot in the boot without the liner (foot bed optional) and confirmed your foot does not contact the shell. I am surprised the liner is so much narrower than the shell, it does sound like the wrong liner was put in the shell at the factory, or it happened at the store your bought them at (someone switched them from another pair of boots, shit happens)
 
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Rich_Ease_3051

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Good luck with that. I don't think those will fit your feet without some cutting, and if you cut them, you're left with incomplete coverage and cold feet. Best to get a custom foam liner that has enough room to begin with (before foaming). Still worth trying though.
Not sure if your just sharing your DIY efforts or if you are looking for feedback. I will assume you would like some feedback, so here goes.

1. I agree with Dakine and I would have made a wooden plug with a jig saw and a belt sander to mimic your foot plus some extra width for liner contraction, how much extra width is a judgement call.

2. Liners are almost always heated to stretch them. I or the shop have always heated them, put them in the boots, added footbeds, I put my foot in the boot and wear them for 15-30 minutes to stretch them to my feet. I usually add toe caps and any other padding to get extra stretch in needed areas. They shrink back some after cooling. Shops do this for free if you buy the boots from them. Get the shop to address this if you can.

3. I would have gone back to the shop you bought them from and confirmed they are the right liners, pulled some liners out of the same and other boots to compare. If they have a Part number, would have checked that with the factory to confirm they are the right ones. You can call the factory if you can find a part number on them. Just to make sure before putting effort into modifying them

4. The wooden block is better than your ear muffs cause you can heat the liner with the block inside. I would not heat the liner with the plastic ear muff in there. Two ways to heat the liner. Use a blow dryer with some distance (they can melt plastic if too close) and put heat into the inside of the liner. After heating for 20 minutes, put in the block and then heat the outside for a while as well. Or put them in your oven as long as it can be set for low temp's (you will have to check on the web, but I think something like 150 F is a ball park temp. Then put the block in (or put the block in before putting them in the oven). Leaving the block in for a week after heating would make sense too. You need heat, otherwise the liners will try to return to their original shape.

5. Lastly, it sounds like you did a shell fit, where you put your bare foot in the boot without the liner (foot bed optional) and confirmed your foot does not contact the shell. I am surprised the liner is so much narrower than the shell, it does sound like the wrong liner was put in the shell at the factory, or it happened at the store your bought them at (someone switched them from another pair of boots, shit happens)
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm going back to the shop and ask kindly is there's a possibility of some kind of mixup. Either from them or Salomon factory.

If not, I might get aftermarket zipfits.

I did find some numbers at the side of the liner: LM 26/5 330 SF18 26/27.5.

If Salomon S Pro owners would be so kind to check your liners, either the HV or standard models, and provide the product number, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

1622338423018.png
 
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markojp

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Most liners are quite easy to stretch. The elastic tab over the instep sometimes needs to be cut to relieve pressure.
 
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Rich_Ease_3051

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Most liners are quite easy to stretch. The elastic tab over the instep sometimes needs to be cut to relieve pressure.
Went back to the shop and got confirmation it wasn't a mix-up. The liner for the regular S Pro has a cloth like material for the cuff while the HV has a plastic type material.

They booked me to come back next week to do some work to heat and expand the liner on the pressure point that wraps around the widest part of my forefoot.

Want everything to be tight the way it except the widest areas in the metatarsal joints, as can be seen plainly here. I don't mind the toes squishing, but the metatarsal joints feel like the bones are squished together and pinching a nerve.

1622309074833.png
 
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markojp

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Yes, that was quite clear from all your photos, but stretching a liner is still very easy, particularly Salomon liners. If you came in to our shop, we'd have you done and out in 30min max, probably much closer to 10.
 

ScottB

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Sounds like you are on the right track. It should be much better after the appointment at the shop. Keep an eye on what they do so you can always DIY if needed in the future.
 

cem

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ok so firstly i have yet to encounter a liner that takes 50 days to break in ... 2-3 normally max 5
the liner you have in your boot is correct not a mix up in the shop or factory, it sounds like the shop didn't bother to do any heat treatment on that liner thought to help with the break in, some people want this some don't. it really sounds as thought the shop you bought from didn't complete the fitting, why not go back and see them for the adjustments

now the sneaky bit, all the new Salomon S max and S pro liners in 120 flex and up have a layer of what can only be described as canvas (its the consistency of artists canvas) as a backer in the forefoot area, its the pain in the ass, it stops the liner in the forefoot from conforming well to the foot yet holds the liner tight to its lasted original form, personally if i was salomon i would have removed that material from the midfoot forward, if the shell shape is good the liner doesn't need to make up for it and crush the forefoot width, the only thing i can put it down to is they are either trying to make the fit last longer or they are compensating for the excessive width in their shells above the stated lasts, Salomon head office is going through a massive restructure right now so i cant get an answer out of my normal R&D contacts ....

So how do you get over that, there are a number of things that you can do but with the greatest will in the world your current method isn't really going to bear much in the way of success. A wooden block as suggested may help a bit but the only way to get that liner to move and stay moved is with some heat, (careful heat) heat and an expanding press will help mould the materials and as your foot doesn't appear to have any major lumps and bumps on it then you should be fine with that method, other things that can be done are to snip the elastic gusset (or neatly pick the stitching and restitch it in a position to give more volume or peel the outer sole and have the board that the liner was lasted on split down the middle and the sole rebonded
in the past i have had the remove the canvas layer for someone with a large bunion, shell stretch was done but the liner just wouldn't move into the stretch due to this material

Failing all else and you decide to go with the zipfit (which is a great liner) do not buy the gara, the grand prix freeride is more appropriate for that shell (it is lasted 100mm where as gara is 98mm) other than the board lasting the only difference is the amount of OMfit in the back end of the liner which is 10% higher in the GP than the Gara, but the shell you have has plenty of space, the forefoot on both is neoprene so will stretch a LOT
 
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Rich_Ease_3051

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ok so firstly i have yet to encounter a liner that takes 50 days to break in ... 2-3 normally max 5
the liner you have in your boot is correct not a mix up in the shop or factory, it sounds like the shop didn't bother to do any heat treatment on that liner thought to help with the break in, some people want this some don't. it really sounds as thought the shop you bought from didn't complete the fitting, why not go back and see them for the adjustments

now the sneaky bit, all the new Salomon S max and S pro liners in 120 flex and up have a layer of what can only be described as canvas (its the consistency of artists canvas) as a backer in the forefoot area, its the pain in the ass, it stops the liner in the forefoot from conforming well to the foot yet holds the liner tight to its lasted original form, personally if i was salomon i would have removed that material from the midfoot forward, if the shell shape is good the liner doesn't need to make up for it and crush the forefoot width, the only thing i can put it down to is they are either trying to make the fit last longer or they are compensating for the excessive width in their shells above the stated lasts, Salomon head office is going through a massive restructure right now so i cant get an answer out of my normal R&D contacts ....

So how do you get over that, there are a number of things that you can do but with the greatest will in the world your current method isn't really going to bear much in the way of success. A wooden block as suggested may help a bit but the only way to get that liner to move and stay moved is with some heat, (careful heat) heat and an expanding press will help mould the materials and as your foot doesn't appear to have any major lumps and bumps on it then you should be fine with that method, other things that can be done are to snip the elastic gusset (or neatly pick the stitching and restitch it in a position to give more volume or peel the outer sole and have the board that the liner was lasted on split down the middle and the sole rebonded
in the past i have had the remove the canvas layer for someone with a large bunion, shell stretch was done but the liner just wouldn't move into the stretch due to this material

Failing all else and you decide to go with the zipfit (which is a great liner) do not buy the gara, the grand prix freeride is more appropriate for that shell (it is lasted 100mm where as gara is 98mm) other than the board lasting the only difference is the amount of OMfit in the back end of the liner which is 10% higher in the GP than the Gara, but the shell you have has plenty of space, the forefoot on both is neoprene so will stretch a LOT
Thanks for the comment. I'm learning a lot.

I went back to the shop and told them I only need the liner heated and expanded and they said that's not gonna make a difference and that the shell needs to be heated too.

So we did a 2nd round of reheating the shell and the liner but this time with a sticky pad thingy stuck to the side of my little toe metatarsal running down the fleshy part on the edge of the foot about 2 inches long. They made sure the liner and shell were hotter than last time and I wore them a bit longer this time without them cooling the shell with an ice pack. That is, just let the shell cool on ambient air. It took about 15 minutes and it was really painful from a foot pressure point of view.

When I got home I didn't feel the crushing sensation on my metatarsal anymore and my toes can spread just a wee bit than before. But here's the thing, I feel like the vacuum like seal on the heel pocketwasn't there anymore. Or it wasn't like before. It's not loose and floppy by any means, but the "vacuum sealed, airless pocket" feel when I first had the boots wasn't there.

I'll find out in about 3 weeks if it's just my imagination that it isn't as snug or if the temps up the mountain will make a difference. We'll see.
 
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cem

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Thanks for the comment. I'm learning a lot.

I went back to the shop and told them I only need the liner heated and expanded and they said that's not gonna make a difference and that the shell needs to be heated too.

So we did a 2nd round of reheating the shell and the liner but this time with a sticky pad thingy stuck to the side of my little toe metatarsal running down the fleshy part on the edge of the foot about 2 inches long. They made sure the liner and shell were hotter than last time and I wore them a bit longer this time without them cooling the shell with an ice pack. That is, just let the shell cool on ambient air. It took about 15 minutes and it was really painful from a foot pressure point of view.

When I got home I didn't feel the crushing sensation on my metatarsal anymore and my toes can spread just a wee bit than before. But here's the thing, I feel like the vacuum like seal on the heel pocketwasn't there anymore. Or it wasn't like before. It's not loose and floppy by any means, but the "vacuum sealed, airless pocket" feel when I first had the boots wasn't there.

I'll find out in about 3 weeks if it's just my imagination that it isn't as snug or if the temps up the mountain will make a difference. We'll see.

the liner can be heated separately an normally forms better as it is pushing against a cold hard shell, when the shell is warm it is that which deforms and the liner just stretches into the space while the plastic is warm, often it will just spring back to where it was, for me the best compression of that liner (assuming there is shell space) is simply to add a heavy pad to the areas i want to mould and then heat it up often a little more than the recommendation, but i am a rebel. if it needs more then open liner surgery is the best approach
 
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