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Zipfit experiences?

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#1
Jumping in with my first post here. I noticed some intriguing Zipfit comments in some other threads and and am hoping to see if I can draw out some more. I guess I‘m kind of trying to find out how/what it took to love your Zipfits or give up on them?

I noticed a few people felt like the Zipfits gave great heel hold, but often had too much room in the toe area. I had the opposite experience and was hoping a few more ladies might be able to chime in.

A little backstory to my journey. I started out as others here have buying my first pair of boots at more of a chain ski store. Luckily?! got the length right with a 22.5, but they had limited selection and it was a medium volume boot and before long I was swimming in it. Moved on to the Atomic Hawx Ultra 95 (the 110 had a better liner, but the plastic was so stiff I feared I wouldn’t be able to put them on by myself) so I opted for the 95‘s. Sadly they also didn’t have the heel hold I was hoping for and the liners packed out quickly. I was was ready to give up on those too, but a different bootfitter thought Zipfits were the solution. I decided to give it a go and he ordered some 22 Garas for me. First day out with them I experienced entire foot numbness others mentioned. Went back to the shop and they put toes caps on me and we reheated the shells for more toe space. That helped, but I still had heel movement which was very surprising given my expectations of Zipfits. I even had more Omfit added. Last modification was butterfly pads which I wasn’t thrilled with...the whole point of Zipfits was to not need pads like that! I also could never really flex the Atomics. We went up to VT over Christmas and I went to see a bootfitter there I found last year after the first day of skiing. Ended up buying new boots and at least for now hoping the stock liners work out, but I am afraid they’ll pack out too. He said I could try putting my Zipfits in the new boots, but not there yet. He mentioned that the inside side of the Zipfit liners felt like he expected them too, but the outside side was too hard. He offers intuition liners, knows about Zipfits, but doesn‘t sell them. I now own these expensive liners, but just don‘t quite know if I should keep messing with them.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I had Zipfits for a bit. They did a good job of taking up the space I needed in my boot, but they also made my boots too stiff and put me too far forward due to too much padding on the back of my leg. I think they can work well for some people, they just didn't work for me, especially in combo with the shell I had them in. They were very warm and comfy, though!

ETA: Since you already own them, when it gets to the point that your liners are packed out, you may want to try them in your new shells. Can't hurt. You may have to adjust the amount and placement of the cork filling in them for the new shell as it won't be the same as your previous shell.
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
I had ZipFits for a while in a pair of Atomic Hawx Ultras as well. They made a huge difference, but I had to add a lot of the cork filler and ultimately, although they were much better than the stock liners, they just didn't take up as much room as I needed. I ended up finding a pair of boots with shells that were a more appropriate fit for my feet.

Also, as @tinymoose says, the ZipFits will stiffen your boots and they take up a lot of room in the calf area. The toe material isn't very warm, either.

The Hawx Ultras are relatively narrow boots, so hopefully they'll work for you without too much tinkering. The liners will of course pack out eventually, but if the shell fit is appropriate for you, then something like an Intuition liner might be a more simple solution than ZipFits.

Fwiw, I sold my ZipFits for a decent price and they were pretty heavily used and modified, so if you decide to ditch them, you could put some good money toward a different replacement liner down the road.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#4
Thanks @tinymoose and @SallyCat! I do hope my latest boots are the 'right' ones for my feet.

I think I'm still finding that balance between advocating for myself and deferring to what the boot fitter thinks/knows. Even though he added cork it wasn't enough and it's nice to hear that someone else had to have a lot of cork added too. It never crossed my mind to try and sell them....that's a good thought for down the road.

@SallyCat once you found boots that were a good match for your feet did the stock liners 'last' longer or did you eventually need to change them out?
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
@edelweissmaedl I was one who noted too little liner in the width toe box of the zip fit.

I have the Mach1 LV from 2016. I had well over 100 days on the stock liner before trying the zip fit. The boot fits very well in ALL areas. I did not have any heel hold issues with the stock liner. Agreed to "upgrade" to the Zip fit last fall, realized that it was worse than the stock liner. Sure the heel hold was good but not substantially better and my forefoot was "lost." So returned.

Put original stock liner back in with a little thicker sock (I normally wear very thin socks). Seeing that I could purchase the exact liner from Tecnica (with limited stock), I ordered and received in late January. Never got around to replacing the liner last season, covid shut down and was using AT gear for remainder of my 'season.'

This season put in the new 'stock' liner and its been better. But my warning for you is that in the process of "fitting my boot" to the zip fit, the boot was apparently heated and I feel that the boot is now stretched - even if its a mm its different. My boot is not a heat moldable shell so this should not have changed it as much as I perceive. I now have duck tape at the toe dam/under first buckle b/c I was getting colder feet. So if you do decide to try in the zip fit in your new boot make sure it can tolerate heating IF that is the process your fitter uses to fit the zip fit. This aspect of the whole process bums me out the most - the fitting process messed up the boot.

So for the remainder of this year I will work with the new stock liner, which breaking in has gone pretty well after skiing the first day in nylons ;0 Ironically on Sierra I found the exact replacement intuition liner for my AT boot, so I ordered 2 and will try one in the Mach1 as they are very similar. If that does not work I have been looking at replacement options but would rather get new boots next year.

I feel I probably would have been better served with an intuition in the Mach1 as a replacement because I was not trying to "fix" any issues, just replace a liner that worked well. IF you have a shell that needs more heel/ ankle and fits tight in the toe box I think the Zip fit is a great option. But I also think sometimes the zip fit is used to fix a boot that doesn't fit that well in the first place.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#7
They are "race" boots, so they come with a very thin liner. I don't think there's really much to pack out, because there isn't much there to begin with.
My boot fitter called my new boots "civilian" race boots and the liners are quite thin. Fingers crossed that means there isn't much to pack out. The last two boots/liners got loose so fast that I'm just sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#9
@Jilly the Atomics weren't the right boot for me in the end. I'm now in the Fischer RC4 Podium GT 110 VFF.

Crazy because after my struggle with the Atomic's in the 95 flex I was convinced I would need to go down to a softer boot. I can flex my new boots more than I ever could those Atomics!
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I have zipfits and quite a boot saga. I've ended up happy with my zipfits.

I was fitted into atomic hawx ultras as they were the narrowest shell I tried on without going to race/plug boots, which I wanted to avoid as a beginner-intermediate skier. My fitter commented I would probably end up in race boots and aftermarket liners in the future because of my narrow feet. The hawx with the stock liner were wonderful for about 5-10 days until the liners packed down. Then I had ~20 ski days of increasing agony before getting the zipfits. I had too much heel movement and started forming an inflamed bony protrusion on the back of my heel (pump bump) which took months to settle down. I ended up completely unable to flex my ankles in my ski boots without pain. This season the bony lump is pain-free (yay!) but it seems to be permanent.

Anyway, we tried a ton of different modifications to my existing liners, eventually got the zipfits, the fit wasnt initially great (though it was an improvement), i had too much pressure on the tops of my feet, i had material pushed out of the base of the tongue to alleviate this and i had a lot more OMfit added to the heel space of my smaller foot. I'd say after about 10-12 days in the zipfits and these modifications, they've been great. I may still get more OMfit added but the horrible heel lifting and bony pain hasn't returned. I've now had close to 80 days in the hawx boots, and nearly 50 days in the zipfits. I have a ton of room around my toes but because my heel hold is greatly improved, it's ok. I'm looking to get at least another season out of the setup.

They do add stiffness. I had a bolt added to my hawx boots that supposedly adds +10 flex, and I removed that bolt after like two runs with my zipfits to bring the flex back down to something that felt right, so i estimate they add +10 flex.

No comment about the zipfits taking up too much calf space. I sometimes need to buckle to the tightest possible notch on the top buckle of my shells, despite the zipfits. I do have chronically skinny calves though. YMMV!!
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Everyone reading this thread needs to know that more "cork" filling (aka "omfit") can be added to different parts of any unit. A good bootfitter will have some stashed in the back room. A great bootfitter can remove some too if it's overdone. I've been through both processes with mine.

No Zipfit model will not laterally snug up the ball-of-foot area. If your shell is too wide there, this liner will not fix it. There's only a single layer of neoprene down there.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I echo the majority of the sentiments expressed above, and will also add that it always felt like the cork was changing throughout the day, especially in warmer weather. Because, that's what it does. So while every morning, if I heated the liners in my heated boot bag, they'd reshape, they'd then cool off, then warm up again and start shaping in odd ways.

I now have Intuition FX Race liners because I am in a 92mm last boot to match my 83mm wide feet as closely as possible. Yes, they've packed a little but no more than any stock liner I've ever used (less, in fact.) They're warmer, they hold my foot much better, and they're comfortable. Bonus is they are easy to get into and out of the shell if you need to. They're also easy to get my foot into.
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
I always had a very difficult time finding the cork filler; no bootfitters seemed to carry it. I was finally able to find one shop out west that sold it, so I ended up having to buy a couple of tubes of cork plus the applicator and do it myself.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#14
Thanks @WaterGirl, @fgor, @liquidfeet, @contesstant and @SallyCat!

Although not fun it's nice to hear several of you had to add more than just a little more OmFit. (Luckily the shop that sold me the ZipFit carries extra OmFit) Based on what I've read and my experience so far with the ZipFit, I feel like I am leaning towards trying an Intuition liner next before trying the Zipfits again. Although my less than impressed experience with the Zipfit may have to do with trying to make a shell work that was never really the right fit for me (like @fgor my liners probably packed out just as quick or quicker).

Opposite @fgor I was never able to flex the Hawx, the shells were really hard to pry open to slide my laced up ZipFitted foot into it, and unless I add more OmFit or something I was still compensating for lift by overtightening my lower buckles. I ended up with a numb instep for 6 weeks at the end of last season and am probably lucky it wasn't permanent.

I also think I need to decide how to handle my boot fitter situation. I'm lucky that I have good bootfitter options within <1 hr of where I live, but and hills are nearly 2 hrs away. Although they are good it's another level of good in my opinion when I see my now preferred fitter Torin in Ludlow, VT. Problem is I live 8 hrs away. In another thread there was chatter about uncoordinated modifications on a boot (ie. switching between fitters) and there definitely was some of that with the Hawx.

When buying my new boots it was down to the Fischers or a plug boot. It was hard to say which was the better choice. He had an Initiution liner he had ordered for someone else in a 22 in the store and I could have tried it on, but he mentioned how snug it would be and I wanted to give the stock liners a chance since the do lace up, etc. (Although I feel like I'm not afraid of snug!)
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Opposite @fgor I was never able to flex the Hawx, the shells were really hard to pry open to slide my laced up ZipFitted foot into it,
Imo the hawx are REALLY hard to get into. It's easier inside where I can brace my foot against a carpeted surface, but in the carpark when it's icy.... agh!