ZipFit World Cup liner

ZipFit World Cup, Blister Gear ReviewProduct: ZipFit World Cup custom liner

Skier: 5’10”, 155 lbs.

Skier Type (as described by BLISTER’s editor-in-chief): Idiotic; Doesn’t Turn; Lucky to be alive; Goes mach-looney either till he’s back at the lift or he’s blown up in spectacular fashion; A bit of of a living legend at Taos Ski Valley, which is saying something….

Foot: Size 10.5 street shoe, narrow width, medium instep, normal foot, low-volume lower calf

My regular ski boots: Lange RS 130, size 26.5, Last 97 mm

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Wasatch backcountry

Conditions tested in: Powder, Crud, Hardpack, Spring Corn

Test Duration: 75 Days

MSRP: $395

I started skiing when I was two years old. After an eight-year experiment with snowboarding, I jumped into a set of Lange comp 120 boots with custom foot beds ten years ago, and never looked back. I’ve since gone through about 10-12 pairs of comp 120s, and now ski in the Lange RS 130.

I rarely thought about custom liners beyond a few conversations with boot fitters and friends, because I have always been very satisfied with the Lange’s performance. They are considered some of the best stock liners in the industry, and the boot gave me everything I needed when considering ski performance.

My boots were also fairly comfortable, though this was a distant second when it came to what I was looking for in a boot.

They were also cold, but I didn’t care; that was an even more distant third requirement.

Typically, I will pad my ankle bones for a little additional heel lock, but that is about as customized as I’ve gone. Although I have tried on many boots, I have found nothing that fits as well right out of the box. (I do have a fairly skinny but otherwise normal foot with very few abnormalities in bone structure)  Therefore, I haven’t skied anything else since I was about 11 years old, 4’10”, and 105 lbs.

My attention turned to other liners at the beginning of this season after I decided to downsize my shell to a 26.5. I started out in a 26.5 ten years ago but lost toenails every season, so for the last five or six years I have been riding a 27.5. My right foot is fine in a 26.5, measuring 27.5 on the slider, however my left foot measures a 28 and was the problematic one in a 26.5 shell.

So I decided to try grinding almost a half centimeter out of a 26.5 shell to make it closer to a 27.0. This resulted in a month of pain and a lot of time at The Boot Doctors, which was well worth it for the performance gain, but also led to the discussion of other liners.

I have always been hesitant to try another liner, as I was concerned about a performance loss. But my thoughts changed about a month later with the first run on my ZipFits. Everything was improved, from fit to performance and comfort.

Run one on these liners was one of the more memorable runs of my year, simply because of this liner. I won’t forget it. I sit here in August and still remember the first four turns into Pollux at Taos that day. The conditions were hard pack bumps, but it was not the snow conditions that made this memorable. I can’t completely explain what happened, but it was the quickest and most in control (to those of you who know me, that alone is one helluva testament) I had ever skied the top portion of Pollux, and that sensation and feeling didn’t end until I exited onto the groomer at the bottom with a smile on my face.

So what happened? The performance of the boot was obviously much improved over the Lange stock liner, but why?

The big reason is that there was absolutely zero movement in the heel pocket, shin, or forefoot. The connectivity to and control of the ski that this gave me was outstanding. Through the rest of the season, I rarely even buckled my lower two buckles, this was how well these liners fit and performed.

A lot of this had to do with the materials and the fit process…

10 comments on “ZipFit World Cup liner”

  1. Imagine all those years of perfect skiing with complete control you could have had……..if you wearent so stubborn about aftermarket liners in the early years….:-)

    • cdub,

      I’m not aware of any place online where ZipFits can be purchased currently, but I sent a note to Sven to see if he had any more info. When I hear back, I’ll let you know. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s the list of ZipFit dealers from the ZipFit website:

    • Here’s the latest from Sven:

      “We have been selling the Zipfit’s on line for 8 years … and it has worked very well. Simply purchase them on-line through Describe the boot model and size and send a check.”

      The exact page is Fill in what you’re looking for in the “Comments or Questions:” box, then send a check to the address listed once they get back with an exact price. Also, as noted in the review, the site will be updated shortly, so this exact process might change, but for now, that’s how it works.

  2. So I purchased some used 26.5s for my 26.5 shells…and they were too small in length. Besides being uncomfortable to wear outside the shell, they curled my toes, making the boot completely unwearable (think crack climbing in bouldering shoes). Unfortunately, the liner has a hard plastic bottom so you can’t really stretch the toe box to get more volume. Granted, I have a tight shell fit and had some punching in the toes, but I’m still surprised because I’ve never heard or read about people having this issue.

    Joe, did you encounter anything like this before your 2-day break-in period? I mean, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and I had to get them off within minutes—nowhere near enough time to stand in line and ride a chair. (Obviously, this has nothing to do with the OMFit, just the neoprene toe box.)

    I might go try to find a size 27 at my local shop, but I thought I would throw out this warning to potential customers with a tight-fitting shell.

    • I had the opposite feeling. I felt the flexibility and compressibility of the neoprne gave me more room if anything in the forefoot.

      Are you positive both are 26.5? seems like this would only happen if you were a full size off in either the shell or liner. The neoprene toe box seems to be done very nicely on these liners.

      Are there any other differences in the setup? new foot beds, shims, etc?

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