Foot: size 10.5 / 11 street shoe, c+ width (105mm width, static & weighted), high instep, low volume ankle and lower calf.
My regular ski boots: 2012/13 Tecnica Cochise Pro 130, size 27.5
Conditions tested: Basically everything.
Product Tested: Intuition PowerWrap, Intuition Dreamliner (HV and MV), Intuition HD Race (LV).
There are two common questions I get asked time and time again: (1) “Do I need Intuition liners?” and (2) “Which Intuition liner is right for me?”
These are good questions, and ones I’ll do my best to answer in this review.
Intuition sent me a selection of liners for this review, and I have been playing with them all season. My selection consisted of an Intuition PowerWrap, a Dreamliner High Volume, a Dreamliner Mid Volume, and the new HD Race Low Volume. I was especially excited to try the HD Race and the Dreamliner because the PowerWraps have been my everyday liners for the last 150 days or so.
For this review, I will be comparing these Intuition liners to the stock liner from my 2012/2013 Tecnica Cochise Pro boots, which will serve as a control to contrast the aftermarket Intuition liners to a high-end stock liner. The new 2012/2013 Tecnica Cochise Pro stock liners are hugely improved from the test liners I reviewed in my original Cochise review. Last season I suggested throwing the stock liners straight into the trash; the new Tecnica liners show a nice bit of improvement in fit, function, and finish. (Note: an in-depth 2012/2013 Cochise Pro review is in the works.)
Before getting into the Intuition liners in depth, I should say that it is very important to understand a few key concepts about boot fitting, and to be honest with yourself about your needs, abilities, and goals as a skier. When in doubt, always consult a skilled boot fitter. If you are somewhat new to the boot-fitting game, please follow this link to BLISTER’s Boot Fitting 101 and 201 articles, and see my own suggestions at the end of this review (Appendix) to help you understand the process and get it right.
INTUITION LINERS – HOW THEY WORK
Most Intuition liners are constructed from a unique material called Ultralon, which is a heat-moldable, closed-cell foam. Stock liners, on the other hand, use open-cell foam, which is lower density, packs out and compresses significantly more than closed-cell foam, and retains its exact shape less effectively than Intuition’s closed-cell foam.
Once warmed in a special convection oven, Intuition’s Ultralon foam lofts and expands to a uniform thickness and is soft and pliable to the touch. Once this material cools, it compresses, becomes denser and stiffer, and retains the shape it was molded to.
The molding process is rather straightforward. You put your foot into the warm, lofted liner, insert your foot and liner into the shell, clamp the boot tightly, and wait for the liner to cool as it molds to your foot’s anatomy and the boot’s internal shell. Once done, the Ultralon material is thick where you need it to take up space, but thin and compressed where your foot needs more space relative to the shell. This gives a custom-shaped liner to both your foot and the shell.