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Fitting your ZipFits at home is easy.
Start by making sure you have the correct ZipFit for your foot, ski boot shell, and skier type. Also, have set a quality footbeds which properly fit into your ZipFits before you start.
While the goal is to get the fit right on the first try, what makes ZipFit unique is that they can be constantly tweaked. Unlike foam injection or other thermomoldable liners, fitting Zipfits is not a one shot deal with a single chance to dial them perfectly. So really the only precaution that must be taken is the following: Do not burn or overheat your ZipFit liners*.
The fitting process:
OK, so you’re ready to fit your ZipFits. Let’s start by massaging the inside where they will be hugging your ankles. Can you feel the OMfit cork material? This material is thermo active, meaning that at low temperatures it is stiff and rigid, such as when skiing, but when it is warmed it becomes malleable and easy to work with..
While it is possible to just swap out your stock liners with a pair of fresh ZipFits, go skiing and let all the dynamic forces shape the OMfit, we recommend you break in new ZipFit liners in above normal temperatures. This means warming the liners and shells in a controlled way to a target temperature between 45º-60º C (115º – 140º F), then stepping in your ZipFits, not forgetting your footbeds, and into your ski boot shells. Ideally you would go immediately skiing in hot boots, but you can simulate this by rolling side to side as if pressuring your edges and walking around in the warm boots.
- The best heating method is using a heat stack which is the advantage of going to a ski shop. Heat stacks will heat the ZipFit uniformly to 150º F + but won’t overheat the outsole or the black honey comb material.
- In an electric oven set the temperature at 55º-65º C (~150º F), making sure the broiler (the top heating element) is off and to use the fan option if available. Heat the liners, checking every few minutes, until warm to the touch and the cork is clearly malleable. Place a wooden cutting board or something between the liner and the metal wire rack. Leaving the oven door open can help to keep the heat lower.
- Boiling water. In a large stock pot, add around 1 inch of water and set it to boil. When it is boiling, add your ski boot shells upside down in the pot for a few minutes covered with a kitchen cloth so that the steam heats the shells. With the shells hot, insert the ZipFit liner with your footbed and foot into the shells. The heat from the shells will transfer to the liners and allow the OMfit cork to flow as needed.
- Use a Hot Gear Bag at its max setting overnight and step into the warm liners and shells in the morning.
- Take a sauna in your ski boots with your Zipfit’s in them. Alternatively let your shells and Zipfit’s sauna together then fit when warm as mentioned above.
- Place your ZipFits and shells next to a forced air heating system in your house until the OMfit cork feels malleable to the touch and your shells are softer and easier to step into.
- Use a hair dryer to warm the ZipFits, keeping enough distance and movement to avoid overheating any one area.
- Successive 10-15 second bursts in a microwave in a low setting moving the liner each time so that it heats evenly and it becomes warm to the touch and the cork is clearly malleable. Place an oven mitt or rag beneath the boot so it is not in contact with the glass plate.
*Heating your ZipFits above 75º C or 170º F can cause damage to the liners and will void your warranty.
Do you need to tweak your Zipfit’s to get the perfect fit? Here are some tips to help get your boots dialed.
ZipFit liners are fully customizable with three ports to add (or remove) our heat moldable OMfit cork, the key component to our legendary custom fit. All you will need are some tubes of OMfit cork, our plunger tool, and ideally a way to keep everything warm while you work.
Two ports (or sleeves) are located between the first and second lace loops counting from the front up, one on each side, and the third port is located on the top of the tongue behind the rigid black plastic. These ports, when not in use, are folded over once and tucked away in between the interior and exterior layers of the liner.
To do any fitting work that requires adding or removing cork, locate the ports, which are made of a black synthetic fabric, and pull them out with your nails or gently with a tool such as tweezers or needle nose pliers. Once pulled out pry the two layers apart sufficiently so they look like a sleeve that the tube of OMfit cork tube can slide into. If you are only able to find one half of the port, know that the shiny side of that material is the inside of the sleeve, so the other half of the port tab will be on the side that the shiny material is facing. Pro tip – warming the cork tube up for 15 seconds in the microwave will make application easier.
Now push the tube to into the cork pouch observing were the tip is at by looking at the inside of the liner. Point the end of the tube to where the OMfit material is needed. When the tube is correctly positioned use the plunger to push the OMfit material out of the tube and into the area of pouch where it is wanted. Start small by adding only 1/4 or 1/2 of a tube. Remember that it is easier to add cork than to remove it. Once the cork is in place remove the tube and massage the OMfit cork with your fingers to even it out and push it where needed. Once done adding cork the liner the initial fitting process should be redone so that the newly added material takes the anatomical shape of the skiers foot.
Tongue – the tongue pouch can accommodate a significant amount of cork, but again start small and migrate the cork where you want it by kneading the neoprene on the tongue with your thumbs. In extreme cases, skiers with skinny shins have added upwards or 3 tubes of cork to each tongue to achieve the heel lock they desire.
Ankles – each ankle pouch is divided into three channels to help position cork precisely where you want it. There is a channel behind the ankle for increasing hold along the achilles tendon – this channel comes stock full of cork and more material can’t be added to this channel. There is a channel directly over the ankle to add cushion or fill out volume for skiers with smaller ankles. Lastly, there is a channel in front of the ankle that adds security along the sides of the instep and bridge of the foot. Once the tube of cork is inserted into the port, direct it, right over the ankle or to the front of the ankle to add volume to your desired location.
In the event that there is too much cork in any particular area, first try warming the liner then massaging it to an area where it is less in the way, if it still is causing problems we recommend using as empty OMfit tube and inserting it into the port and directing cork into that tube. When you remove the tube, you will be able to see the amount of cork you removed from that pouch. If you don’t have an empty OMfit tube, it is 1/2″ diameter plastic and you could find a solution at your local hardware store. In our experience it is rare to need to remove material.