Do Your Feet Hurt After Skiing? ZipFit Boot Liners Are One Man’s Life Mission To Fix That

Lucy Ferneyhough | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Sven Coomer, inventor of first plastic ski boot
Sven Coomer brought skiing into the era of the modern ski boot (see the Nordica Sapporo, middle), and now he’s created the next big technological innovation: ZipFit Boot Liners — Source: ZipFit Archives

Brought to you by ZipFit

Anyone who has skied for even a day in their life knows that ski boots, as a general rule, are often not very comfortable. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Sven Coomer created ZipFit Ski Boot Liners on the philosophy of working with your feet instead of against them, and they’re revolutionizing how skiers think about their inner boots.

“This liner made me realize that we as skiers no longer have to sacrifice comfort for performance.”

– Sam Goodhue, Pro Skier

Sven Coomer, the pioneer of modern ski boot technology and a recent inductee to the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, designed the first plastic shell ski boot for Nordica in the early 1970s. He knew that an all-plastic boot would provide enormous benefits for edging, control, and support; the challenge was finding a way to make it comfortably wearable. The idea of a separate inner-boot liner was the perfect solution and a critical turning point for ski boot technology, creating the blueprint for all new boot models for the last 50+ years.

Since then, most of the industry’s focus has been on improving the technical performance of ski boots by refining the shells, but not enough importance has been placed on what’s inside. From the beginning, when Sven was personally testing the first plastic boot prototypes, the significance of the inner liner stood out to him, leading him to create the first ZipFit Boot Liners in the late 1980s as an after-market solution in response to the lack of industry attention to boot liners.

ZipFit logo
ZipFit Boot Liners: Made to “get more skiers in comfortable boots” — Source: Sven Coomer, ZipFit Founder

The modern plastic shell is extremely constraining so that it can provide such strong ankle support; however, this means that the fit of the inner liner is critical for all skiers, but especially those that have any preexisting physical conditions that affect their feet.

Most modern boot liners use an injected foam system because it allows the liner to be custom-fit to a skier’s foot. However, the foam is not adjustable after injection and has significant limitations, mainly that it absorbs impacts and compresses over time (AKA ‘packing out’). Changing the fit and support around your foot cannot then be fixed without replacing the liners. Without a precise fit, your foot is more prone to move around in your boot, leading to painful injuries like toe bang, shin bang, bone spurs, blisters, broken toenails, numbness, cold feet, and more.

These challenges that are characteristic of both factory boot liners and injected foam liners are precisely why Sven spent years developing a uniquely formulated cork composite material, OMFit cork.

“I’ve always struggled with boots and liners. I ski professionally and a partially torn achilles tendon made me take off weeks at a time for about 4 years of my career. I could never get the proper retention in a boot due to a lower volume ankle coupled with a long big toe and kind of wide foot so I used tons of J bars all the time. I’ve tried intuition liners, 3 piece boots and 2 piece boots. Sizing up… sizing down. In 2015 I bought a pair of these liners [ZipFits] in Jackson Hole, filled the ankle pocket with more cork, and seriously have never looked back.”

– Giray Didali, Pro Skier

ZipFit boot liners make all your boots feel like the perfect fit
So many pro skiers are speaking out about ZipFit liners being their game changing piece of gear, the cork secret weapon they swap between their boots and won’t ski without. — Source: Outside Business Journal, Grizly Gulch

But how exactly does using cork make ZipFits better than any other boot liners on the market?

1. Performance: OMFit Cork is heat-activated, making it easy to mold your liner perfectly to your foot, but unlike foam, the cork is continuously activated by your body warmth as you’re skiing, allowing your ZipFits to dynamically adjust to better support you. As cork naturally has high pliable strength and resilience, it can provide a dynamic fit without packing out. In other words, it transfers energy directly between your legs and your skis, without absorbing it and compacting. In practice, this gives you more control and precision over your turns and movements because your feet and skis are directly communicating.

“The level of support and control I have with ZipFit liners immediately opened up new doors in my skiing. Shin bang disappeared overnight. Tight lines and maneuvers like toe butters immediately became easier, thanks to the additional heel lock the liners provided. On top of that, my feet were comfortable in my boots for the first time ever. Heel spurs and sixth toe swelling began to dissipate immediately. For the first time, I could ski bell to bell every day without having to take days off to rest my feet.”

– Jacob Bavoso, Big Sky MT

2. Comfort: Since OMFit does not pack out, you always get the exact like-a-glove fit that your ZipFits originally molded to your feet, but they’re also adjusting as you use them, so the experience is truly like breaking in the perfect pair of boots that just feel more and more like home every time you put them on. ZipFits are also fully equipt for the cold with a Merino wool toe box encased in neoprene to ensure that you have space to wiggle your toes, promoting blood flow to keep you warm.

OMFit Cork Composite, the source of ZipFit boot liners' magic.
Sven Coomer’s proprietary OMFit Cork Composite is the wonder material that’ll make your feet fall in love with your ZipFits from the first moment. — Source: ZipFit

3. Customization: ZipFits are structured with their OMFit cork in pre-packed pouches anatomically located throughout the liner to match the curves of your lower leg. The cork pouches also have accessible ports that allow you to add or remove cork composite to adjust your fit until it’s just right.

4. Longevity: ZipFit prides themselves on making liners that routinely outlast ski boot shells. Much of this comes down to the quality materials used, including leather, neoprene, microfibre, and the incredibly durable and adjustable OMFit cork.

“The pair that I’m using in my boots today have seen somewhere between 1400-1500 days! Kinda cool, kinda gross, but they haven’t packed out whatsoever from the first day I put them in my boots. The fit is super snug, yet not painful, allowing me to spend 9-10 hours in my boots five days a week and still want to go freeskiing on the weekend.”

– Brian Dalla Betta (Ski Patroller, Snowmass, CO)

The ski industry is finally seeing the importance of good ski boot liners, and ZipFit liners are the best.
From arcing high performance turns to sending nose butter 900s, foot positioning is key. This is why the top boot fitters recommend ZipFits for superior heel lock. — Source: ZipFit

As ski boots got more technical, foot comfort got swept to the side, despite being arguably the most important aspect of skiing. Skiers deserve better; we don’t need to have our days cut short because of sore feet or replace our liners every season to maintain a good fit. Your ski boots are your only point of communication with your skis, so it’s crucial that they transmit your movements and energy as precisely as possible, but they can only do this if they fit well enough that they can act effectively as a direct extension of your legs.

ZipFit liners are the upgrade that you’ll thank yourself for, especially since, on average, they are better value for money than other competing ski boot liners. With a competitor’s liners costing approximately $200 and recommended to have 100 days of use, they break down to $2/day.

In comparison, the current longest lifespan for a pair of ZipFits is 1500 days, but on average, skiers get at least 300 days out of their liners. Costing $500, if you skied your ZipFits for 300 days, they would be $1.65/day, $0.35 less cost per day than the competing liner. And if you make it all the way to break the 1500 day record, you bring down your cost per day to only $0.33!

Testimonials from ZipFit users worldwide, ranging from casual skiers to top pros, affirm the difference that properly fitting inner boots have on your skiing experience. Skiers like Giray Didali are leading the movement of ZipFits as the next significant ski boot advancement in history, sharing their stories of how their ZipFits have improved both their comfort and performance on the slopes.

Why waste another day in liners that don’t fit or perform the way you deserve?

Your feet are worth the investment.

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...