Going Farther in the Backcountry with Intuition Liners

Katy Shipley | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Happy feet will get you further. Image: Intuition Liners

Brought to you by Intuition Liners

For backcountry skiing, comfortable boots are the key to longer tours and more aggressive descents. With the right boot and liner, you can take your backcountry stamina to the next level without cold, painful feet. Replacing the stock liners in your favorite boots can bring them to life and increase your performance, both uphill and downhill. 

About Intuition

Intuition Liners
Intuition Liners are tried and tested by some of the most extreme athletes. Image: Intuition Liners

Intuition Liners has been around for 25 years and is the leader in replacement boot liners. Some of the best big mountain, freeride, and backcountry skiers look to Intuition Liners as the answer to the perfect boot. When it comes to boot comfort and performance, it is what’s inside that counts.

“Cold, sore feet should not be a part of winter sports! Packed out liners are a pain!”

– Intuition Liners

The moldable foam in all of their products is durable, warm, lightweight, and does not absorb water. They are the perfect choice for anyone looking to put more days in their boots. Intuition provides an array of boot liners, including ones that are touring specific.

Touring Specific Liners:

Intuition Pro Tour 

  • Best for backcountry, tell, and touring applications
  • Three volumes to accommodate a range of shell fits
  • Lightweight with a roomy toe box
  • Strategic rear panel for increased range of motion 
  • Stiff upper cuff for performance and responsiveness
intuition tour pro
Intuition Pro Tour. Image: Intuition Liners

Intuition Tour Wrap

  • Medium volume liner designed to work with most A/T, touring, and tele shells
  • Perfect combo of stiffness for descent and range of motion for touring
  • Rear flex panel and adjustable lace system
intuition tour wrap
Intuition Tour Wrap. Image: Intuition Liners

Intuition Tour Mod

  • Performs best in low volume and tele shells
  • Thin, high-density Moccasin tongue style liner
  • Velcro tab lace loops to prevent shifting while touring
  • 4mm extension to toe box that accommodates wider forefeet
  • Modular foam reinforcements for further customization of cuff, tongue, and heel hold
intuition tour mod
Intuition Tour Mod. Image: Intuition Liners

Pro Tips with Intuition’s Female Athletes

I was lucky enough to chat with Intuition athletes Natalie Segal, Sophia Schwartz, and Veronica Paulsen about boots and backcountry skiing. I wanted to know what these backcountry pros had to say about their gear, when to get new liners, and of course, how to throw the perfect backie. 

All three spend over 60% of their ski days in the backcountry and collectively hold 73 years of skiing experience. While they each ski in different boots, all rock Intuition Liners in their go-to backcountry set up. 

Meet The Athletes

Intuition Athlete Natalie Segal. Image: Nat Segal

Natalie Segal 

Home Mountain: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC

29 Years Skiing

Primary Ski Disciplines: Freeride and Backcountry

Career Highlights: 

  • 6 Years on the Freeride World Tour
  • Successfully completed a human-powered ski-sail expedition to southern Greenland that included nine first descents.
Intuition Athlete Sophia Schwartz. Image: Sophia Schwartz

Sophia Schwartz

Home Mountain: Jackson, WY

28 Years Skiing

Primary Ski Disciplines: Big Mountain, Ski Mountaineering, Moguls

Career Highlights:

  • 3 Years on US Freestyle Mogul Team
  • World Championship Team (2015)
Intuition Athlete Veronica Belle Paulsen. Image: Veronica Belle Paulsen

Veronica Paulsen

Home Mountain: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

16 Years Skiing

Primary Ski Disciplines: Big Mountain and Freeride

Career Highlights:

  • 1st Place at Kings and Queens of Corbet’s (2020) 
  • 1st Woman to attempt a backflip into Corbet’s Couloir

“What is Your Favorite Boot and Liner Combo for Big Backcountry Days?”

Natalie: Dalbello Lupo 120 AX with the Intuition Tour Wrap liner.

Sophia: Fischer Ranger Free with the Pro Tour liner. You can’t find a better combo for weight + performance. My motto is: Yes- going up is fun! Let’s be real- the down is why we are out there!

Veronica: K2 Mindbender 110 with the Intuition Power Wrap liner.

“How Long Do Your Liners Usually Last?”

Natalie: Generally one season, but I usually have at least 100 days on them.

Sophia: Probably in the 150-day range. I find my footbeds wear out before my liners do!

Veronica: They usually last me one ski season, which for me is 115+ days.

“What Are the Tell-Tale Signs You Need New Liners?”

Natalie: My boots begin to feel softer, and I have more give in my boots – those buckles get cranked too high!

Sophia: Most people replace their liners when they get “packed out.” The material has been compressed, and your boots can feel too big, or your feet slosh around inside. Also, you may find you wear out just one part of the liner. I haven’t seen holes in my Intuitions, but I would get them in older liners by my heel. 

Veronica: I know I need new liners when I am getting too much wiggle room around the foot.

“What Wears Out Your Liners the Quickest?”

Natalie: High mileage – especially long days walking

Sophia: I haven’t noticed anything particular, but I’d guess high mileage. Mostly just the amount of time/days you spend in them. 

Veronica: I’ve found that hot spring days tend to wear out my liners the quickest.

“Key To Stomping the Perfect Backie?”

Natalie: Trampolines, visualize, build a good jump, believe.

Sophia: The hips! It can be tempting to create rotation by throwing your head and shoulder backward, but that makes the flip harder to control. All your power comes from the hips. Also, it is important to make sure you fully extend your legs on take-off. That helps you go up and have a nice arc (which is key to a good landing) rather than a flat trajectory. 

Veronica: Spotting your landing and coming into it with confidence!

“Intuition Liners give me the extra boost in performance that I need, without sacrificing comfort. Since I practically…

Posted by Intuition Liners on Wednesday, 4 November 2020

“Your Most Memorable Backcountry Trip”

Natalie: Skiing first descents in Greenland from a boat. That was wild.

Veronica:  One of my most memorable backcountry trips was a spring trip into the Desolation Wilderness in Tahoe, California. We were out there for three days. We skied off two different peaks, and we would end our days swimming in the lake, camping where we could admire our tracks from the day. The skiing wasn’t particularly gnarly, but it was an unforgettable trip! 

Sophia: Two years ago, I skied my first ever backcountry line with a rappel. My friend Betsy Manero led the route finding, helped me with the rope and my rappel device, and introduced me to a new type of skiing. I was hooked and practiced growing these skills over the next season. About exactly one year after my first time skiing the line, I was able to lead my friend Sofia Jaramillo down it for her first rappel, with help from our friend Dani Reyes-Acosta. 

It taught me that it is super fun to be on both sides, as a newbie out learning and as a leader. It is also amazing how much you can learn in a day or an experience. You not only learn new things but gain awareness of all the things you had no idea you didn’t know! 

Betsy made a purposeful choice to take me out there. She opened the door for another woman to get involved. Because of her efforts, I could open the door for two Latina women to get involved, and they will bust down many doors to come. It takes intention and purpose to work towards inclusion.

Every year, I set a goal of passing along my acquired knowledge. It doesn’t have to be a high consequence rappel line, it can just be helping someone go up the resort for the first time on touring gear or introducing someone to a mellow safe zone in the backcountry where they can practice powder turns. You’d be amazed how much knowledge you have to share. Trust me, those days will end up being some of your all-time favorites!

Ropes, Ice Axes, Crampons… oh my! Saturday was my first official ski mountaineering/ rappel mission! Huge thank you to @…

Posted by Sophia Schwartz on Monday, 1 April 2019

So, Are You Ready for Ski Touring Season?

Knowing when to get new liners for your boots is crucial if you plan to tackle long backcountry tours this season. If you have been clocking high mileage in the backcountry, you are likely noticing the effect it has on your boots already. If you start to see those signs of being “packed out,” do your feet a favor and upgrade your liners. 

It’s so easy to Choose Your Fit online or go into a ski shop and buy boot liners. Molding your liners gives you the best fit, and most ski shops will include it in the price. Intuition Liners are found everywhere and can be used in almost any ski boot shell. As you can see, boots are undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of gear in skiing, so why not give yourself the best chance at happy feet in the backcountry?

Backcountry views like this make the journey worthwhile. Image: Nat Segal

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