Sunday, January 22, 2012

It`s the inside that counts

I like skiing. I don`t like blisters. Somehow these two get mixed up with my Scarpa T4 low-cuff telemark boots. I felt that was a bit strange as I have been extremely happy with my, now sadly disposed of, Scarpa T3 boots. These boots have seen me through a lot of fun stuff but were eventually falling to pieces. And the liners smelt like nuclear waste.

So. Off I went and got myself a pair of T4s, hoping they would be as good or even better than my T3s.

But so far I have been a bit disappointed. Because I get nasty blisters on the side of my feet.
I do not have blisterprone feet, as opposed to my wife who attracts them like honey to the bee.

One advice in a local shop was to drill a hole through the liner just next to where the pressure point is, but I decided to go for another option. A new, thermal liner.

This would have at least two nice benefits. A thermal liner is lighter and, more importantly, is custom fitted through the heating process, and should thus reduce the chance of blisters.
I have such a liner in my Scarpa T2 boots and really like them. Tried these in my T4, but felt they were too high for normal touring. Instead of blisters on my ankle, they would introduce blisters on my shin.

A bit of online research and a look in my wallet led me to Palau of France, and their TPM model which should be suitable for low-cuff telemark boots.
Palau TPM

A few days ago these arrived and below are some of my initial reactions.

For starters they are a lot easier to get in and out of than the stock liners, no disadvantage in really cold conditions, when you want your stuff to work with you, not against you. The stock liner is particularly difficult to get out of the shell. Not so with the Palau liners. So, round one. 1-0 in favor of Palau.

Like I mentioned above they are lighter. They weigh 242 grams each without a footbed, 270 grams with the original footbed that came with the stock T4 liners. In comparison the stock liners weigh 414 and 442 grams. Round two. 2-0.

The plastic shell, by the way,weighs 1246 gram each so in total the shell and palau weigh 1516 grams, the original version weighs 1688 grams. Not superlightweight, but plastic does provide more fun/stability going downhill.

The molding process was taken care of following Dave`s excellent step by step tutorial.

One disadvantage is that they are taller than the stock liners. How much of a problem that will turn out to be is something future trips will tell.

We went for a skitrip today, but with a 2.5 year old boy on, for him, long and wobbly skies, long distance skiing is not the first word that comes to mind.. I took off on a small hill nearby and managed to squeeze in a few turns. This was also the first time I tried skiing without the cuff on one boot. Worked quite well, but I guess 500 meters don`t give conclusive evidence :)

Looking forward to getting to know these liners. And go skiing!

1 comment:

  1. I had the T4s on my feet yesterday. In the shop. Still think they might be too much boot for the skiing I'm doing at the moment but I'm sure I'll need something similar soon. I am tired of the crap NNN boots available. There is still some room in the market for something in between.