I am looking to purchase a Dynafit TLT8 Carbonio boot for a longer excursions than my Maestrale RS would make enjoyable (Maestrale is a great boot and I am going to keep it but not for tours with long approach). I tried the boot and like it overall, however with the original Dynafit liner it seems to have a lot of room in the heel pocket and the toe box, the former being a bigger concern.
In various discussion forums I saw many mentions of folks replacing the original liners with something beefier. I tried to put the Scarpa liner (Intuition Pro Flex G) into the TLT8 boot, but it appeared to be too thick, as I cannot even close the boot after I eventually managed to stick my foot in. So, I need to get something mid-place between Dynafit Custom Light (TLT8 original) and Intuition Pro Flex G in thickness, preferably one that has more material in the heel pocket.
Also, the related question to REI staff, do you plan to sell such liners?
Great question! The best way to address this issue- particularly the heel pocket space- is by adding foam pads to the outside of the liner between the liner and the boot. The pads we use when boot fitting are pre-cut self-adhesive 'L' shapes and fit on either side of the back of the ankle to hold the calcaneus (heel bone) down into place and keep it centered. They fit inside the pocket where the achilles tendon meets the heel bone, with the 'L' shape curving around the knobby anklebones on both sides.
This will do wonders for keeping your heels locked down, and costs ~$5 instead of the ~$175 for a new liner.
Especially for touring boots, all the hiking and movement happening in the boot can cause these pads to slip and move slightly. I like to add a strip of duct tape or gorilla tape to completely cover the pad to reduce friction and keep the pad exactly where I want it.
You can do the same thing for the toe box- identify where there's too much room, cut a corresponding shape from a rectangular blank of foam and add it to your liner.
Of course you can always replace the full liner, however the Intuition Pro Flex is on the thinner side of liners that Intuition makes, so putting something even thinner in there will still have you feeling like that heel pocket is too roomy.
I hope this helps!
I will try a couple of liners and perhaps eventually do as you suggest (liners are returnable, so as long as I am at the quest for the "dream boots" why not). One thing that I missed in the first tries was the insole. As soon as I installed the off-the-shelf green Superfeet, I realized that the fit with the original liner is much closer to the optimal than I initially thought. The other thing that the new liner may address is the warmth of the boot, which may be a factor in the long tours, while the original Dynafit liner is a little more than a sock. Scarpa's Intuition is on the other hand so warm that I perhaps can stay in these boots indefinitely at temperatures in the upper 10s, lower 20s without even moving.
Glad it was helpful- I did miss the insole step in what I described- Putting an insole in the liner/boot should always be the first step for fit.
As for the quest for perfect fit, just remember that it's an evolving process. I've been in the "perfect" pair of boots for 3 seasons, and have had to adjust fit with foam pads and new insoles each season and sometimes mid-way through the season.
Liners pack out, the musculature and flexibility of the foot/ankle changes between seasons and throughout the season. What feels/skis great in October will feel different in February. If you're on a quest for truly perfect fit, don't expect a 'one and done' solution.
Also, a note regarding warmth: if your liner is too tight over the instep and blocks the veins there, it won't matter how thick or warm the liner is- if blood can't circulate, your feet will get cold. Just something to keep in mind (:
Fingers crossed for a very snowy '20-'21!