Deeluxe Thermo Fit Liner: Deeluxe Keeps Your Feet Comfy!December 29th, 2005 Billy Bordy

 

Deeluxe boot liners of bladders have undergone a change, which has confused some consumers lately.
Last year the Indy and Suzuka introduced the new thermo fit liner.
This bladder has all ofthe fine features as the standard bladder has always offered by Deeluxe (Raichle) but is infused with some Thermo Liner parts providing more support and comfort than ever before in a thermo product.
This new liner has quickly become the standard for comfort and response and has found its way into several ski boots next year as well! It is very exciting to see Deeluxe take the Thermo Fit Ideas to a more durable and supportive bladder.

The full Thermo Bladder was introduced in the Raichle line over 10 years ago.
This was the first time a full heat moldable custom liner was available to the consumer in a ski or snowboard boot.
The first liners allowed a fit only achieved with a custom, foam bladder before at a fraction of the cost. However the first generation bladders proved to be soft and flimsy with very little support compared to traditional bladders or custom foam bladders.
Many riders and skiers noticed just how soft the full thermo liners were and where unable to cope with the shin bang and over all discomfort.
Raichle quickly redesigned the bladder into a higher density model for plastic boots but continued to use the softer liner in their soft boot line providing ample support for the soft, flexing boots of the time.
This soft boot line was the first to carry the Deeluxe name now engulfing the hard boot line.

The new high density thermo line provided more support but still was prone to shin bang amongst hard charging riders.
Again the bladder was improved providing more support and durability while surrounding the rider’s foot in a custom fit unmatched at the time.
The full thermo Bladder has continued to find its way into many types of supportive boots that are softer than a ski boot such as telemark and snowboard soft boots but in many riders’ opinions, still fell short of a truly supportive bladder for a snowboard hard-shell boot.
Most team riders at the time still used the traditional bladder for the support and durability, sacrificing the comfort of the Full thermo bladder.
The other option was to modify the fit and shape of the boot or bladder to fit the riders needs (a very common practice).

Realizing the need for a blend of both bladders Deeluxe went back to the drawing board and returned with a winner.
The new Thermo Fit liners provide all the support of the traditional bladder that now includes Thermo Fit sections in the key areas like the tongue and heel.
These heat moldable sections provide the same fit as previous focusing on these areas.
This allows the exterior to remain much more durable and technical with multiple types of materials being used in key spots.
Prior to this bladder, one of the benefits of the full thermo bladder was the molding process.
This process not only custom fit your foot to the liner but also custom fit the bladder to the boot providing a great interface.Deeluxe designed the Thermo Fit bladder to continue the same solid interface.
Some new features have also been added to the Thermo fit bladder such as a non slip sole and heel lock down and a softer toe box providing great feel and fit.
Perhaps the biggest benefit though is the solid plastic tongue insert combined with a wrap around power strap that, unlike many straps in the past by Raichle, works very well to decrease shin bang and provide upper boot power.
This makes the addition of an after market strap a luxury not a necessity as with the fully moldable Speed Thermo liner.

With a Molding process considerably less intense than the new, Full Thermo Speed liner in the 2005 line, the Thermo fit bladder does not require a molding session prior to a riding session.
All of us at Hardbooter went the whole season without a mold by a Boot fitter and not a single iota of discomfort.
There was also a less than normal break in period ( 2 to 3 days) than I have experienced in a traditional bladder from Deeluxe in the past( 4 to 7 days). All around this Bladder is by far the best of both worlds out of the Deeluxe camp.
As a long time Raichle and Deeluxe rider I am very pleased with the performance came to adore in the traditional liner but with the fit I longed for in the full Thermo liner.

Deeluxe, of course, still offers the full Thermo bladder this year as the Speed Thermo.
This is by far the best generation of the fully moldable bladder to date from Deeluxe.
It provides a truly custom fit only available in a fully moldable bladder and has some beefed up areas in the shin and heel to offset some of the wear issues plaguing bladders in the past.
The bladder remains a great option for someone with unique feet that has had issues with the fit of boots in the past.
The comfort level of this bladder is very high with proper fit by a trained boot fitter.
Many a untrained fitter have also been successful at home, following directions that can be found online, but for best fit Hardbooter highly recommends using a trained thermo trained boot fitter.
It may only cost you case of beer to get boots to fit, well… like a glove.

Surrounding your foot with plastic has never been all that comfortable to begin with but Deeluxe has taken a great shell and finally given us a choice of great bladders to choose from.
As a hard-core Thermo rider I don’t miss the fit of the fully moldable bladder at all any more thanks to Deeluxe’s new liner.
I am almost glad I don’t have to walk around gritting my teeth during the molding process anymore with toe caps stuffed on and pain (as well as lots of heat) the only thing on my mind.
As a rider we all go through some sacrifices to have maximum control but boot discomfort should not be a major sacrifice anymore. Trained boot fitters are by far one of the best resources out there.
There are shops at every resort willing to make your feet feel good.
They all agree the key to comfort is a custom foot bed made just for you.
This item is treated as an add on sale at many shops and retailers and in turn many riders forgo it. It is, however, the platform you stand on that begins the whole interface with the board.
Foot beds range from just under a hundred to well over two hundred dollars and are worth every single penny.

Starting with comfort under your foot will make whatever plastic you wrap it up in much more comfortable.
And this year stuffing your feet into a pair of Deeluxe hardboots has never been better.

Billy Bordy

Thursday, December 29th, 2005 at 11:38 am

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