Do Intuition ski boot liners stand up to the rigours of the Canadian arctic? For this honest review, our art director Chris Rowat really steps in it.
In the early 1990s, Whistler, British Columbia skier Byron Gracie took a look at the tissue-paper-thin liners that came with his ski boots and wondered if there was a better way. He began experimenting with different types of materials and eventually settled on an EVA foam that was heat moldable, light yet stiff, and warm. He launched the Intuition Liners company in 1992 and was granted a patent for his design in 1993. Today, the Intuition Liners company is based in Vancouver, BC, and offers 29 different models for all types of sports including inline skating, water skiing, mountaineering and, of course, skiing. For this review, art director Chris Rowat took the Pro Tour ski boot liner on an expedition around Baffin Island. This is his honest review.
Snapshot: Intuition Pro Tour Ski Boot Liner
- Pros: They’re simple and comfortable: heat ’em, mold ’em, ski ’em.
- Cons: They won’t ski the slope for you.
- Price: $260.00 Cdn
- Who Should Buy: Those looking to upgrade their stinky, packed-out liners or the paper-thin liners that came with their new boots.
- Who Shouldn’t Buy: People who sit at home and watch TV.
- Helpful Hack: With all insoles, including Intuition, remove them from the boot shell occasionally to let them fully dry out. The foam in Intuition liners don’t absorb water, and the anti-microbial lining helps keep odours at bay, but it’s still a good idea to let them breathe.
- Author’s overall rating: 9.5/10
I’ve been skiing for decades and admit I’ve always just lived with the liners that came with my boots. But my friends who ski a lot use Intuition liners because, I’m told, they are the best and they keep your feet warm. So I decided to test this claim on a ski trip to Baffin Island in April 2022. I was worried about freezing my feet off in the arctic, so I decided to upgrade my boot liners. Intuition offers an impressive variety made from their proprietary blended-compound closed cell foams, in varying densities and thicknesses. The Pro Tour comes in three different volumes to accommodate different shell fits and the tongue also comes in two types of stiffnesses.
I got the Intuition Pro Tour ski boot liners a week before my departure. Yes, I know it’s not really great planning to get new liners immediately before a remote, four-week trip. But I got them molded at a local ski shop, went for two quick tours to check them out, and that was it. They felt fine. Then we were off to Baffin Island, with my fingers crossed that I wasn’t setting myself up for Blister Hell. The plan was to pull sleds with all our gear, moving around the frozen fiords, and also do side trips up glaciers to get on top of the amazing mountains that loom everywhere.
We would primarily use skinny cross-country skis with three-pin bindings to get around the fiords, then use ski-touring gear for the side-trips. But on day four of the trip, one of my three-pin bindings broke and because I had forgotten to bring a replacement, I had no choice but to use my AT gear for the rest of the expedition. I was nervous about pounding out 15 to 20-kilometre days of flat walking in my ski boots with new liners, but I had no choice.
In the end, the liners were great: no blisters and no cold feet. I have had foot problems in the past, requiring duct tape, foam pads and other solutions to protect hot spots. But this trip went smoothly and I enjoyed day after day of either sled hauling or 4,000-foot ski ascents. I did remove the laces from the liners. Perhaps they add rigidity to the overall fit, but for me they were just in the way. And I found that they fit better if, before I connected the buckles, I wiggled the tongue up and down to make sure it was well positioned.
In conclusion, if this was a review of a backpack or a ski jacket, I would dive into lots of little details. But a ski-boot liner? It’s just a piece of foam, right? But perhaps there’s more to boot liners than we can see. We’ve all had liners that packed out too quickly or that rubbed our feet raw. Intuition seems to have solved all those problems and created an excellent product. I recommend getting some if you love comfortable feet.
Intuition Pro Tour Ski Boot Liner – The Deets
- MSRP: $260.00 Cdn
- Volume options: low, medium, high
- Sizes: Men’s US 4-15 (Mondo 22-33)
- Anti-microbial lining treatment
- Flex panel in heel
- There is an option of replacement tongues: The Flex tongue, which is stiff at the top with flex at the bottom, comes standard. The optional Power Tongue is stiff al the way down.
- More info: intuitionliners.com
Author’s Note: Mountain Culture Group is not paid for these reviews. They are honest expressions of our opinions. In some instances we are given the product to keep but that does not sway our assessment. If we dislike a product and feel it would score a rating of less than 5/10, we simply won’t review it.