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Best way to prevent heel lift inside boot?

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2 hours ago, digger jr said:

Had to modify Gloria’s rear boot. This is working well now.

Doesn't the modification limit the forward movement... the buckles must clash... they are practically* touching in the photo.

*might actually be touching, hard to tell.


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Modded my previous Head Stratos Pros for better heel hold and better forward flex control (video shows details). 
Modded the  rear foot UPZ after my first trip away riding them was marked by major rear heel lift issues.

In both sets of mods, changing the ankle strap angle was a key step to achieving good heel hold down. Compare the ankle strap angles on Northwaves .950, Mountain Slope .951, Deeluxe, Head SPs and UPZ boots.

Holes from original ankle strap attachment point filled with cuff offcut plastic melted/welded with soldering iron for watertight seal.
M6 toothed T-nuts & machine screws used to replace buckle rivets. 

I cut away slightly too much cuff and created gaps where the liner surface can be seen. Hasn't been a major problem given that I can cover these with the trouser cuff and have routed Intec handle extension through knee level vent in my trousers. Note that I also took the cuff extension from my old head SPs and added them to the top of the UPZ cuffs.

Head Pivot Mod 01.JPG

UPZ mod lateral.JPG

UPZ mod medial.JPG

Buckle rivet repalcement detail.jpg

Catch Tnut detail.jpg

Cut Too Much 1.jpg

Cut Too Much 2.jpg

Edited by SunSurfer
photos reattached
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Just reading the earlier comments... Cranking on the buckles to hold the foot down is ineffective and likely to be very uncomfortable. A heel heel lift under the liner, or under the footbed can work, especially if dorsiflexion is an issue. Other wise pads etc on the liner.

There are lots of videos about putting on ski boots around. Flexing forward to push the heel back doesn't work so well in SB boots, so I had always done the bang heel of boot on the floor thing. Then I saw a video by Harold Harb. The lifting the liner trick at 12.20 is the best thing since sliced bread. You don't need the loops to pull the liner up. I find I just need to press the heel down and back (without any real banging on the floor). 



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  • 8 months later...
On 11/21/2018 at 11:15 AM, Chouinard said:

A couple of pictures would be appreciated.

OK - I just got back from my first day on the hill for the season and the snow was deep and soft....crappy carving but good for the big Tanker. These are the boots I free ride in and I need to base of the foot to be nailed down but I want the cuff to be softer to work best in powder and crud.

You'll see that the outer side of the instep buckle has been moved down a good bit. This is super simple to do - drill a hole, put a T nut in there and then tighten it up.

The inner side of the boot is only slightly more complicated. I removed the stack part that holds the end of the cable and in it's place there is a round aluminum barrel.....next to it is another round barrel and this one of course is lower down the boot. These two barrels can't be seen in the photo as they are hidden behind some aluminum plate. This plate is slightly larger than the barrels so that the cable won't slide off.

This angles the buckle more down than back and does a great job of pushing the heal down more and back less. It works very well for me.

I hope that makes sense.




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I couldn’t eliminate heel lift until I switched from Deeluxe to UPZ shells. Also, YYZ Canuck sells a Deeluxe fitting kit that is composed of a couple of sheets of about 1/4” thick Neoprene with contact cement on one side and lines on the so you can cut out different shapes to put inside or outside of your liners. One is kind of “L” shaped and is designed to provide heel hold down. They also sell a heel sling which goes on the outside of your liner and you lace it up. 

Hope this helps. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/12/2018 at 7:58 PM, Dan said:

Good question - they're Deelux Indys. They're from the age of zip straps, not real buckles. The liners are Deeluxe Thermo liners. 

I have those exact boots, and those liners, and always had quite a bit of heel lift, so I don't think your situation is unusual.  Luckily, I never got blisters, but after many years of heel mobility the ankle of my right (rear) foot actually wore a hole in the liner.   After reading all the forum advice on the subject, I decided just to live with the heel lift.  

Last year one of wires attaching a zip strap (you know the one) finally gave out, so I bought a pair of UPZ 11s, and after only about 20 days on them, I'd have to say they've been a better fit for my feet.  

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It shouldn't be necessary to move buckles. The root cause is space behind and above the heel. Either the heel needs to sit higher, or the space needs to be filled. Shims under the heel can be a good way to go, especially if limited dorsiflxion could be an issue . People have problems in ski boots with limited dorsiflexion, and ski boots don't flex as far forward as hard SB boots.  


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  • 2 years later...

I get good heel hold in my UPZs using the Deeluxe 131 liner as it has generous heel hold down hockey sticks built in. The 141s don’t have this feature but it can be added with Deeluxe foam stick-ons available from Yyzcanuck.

I had new RC10s and RC8s, side by side on my work bench and I compared every aspect of them. They are identical and obviously out of the same molds. The only difference is the 10s have five buckles and the 8s have four and the cuff on the 8 is maybe a tiny, tiny bit, if any, softer. It was obvious that the extra buckle on the 10s was totally unnecessary AND was potentially detrimental because of buckle interference when flexing the cuff forward. As stated previously, for my low volume foot, the Deelux/Palau 131 liner does a great job of heel hold down, overall fit and comfort in my UPZs. 

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Watched some Youtube videos on the right way to buckle ski boots.  Didn't realize that you were not supposed to crank on the lower buckles.  They should be so loose that they almost open on their own.  Kind of makes three buckles on a UPZ boot seem redundant.  The cuff part of the boot should be tight and hold the foot down.  It made a big difference in my boot fit and heel lift.  

Not intuitive but worth trying along with all the other good suggestions above.


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