US 3798799 A
A ski boot includes a semi-rigid outer shell and a liner assembly comprising a substantially flexible inner padding member which forms cavities between the inner padding member and the outer shell of the ski boot. The cavities are filled with a substantially non-compressible fitting material, which is flowable during the fitting process, and thereafter hardened to give firm support and comfort for skiing. In the preferred embodiment the fitting material is of a thermoplastic nature.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Hanson et al.
[ Mar. 26, 1974 l l SKI BOOT AND LINER THEREFOR  Inventors: Alden B. Hanson; Chris A. Hanson,
both of Boulder, Colo. I
 Assignee: Hanson Industries Inc., Boulder,
 Filed: Jan. 7, 1972  Appl. No.: 216,080
 US. Cl. 36/2.5 AL, 36/71  Int. Cl A43b 19/00  Field of Search 36/2.5 R, 2.5 AL, 71
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,521,385 7/1970 Dalebout 36/2.5 AL
3,529,368 9/1970 Canfield r l 36/71 Ludwig 37/2.5 AL
Werner et al 36/15 AL Lollmann 36/2.5 AL
Primary Examiner-Patrick D. Lawson Attorney, Agent, or FirmMerriam, Marshall, Shapiro & Klose 57 ABSTRACT A ski boot includes a semi-rigid outer shell and a liner assembly comprising a substantially flexible inner padding member which forms cavities between the inner padding member and the outer shell of the ski boot. The cavities are filled with a substantially noncompressible fitting material, which is flowable during the fitting process, and thereafter hardened to give firm support and comfort for skiing. in the preferred embodiment the fitting material is of a thermoplastic nature.
16 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEU was 924 SKI BOOT AND LINER THEREFOR The present invention relates to-a ski boot and liner assembly for ski boots or other footwear, and more particularly to a liner assembly comprising a flexible inner padding member having cavities molded therein. The liner assembly is adapted to be placed within a semirigid outer shell in order to complete the ski boot. The cavities, which are preferably molded into the inner padding member, are adapted to be filled with a substantially non-compressible fitting material, which permits custom fitting of the inner padding member to a wearers foot. Preferably the cavities surround the entire front and side areas of the wearers foot, so that these portions of the foot will be surrounded by the fitting material after it is injected. While a variety of methods may be used to custom fit the liner assembly of the present invention and the semi-rigid outer shell to a wearers foot, the preferred fitting methods are premised on injecting a flowable fitting material into the cavities and permitting the inner padding member to form around the wearers .foot. The fitting material is then permitted or caused to solidify and harden to a substantially non-compressible material. Thus the noneompressible fitting material provides a skier with firm support, while the padding member provides padding which is shaped to the skiers foot for comfort.
Although a wide variety of non-compressible materials may be employed as the fitting material, such as plaster of paris, epoxy resins, poly ester resins, rigid polyurethane foam or other thermosetting materials, it is preferred to use a fitting material which is thermoplastic, such as a wax or a mixture of wax and plasticizer. The thermoplastic fitting materials are used by heating the fitting material to a temperature at which it becomes readily flowable, placing the foot of the skier being fitted into the boot assembly, injecting the flowable fitting material into the cavity between the paddingimember and the outer shell. The thermoplastic material is then cooled, whereby it becomes a nonfiowing solid which fits snug and firm, but not tight around the wearers foot and ankle. The combination of the non-flowing solid in the substantially rigid outer shell gives firm support to the foot and ankle of the wearer for the purpose of allowing the skier to obtain precise and accurate edge control of his skis, while the inner padding member provides comfort.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Ski .boots presently available generally comprise a relatively rigid outer shell which istypically molded of.
plastic. Disposed within the outer shell is an inner member or liner which is relatively soft and flexible, as compared to theshell. The boot also has one or more buckles or other suitable fastening means for opening and closing the boot.
Prior art liners comprise many designs. ln some instances, the liner assembly includes a soft cloth or plastic bag containing a permanently flowable, putty-like material of the type described in U.S. Pat. Nos'. 3,237,319; 3,402,411 and 3,582,503. Some of these materials, however, tend to flow away from those portions of the foot which require support or flow out of the original and desired location forming an uncom -v ing a plastic, fibrous or other non-flowable material,
but the wearer of the boot was unable to fit the liner specifically to his foot because the liner was completed at the factory with no means to custom fit the'boot to a wearers foot.
Other prior art liners include the use of a thin membrane of material which surrounds the foot and ankle of the wearer. A thermosetting foam material is then injected into the space between the inner wall of the shell and the outer wall of the membrane to complete the assembly. The foam filled liner has sometimes been referred to as a custom-fitted boot inasmuch as the filling operation is generally completed in a dealers shop.
Where boots have been custom fitted to a wearers foot by utilizing a foaming material, a number of disadvantages exist. Because foam will expand to fill a given volume, it is necessary that the precise amount of foam be injected into the space between the shell and the membrane; otherwise, the resulting foam padding is much too hard or too soft. In fitting the boot in which foam is to be injected, the wearer of the boot has his foot inside the boot during the foam injection operation. If an excessive amount of foam is injected, it will, upon expansion, cause a hard padding which will be of great discomfort and pain to the wearer. It has been reportedthat on occasion bones have been broken. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon an individual who is performing the foaming operation to employ the proper amount of foam. As a result,-it is necessary for a dealer or manufacturer to have highly skilled personnel to perform the custom fitting operation. In some instances, the custom fitting kit sent to a dealer's shop required a mixing of the foaming ingredients, i.e., isocyanate and polyol, at the shop before the foaming operation could be undertaken. This mixing procedure often is quite unpleasant due to the spilling of ingredients in the mixing process, the heat generated by the exothermic reaction, the unpleasant odor of the components some of which are toxic and the clean up problem generated with foaming systems presently utilized.
Moreover, the time required for initially curing the thermosetting foam is as much as one hour, which means a person who is being fitted must have his foot in the boot for such an extended period of time. Since the foam cures by an exothermic reaction, the person being fitted may literally get a hot foot during the process. Additionally, since the foam material is thermosetting, rather than thermoplastic, the process is irreversible once curing has been accomplished, therefore the fit of the boot is permanent and cannot be altered.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention contemplatesa ski boot with I a linerassembly in which the liner assembly provides a ski boot or other footwear which has a substantially semi-rigid outer shell. The liner assembly is made up of an inner padding member and a relatively noncompressible fitting material. The inner padding member of the liner assembly of the present invention comprises a molded padding member which is adapted to fit within a substantially semi-rigid outer shell. The outer surface of the inner padding member is generally complementary to the inside of the outer shell and the inner surface of the inner padding member is adapted to surround the wearers foot and ankle. The inner padding member is shaped to provide one or more cavities on its outer surface which cavities are adapted to be filled with a substantially non-compressible fitting material. A fitting material is inserted into these cavities preferably during the course of a fitting and sizing operation to complete the liner assembly. Alternatively, the fitting material may be placed in the cavities prior to the fitting operation, and-simply rendered flowable during the fitting operation.
THE INNER PADDING MEMBER The inner padding member of the liner assembly of the present invention is preferably sufficiently thick in over-all cross-sectional areas in order to accomplish the padding function. The thickness of the inner padding member thickness will vary depending upon whether the measurement is made where the cavity for the fitting material has been formed, or at a section where no fitting material will beemployed. In addition to being sufficiently thick to accomplish the padding function, the inner padding member must be sufficiently flexible so that it can be formed to the wearers foot during the custom fitting process. The outer surface of the inner padding member is preferably complementary to the inner surface of the outer shell, except in those areas which define the cavity. This helps to prevent slippage of the liner assembly within the outer shell, both during the fitting operation and thereafter. The placement, size and number of the cavities which are molded into the padding member may vary over wide limits, and will depend upon the style of the outer shell in which the liner assembly is used. For use in a ski boot, it is generally preferable for the cavities to be adjacent to the ankles and across the instep of the foot, so that when the fitting material is injected, the boot assembly provides firm support to the skiers ankle, instep and the ball of the foot.
The padding member of the liner assembly may be made from various materials whichxwill be known to those skilled inthe art. Basically the padding member must have a smooth inner surface, free from wrinkles or similar irregularities, although it may be lined with a fabric such as terry cloth, fur or plastics having relatively low friction surfaces or the like. The substance of the padding member is desirably flexible, in order that it may be deformed to fit the wearers foot during the fitting process. While the padding member may be produced from a number of materials, such as polyurethane elastomers (both high and low density), polybutadiene homopolymers and copolymers (foamed or solid), foamed rubber, polyvinyl chloride and the like, polyurethane foam has been found to be particularly satisfactory. It has been found that a relatively thin urethane foam padding member will accomplish the required padding function, since the accurate fit achieved by the fitting process will reduce the need for massive padding.
The inner padding member of the liner assembly may be produced in a variety of sizes, approximating ordinary shoe sizes at least with respect to the inner dimensions. In this manner, the first member may be closely fitted to a wearers foot. However, it may be desirable to produce the inner padding member of the liner assembly in a relatively small number of outside sizes. In other words the outside areas of the liner which contacts the shell would be the same for many liners, even though the other inner and/or outer dimensions were different. For example, liners that cover shoe sizes from 4 to 13 in three or four widths could have outside dimensions which fit into 6 sizes of outer shells. In this embodiment, a retail establishment could carry a complete assortment of liner assemblies, so that any sized foot could be accomodated,.but all of the liners would fit into one of the small number of standard sized outer shells. This enables the retailer to fit any size foot, at a minimum cost of carrying a complete inventory.
The liner assembly of the present invention may be applied to outer shells of various design and various materials. While it is obvious to those skilled in the art that for ski boots, an outer shell that is substantially rigid is desired, for other uses, such as orthopedic devices, a relatively flexible shell may be used. However, it is essential that the outer shell be rigid as compared to the inner padding member, which must be relatively flexible. Conventional ski boot outer shells may be used, such as those produced from polyurethane elastomers, fiber glass reinforced resins including polyesters, epoxy resins, phenolics, and others which will be known to those skilled in the art.
Generally the inside of the outer shell and the outside of the inner padding member should have complementary surfaces, and should be in face to face contact, except in the area of the cavities and the access opening of the boot and liner.
In its preferred embodiment, the present invention contemplates the inner padding member being inserted into the molded ski boot shell, preferably at the factory. The padding member may be cemented to the inner surface of the shell and it has been found convenient to cement the bottom of the padding member to the bottom of the outer shell. In this embodiment the liner assembly is completed in the course of a fitting operation when a flowable fitting material is injected into the cavities.
FITTING MATERIAL The fitting material employed by the present invention must be a substantially incompressible, nonflowable solid at body temperatures and at temperatures slightly above body temperatures, i.e. temperatures below 1 10F., but it must be capable of softening and flowing during the fitting process. While many different types of material may be used as the fitting material including materials which become permanently set after the fitting process, it is preferred that the fitting material be-a thermosetting material which isflowable at slightly elevated temperatures, i.e. temperatures above F. The preferred thermoplastic fitting material flows when heated to a liquid of about l50l80 F., and will cease to be flowable and solidify, becoming substantially non-compressible, when cooled to about 1 15 F. Thus in carrying out the fitting process the thermoplastic material is heated to at least F. where it becomes liquid or flowable. A skier to be fitted places his foot in the padding member, which is disposed within the semi-rigid outer shell. The liquid thermoplastic material is then injected into the cavities between the padding member and the outer shell. Since the temperature of the thermoplastic fitting is relatively low, there is little or no danger of burning the foot of the skier being fitted. As the temperature of the thermoplastic drops to 1 F. or below, the fitting material becomes solid and incompressible and is shaped to a skiers foot. A boot employing the liner assembly of the present invention can be readily refitted, if desired, merely by reheating the thermoplastic in the cavity or cavities of the inner padding member until it flows, fitting another foot in the boot assembly, and allowing the boot assembly to cool until the thermoplastic material solidifies.
Although thermoplastic materials are preferred as the fitting materials, any materials which can be made flowable in order to accomplish the fitting, but which later assumes a substantially non-compressible state may be used. For instance, the present invention con templates the use of plaster of parts, epoxy resins, polyester resins, rigid foams, including polyurethane foams, polystyrene foams and the like to make up all or part of the fitting material.
FITTING METHOD The linerassembly of the present invention includes factory whereas the fitting material preferably is inserted in the course of a fitting and sizing operation in a dealers shop. The inner padding member provides a substantial portion of the flexibility, padding and other desired characteristics to the liner with the fitting material serving to provide the remaining features sought, i.e., fitting and the sizing the liner to the individuals foot and ankle. As a result of utilizing the invention disclosed and claimed herein, the control of the characteristics sought with a liner can be accomplished by the manufacturer.
Custom fitting of a bootequipped with the liner of the present invention is preferably accomplished by injecting a flowable fitting material into the cavity or cavities formed between the outer shell and the inner padding member, with the foot of the wearer being in place within the inner padding member. The preferred thermoplastic fitting material is advantageous in that it may be used simply byheating it to the point at which it becomes liquid or flowable. There are no chemicals to mix. The thermoplastic fitting material may conveniently be premixed'at the factory and shipped to a dealer or shop in a single container. The fitting operation utilizing the thermoplastic fitting material of the present invention does not require skilled personnel. The thermoplastic material of the present invention is merely heated until it becomes flowable, whereupon it is introduced into the cavity or cavities until it is vented. The lengthy curing period associated with the thermosetting materials is obviated. The wearer only need wait a relatively short time for the warm thermoplastic to cool to a temperature where it will solidify. Also, with the use of the thermoplastic the custom fit can be adjusted or repeated to suit the wearer, since the boot only need be reheated, a suitable amount of thermoplastic fitting material is added or removed and the assembly is cooled to give a new custom fit.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING is accomplished by pivoting tongue member 13 outwardly, away from shell 11. The foot ofa wearer is then inserted into boot 10 from the rear. Subsequently, tongue member 13 is pivoted back in the position shown in FIG. 1 where it is partially overlapped on both sides by the rear portion of the sides of shell 1. Boot 10 is then buckled by inserting loops 17, 17a into buckle member 15. Loops 17, 17a are then drawn tight with boot 10 being secured shut by a forward rotation of pivotal buckle member 15.
FIG. 2 and FIG. 4 illustrate inner padding member 12 which is designed to cover substantially all of the foot and ankle of a wearer except for the back of the ankle and Achilles tendon area. The areas not covered by inner padding member 12 are padded by tongue liner 14 of rigid tongue member 13 as is shown in FIG. 1. Liner 14 is shaped to mate the inner padding member 12 whereby inner padding member 12 and tongue liner 14 will combine to enclose-the entire foot and ankle of the wearer.
Referring to both FIG. 2 and FIG. 4 inner surface 20 of inner padding member 12 is shaped generally to conform to the contour of a wearers foot. Outer surface 21 of inner padding member 12 is preferably shaped to fit substantially to the inner surface 22 of the shell 11,
except in the area of cavity 23 which serves to provide a space for filling material between the shell and inner padding member when inner padding member 12 is inserted in shell 11.
The thickness of the cross section of the inner padding member 12 in the area bounded by cavity 23 may be approximately one-fourth inch whereas the thickness of a cross section through the remainder of member 12 may be approximately one-half inch. Although, the inner padding member may be a membrane or relatively thin lining member, it is preferably a flexible, cushion member which serves to provide desired padding between the foot and the fitting material. Thus the fitting material does not provide the padding function since it is a non-compressible material,.but the fitting material provides a support function, wherebyit provides support for the skiers footand ankle and firm contact between the foot and ski boot outer shell. In carrying out the support function, the noncompressible fitting material obviates movement of the foot within the ski boot, thus providing goodcontrol of the skis for the skier.
Cavity 23 of member 12 comprises an inner most surface 35, a vertical front ankle portion 26 and an rch portion 27. The thicker section of inner padding member 12, which fits against the inner surface 22 of shell 11 comprises a toe portion 28, which pads the wearers toes; a sole area-29 which serves to pad the sole of the foot; a heel area 30 for padding the heel, two vertical ankle sides 31, 31a which substantially pad the sides of the ankles; and a substantially horizontal ankle band 32 which encircles the front and sides of the ankle top. The marginal edges of heel area 30, vertical ankle sides 31, 31a and a horizontal ankle band 32 are adapted to mate with corresponding edges on the tongue liner 14 whereby, when the boot is fastened to a wearer, the
foot and ankle will be enclosed and cushioned by liner l4 and inner padding member 12.
Tongue liner 14 is a separate molded or cast piece adapted to fit between the heel of a wearer and the inside surface of substantially rigid wall 9. The tongue 13 and its liner 14 may be removed from the shell 11, and a high-rise tongue inserted in its place.
Horizontal ankle band 32 of inner padding member 12 preferably has one or more passages 33 commencing at the top of band 32 and extending through to the bottom of the band. It is most preferred to have at least 2 such passages. A flowable fitting material 24, which fills cavity 23 between the outer surface of inner padding member 12 and the inside surface 22 of shell 11, is introduced through passages 33. While the holes 33 have been illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, it is appreciated that other fluid passage means could be employed. For example, grooves could be placed in band 32 whereby fluid fitting material would pass between the groove and the shell. Similarly, fluid passage means may be provided in shell 11. 1 I
In order to custom fit and size a boot, using the present invention, an individual places his foot in the inner padding member 12, which is disposed inside an outer shell 11. The boot is closed using tongue member 13 and is secured with buckle 15. The flowable fitting material 24 is introduced into the cavity 23 formed by inner padding member 12 and inner wall 22 of shell 11, by injecting the fitting material through one of the passages 33. After the material has flowed sufficiently to fill the spaces which exist between shell 11 and first member 12, the material will vent through the remaining passage 33. Preferably the vent is closed and additional fitting material is injected under pressure in order to fill all of the voids. After the cavity is completely filled, the skier waits until the fitting material becomes non-flowable, after which the boots may be removed. Since many materials, including most thermoplastic materials, shrink in volume upon solidifying, the pressure used in the fitting process is relieved as the fitting material solidifies.
The use of thermoplastic fitting material is similar in that heated, liquid thermoplastic fitting material is injected until it vents, and then pressurized slightly. The wearer walks about in the boot while the thermoplastic material is cooling and solidifying. The wearer need wait only a short time before the thermoplastic fitting material 24 cools and hardens to the extent it conforms padding member 12 to the foot and ankle of the wearer. No guess need be made of the amount of material to use since there will be only a relatively small change in the volume of thermoplastic material injected following the injection operation as the thermoplastic material cools and solidifies. The volume of material injected will be substantially equal to the volume of the space to be filled.
While the fitting operation has been described in which the thermoplastic material is dispensed directly onto the inner most surface 35 of cavity 23,in some in stances it may be desired to provide a thin membrane bladder into which the thermoplastic material is injected. Such an embodiment is illustrated by FIG. 2, in
which a bladder 36 is a thin walled member which is shaped to conform to the shape of cavity 23. The bottom wall 37 of bladder 36 is adapted to seat upon the innermost surface 35 of cavity 23, whereas the top wall surface 38 of the bladder is adapted, when the bladder is filled with material, to seat against inner wall 22 of shell 11.
Bladder 36 is shown in FIG. 2 removed from its assembled position in cavity 23. Bladder 36, which can be made of neoprene, butyl rubber, natural rubber, polyvinyl chloride or other suitable material, is closed except for one or more filling tubes 40 which are attached to or molded in bladder 36 at the top thereof. Tube 40 is adapted to be inserted in to passage 33 in ankle band 32 of inner padding member 12 when bladder 36 is placed in assembly in thevcavity 23 of inner padding member 12. In using the bladder embodiment, it may be advantageous to evacuate the air there from prior to injecting the fitting material.
Viewing FIG. 3, the cross section taken through the boot 10 in FIG. 1, padding member 12 seats substantially against corresponding mating portions of the inner wall 22 of shell 11, except in the area of cavity 23 where bladder 36 is located. As shown in the drawing, the bottom wall 37 seats against the innermost surface 35 of cavity 23, whereas the top wall 38 of bladder 36 seats against inner wall 22 of shell 11 when the bladder is filled with the fitting material 24.
FIG. 4 illustrates a first member 12 adapted to be used without a bladder member. The horizontal ankle band 32 is equipped with filling passages 33, whereby the fitting material may be injected into the cavity, including arch portion 27 and front portion 26.
Further, the present invention contemplates at least partially filling the cavity 23, either withor without a bladder, with thermoplastic fitting material at thepoint of manufacture, or at some point in advance of the fitting process. In this embodiment, the boot equipped with the thermoplastic-filled liner assembly is heated enough to make the thermoplastic material readily deformable. The wearer places his foot in the warm boot, assumes a skiing position and permits the thermoplastic material to cool until it ceases to be flowable and hardens. Naturally it is advisable to provide means for excess thermoplastic fitting material to overflow and to inject additional thermoplastic fitting material if needed.
Boots equipped with the liner assembly of the present invention may be refitted by using a substantially similar process. It has been found that heat generated from a hair drier. or a light bulb placed within such a ski boot for a relatively short period of time will cause the thermoplastic material to soften sufficiently to eliminate tight spots in the boot and correct other minor fitting problems. It has also been found that conventional boot fitting equipment, e.g., boot press, maybe used in conjunction with heat may be used to eliminate tight spots.
While various suitable thermoplastic fitting materials can be employed for the liner assembly of the present invention, it has been found that a material comprising a mixture of paraffin wax, and a plasticizer serves to provide the desired characteristics for the thermoplastic material. This material flows easily when heated to a temperature of about yet rapidly cools to a hardened condition at room temperature. It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many other thermoplastic fitting materials may be used such as various polybutylenes, and other synthetic resins, various waxes, heavy oils (both mineral and vegetable) and the likeas well as mixtures of such materials. These materials may be combined with plasticizers, thickeners, preservatives and the like, as desired. The thermoplastic material may contain various fillers such as inert granular or fibrous material, small particles of foams and any other matter which does not interfere with the mobility of the thermoplastic when heated. It is necessary that the thermoplastic material be a non-compressible, nonflowing solid when in use, but be capable of softening and flowing at temperatures which will not impair the rest of the boot structure or the foot of the wearer being custom fitted. Generally it has been found that materials softening at above 120F. and as high as 180F., but which will solidfy at llF. are adequate, but higher or lower melting materials may be used. The thermoplastic material can be reheated and cooled for refitting as often as required without a damage to the thermoplastic material.
The thermoplastic material may be supplemented in the cavities by some non-thermoplastic material. For instance strips of polyurethane foam or other forms or types of foam may be placed in the cavity. Alternatively, small particles or balls of a foam, such as polystyrene foam, may be dispersed in the thermoplastic material. The use of such foamed materials to supplement the thermoplastic materials will tend to reduce the weight of the complete boot.
Although the drawings herein primarily depict the liner assembly of the present invention being used in a rear entry ski boot, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the front or side entry ski boots and other conventional footwear may be so equipped.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.
What is claimed is:
1. A liner assembly for footwear, said footwear having a substantially rigid outer shell, said liner assembly comprising:
an inner padding member having an inner surface and outer wall, said inner surface being contoured substantially to the outer surface of a wearers foot; said outer wall being contoured to fit into said rigid shell;
said inner padding member having at least one cavity associated with said outer wall, said cavity adapted to receive a relatively non-compressible fitting material which is substantially non-flowable at room temperature;
said inner padding member adapted to provide padding between said wearers foot and said non compressible fitting material; and,
passages means in said inner padding member for allowing a flowable fitting material to pass to said cavity when said liner is disposed within said shell.
2. A liner assembly in accordance with claim 1 in which a substantially non-compressible thermoplastic fitting material is disposed within said cavity.
3. A liner assembly for a ski boot comprising a relatively rigid outer shell, said liner assembly adapted to be disposed within said shell, said liner assembly comprising an inner padding member having an inner wall and an outer wall;
said inner padding member inner wall being adapted to conform substantially to the outer surface of a 5 wearers foot;
said inner padding member having at least one cavity associated with said outer wall whereby a space is formed between said outer wall and the inner wall of said outer shell, said space adapted to receive a relatively non-compressible fitting meterial which is substantially non-flowable at room temperature;
said inner padding member adapted to provide padding between said wearers foot and said noncompressible fitting material; and,
access means in said inner padding member adapted to pass flowable fitting material into said space when said inner padding member is disposed within said shell.
4. A liner assembly in accordance with claim 3 in which a thermoplastic fitting material is disposed in said cavity.
5. A ski boot comprising a substantially rigid outer shell, and a liner assembly disposed therein, said liner assembly comprising:
an inner padding member having an inner surface and outer wall, said inner surface being contoured substantially to the outer surface of a wearers foot; said outer wall being contoured to fit in said rigid outer shell;
said inner padding member having at least one cavity associated with said outer wall, whereby a space is formed between said outer wall and the inner wall of said outer shell, said space adapted to receive a substantially non-compressible fitting material which is substantially non-flowable at room temperature;
said inner padding member adapted to provide padding between said wearers foot and said noncompressible fitting material.
6. A ski boot in accordance with claim 5 which comprises a thermoplastic fitting material disposed within said cavity.
7. A ski boot in accordance with claim 5, wherein said liner assembly is secured within said outer shell.
8. A ski boot in accordance with claim 5, which comprises a bladder member associated with said cavity,
said bladder being adapted to seat against said outer shell when filled with a fitting material.
9. A ski boot comprising a substantially rigid outer shell, and
a liner assembly disposed within said shell, said liner assembly comprising an inner padding member having an inner wall and an outer wall;
said inner padding member inner wall being adapted to conform substantially to the outer surface of a wearers foot;
said inner padding member having at least one cavity associated with said outer wall whereby a space is formed between said outer wall and inner wall of said outer shell,
said space being adapted to receive a substantially non-compressible fitting material which is substantially non-flowable at room temperature;
said inner padding member adapted to provide padding between said wearer's foot and said noncompressible fitting material.
10. A ski boot in accordance with claim 9, in which said inner padding member comprises access means adopted to pass flowable fitting material through said access means into said space.
11. A ski boot in accordance with claim 9, wherein said space is substantially filled with a thermoplastic fitting material having a melting point of between about 120F. and 180F.
12. A ski boot which comprises a rear entry outer shell which is substantially rigid, a rear entry closure, having closure securing means associated therewith, and a liner assembly disposed within said shell, said liner assembly comprising an inner padding member having an inner wall and an outer wall;
said inner padding member inner wall being adapted to conform substantially to the outer surface of a wearer's foot;
said inner padding member having at least one cavity associated with said outer wall, whereby a space is formed between said outer wall and the inner wall of said outer shell,
said space being adapted to receive a substantially ding between said wearers foot and said non-- compressible fitting material.
13. A ski boot in accordance with claim 12, in which said inner padding member comprises access means adapted to pass fitting material through said access means into said space.
14. A ski boot in accordance with claim 12, wherein said space is substantially filled with a thermoplastic fitting material having a melting point of between about 120F. and lF.
15. A ski boot in accordance with claim 12, wherein said liner assembly is secured within said outer shell.
16. A ski boot in accordance with claim 12, which comprises a bladder member associated with said cavity, I
said bladder being adapted to seat against said outer shell when filled with a fitting material.