What are the different Inline Skate Liners available?
Most plastic shelled skates have what we call a liner inside to protect your foot from the plastic itself and to keep everything comfortable and snug inside. Liners look like a futuristic slipper that comes way above your ankle. These come in many different shapes and thicknesses for different disciplines of skating. For example, Thicker liners are typically more comfortable and offer a lot more padding whereas thinner liners are more responsive. Some liners are heat mouldable and can be placed in the oven to expand. This can really speed up the breaking in period of skates and sometimes remove any pressure points you may have some trouble with. There are liners than are pretty standard and come inside most skates off the shelves and there are some super expensive options made of some high quality materials. Here we will go into this in great detail to explain the differences between each type of liner to help you decide which is best for you.
The most common liner will be padded enough to protect your foot from the plastic parts of the skate itself without any special features. They will have a slight break in period to adjust to your foot shape. These are typically nothing special but can be comfortable enough for beginner skaters and anyone who doesn’t need a high performing liner.
Some brands actually have some great stock liners coming with their skates like FR and Rollerblade for example. The FR liner is extremely padded and is able to expand to the exact shape of your foot allowing for a better fit and for better protection within the hard plastic. Sometimes people often buy FR skates too big as they presume the skate they are trying on is too small when really it is just the thickness of the liner than needs to adjust. The Rollerblade Premium liners are less thick but are known to be one of the most comfortable. Most people who try on a skate with the Premium liners acknowledge how comfortable it feels straight away. These liners may have some extra lace holes at the top but they are more likely to rip and to need replacing after some serious usage.
What are the benefits of Thick Inline Skating Liners?
There are many thick liner options out there coming from most aggressive brands. Like we mentioned above when talking about the FR liners, thicker liners are full of padding allowing them to protect your foot from the hard plastic and components of the skate. This in turn gives them a larger breaking in period. These are typically more flexible too allowing the user to bend on each edge of the skate easier. This is a great perk when performing topside aggressive tricks where your ankle needs to bend over the ledge or rail. The cuff of the skate is likely to dig into you at angles like this so having a nice thick padded liner is helpful.
What are the benefits of Thin Inline Skating Liners?
Thinner liners are typically more responsive and stiff. These are especially useful when Urban or Wizard skating as you will be able to manipulate the movements of the skate more due to your foot not moving around so much like it would in thicker padding. Another two huge benefits to thinner liners is that they are typically made of stronger materials that are less likely to rip and that they ca be useful when trying to downsize on your boot size. If you are skating a skate with a thicker liner you will need more space between your foot and the shell to allow for the liner but with the thinner option you could remove some of that space and size down.
What Brands do the best Inline Skate Liners?
Intuition Liners are Canadian company that make liners for ski boots who brought their liners to the inline skating after collaborating with some brands in the industry. They have patented the foam that they use in the liners which provides you with a thin, resilient and stiff liner which gives the user an extremely responsive feel. The liners don’t usually rip on the inside and sometimes last longer than some boots themselves. They are also heat mouldable allowing you to heat them up to expand them before wearing them and allowing the liner to cool and shrink to the shape of your feet.
This is what intuition have to say about their foam:
“Intuition produces “blended compound” closed cell foams in a variety of densities from low to high, sourcing only quality raw materials. Development of these “blended compounds” have been formulated to enable us to maximize the best physical properties of each raw material and produce supreme foams of improved elasticity, resilience, temper and toughness. All Intuition foams are produced to closed-cell foam specifications including tensile strength and elongation at break and tear strength. The very high ratio of cross-linking in Intuition Foam’s unique molecular structure (70-80%) produces it’s unparalleled quality.”
Intuition have their own Inline Skate liner and they also have a few that are collaborations with companies like SEBA, THEM and FR.
Intuition Skate V2: This liner is designed with fit and control in mind. The liner is nice and thin yet strong so you can fit them into more skate options and so you user can have ultimate responsiveness. This liner also features removable cuffs which can be replaced by one of a alternative thickness or removed at any given time.
Intuition Skate Premium: The premium is the next step up from the Skate V2 with an improved tongue. This liner also comes with 10 individual sizes to offer a more personal fit for inline skaters. The high density Genuine Intuition Foam will naturally mould to your feet as you use them with no heating moulding required.
Collaboration liners: Intuition also have some liners that you will only find in a specific skate. They have worked with FR closely to upgrade their FR liner in recent times for the release of the new UFR AP V2. THEM Skates also have a collaboration liner with Intuition which you can find in some THEM models. These liners of course all feature the signature intuition foam and are on the thinner side to help with fit and control.
MyFit liners are part of the Powerslide enterprise. They have so many different liners to choose from. We have Fatboys, Skinnyboys, Second Skins and more. They are also heat mouldable allowing you to heat them up to expand them before wearing them and allowing the liner to cool and shrink to the shape of your feet.
Fatboy: the most popular liner from MyFit. This liner features lots of thick padding in the ankle area making it comfortable and protective.
Recall: basically an upgraded version of Fat Boy with the differece being the foam used. This liner has memory foam helping the liner adapt to the shape of your foot much more easily.
2nd Skin: similar to the intuition liners in the sense that it is thinner and more rigid. This liner is better for more precision so it could be a good choice when Wizard skating. It’s also a great liner for downsizing as it’s thinner with less padding to take up space inside the plastic shell of your skate.
Skinnyboy: basically a Fatboy liner with less material at the front of your foot. If you have any pressure points at the front of your foot when using a thicker liner but you’d still like the thick padding around the ankle the maybe this is the liner for you.
Crown: the thickest liner in the range. This liner is a thicker version of the recall liner with some added features. It features some removable pads on the ankle and tongue area and there is a removable shock absorber attached to the bottom under the heel. it also has some non slip materials on the bottom of the liner to stop it moving around inside your skate.
SPC: This is what Powerslide has to say about their SPC Liner “The MYFIT SPC liner is a masterpiece. It is developed for skaters that look for the very best performance and comfort.” The wide 45° flex cut of the liner offers a lot of freedom for movement. The toe box can stretch allowing the liner to fit multiple sized feet. They have added extra lacing to hold your heel in position and to also give you more stability at the top of your ankle. There is also an option to connect the liner to the shell using these laces to improve heel lock.
“The MYFIT Shock Protection Cushion (SPC) material is a “super-foam”, cast polyurethane that will never break down and keeps all its features for years. SPC super-foam absorbs shocks, gives extra cushioning, controls impact, and is really comfortable while providing maximum and direct power transfer. The updated version has an additional memory foam padding for awesome fitting right out of the box.”
Prime: “The perfect combination of comfort, performance, and control. Lightweight and fully heat mouldable, using only the highest quality materials inside and out. The interior is anatomically shaped with a microfiber lining and the all-new 3D-shaped tongue offers perfect control right out of the box. The top lacing wraps around the cuff to give full support and is covered by the replaceable PU collar for additional stiffness and support. The liner also features a removable MYFIT shock absorber on the heel. Prime fitting and quality.” www.powerslide.com
There are many other brands that produce great liners like Rollerblade, Roces and Reign, all with different qualities. The best thing to do is to try as many different kinds as you can when you have the opportunity to see which is best for you. For those who cannot, hopefully this guide helps you choose the best one for you.
What are Integrated Liners?
Some skates on the market (usually soft boots or carbon skates) will come with a liner built in. Integrated liners are simpler and are usually thinner. They will be lighter and come in individual sizes which is a huge advantage when it comes to fit and responsiveness. With an integrated liner you will never have an issue where it moves around inside the skate as it is literally attached to the boot. All of your foot movements will be transferred to the wheels and you will be more connected to the road so your reactions can be quicker. This is all great of course but the issues will be that they are not so easily replaceable. It is possible to cut these liners out of the shell so you can add a different liner but this is no easy job.