Koflach Vertical Boot problems /fixes

9:57 p.m. on March 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Some many 13 about years ago I bought a pair if  Koflach Vertical Boots, and then life happened.

I may have made 1 hike maybe 2, and am not sure if even did.

Moving ahead this year i have been out every weekend and each time these boots have tried to cripple me. Each time I made something different with pads socks and tried several pair insoles and modified them heavily.

Each new test brought failure in around 3 miles, which made it a living hell getting out another 3 miles with burning feet.

Today on the trail at wind chill -10 I was again altering my latest failure to just get out of the woods, and found the soles of the bootie liners all cracking up and the heels have broken up and chunked off hunks of black powder and pebbles.

12 trips and the liners are about DOA. The boot shells appear brand new, but may see the consignment shop for cheap if i can't figure a fix.

What might be some options? These things have just plain hurt.

I think the liners are cheap junk. What other liners would work in these shells?

Then the shell has a 1/8 inch think closed cell foam inside ahead of the heel well. That seems to be as hard as a rock, and the liner sole has 0 padding and that combination sets my feet on fire, and tries to bruise bones.

And that is what I have been trying to get fixed. None of the foot beds have worked, Most have been cut to ribbons now, I cut several sets in 1/2. I tried old blue closed cell foam sleeping pad which worked well until it was crushed by repeated blows of my feet against the rick hard shells.

Or do I just stick red hot knitting needles thru these things and intone voo doo chants in hopes that the Koflach Vertical Boot designer is doomed to the fires on his feet surely found in HELL?

Last I almost think the area just behind my toes and or around the ball of my foot, but over where smaller central toe bones are that the shell is convexed up...... Can that even be?

10:47 a.m. on March 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Koflach Vertical Boot problems

Hi Lodge - this is a hard question!

1. I think time has not been kind to the foams in these boots.  They have stiffened and degraded and no longer cushion. It sounds like there was some rubber-based and polyurethane foam that broke down over time.

2. I'm not clear about how much you wore them while you when they were new, but there is the possibility that they never fit you well in the first place! If that's the case, any modification you attempt now might not be worth your time.

3. It sounds like there is a lot of extra space and not enough padding in the heel.  In addition to a new insole, you might consider a gel heel pad: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/spenco/performance-gel-heel-cushion/

4. For the bottom of the boot, I've used cut-outs of the aluminized mylar windshield reflective sheets before.  They take up some volume, reflect heat well and are reasonably durable.

Good luck! 

11:35 a.m. on March 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Koflach Vertical Boot problems

I have pics at this point, but will let Koflach have a look  see and get a chance to make it right.

If they refuse these pics will get on the web....... When I buy stuff i buy it with the idea it will last as long as I do. Of course most of the time i end up proving that idea wrong.

But i have 2 pair of Limmers from 76'/77'and those are going strong, if course they have had repairs, and these shells of the Koflach appear to be brand new. The other problem is the booties which are drying out i guess cracking, conchoidal fracturing, and breaking up.

Maybe things in the great land of EURO are not quite the way they are said to be and some of the materials are made of bad rubber and creechy coal dist or lamp black, because the parts that are breaking up most sure do remind me of that type of construction which went out by the mid 50's here in the USA.

I know the windshield foam you mean. You can buy that in larger sheets in most auto parts stores too, but it won't stand the gaff of constant pounding in the bottom of boots any better than old fashion blue closed cell sleeping pad will ..... evidently :-)

A 2 mile hike killed that blue stuff and squashed it paper thin. There are stiffer foams though and i was looking as door mats yesterday, like thicker foam dinner place mats with a stiffer foam.

I got needle and thread and shoe goo and I can fix anything, but first I need the right materials. MC seat makes carry these foams too. I may rebuild the booties...

I might even bend the shells as they seem to have curved up just behind the toes area where the ball of the foot is, but centered in the shells more.

I got a heat gun and clamps.... I bet i can warm these up and stuff a wedge in there and let the shell cool.

Rip out that dead foam and either add new or a few layers of leather.

These boots have been too hot anyway.

The pain is at the front centered next to the balls of my feet, not my heels.

I was well on the way to a fix when the booties began to break up.

I had the toe piece if a insole with another insole on top to double the padding in the shell and then placed the heel section of the cut up insole in the booty...

That was getting somewhere but trying all these foams with no education takes time.. All learning takes time.

Once I know what need to make these feel good then I can rebuild the booties. 

I can't be the only one this happened to, but I might be the only one that deals with a rebuild myself. The hand made mocs I sew feel better than these boots ever have, but i did buy them new.

I will load a few pics so you can see..


LeftBootheelweb.jpg

I made a new album and uploaded more pics than I planned, but you can see the pads and assorted other images of the break up.

Mostly I showed the left boot, but the same thing is happening to the right. I have more pics than I up loaded.

10:41 a.m. on March 20, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Koflach Vertical Boot problems

Please let us all know what Koflach has to say!

Looking at your pictures makes me wonder if there aren't other forces at work.  Were they stored in a place that exceeded 110 degrees? Or near a solvent? It always bothers me when folks store bike helmets in the garage, because high temperatures and gasoline fumes weaken and degrade plastics and foams rapidly.

I hear you on the ephemeral nature of modern gear too.  I've seen a pair of 1970's Pivettta full grain leather boots, old, cracked and seemingly busted, restored to good condition with a lot of patience and leather conditioner. Manufacturers like that plastic is lighter, more rigid, and (perhaps most important) does not require skilled craftsman to assemble. But, as your experience illustrates, it does not last as long and is more difficult to repair.

Good luck Lodge!

10:56 a.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Koflach Vertical Boot problems

No never......... These have been stored cool and dry in bed room closets, and I tend to dwell in places that are cooler in summer and out right cold in winter. Like at the moment it is 59 degrees F in my bed room which serves as R&R and computer desk/silver bench/tooling etc.

I have been doing some home work and went to IME and have seen size 10 (my size) Denali liners in a pair of like boots on consignment. Grrrrrr

Another type morrow? in size 8 for 3 pairs same in size 9 and 12's grrrr.....

 

The 8's are priced as 50 bucks, the 9's at $25, and the 12's at $65.

I am learning about EVP foam too. I haven't written to Koflach yet, but write to Intuition. I just can't handle that price as new. $180 is a price to high for me at this time, as I have been with out any work for more than 3 weeks straight.

What I think:

I think the oem liners have glued on soles, and with a heat gun and vise grips made for cloth (wide thin blade jaws) I can work the oem soles off.

 

If this is right, then the oem liners will still be a bootie liner. and if I can get my grubby mitts on some decent EVP foam say maybe from Ragged Mt in Intervale or from Log House Designs in Chattam, then I could buy time......

 

 The upper part of the oem liners is also splitting and will break up, but I don't walk on that part, so i care less.

 

There is 2 main problems. The worst is there just wasn't enough cushion  ever in these boots for a good long hike. And that is first and foremost...

The 2nd is the break up, and oddly I saw a set of oem liners in the same shape at IME yesterday for sale! (I bet no one ever buys those.)

 

The Break up: I think these have just lost oil, dried out and died.... I have the idea the compound is made with lamp black, which is typical of EURO rubbers and assorted plastics. Like new tires in the shelf in 6 years the oils are gone and even if the tire looks good it is still junk.

 

Look at older MC tires some time..... I almost get the idea you already know.

 

What you are about to learn is i can be a little handy.. LOL Old X Foreign car techs don't quite easy.

 

Somebody has that foam and it has to be in Carrol County...

6:53 p.m. on March 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Koflach Vertical Boot problems

Ok, Well things changed today. 

No more is this a question of what to to do, but me telling what you can do, and there will be more pictures.

My plan for this day fell thru for health (not mine) and weather (well sort of)

and these boots trying to cripple me.......

Not Anymore. First i got out the heat gun, not a hair dry and set it on low and heated one bootie and it worked. Inside of 20 minutes that bootie was 95% clear of rotten sole material. There is a little glue and what not left over but not enough to feel with your foot inside.

The next one i just did cold, and that worked as well if not better than using the heat gun. I twisted and flexed the sole, and tore it off in bits.

This sole is breaking down and there is no way to remove it in one or very large hunks, but come off it does and there is a vinyl like material beneath.

If that vinyl wasn't there i would have ruined the booties with out having known, which i didn't. But since I can make moccasins of deer hide. ilk and etc I was ready to do what I had to do.

I also pulled out the dead hard foam in the boot shells and with pliers pulled out the staples too.

Next comes a test. I installed  doc scholls inserts, soft gel first then the type with hard supports, and one more inside the booties of another brand.

 So far these boots feel better than they ever have and it didn't cost $160 to $185 to get there.

A part of not wanting to go with 'Intuition' products is these boots have always been too hot no matter how cold it is for me. 1 thin cotton sock and my feet are cooking in these oem liners and the Intuition people say their liners are even warmer....

I believe them too, as i found a pair of use boots like mine with their Denali liners in them and trying these boots on was like putting my feet in electric boots instantly.

Pics forth coming soon.

Tools: heat gun maybe, strong hands, pliers, and vacuum cleaner.

I am much happier that I can at least BUY TIME.

5:07 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Koflach Vertical Boot problems

Ok so i got sick and tired of BS like i said above, and this is proof I attacked the problem by the horns. My style of life.

I am not very happy about this failure of quality either, but i will do what I must do.

Here we have a quality problem big time.
LeftBootheelweb.jpg


LeftSoleweb.jpg

This isn't as bad or messy as it may seem. You can break this black sole up easy by just twisting the bootie all every which way, and peel it off. One bootie takes about 20 minutes time, so 40 minutes to an hour isn't all that much of an investment to regain control of your boots.

BreakingUpSoleweb.jpg

When you get here you are living again. The only tools you need are your hands i would avoid heat guns. I used a heat gun on one bootie but found that one was harder to clean up in the long run. Just work it cold and it will be better.


BothSolesCleanweb.jpg

This is the bad stuff, that used to be the heel and sole. This is just a little bit, but it isn't nasty like I thought it would be and didn't make everything black as I expected.


Solesweb.jpg

So next it is a matter of messing around with these liners in the shell and in the bootie to get a fit right again, or better than right I hope in my case as these never did fit right.

I also removed the little foot pad in the shell that was just stapled in place.

Footpadsweb.jpg


ShellandTreadwear2web.jpg

3:10 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Hi Lodge Pole - i just learned that the heels of my Vertecal liners look like the pics of yours.

After getting the degraded sole material off of the liners, what did you replace it with?

Would be great if you could post some pics of the finished, re-built liners...

THANKS!

------- BMcC

6:52 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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430 forum posts

BMcC said:

Hi Lodge Pole - i just learned that the heels of my Vertecal liners look like the pics of yours.

After getting the degraded sole material off of the liners, what did you replace it with?

Would be great if you could post some pics of the finished, re-built liners...

THANKS!

------- BMcC

 Sure when I decide for sure. Right not the oem liners are as you see them. If you do that, it will take about 20 minutes per liner. I recommend you do it cold.

In the picture above you will see 'Impact' brand food beds all cut up. The far left is the top and the next one over is the bottom. That reality us both right and left are shown cut up, ok.

Since that picture was taken the heel section of both liners were cut a little shorter again and with 3-M 2 sided tape (buy that in any auto parts store) and with 3-M tape are  placed in the heel well.

IMO the heel well needs to be filled.

The effect you will be after is like this.
Footpads2web.jpg

Since I removed the rock hard forward closed cell pad I added another, but it isn't taped in yet.

That part of your boot shell should be checked out to see if it has become a rock hard foam too. That is why you see holes cut on the forward part of the bed liners.

Where i am at right now is finding which liner the next size up will be the right liner to glue to the bottom of the bootie.

I don't and never did use the bootie to walk on ice or snow in a camped out location. I wore rugged down booties for that.

The blue foam you see is old camping pad. Don't bother with that. In a 3 mile hike that stuff will pack down on itself and never reform itself again. You can see the bottom section of 2 pieces glued together, above and the bottom pieces is still mashed flat this very day.

The foot bed with the lime green color is just a Dr Scholls liner. so so not that great. Not the liner i will glue to the bootie.

The bootie has 0 insulation on the bottom... unless you consider a few air holes in the heel insulation.

When i do glue on the feet bed to the bottom of the bootie I will use Barges Cement. Once you do that you are not going to get a bed liner off in this or the next life time. So get it right the first time you use glue.

Another option is to buy pretty expensive foam liners that now come std in the Degree boot. I haven't see that boot in person yet, and so I wonder if it has a heel well?

That Liner is made by Intution and either the '

Universal (taller) or the 'Denali' shorter will work. Even so the heel well needs to be filled. These liners have insulation all around the foot. They will have more foot room than oem liners, so if you were hoping for another 1/2 size lager in the same shell it could be a good option.

These will be warmer than oem lines which could be a problem since oem liners were too hot to suit me anyway.

I spent a lot of time getting this far. Feel free to ask me anything you like about what I have tried, and if you don't understand me well just ask again. I know I tawk funny.  LP

December 19, 2014
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