Heat molding your ski boots can give you a customized fit to increase comfort and performance. It’s a pretty standard feature on most modern ski boots and one that I would highly recommend.
I’ve been skiing for nearly my entire life and am still looking for ways to improve my experiences in the snow. I always heat mold my boots, and I know how essential the process can be in helping take advantage of your equipment.
This post will show you how to heat mold ski boots. Whether you are new to the sport or just new to heat-moldable boots, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively get a customized fit after reading the sections below.
Let’s dive in.
Most modern ski boots are designed to be heat moldable. But before you put yours in the oven, you’ll want to double-check that your boots and their liners are indeed designed for that. If they aren’t, you can melt or ruin them.
For this article, I will show you how to customize your liners and shells simultaneously. Some boots have heat-moldable shells and not liners, while others might have moldable liners but not shells.
Always check the information from your manufacturer regarding molding your boots before attempting my process shown below. I’ve used this for many different boots, but you always want to check before heating them up.
Things to Prepare
Heat molding your ski boots is pretty straightforward, but you’ll need a few things to make it happen at home. Here’s everything to get prepared before you start the process.
- An oven large enough to hold your ski boots
- Heat moldable ski boots and/or liners
- A large tub/cooler full of ice or enough ice packs to cover your feet
- Ski socks
- Hot mitts or gloves
- Timer or stopwatch
How to Heat Mold Ski Boots
Here are all of the steps to heat mold ski boots. It’s a pretty straightforward process that nearly everyone can accomplish at home.
Step 1: Prepare the Oven
Pre-heat the oven to about 200F. Check any manufacturer’s specifications for an exact temperature to work with your boots, but 200F is pretty standard and used in most situations.
You’ll also want to move the oven racks around, so you have enough room for your boots to go inside it, standing straight up. You might need to remove a rack or two.
Step 2: Prepare a Cooling Station
As the oven is heating up, you need to prepare a cooling station to put your boots in once they are molded.
This can be as simple as a bathtub full of ice or cold water. You can also use a cooler full of ice or simply throw a few bags of frozen veggies over them on the floor.
Step 3: Put Boots in Oven
Once the oven is preheated, place your boots inside. You’ll want to place them upright to avoid melting the buckle or other materials. Put both boots in at the same time if they fit. If not, you can do one boot at a time.
Close the over door and set your timer for about 10 minutes or whatever the manufacturer recommends for heating time.
Step 4: Mold Your Boots
After the boots have been in the oven for about 10 minutes, they will be warm enough to become moldable.
Put your ski socks on before taking them out of the oven and use a towel or oven mitt to avoid getting burnt.
Step into your ski boots and clamp down any buckles and straps. Stand straight up with both boots on and bend your knees slightly to mimic a natural skiing stance.
Stay in this position for about five minutes.
Step 5: Cool Down
Once you have been in the same position for about five minutes, step into the bathtub or cooler full of ice or cold water.
You want to stay in this cooling station for about 10 minutes to allow the plastic and foam to cool down, which solidifies the molding process.
After 10 minutes, you can take your boots off, dry them off, and you are ready for action.
Notes and Suggestions
If you buy boots from a ski shop or boot fitter, they can help you heat mold them. I highly suggest using this service if it’s available. Boot fitters are experts at getting a perfect fit, and they will take care of everything for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.
It’s not difficult to do at home, but I always find that an experienced boot fitter does a better job than I can. They also have special ovens that help the boots heat up quickly and evenly.
If you end up not getting a good mold, you can always repeat the process. You’ll need to repeat all of the steps above, but this will allow your boots to re-mold. However, this works better for shells than liners because liners can pack out.
You always want to wear the actual socks you use for skiing during the molding process. If you use a different sock, you will end up with a different fit.
And remember to stay in a skiing position the entire time you’re standing in the boots after taking them out of the oven. If you sit down or walk around, you will get a funny fit.
Heat molding your ski boots is an easy way to get a customized fit that will enhance comfort and performance. Follow the steps listed here and you’ll be on your way to a great ski season with boots that fit properly.