For many skiers, it’s almost impossible to find a pair of ski boots that provide the perfect fit out of the box.
There is always a chance that your new boots will be too tight or too loose, and this is not what you want when hitting the slopes.
But you shouldn’t have any fears when buying your boots, as there are several ways in which you can adjust them to fit your feet properly.
Ski boot molding and remolding ensure that skiers enjoy riding with boots that fit them correctly, and provide them with enough comfort and flexibility needed on the runs.
So, if you want to buy your first pair of ski boots or already have one and are frustrated by the discomfort they give you, I have good news for you.
As long as you get the right size, your ski boots can be remolded. You can always adjust your ski boots to make the best out of your ski trips and avoid unnecessary frustrations.
In this article, I’ll show you everything you need to know about remolding your ski boots and whether the process is actually worth the effort. Keep reading to learn more!
Why You Should Remold Your Ski Boots
As mentioned before, it’s unlikely for you to find ski boots that give you a perfect fit right out of the box. Even so, you should try to get pretty close to a good fit when buying new ski boots.
Most skiers prefer to custom mold their ski boots and liners to their specific feet shape. This makes it possible to enjoy maximum comfort and top-notch performance on the trails.
Once your boots and liners are custom molded to fit your feet, you may not need to remold them.
Nonetheless, some skiers find that the ski boots are still uncomfortable on their feet after a few ski trips.
And when the boots are hurting your feet, it can significantly impact your experience and reduce performance. In such cases, the best thing to do is to have the boots heat remolded.
Such discomfort is usually common when skiers replace their boot liners or footbeds, making the fit feel different.
More notably, wearing thick socks and you are used to thin ski socks can also make a huge difference in how your boots fit.
So, if you don’t want to limit your ski ability or have a horrible experience on the slopes, it is only wise to have your boots remolded whenever you feel they don’t fit well.
How Custom Molding Works
Generally, both ski boots and liners can be custom molded to ensure that they fit your feet correctly.
Some brands sell their boots with kits that allow skiers to mold them at home using an oven, while others recommend having the boots adjusted in a professional ski shop.
Depending on your DIY skill level and the brand that you choose, you can mold your ski boots and liners at home and have them fit your feet snugly.
If you get a brand that doesn’t allow you to mold the boots yourself, I wouldn’t recommend trying to do it, as you might end up damaging the boots or the liner.
Let’s discuss how to custom mold ski boots and liners upon buying them.
Initially, it was uncommon for skiers to customize ski boots or shape them to fit their feet. Most skiers usually improvise by adding more padding when the boot feels loose.
But with the new technology and modern boot designs, it’s possible to customize your boots to get rid of the pressure points and improve the fit. And it’s actually easier to do so!
All you have to do is make sure that you heat your boots well until they are moldable.
Since molding boots involves dealing with hot plastic, it can be a bit complicated, but you can easily nail it with proper caution.
It’s crucial to use a wooden cutting board when heating the boots, as the metallic tray may become too hot and melt the plastic parts of your gear.
Once you warm the boots in the oven, you can add foam to the pressure points on your feet as you are looking to expand the liners and the shell, and relieve pressure on those spots.
Then stand in the boots with the liners for about five minutes without flexing or moving a lot.
When you feel you already got the right fit, cover the boots with packs of ice with your legs still inside to retain the new shape. Then give the boots another 5 to 10 minutes to cool off, and you’ll be done with the molding process.
Before you embark on this project, you must check whether your specific boots have heat molding capability, as not all brands are moldable at home.
One more essential thing to keep in mind is that you should wear the proper ski-size socks when molding the boots. Ideally, wear the specific socks you plan to wear when hitting the slopes.
If you think you can’t do it exceptionally well, there is no need to compromise your skiing comfort, as you can simply take the boots to a ski shop and have them molded by a professional.
Custom Boot Liners
When buying new ski boots from a ski shop, the shop’s boot fitters will mold the new liners to ensure that they fit your feet snugly before you take them home.
But this may not be possible when you purchase your boots online or get a used pair. So, you might need to mold the foam liners.
As with ski boots, you can adjust the liners yourself or take them to a ski shop for proper molding. If going to a shop isn’t an option, you can easily mold them using an oven.
What you need to do is heat your oven and cook the liners for a few minutes, so they feel quite spongy but be careful not to overdo it. For a conventional oven, about 200 degrees will do.
If both liners cannot fit in the oven, you should heat one at a time and complete the process with the first one before heating the other liner.
You can easily tell when the liner is ready by checking its position in the oven. When it starts to sink a bit, then it’s ready for molding.
Once you remove the liner from the oven, follow these steps to mold them to your feet:
- Insert the footbed and put it into the boot shell. Then put your foot into the shell while holding back the liner’s cuff.
- When wearing a wrap to mold your boots, ensure that the inner side of the wrap goes to the inside of the leg.
- If your liner has any folds, you can lift your foot and slam it back a few times to get rid of the wrinkles and crooks.
- Bang your heel on the ground to feel the liner sink to the back.
- Then smash against the ground once more but focusing on the toes this time, before banging with the heel again to put your feet back into the pocket.
- Fasten all the straps but don’t do up the power buckle, as you want to conserve the foam and not pack it out during the heat molding process.
- Move around a little bit while wiggling your toes, and wait for the boot liner to cool off.
- Once it cools off, remove the boot and inspect the liner for any folds before repeating the procedure with the other liner.
How Often Can You Remold Your Ski Boots?
Remolding your ski boots won’t be necessary if they still fit well and you feel comfortable skiing with them.
However, if your feet change dramatically and you start experiencing some discomfort when skiing, it’s probably time to remold your boots.
This usually happens when you gain or lose considerable body weight. Pregnant women also experience changes in their feet size, so they see the need to remold the boots for a better fitting.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you can remold your boots every season. Remolding your boots too often may damage or weaken them.
The reason is that when you heat the boots and liners, the material becomes thinner and more susceptible to wear and tear.
So, it would help if you get your custom liners and boots to fit you well the first time you mold them to avoid extra heating and enhance your gear’s durability.
How to Achieve a Perfect Fit for Your Ski Boots
If you plan to have your boot heat molded, here are a few tips to help you achieve a great fit the first time you try.
- When wearing the boot for molding, use some thin padding on the trouble spots of your feet to create extra room and relieve pain.
- Wear the socks you plan to put on to ski when molding the boots to ensure that you get the most comfortable fit the first time you customize them.
- Walk around when molding your new boots and liners to shape them perfectly to your feet. However, you don’t want to overdo the movement to prevent overstretching the shells and ruining footbeds.
Is Heat Remolding Really Worth the Effort?
Ski boot remolding takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you want to do everything alone at home. It can also be a dangerous project if you are not cautious enough, given that you are dealing with heat.
So, you might wonder if it’s really worth it to invest your time in a boot-remolding project.
The answer is yes. Remolding is definitely worth the effort as it ensures that your boots fit correctly to your feet.
Molding your new boots will also ensure that you have enough arch support and put your feet in an ideal painless position when skiing. This way, you won’t have to deal with foot blisters and aches.
But before you have your pricey boots heated in the oven, try other solutions to get the right fit, like wearing different ski socks from the ones you wore last season.
If your boots feel too tight, you can buy a set of thinner ski socks to create more room for your feet to breathe.
You can try to use thick socks if the boots feel loose with a flat innersole, or buy new footbeds and use them with the old liners and shells.
Giving yourself enough time to understand each ski boot will provide you with the knowledge you need about the trouble spots. This will ensure you solve all the problems on each shell and liner.
If your boots have Salomon liners and feel wobbly or hurt your toes, you can replace them with intuition liners as they come with thicker padding on the toe box.
Q: Can Ski Boot Be Heat Remolded?
A: Yes, ski boots can be heat remolded. You can remold your boots if they don’t provide a perfect fit. Riding on slopes with boots that don’t fit you correctly compromises your ski ability and reduces your performance.
When you buy ski boots in a ski shop, you can have them customized to your feet before taking them home.
However, if you feel that they don’t fit well after using them for a few days, you can remold them at home or take them to a boot fitter for heat remolding.
Q: How Many Times Can You Mold a Ski Boot Liner?
A: In general, liners can be remolded 2 to 5 times, depending on how used they are, without any problems.
While you can reshape your boot liners several times, they can weaken when you do it so often. So, it’s important to buy the correct boot size to ensure that you don’t have to mold the liners too many times.
If you are working with an intuition liner, you can mold it up to three times, but it will reset back stock liners’ padding when heated.
Stock liners pack out after a few skiing trips on the snow, so you may need to get some custom liners for your custom shell.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Heat Mold Ski Boots?
A: If you take your boots to a ski shop for molding, it will cost you about $40 to $50. However, if you are not ready to pay a boot fitter to remold your boots, you can make it a DIY project and adjust them at home.
Skiing with boots that don’t fit well can be highly uncomfortable. It limits your skiing ability and reduces your performance on the slope.
If you want to improve your boot fit, you can remold them at home using an oven or take them to a professional boot fitter.
The DIY project is not difficult, but you need to be extra careful to avoid burning the boots or, worse, yourself. Just don’t forget to put on the custom footbeds and wear your regular ski socks when molding the boots.