Snowboarding is an exciting and enjoyable winter sport many people love. A good pair of boots is one of the essential pieces of equipment a snowboarder needs. Ski boots are critical in ensuring the rider has a comfortable and good command of their board. However, not all snowboard boots fit the same way straight out of the box, which is where heat molding comes in. So, how do you heat mold snowboard boots?
You can use regular items to mold your ski boots, like microwaved rice or a hair dryer. However, knowing your boot’s manufacturing before you begin the process is best to avoid damaging any heat-sensitive part of the boot.
Heat molding can help to customize the fit of the boots to the individual rider’s feet, creating a comfortable and snug fit that will enhance their performance on the slopes. Read more to learn about the process.
Related: How To Practice Skiing At Home?
What Is Heat Molding?
Heat molding is heating the inner liner of snowboard boots to make them more pliable and easier to mold to the shape of your foot. This process can be done at home or in a snowboard shop.
Heat molding typically requires heat guns, ovens, or hair dryers, which soften the liner material to conform to the shape of your foot. As you heat the liner or your boat, the foam expands and cools down to its new form, which is your foot. It helps you break in your boot sooner than usual.
Why Heat Mold Snowboard Boots?
When you go on a skiing trip, you will need everything to be perfect and well-fitting to ensure the smooth running of your vacation. Heat molding snowboard boots before your vacation begins is a highly beneficial thing for you.
Here are a couple of benefits:
Heat molding will make your boots more comfortable. When snowboard boots are heat molded, they conform to your foot’s shape, providing a snug and comfortable fit. In addition, it prevents your feet from moving inside the shoes, reducing the chances of blisters or poor performance that can happen from ill-fitting boots.
In addition to increased comfort, heat molding also enhances the performance of your snowboard boots. You have better control over your snowboard when your ski boots are a performance fit.
You can turn and maneuver your board more efficiently, which will help you take your snowboarding skills to the next level.
How To Heat Mold Snowboard Boots
Now that you know why heat molding your snowboard boots is essential, let’s look at how. There are certain things you should do and be aware of:
Research Your Boots
Before you begin, research your snowboard boots. These instructions will provide the recommended temperature and time for heat molding your snowboard boots. The instructions will also tell you if any materials in the ski boots are unsuitable for heat molding.
Primarily, your boots will have removable and moldable liners that you need to expose to heat to change the fit of your shoes.
Prepare Your Boots
Loosen the laces from your snowboard boots. It will make it easier to slide your foot into the boot once you insert the heated liner. It is wise to remove the footbed from the liner before heating. Then, you can replace it when you put the moldable liner back in your snowboard boots.
Heat Your Liner
There are two common ways that you can use to expand your boot’s fit to your perfect size: microwaved rice and a hair dryer. Here is how you can perform both methods:
You need a few items for this heat molding process: 3-4 pounds of uncooked rice, a microwave, a 2×4 wooden plank, a pair of old socks you can cut, a pair of long and thin tube socks, and your regular-use snowboard socks.
Begin the process by filling the long thing tubed socks with uncooked rice. Then, tie the open end of the socks to keep the rice from falling out. When the socks are ready, put them in the microwave for 4-7 minutes.
Once the rice is warm, remove the bed of your boot and insert the liner. Keep your boot loose. Place the whole sock in your boot and tap the toe and heel to adjust the rice in the foot part of your liner. Once done, put the other sock on the top and slightly tighten your boot. Leave the snowboard boot like this for 10 minutes.
Cut the toe area of the old socks for extra padding, and expand your liner and boot. Next, put both toes on your foot, followed by your snowboard socks. Put the bed back in the boot and wear it. Keep your boot looser than usual. Stand on your heels with your toes resting on the 2×4 wooden plank. It will help you naturally flex your boot. Do this for 10 minutes.
You can repeat the same process for the other boot. Also, wear both shoes while standing, even molding one boot at a time. It will help you maintain your balance and heat setting your boot.
You can do the same steps using a hair dryer instead of microwaved rice. All you need to do differently is skip the rice part and put a hair dryer in your liner to warm it. Remember to take breaks after every 20 seconds to prevent burning your liner.
Do this for 10 minutes and repeat the plank step from the above method. Again, your snowboard boots should be a better fit after the process.
Some Tips to Keep In Mind
There are plenty of things to be careful about when you heat mold your liners or boots. Snowboard boots are expensive, and you want to ensure everything runs smoothly. So, here are some additional tips to keep in mind when heat molding your snowboard boots:
- Don’t overheat your boots. Understand your snowboard boot’s material to avoid damaging your snowboard boots or causing the liner to break down. If you need more clarification, go to a shop and get a professional to mold your boots.
- Heat molding can only do so much. If your boots are a poor fit, heat molding may only be able to fix some issues, but not all of them.
- Going to a professional boot fitter is always an excellent idea. They can ensure that your boots are heat molded correctly and without damage.
- Heat molding is not a permanent fix. Your boots will continue to break in over time, so you may need to periodically repeat the heat molding process. However, it is best to mold them once or twice, as molding them too many times can decrease their lifetime and increase your expense in the longer run.
Heat molding is essential for customizing your snowboard boots’ fit. Heat molding your shoes can improve their fit, leading to greater comfort and better performance on the slopes.
Take your time during heat molding to ensure the best fit. However, buying perfectly fitting snowboard boots or going to a professional for heat molding to avoid any damage will be best.