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Q&A

What temperature is needed for heat molding ski boot liners? Isn't body temperature enough for that?

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After a season of skiing in rental boots of all sorts, I want to buy my own pair. My options are:

  1. a local shop in a country where there's no snow and the prices are so high,
  2. online deals that are cheaper, and I could order a few pairs and try them on, keep the best fit, and return the rest.

Some advise that it has to be heat molded, so a local shop who would do that is the way to go, where some others say wearing it is enough to get the foot shape molded into the liner.

I'd like to know what temperature the liners need to mold the shape, and is it really necessary for the commercial heat molding process or is it just another way of ripping buyers off?

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/21144. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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2 answers

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An oven works fine to heat such liners. Materials and temperatures vary but if you go too high you will significantly decrease the life of the foam. Many ovens fluctuate greatly so filling pillow case with sand, stones, beans, rice and put them in or over the boots will help warm the boot slowly and evenly. Preheat the oven a few degrees more before putting the liner or boot in, then turn it down, you don't want the radiant heat melting the foam or plastic. The best way to heat it is get a sous vide cooker, a large vessel of water like a cooler, put the item in a garbage bag and put it in the heated water, leave it for at least 10 minutes but not too long or hot as it will start to weaken the foam. Sous vide cookers are reasonably priced and great for cooking so many things. Personally unless there is a specific spot that is uncomfortable, just let the liner wear in naturally. Most people get too large of a boot their foot slides forward causing issues. If you do try to mold the liner use acrylic, polyester or some sort of thin, non-cotton sock as moisture can transfer a lot of heat. Its best to leave the foot in for a while so it cools into position.

When it comes to most any footwear and especially ski boots and hockey skates, NOTHING is better than a custom foot bed. They typically run about $200. Alternatively you can buy a tube of silicone caulk and corn starch, mix them together apply them to the arch area of the insole at wrap it in plastic wrap put it in the shoe and then put your foot in and walk around in it. The silicone will spread and conform. There is a chance the plastic might break or silicone may leak out. Don't put too much in, you can add more later if its not good enough. Regardless if you have high arches, flat feet or what ever, making or paying for a custom foot bed is easily the first thing you should do.

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This post was sourced from https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/21241. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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Body heat isn't enough (caveat: of course there may be liners for which it is, but not typically). but that doesn't mean you need a "commercial heating device".

Intuition liners (no affiliation, they're just the only pair of molded liners I own) recommend "cooking" with rice in socks preheated in a microwave. Probably a gentle method, but I wouldn't know whether I wanted to go to the trouble (and I don't own a microwave). However this doesn't give an estimate on temperature.

I "cooked" mine in the oven at 80degC. A quick google search provides lots of tutorials with people going as high as 140degC. In the end you need to step into them with thin socks (that's another topic) and you don't want to burn yourself, so I'd rather go a bit lower temp and longer exposure.

A definite answer will depend on the exact model you have. Most likely you won't find the information supplied by the vendor. However it's no rocket science: Read some instructions online (there's other important stuff apart from the cooking to take care of) and select a cooking method that seems reasonable to you.

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