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DIY - Boot heat stretch / adjustment

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Anyone heat adjusted their own boots at home/DIY , either with a heat gun or in the Oven for a bit .
I’ve seen a few tutorials on YouTube and I’m tempted to try the oven method.I’ve got quite wide feet and have a very slight pinch point on the left boot

I keep meaning to get it done whilst in resort , but I’m either too exhausted or the Apres ski has gone on longer than planned
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
What if your self analysis is incorrect .....on top of your DIY shell punching experience and skills?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@wasley, Having seen both my last pairs heated in the oven, they do go rather floppy. The potential for a serious mistake seems high.
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No and wouldn't risk it, hard enough to get the exact spot described to a boot fitting expert when in the boots and them tapping various areas IMHO! Even harder to ensure you don't put a hole in your shell!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As per advice above - Don't.
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But has anyone actually tried?

I know some boot fitters serve an apprenticeship/ have qualifications in medical sciences

but i doubt they do much training at s%^$ & r^k

people do have transferable skills
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As a alternative if you read many of CEM,s past posts he often mentions "The foot acting wide"

Chances are (very high chance about 85%) you need to consider a pro bootfitters analysis, costs fitting a new pair and your time visiting one .

Then you will be on point otherwise your rolling a dice ..of course all the above has a real cost for a real result.

If they suggest replacing your boots then it wont matter what you do to the old ones.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Thu 24-02-22 13:03; edited 2 times in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
hobbiteater wrote:
But has anyone actually tried?

I know some boot fitters serve an apprenticeship/ have qualifications in medical sciences

but i doubt they do much training at s%^$ & r^k

people do have transferable skills


Yep, on location in apartment oven when skiing Very Happy was for more room in high instep area, just shells in oven to heat, put liners back in, fitted to skier, tightened to "mould" them as they cooled, very successful. Exactly the same as I'd had mine fitted by boot fitter for high volume instep.
I'd view toe width as more targeted though and haven't done that specifically, it may need a push from inside if just isolated point of difficulty.

Would suggest firstly though to consider sock volume (if not already done that) as a thin sock with minimal "snag" or traction may help significantly without further problems.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Ninja edit on auto correct "suggestion" there Very Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I appreciate everyone’s concerns and hope don’t regret it

As @hobbiteater said transferable skills
I’m not a plumber , electrician, plasterier, painter and decorator , mechanic but have completed all these tasks albeit a lot lot slower

My plan is to stick a bit of foam to my foot on the pinch point so when I heat the boot that area it will get pushed out slightly when I put my foot in

I’ve found the recommended heating temps so hopefully won’t have a blob of plastic in the bottom of my oven when I take it out
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Do you have an oven thermometer?

We’ve had ovens that I definitely wouldn’t trust to give an accurate temperature.

Having benefitted from CEM’s expertise I personally wouldn’t do anything other than going to a proper boot fitter.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
If you really want to go the DIY route, here's what I've been doing, disclaimer "try on an old boot first".......
I made a tool over 25 years ago to push out the shell to accommodate a really large bunion, basically the rounded end of a broom handle with a hole drilled in the opposite end to take a large-headed bolt and nut. Insert the "tool" so it's positioned with the round end inside where you want the bulge to appear, I use a cut down open ended spanner to turn the nut to lengthen the tool till tight, then buckle the boot, then with a heat gun on a low setting, gently warm the boot until the bulge appears to be correct, then take the boot outside and stick in a snowbank for an hour......
You'll know if you've heated it too much as the plastic will start to blister!
The only other option for me is bunion surgery which I've avoided because of the recovery time and the fact they may grow back, I've got one on each foot!

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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
KenX,

Excellent! Very Happy

But I hope you didn't receive a cease and desist letter from Anne Summers... Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yep, I've done it at home a few times and its worked well for me, watched the online videos, very careful with temperature and a separate thermometer, flat wooden board to rest them on in the oven. I do have a custom footbed though, I wouldn't do it without that going through first.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Always did and probably always will. But with my background as ex-World cup serviceman (who sometimes needed to fix something with boots on the fly too), I'm probably not really "normal user". So would I suggest this to someone at home? I don't know... it depends how handy you are. It's not really rocket science, but it's not nothing either. If you have old boots to try first, sure go with it. At least for me I can tell I do better job then any commercial boot fitter for sure. First I know exactly where I need to change boot, and second, I don't have another client waiting in line to get it done as fast as possible. And last, molding shell is never one time process if you want it to be done good, and not just punch the sh**it out of plastic make way too much space just to be sure it's good (especially when talking about race boots I'm using). So for this, it helps if you can do it when back from skiing and see it next day how it is, without waiting for appointment, driving somewhere etc. But if you have no experience with this, be careful, as you can destroy boot real fast.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
If you're a practical person, why not? In 35 seasons and half a dozen pairs of comfy boots I've never been to a boot fitter. Personally I favour the heatgun rather than the oven - more controllable/localisable. Good luck! snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@shep, I agree... always heat gun, never oven. You don't want to heat whole boot but just as little as possible of area around spot you need to mold.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Depends how good you are with the heat gun. With cooking there is often a fine line between "done to perfection" and "burnt to Be Nice please!". Which you get depends on how good you are at gauging how hot something is without actually touching it. That comes with experience. I suspect this is one of those things.

Quote:

The only other option for me is bunion surgery which I've avoided because of the recovery time and the fact they may grow back, I've got one on each foot!


Yeah. I went this route as I have early onset arthritis in my feet and the bunions limited footwear options. Also a total nightmare with ski boots as you can never really accommodate the problem. Post surgery, decent orthotics mean no bunion regrowth so far and nothing hurts beyond the inconvenience caused by the arthritis. Expensive and painful but I would do it again tomorrow with a smile.
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primoz wrote:
@shep, I agree... always heat gun, never oven. You don't want to heat whole boot but just as little as possible of area around spot you need to mold.


I can certainly see the need here, with localised area of demand, and agree with that.

But, the overall view is surely more sentiment than material demands. If the material is formable by placing it in a elevated heat range, it doesn't follow that it's detrimental to the material structure to do so.
With wider demand for "change site" then the overall heating method would give less concern with heat gradient in any particular stress point ie it would be more subtly distributed across the structure to it's ultimate benefit.

General principles of changing things with heat is never to cold quench either (unless it's a very specific requirement to alter the final outcome) with plastics holding little temperature generally, just let it cool naturally.

For localised modifications, as topic here, it would seem advisable to start with the shells warm (not oven, just standing near a heater) such that the material in the stretch zone has less of a truncated movement to potentially cause the plastic thickness to change abruptly.

The ultimate concern is too much heat at any point, heat gun can do this easily and needs care. Temperature control in oven will minimize this risk because you will know the temperature set point. Unless you've access to heat gun with temp control that is.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've done it successfully using a hot air gun and an IR thermometer (£10 from eBay).

Eventually I spent some time in the shops in a ski resort and found a pair of new boots that fitted perfectly.
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Just to report back
I used a mixture of the oven and heat gun .Mines a standard gas oven so the boots got hot at the top but only warm at the bottom ,so I think a electric fan oven would work better giving a even all-round heat .So I used the heat gun to add some extra heat the pressure point I feel when wearing the boots to give a bit more stretch in those areas . Also where those pressure points were I packed out with bits of foam stuffed into my ski sock to give it that extra push .
Once out of the oven I slipped the boots on , done them up and added the extra heat to the pressure areas .Stood my toes on a bit of 4"x2" to give some flex and let it cool for 10 mins.Then went into the garden using a bag of ice and garden hose the do the final cooling .
Ive just got back from skiing and they are near on perfect now , the only slight pressure point is in my left ankle when i first put the boots on , but once I flexed forward and started skiing the pressure went and didn't notice it the rest of the day .
I only wish i done this a few years back.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@wasley, glad it went well for you!
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