For both expert and beginning skiers, breaking in new ski boots is quite uncomfortable. This, however, is a task that you cannot avoid, especially if you want to have a good time after putting on ski boots and skis.
With the right tips, ski boot stretching should be easier. This article should make breaking in new ski boots more comfortable for you.
Time Needed to Break in New Ski Boots
Breaking in new ski boots takes approximately 5 to 6 full days of skiing. Over this period, your feet will press and compact the liner in various areas. The liner will spread out to settle into the boot shell.
During the initial days, your feet may feel too tight. This is because the liners are yet to compact and sit fully in the ski boot shell.
Can You Break in New Ski Boots at Home?
Skiing steeps with uncomfortable new ski boots won’t be fun for anyone. For this reason, a large number of skiers will want to try to stretch their boots at home. Below, we have the steps you will need to follow to break in your new boots before using them with the all-mountain skis:
1. Walk Around in Your Home While Wearing the New Boots
After buying new ski boots, you will want to start wearing them at home, regularly. Put the boots on for at least an hour every night. Since you are trying to break into the boots, you will need to tighten them slightly more than you would under normal circumstances.
Try stomping around the house while wearing the boots. Flex the boots back and forth and also wiggle your toes around. While this may not be fun, it will help you speed up the rate at which your boots stretch.
2. Pull Out the Liners and Wear Them Alone
Wearing the liners like a pair of your favorite slippers will help shape the liner foam to your heel and toes. This should not require too much effort.
3. Put the Liners Back in Your Boot
After wearing the liners alone, put them back in the ski boot and then wear the boots. This time, do not tighten the calf straps. Instead, focus on tightening the lower straps and buckles.
Wear the boots for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. When you start feeling too uncomfortable, loosen the boots and let the circulation build up again. Next, repeat the process.
Repeating this process will allow the ski boots to mold properly to your feet, making them feel more comfortable when you decide to use them with your cross-country skis. The heel pockets will enlarge and hollow-out, pulling the toes away from the boot front, hence giving your feet a bigger motion range.
Can a Professional Stretch Your Ski Boots?
In some instances, stretching boots via the method described above may take too much time. Maybe you want to put on your ski jacket and ski helmet sooner. Also, in some instances, you may have issues with your new ski boots even after completing the steps described above. If this is the case, you may want to work with a professional ski boot fitter.
Whether the new ski boots can be stretched by a professional will depend on the boot model. Intermediate and beginner ski boots are manufactured using softer materials. This makes their stretching much harder – the probability of damaging the boots when stretching them is usually higher.
Expert and high-end boots are generally easier to stretch. These boots are made using stronger materials. The materials are capable of handling the force used by professional boot fitters to stretch the boot shell and alter the shape.
Different types of ski boots do exist in the market. Below, we will explain whether it is possible to stretch the 2 common types of boots:
- Seamed ski boot – These types of ski boots feature 2 varying types of seams or plastics in the boot shell construction. This makes ski boot stretching without causing any damage quite tough. If you want this type of boot to be stretched, you may have to look for a more experienced boot fitter who is willing to take on the challenge.
- Mono injected ski boot – This type of boot is made of only one type of material or just one mold. These types of boots are much easier to stretch.
How is Ski Boot Stretching Done?
If you have already decided against stretching the ski boots at home, you may want to know how the professional boot fitters stretch the boots. If you decide to take your new ski boots to a professional before you use them together with your new ski pants, the boots will have to go through the following steps:
Step 1: The first step involves heating the ski boot. This is usually done by placing the boot in hot water.
Step 2: Next, a vice is used to lock the ski boot into place and apply pressure to varying areas of the boot.
By applying pressure, the boot fitter will collapse and expand the ski boot in varying regions. The fitter can also mold the heated plastic into a more ideal shape that fits the skier’s foot.
Most boot fitters will use a tool called boot press to stretch the boots. This tool makes it possible for the boot fitter to stretch the boot to maximum capacity. Generally, numerous hours of experience and training are necessary to stretch the boots without damaging them.
Why Would You Want to Invest in Stretching Your Boots?
The main reason most skiers will want to stretch their boots before they wear ski gloves and head to the ski tracks is so that they can relieve pressure on various areas of their feet. Stretching the boot makes it more comfortable while skiing carves.
Ski boot stretching helps get rid of:
- Ankle pressure
- Forefoot pressure
- Heel spurs
Globo Surf Overview
Breaking in new ski boots is not an easy task, especially if you decide to do it without working with a professional. While stretching boots at home could save you some money, the whole process may take a long time to achieve the results you may be looking for. Also, it is not uncommon for the new boots to have issues even after breaking in.
The next best option you can use to get your new boots to fit your feet perfectly is to work with a professional boot fitter. Professionals who specialize in stretching ski boots should help make your boot comfortable more quickly.
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