If your feet do not fit properly in your hockey skates, you may experience quite a bit of pain, which can then lead to rashes and other types of skin irritations.
If this is your very first pair of hockey skates, then you may think that you’ll just have to go out and spend more money on buying the next size up.
But today, we are going to teach you about the excellent method of baking your skates to make them more comfortable.
Baking your skates (yes, in an oven) is a process that enables the material to become malleable and mold itself around your foot.
This makes the skates a lot more comfortable and means that you won't have to go through the tedious process of breaking in your skates first.
The steps are easy to follow so you shouldn't have any trouble if you decide to do it on your own.
Because of the heat coming from the oven, the components that go into making the skate's boot soften up and become more malleable.
Before you put your skates in the oven, you should check with the manufacturer to make sure that they can survive the heat and be shaped by it. If they can, then you may go ahead and put them in the oven.
Heat moulding is a procedure that, if done poorly, can limit the lifespan of hockey skates, especially when it comes to recreational or beginner-level hockey skates.
Here is the best way to bake your skates so that you can get a nice, comfortable fit.
Step 1 - Preparation
Before you begin baking the skates, the first thing you need to do is make sure that everything is prepared.
You should place a chair nearby and a mat on the floor in front of it. Put on the same socks you would normally wear when skating.
Always have a baking sheet and an oven mitt within easy reach of you. This will ensure that you are prepared for any situation.
You also need to have a clock or timer with you, as you don’t want to misjudge the timings which can cause you to ruin the shoes.
To put your foot into the shoe without any discomfort, you will need to loosen the shoelaces to the point where you can do so.
Step 2 - Preheat Oven
The second step is to make sure the oven is preheated to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79 degrees Celsius), which can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the oven.
At this temperature, the materials may soften without causing any harm to the skate.
The use of a thermometer is strongly encouraged because there are several circumstances in which ovens do not display the correct temperature.
In addition, before putting the boots in the oven, you should give them a quick squeeze to get an idea of how stiff they will be once the baking process has been done.
This will help you determine how long the boots need to be baked.
Step 3 - Put Skate In The Oven
it's important to note that you don’t want to put the stakes in the oven while it's turned on. Rather, you should wait until the oven reaches the correct temperature, then turn it off and wait for around 30 seconds before you put the skate into it.
While this may seem a bit pointless, direct heat can severely damage the skates. Ideally, you want the oven to be at the correct temperature and then turn it off so that the skates “bake” as the oven is cooling down.
When you are ready, place one skate on the baking tray, and then place the baking tray on the middle rack of the oven.
You shouldn't rush through the process even if there is enough space in the oven for both skates to be baked at the same time.
It's possible that doing things one at a time may take longer, but this is a sensitive procedure and you don’t want to ruin your shoes.
After checking to see that the baking pan is the only thing the skate is making contact with, you should then shut the door.
Step 4 - Baking
The skates should be in the oven for no more than three to five minutes maximum. After two minutes, you should check in on how the skates are doing.
When the quarter panels are ready, you will be able to tell because they will be noticeably less rigid and more flexible than how they initially were.
If there is little to no change, keep baking for two more minutes.
Step 5 - Remove Skates And Try Them On
Take an oven mitt and remove the baking sheet from the oven. Carry the baking sheet over to the chair that you have already set up.
The skate should be warm, but for safety reasons, you shouldn't touch the steel (for ice skates), the chassis (for roller skates), or the metal eyelets.
As you slip your foot into the skate, apply a little bit of pressure on it, and then check to make sure that your heel is back in the back of the skate.
Step 6 - Lacing Up
When lacing up, you mustn’t tug the laces upward, downward, or any other direction. Because of how flexible the boot is, there is a possibility that the eyelets will separate from the boot.
Pull the skate laces directly away from the eyelets, and then back outwards again to lace up your skates.
Make a knot in them the way you normally would, as if you were about to go skating with them.
Step 7 - Wait
Remain seated with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle for the next ten to fifteen minutes.
To guarantee that the skates will cool down evenly and continue to mold themselves to your feet without interruption, you should not stand or move about in them.
After the right time has passed, you should remove the skate by first gently untying its laces and then taking it off. Continue to allow the skate to cool down so that the materials can regain their firmness.
It's recommended that you wait 24 hours before using them; however, if you are in an emergency and need to use them immediately, placing them in your freezer for one hour can help speed up the process.
Baking your hokey stakes is an easy way to get them to fit perfectly on your feet. While it's a bit time-consuming, it's worth it to get that extra bit of comfort on the ice.