Ski Boot Stretching
Have you got some ski boots that don't fit quite right? Feeling constant aches and pains all day? The good news is your boot shells can be stretched, remolded and reshaped to fit your foot. Once the process is done they will be your own uniquely shaped boots and they will be way more comfortable than before.
For this process, you will need to seek out a bootfitter. But it will hugely helpful for you to know how and why a ski boot is stretched and what stretch you may need for yourself.
Here are couple of the most common ways to alter the shape of the ski boot to make it fit perfectly.
Widening the forefoot
- Often done with the tool called "The Jumbo". The process consists of inserting the tool in the shell in the front. Once it is in, it can be widen as much as needed. It can make the ski boot wider in the front and provide more space for the metatarsal bones. "The Jumbo" can be customized to match the shape of your foot with some foam padding. This will give you the best shape and result.
Reshaping the toe box
- We can get some extra length, but most commonly the toe box gets reshaped or widened. It is done with pre shaped wood blocks or metal toe fitting. This allows us to get the perfect width and length. The blocks go in the ski boot and are pushed forward with a manual or hydraulic crank.
- If you are having issues with a single pressure point on your foot because of the shape of the ski boot, no worries. This can be fixed with the "Manual Press". It offers great flexibility and a ton of options. We can set the shape and the amount where you want to stretch or to punch the shell. It's great for ankles, bunions and any other fleshy/bony parts of the foot.
- Should you have a huge mismatch of foot to shell, "Ultracam" can be your solution. It allows both boots to be reshaped at the same time. A lot of volume could be added to the shell by stretching and widening. This tool is a true lifesaver of any people who have problems with uncommonly wide feet, "Hobbits" take note.
If your going to get this done, its super important to mark out accurately what are the points of contact are and where the stretches and punches should be made. You can see for yourself where you need the extra space by going through your shell fitting process. Heavy points of contact will be the spots to target. It is best to mark your boot with just chalk as it wont stain the plastic. Avoid drawing circles or making huge marks with a sharpie as that is just rough and makes your boot look like shit.
The key to making the stretch or the punch hold properly is to ensure the plastic gets hot enough to remold it. The heating should be done very slowly. And should be brought up to a temperature of at least 300F. The risk of heating it up too fast is melting the outside plastic, while the inside will not get hot enough to remold. You must allow the plastic to absorb the heat right through.
Once your boots have been stretched or reshaped in any way, the shells should be kept away from any sources of heat, so heaters, dryers, you name it! If the shells get too hot, the plastic can retract and lose its new shape. So try to keep your shells to room temperature or below.