Heat molding is no longer just for ski boot liners!
In recent years, technology has advanced the plastics being used in ski boot shell construction. So much so, that now there is the possibility to completely reshape a boot to suit the unique shape of your foot with heat moldable plastic.
Traditionally, reshaping of a ski boot would require a boot fitter with the necessary skills and equipment to manually stretch and punch the shape into the boot.
Now it can be done with these certain moldable ski boots quite easily. The process is done by heating the plastic shell in a convection oven until it becomes warm and malleable. (usually 10mins at 80*C) You then stand in the boot until its cools down and sets to the shape of your foot.
There are a few brands that currently offer this technology in their ski boots. Let's take a look at them:
First on the scene with this technology was Salomon with their patented Kaprolene "Custom Shell". This Kaprolene is injected into certain areas of the shell. It began just in the forefoot and now has evolved to surrounding the whole foot and ankle area. Even some on the top of the cuff for molding for big calf muscles
Custom Shell is available in these Boots:
Atomic has developed Memory Fit, which is a very similar concept and system to Salomon's. They have stepped it up a notch by featuring this Memory Fit in their super high performance race boot line. It is featured in these boots:
Form Fit is Heads latest technology. They include this in their new line of Freeski boots- The Hammer and The Thrasher which are a 3 piece design. Also the All Mtn. series with the Vector. As well as the wide fitting Advant Edge series that opens up great fitting options for the wide feet.
Fischers moldable boots have been around for several years now with their Vacuum Fit boot offerings. This "Vacu Plast" offers a highly customisable fitting option by heating the boot shell and then using vacuum to reshape and adjust the shell to suit your needs. Nearly every aspect of these boots are moldable including setting the forward lean.
Offering a boad range of vacuum boot offerings with everything from their Race, high performance carve, all mtn and even touring boots.
The newest on the scene is Dalbello with their MyFit system. Which molds the boots shell in 8 minutes and the liners as quick as 4 minutes. A great choice as it combines the great fit of Contour 4 with its targeted shape for common pressure points and now with MyFit will allow many feet to be happy wearing Dalbellos.
K2 has joined the heat molding game with their FitLogix custom thermo shell technology which gives outstanding moldability and options for altering the fit.
Covering nearly their entire offering, there is some amazing ski boots being produced by K2 and now they are even more capable of offering a true custom fit.
So these boots are all great options for skiers looking for a customized fit. Although they are very moldable, it is not a one size fits all. The appropriate boot shell and size will still need to be selected and then molded to suit.
Also a fantastic option for those with some irregularities to their feet in the fact that they can be easily changed to suit these lumps and bumps without having to get any specialty punching or stretch bootfitting done.
If you have any questions, let me know!