If you find that the skates are very uncomfortable then consider heat molding the boot to your feet. You will need appropriate wrenches to remove and attach blades, and a marking tool to mark the blades. For Maple boots and blades, that’s a 10 mm wrench. Please allow at least an hour to perform this process from start to finish.
Please take care to follow the instructions carefully, as mishandling of the skates during this process can result in damage or reduced boot support for skaters in the years to come.
If the skates have a very localized spot that is hurting, a hairdryer or heat gun can help in the specific area, without molding the entire boots.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees F; Put on thin/normal socks.
- Mark your blades with left and right (sharpie), front and back.
- Mark the setup of the blades on the underside of the boots (silver sharpie). Note that the blades can be adjusted side to side, and in some cases, front to back, so make adequate marks.
- Remove the blades from the skate (two bolts that hold the blade supports onto the boot). The aforementioned marking of the blades will allow you to replace them in the same place after the heating process.
- Loosen laces and undo velcro or buckles, but tuck them into the boots or out of the way, so they do not dangle!
- Place both skates in the oven on a pan or a rag to prevent damage from grill. Make sure the skates are centered in the oven and will not be damaged from flame or burner (including those laces and velcro straps).
- Heat the skates for 10 min, then flip them over. Twenty (20 )min is recommended, but check them frequently in case oven temperatures vary.
- When 20 min are up, turn the oven off and remove one skate. Attach boot to the blade. Do not over tighten or worry about perfect centering at this point, we just want the cup to support the boot in the attachment area.
- Sit in a chair when putting on skate, and do NOT walk on the warm skates. The chair should have room to tuck the blades underneath and be high enough to allow the ankles to be bent. A low couch is generally not suitable.
- While inserting you foot into the boot, ensure that you hold the top of the boot around the achilles area to prevent compressing the back of the skate. Lace up to a normal tightness, do not overtighten, eyelets may be weakened. There should be no need to attach velcro or buckles at this point, so avoid pulling on them.
- Sitting in a chair you will push your knee over your toes and align the centre of your knee over your 2nd toe. Keeping the boot square is very important during the molding process (do not let ankle fall inward). This achieves molding in the skating position.
- Once one foot is laced, go ahead and put on the other skate.
- Along with the critical knee over skate angle, it is important for the skater to go through the full range of motion. Remaining seated in the chair you will slide your foot forward putting you in a extension position.The motion should not be held and should be repeated every 5 minutes. Getting the extended position in the mold will greatly improve comfort when standing up, as well as improve performance for stretching at the line. After the extended position is acheived quickly return the foot to the pervious knee over skate position.
- Skates should take 20 min to cool; to speed up you can apply cold packs.
Special thanks to VH website, as many of the steps included here are from their instructions. For additional pictures and instructions please see http://www.vhspeedskating.com/resources/molding-instructions/