By: Rebecca Dyes-Hopping
Published: 07 June, 2010
Sometimes hockey skates don’t quite feel right. By baking your skates, you can make them fit perfectly. Some people consider this like molding the skate to the foot. The same can be accomplished by wearing them in, however this takes time and wearing the skate when it is uncomfortable. The same result is achieved much faster by baking the skates. Skate baking can be done on both hockey skates as well as figure skates.
Prepare the hockey skates. Lace the skates very loosely so that you will be able to get your feet into them easily and quickly when they are hot.
Place the Easton skates on a baking sheet. Ensure there is enough room for both skates.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is reached turn the oven off.
Bake your hockey skates for 8 to 10 minutes. During this time keep checking to see how soft the foam is. If the foam feels soft enough to mold to your feet before the time is up, take them out early.
Remove the hockey skates from the oven. Quickly pull your Easton skates on.
Tighten up your Easton skates from the bottom to the top. Pull the laces outward instead of up to reduce the risk of pulling out an eyelet. Tighten the laces tighter than you would normally wear your skates to ensure a good skate mold.
Sit with your Easton skates flat on the floor for 15 minutes. Do not stand, walk around or flex your feet during this time.
Remove your hockey skates, being careful once again not to pull on the eyelets. Take the skates off carefully to be sure you don’t ruin the skate mold.
Allow your newly molded Easton skates to sit for 24 hours before wearing them.
Always follow all manufacturer instructions when baking your skates to avoid the warranty being voided.
If you pull an eyelet out of your brand new Easton skates during the skate mold process, you will ruin your skates. In this situation it would not be covered by warranty. Do not put your skates in the oven with the oven still turned on. You will risk ruining your skates.
Here at Discount Hockey we recommend using specific skate ovens made for the heat molding process to bake skates. However, we recognize that not everyone has easy access to a skate oven. For players in this situation, a standard conventional oven can be used instead. Listed below are the items needed to bake skates.
- Baking sheet
- Standard conventional oven
- Oven mitt
- Carpet or soft non-abrasive ground
Unless the skate manufacturer gives specific instructions, follow these guidelines:
Preheat the oven to 175°. While the oven is preheating, prepare the skates by loosening the laces all the way down to the end of the boot. Slightly pull the tongue out and leave the top eyelet empty on both sides. Doing this will help the foot slide into the boot quickly and easily.
Turn the oven off before placing the skates inside. If the oven is not turned off, the unequal distribution of the heat can easily melt and/or ruin the boot, turning it into this:
After the oven is off, place the prepared skate onto the baking sheet. Use the oven mitt to place the skate inside the oven, and make sure the skate is not touching anything but the baking sheet. Close the oven quickly to keep the heat trapped inside.
Let the skates sit in the oven for approximately five minutes. Use the oven mitt to pull the skate out of the oven, while trying to avoid touching any of the metal on the skate. Quickly sit in the chair, which should be placed on the carpet. Tie the skates by pulling the laces sideways, not upward, to avoid ruining eyelets. The player should bend their knees so that the runner is flat against the carpet at about a 90° angle.
Maintain the same position for fifteen minutes so the skates mold to the shape of the player’s foot. It is important to not walk around or move your feet because it can negatively affect the mold and eyelets. Take off the skates and loosely tie them without the feet inside. Set the skates aside so the boots can cool while maintaining the created mold.
***Discount Hockey is not responsible if you melt your skates. Do this at your own risk.***
Can I bake my hockey skates at home?
Some skates will come with specific instructions regarding temperature and time of baking. If not, you’ll find home -bakers recommending anything from 175 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it is preheated, turn it off. Bake for three to four minutes, unless the manufacturer specifies a time.
What temperature do you bake skates at?
Baking them in the Oven. Pre-heat your oven to 175 °F (79 °C). To get the skate material to loosen you need to heat it so that the molecules soften, but the materials don’t come apart. 175 °F (79 °C) is the ideal temperature for this process as it won’t be hot enough to melt any plastic on the skate.
Can you bake used hockey skates?
Can I re- bake to my feet? Unless they’re starting to break down (lose a lot of stiffness) already from the previous owner, you should be fine. However, if a skate is already very well- worn, rebaking can cause it to get too soft. Higher-end skates also tend to be able to handle more bakes.
Should I bake my hockey skates?
It is important to note that baking is NOT a necessary process. In fact, some players prefer the traditional way of breaking in skates which is to simply wear them. Additionally, recreational skates do not carry enough stiffness to need ‘breaking in’, and baking can wear materials down to provide less support.
What skates can be baked?
In general, higher-end skates can be baked, while you probably shouldn’t bake low-end skates. Subjecting lower-level or recreational skates to the temperatures required for heat molding can cause the materials to break down faster, decreasing the skate’s ability to provide support and shortening its overall lifetime.
Can I bake my Bauer skates at home?
Use the oven mitt to place the skate inside the oven, and make sure the skate is not touching anything but the baking sheet. Close the oven quickly to keep the heat trapped inside. Let the skates sit in the oven for approximately five minutes. Take off the skates and loosely tie them without the feet inside.
Can you bake skates twice?
Each time you bake a skate, it can accelerate the breakdown process of the skate. Most modern skates are meant to only be baked once or twice. Anything further can start doing more harm than good.
Can you bake skates after wearing them?
Yes, you can still bake them.
How do you break in skates at home?
Once pre-heating is complete, turn off the oven and place one of your skates on a standard baking sheet before placing it directly on the center of the oven rack. Let it bake for six to eight minutes and watch the skate for any breakdown or splitting of the material before removing it.
How do you bake skates with a hair dryer?
If you don’t have access to a hockey pro shop with a skate oven then a hair blow dryer works fairly well and provides a safe alternative. Just point it into the boot on low heat for 10-12 minutes and the materials should become warm enough to do the trick.
How do I soften my hockey skates?
Put the skate (or skates if you’ve got room) in the oven for around 4-5 minutes. Keep your eyes on them – don’t be tempted to do something else and forget about them. After 4-5 minutes take your skate out of the oven and give them a squeeze. They should be noticeably softer than when they went in.
Why are hockey skates so uncomfortable?
Hockey Skates Aren’t Broken In One of the biggest causes for uncomfortable hockey skates comes from them not being broken in. When you first get a pair of hockey skates, they will be very stiff and tight. Skating in the new skates will mold them to your feet and soften the material.
How do you bake hockey skates at home?
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees. Pull the tongues outward from the skate boots and lay both skates on their sides on a baking sheet. Place the skates in the oven for no more than 10 minutes.
How do you bake in true skates?
Place skate in heat molding oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes. Using a shoe horn, place customer’s foot (sock on) in skate. As foot goes in the skate, pull tongue back out. Have customer bang heel into skate to make sure heel sucks back into heel pocket.
Baking, also called heat molding, a new pair of hockey skates can be a great way to get them broken in more quickly. Yes, that’s right, you will actually put your skates in a heated oven and let them bake a la cookies.
By baking your hockey skates, it can help ensure the skates fit your feet better and therefore hurt less as you begin wearing them. As a result of baking, your hockey skates will feel more comfortable and be functional in a matter of minutes.
That being said, make sure you are careful in following the instructions for baking your skates below. If you don’t get it right, you can risk ruining your brand-new skates.
How To Bake Your Hockey Skates
1. Preheat your oven to 175°F. This has been proven to be the optimum temperature because it softens the upper of the skate boot without melting the plastic. At this temperature it will soften the molecules, but the materials
won’t start to separate.
2. Once the oven has been kept at 175°F for 15 minutes, turn the oven off. This will keep a constant temperature, but without additional heat hitting the surface of the boot.
3. Loosen the tongue of one skate, pulling it forward so there is plenty of room. If you don’t do this, you will have a tougher job when it comes to molding the skate. Then place it on a baking tray.
4. Put the baking tray into the center of the oven. Bake the skate for a maximum of eight minutes. Around six minutes, quickly open the door and feel the surface of the skate. If it hasn’t softened, go for the whole eight minutes.
How To Mold Your Hockey Skates
Once the hockey skate is heated to the level that the upper material is soft when pressed, remove it from the oven and then go through the steps below to mold it to your foot.
1. First make sure that you are already wearing the socks that you will normally wear when you skate. This is important because the thickness of the sock will affect the molded fit. If you don’t wear your normal hockey socks, you won’t get a true fit.
2. Take the skate out of the oven and sit down on a chair. You need to do this quickly, because obviously heat is escaping from the boot every second.
3. Push the tongue as far forward as you can, and then put your foot into the skate. Make sure that when your foot is inside, it is pushed flat against the bottom, and that your heel is flat against the rear of the boot.
4. Pull the tongue back into its natural position, and then proceed to lace up the skate. Don’t over tighten the laces, lace it up in a way that feels natural to you. If you over-tighten the laces, you could create a mold that doesn’t fit if you tie them more loosely in the future.
5. Leave the boot on for 15 minutes until it has cooled. While it is cooling on your foot, gently move your feet within the boot, especially sliding the foot back, so the front of the blade is facing down onto the floor. This will help to mold it into the shape you will make when skating.
6. Gently unlace the boot and remove it from your foot. Then lace it up again to keep it in shape. Leave it to cool thoroughly for a few hours.
All you have to do then is to repeat the process with your other hockey skate, and you are good to go.
If you’re looking for a video on how to bake hockey skates, then this You Tube video below is really great. It’s clear, and explains the whole process we have explained here, but with great visuals.
What has your experience been with baking skates? Do you always do it or prefer breaking your skates in the natural way? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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By: Kirk Maltbee
Published: 25 July, 2010
Hockey players used to soak the boots of new skates in water in an effort to quickly break them in. These days, ice hockey and roller hockey players employ a different method – baking their skates. Due to the materials used in modern skates, they can be “baked” for a few minutes in specialized ovens to improve fit. Alternately, most roller hockey skates, like ice skates, can be baked at home in a standard oven.
Remove the laces from the skates and set them aside. Use the Allen wrench to loosen the axles on each wheel on the skates, then slide the axles out of the wheels and pull the wheels from the chassis. Set aside.
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees. Pull the tongues outward from the skate boots and lay both skates on their sides on a baking sheet. Place the skates in the oven for no more than 10 minutes.
Check the ankle foams periodically; if they’re sufficiently soft, meaning your fingers slightly sinks into the foam, take the skates out before the 10 minute time limit expires.
Put the skates on (wear socks to prevent accidental burns) and lace the skates, pulling outward to tighten versus pulling upward to prevent touching the metal eyelets, which are still very hot. After lacing the skates, sit while wearing the skates with your feet (the chassis) on the floor for 2 or 3 hours to allow the materials to conform to your foot shape. Remove the skates and replace the wheels using the Allen wrench.
“Baking,” another term for the heat molding process, provides the player with the opportunity to further improve the fit of their skate. The process involves heating the skates at a high temperature, followed by tightly tying the laces with the foot inside the boot. After the player sits with the bottom of the blades against a soft surface for about 15 minutes, the boots will have molded to the shape of player’s feet. This process helps reduce the break-in period for new skates that have a very stiff boot. It is important to note that baking is NOT a necessary process. In fact, some players prefer the traditional way of breaking in skates which is to simply wear them.
Discount Hockey suggests ‘baking’ ice hockey skates when purchasing intermediate to advanced level skates. Recreational and beginner skates are not recommended because the bake would make the lifespan of the skate much shorter. Additionally, recreational skates do not carry enough stiffness to need ‘breaking in’, and baking can wear materials down to provide less support.
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3 Comments for “What Is “Skate Baking” And Is It Necessary?”
paul on Jul 28, 2017
I see in this article that you do not recommend baking beginner skates. Now what about a youth bauer x900
Ian on Jan 12, 2015
Customers purchase the best skates in order to receive the best performance. Top-end skates that are stiffer will likely give the skater more discomfort in the beginning than a lower-end model because of the change in materials. When the higher-end skates are new, the inside of the skate will not likely shape their foot the way they would like it. By shaping very stiff boots to mold to the feet quickly the skater can comfortably perform all of his or her manuevers without pain. This means that the heat speeds up the process in which the skates would mold to the feet. Skates that are not top-end will most likely feature quarter packages that are not as stiff. Stiffness is key to high-end skates because of the pressure from turns. Lower-end skates don’t offer as much stiffness because if a skate is too stiff then the materials do not bend enough to allow the skater to comfortably learn proper technique. This means that by baking a low-end model you risk losing some of that stiffness and support that it gives you to improve.
Wysiwyg Mtwzzyzx on Dec 5, 2014
So, it’s o.k. to bake and break down the materials in your expensive good skates, but don’t do it to your cheap entry level skates? I understand the better skates with better materials will hold up better, but why rush to break them down?
I think maybe it’s best reserved for kids skates since they’re going to grow out of them before they destroy them anyway…
You’ve got a bag full of brand new equipment and you’re ready to get out on the ice to show everyone what you’re made of. Just one problem: your new skates are so stiff you can barely feel your ankles.
You think about returning them to the store, assuming you can find the jaws of life to get them off your feet. But there are a few simple steps to help you break in those skates.
Buy the right skates
It won’t necessarily make your feet hurt less when it comes time to lace them up, but spending time making the proper selection can help you out in the long term.
While buying skates online offers great convenience, going to the store in person will allow you to try on a variety of skates. In the end, you’re more likely to find the perfect fit for your foot. Some stores and skate brands also offer special inserts that can help you find the right fit.
“The fit is the most important thing. Making sure the skate isn’t too wide or too short form front to back,” said T.J. McMeniman, Bauer’s Senior Global Brand Manager. “Some players like skates that are a bit shorter so their toes are a little crunched. You want your toe to just feather at the very tip of the skate.”
If you buy your skates in a specialty hockey shop, don’t hesitate to ask questions and see if it’s possible to get any adjustments made. Some skate shops may even throw in free sharpenings and adjustments over the life your skates.
Heat and Bake
One of the most popular in-store adjustments involves using heat. If they prefer not to do it at the store, some people use a hair dryer, which can be applied to the boot of the skate for 2-3 minutes before trying the skate on to mold it to their foot. Some specialty shops even offer to help you “bake” your skate before you leave the store, so feel free to ask about that.
Power Skating Part 1 – Stance, Stride
More adventurous players can even use the convention oven in their kitchen (with parental permission and supervision, of course). Start by pre-heating the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep your skate by loosening its laces enough so that you won’t have to worry about placing your foot in once you’re done. Once pre-heating is complete, turn off the oven and place one of your skates on a standard baking sheet before placing it directly on the center of the oven rack.
Let it bake for six to eight minutes and watch the skate for any breakdown or splitting of the material before removing it. When you take it out, the boot should be noticeably softer when you squeeze it.
“We highly recommend when you purchase our product that you have the local retailer heat up the skate for a couple of minutes in the oven and let the skate mold on your foot for about 15 to 20 minutes,” said McMeniman. “Don’t walk around, you just want to sit there and let it mold to your foot to give it a customized fit.”
Bear in mind that too much heat can potentially result in a premature breakdown of the boot of your skate. Some players also just prefer to break in skates the more natural way.
The Hard Way
As with most tasks, there is no substitute for hard work when it comes to breaking in new skates. There are a few short cuts, but there’s nothing quite like molding a skate to your foot by simply lacing up and taking the ice, which is ideally what you want to do anyways.
The first skate will definitely be arduous and your feet will likely feel sore both during and after. But by your third skate you should notice greater ease when putting on and using your skates. By the time you’ve enjoying about a half-dozen skates, you should notice a clear difference when it comes time to finding a snug fit when you lace up.
However you decide to break in your new skates, you should start noticing a difference with a few basic steps. Then you can worry about more important things, like winning hockey games.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
How to Bake Your Hockey Skates
Many ice hockey skates are now made with a special type of thermo-formable foam that responds to heat and becomes soft enough to be reshaped for a customized fit. Most hockey pro shops have a skate oven that is used to heat up the skates for about 5-10 minutes at approximately 175°, but the temperature and baking time varies from one skate model to the next.
Do I Have to Bake My Skates?
For certain skate models, baking is required, for others it is highly recommended and for most it is not absolutely necessary but may be worth doing anyhow. Hockey skates are made to be stiff and supportive but can be uncomfortable when they haven’t been broken in. Baking your skates often gives you a more comfortable fit than the fit you’ll experience with a pair of skates that you wear right out of the box, and baking also helps eliminate some of the initial pressure points that exist with a new pair of skates. Break-in time varies from model to model, but typically takes between 6 and 10 hours of hard skating.
Can I Use My Kitchen Oven to Bake My Skates?
Baking your hockey skates in your home oven is not recommended because the skates can be damaged if they are improperly baked. It’s always best to have the skates baked in a skate oven at a hockey pro shop. Also, the manufacturer’s warranty is often void if the skates are baked in your home oven.
If you don’t have access to a hockey pro shop with a skate oven then a hair blow dryer works fairly well and provides a safe alternative. Just point it into the boot on low heat for 10-12 minutes and the materials should become warm enough to do the trick. Be very careful when you’re lacing up your skates because when the materials are warm the eyelets can become strained and may even pop out if you pull too hard. Pull the laces outward as you tighten rather than upward. After you’ve tightened the skates, stay seated for about 40 minutes so the materials have a chance to cool down. It’s also best to wait about 24 hours after baking before you skate to allow the materials to harden and set.
Does Every Skate Model Respond Differently to Baking?
High end models, such as the Bauer Vapor APX Skates and CCM U+ Crazy Light Skates should always be baked for the best fit because the quarter package of elite models such as these is very rigid and somewhat unforgiving in the absence of baking. Mid level skates should be baked as well, but it’s not absolutely necessary as the boots are typically a bit softer. Introductory level skates have a softer shell and usually do not have the same type of thermo-formable foam padding which is used in mid and high level skates, so they do not need to be baked because they are easier to break in the old fashioned way.