How to Heat Ski Boots?

How to Heat Ski Boots featured photo

Nothing is more uncomfortable than using ill-fitting ski boots. Whether you just bought a new pair of boots or replacement liners, you know how important it is to mold them. Sure, you can always take them to a professional boot fitter to ensure a comfortable fit. But those who don’t have time or live far away from one can go the DIY route and heat their ski boots.

To heat mold ski boots, you must preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the boot shell and liners inside for several minutes before removing them. Wear thick socks or create a toe cap on your socks before putting the shoes on. Doing so allows the liners to adjust to your foot shape and size.

However, there are some precautions to keep in mind to prevent unnecessary stretching of the material. Below, you’ll learn the step-by-step process of heating ski boots.

How to Heat Mold Ski Boots?

If you want to make your ski boots as comfortable as possible, you must heat their shell and liner. Here is how to do it.

Preheat the Oven

Preheat the Oven

First things first, leave only one rack (preferably the middle one) in the oven. Pull out the other racks to make space for the boots and liner.

Cover the remaining rack with foil or baking paper. Doing so prevents the ski boot from touching the hot metal, which can cause damage. Skip this step if you own a baking dish where you can place the shells and liners.

Plug in the oven and preheat it to 250°F. The heat will slowly expand the boot shell and liner, making them more comfortable to wear. Avoid higher temperatures because they may burn your boots.

Cut the Toe End of Your Socks

While waiting for the oven to reach its intended temperature, you can prepare the socks you’ll wear. Get an old pair since you need to modify it.

Cut the toe end of the socks to create space for the new toe caps. These will help you mold the boot liner into your desired shape and size.

Use thicker socks if you want more space in the ski boots.

Create a New Toe Cap

After cutting off the toe end of your old socks, make sure the hole is big enough to cover your pinky toe. If not, create a bigger hole.

Next, wrap a few layers of duct tape around the toe area to make a toe cap. Use several layers if the boot is particularly tight.

You can also use foam inserts. Simply secure them to the sock with tape. 

Take off the socks from your foot.

Then, remove the footbeds from the boot liner. Slide the toe cap over the end of the footbed. Don’t forget to insert it back into the boot liner.

Place the Ski Boot Inside the Oven

Place the Ski Boot Inside the Oven

By now, your oven has reached the set temperature. You can now place the ski boot shell inside the oven. Put one boot at a time. 

Make sure the footwear isn’t touching the oven rack or any part of the appliance. Set it down the foil or baking paper to prevent metal contact. Or if you have a baking dish or plate, place the shell on it.

Leave the ski boot inside the oven for the next ten to 12 minutes. Occasionally check its condition because you don’t want it to burn.

Using oven mitts, pull out the boot shells that are now heat moldable. Turn off the oven at this point.

Heat the Liner

The next thing to place inside the oven is the boot liners. You’ll use the residual heat to mold them into shape.

Set the liners on another baking dish or a wooden cutting board. Then, slide it into the oven with the lights turned on, so you can watch it.

Let the boot liners stay inside the oven for five to eight minutes. If you notice them sinking under their own weight, you can pull them out of the oven because they’re ready. 

If you have doubts, you can check on them at times. Carefully touch the heat molding liners—they must feel spongy but not mushy. Avoid leaving them for too long because they may lose their structure when you put them inside the warm boot.

Wear the Ski Boots

Wear the Ski Boots

After heating both the shell and liner, you can put on your ski socks. Slowly wear the ski boots by holding the back cuff of the liner. It’s still hot, so you better get a pair of gloves or oven mitts.

The skiing shoes will feel warm on your feet, which is normal. However, they shouldn’t burn you or cause pain. If they do, you probably used a hotter temperature or left the boots in the oven for too long.  

Smash Your Heel Against the Ground

Once your ski boots are on, hold down the shell and lift your heel. Slam it back down the floor to eliminate any folds in the liner and create a heel pocket. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the boots.

After inspecting the entire boots, you can fasten the buckles. Don’t make them too tight to prevent discomfort.

Flex Your Toes While Standing on a Book

The next thing to do is flex your toes inside the boots. You must do this on higher ground to mold the shell and liner into your desired shape.

You can set a book below your feet. Or stand on an inclined slope inside your house.

Slowly lean forward with your knees bent and put your weight onto your toes. Gently wiggle your toes to stretch the ski boots into shape. You may feel the end of the heat molded liner, making it uncomfortable because you think you don’t have enough space. However, do your best to continue leaning forward. Uncomfortable now means you get to be comfortable later when you’re actually skiing.

After five minutes, you can stand straight. Loosen the buckle and walk around your house until you feel the liner is cool and back to room temperature. This process usually takes around 15 minutes. 

Remove the Ski Boots

The last step is to remove your cramped foot from the ski boots. Pull out the boot liner and the sock and toe cap too. 

Expect the boots to be heat-formed to your feet, making them comfortable to wear during skiing.


Buying the right ski boot size doesn’t always guarantee a comfortable fit. Oftentimes, you need to heat the ski boots to mold them into the shape of your feet.

To heat mold ski boot liners and shells, preheat the oven to 250°F. Create a toe cap on your thin ski sock using duct tape or foam. Then, place the shells and liners inside the oven for five to ten minutes. Finally, smash your heel and lean forward while flexing your toes to change the molding of your boots.

Do you have more questions about ski boots? Feel free to send your queries via our contact page!