How to Bake Your Ice Skates

Buying new skates is great, isn’t it? Brand new, shiny, pristine blades with no dings, dents, or scuffs...awesome. Of course, all that new-ness comes with one drawback - stiffness. Like new shoes (only way worse), new hockey skates can be stiffer than a shot of Jack Daniels. Breaking in your new skates can take a while. For those who want to speed up the process, there’s an operation you can perform called Heat Molding - better known to players as “baking.”

The Details

Baking your skates will not only help break them in faster, but also get even the most stubborn of skates to give you a more comfortable and custom fit. Many believe you need a special kind of oven to properly bake your skates. While ovens designed for this are handy and slightly easier to use, you can actually do it yourself using the conventional oven in your home.

The Recipe

Ingredients: 2 eggs, milk, butter...just kidding. All you’ll need is your skates, an ordinary baking sheet, and your kitchen oven pre-heated to about 175 degrees.

Directions:

  1. Grab one of your skates and loosen the laces all the way down with the tongue wide open, so you can slip your foot in very easily.
  2. Place the skate on your baking sheet.
  3. With the oven now pre-heated to 175, TURN IT OFF and place the sheet with your skate on the middle rack. Most skates should bake for 6-8 minutes. But check the box your skates came in. There may actually be a suggested time indicated on the label.
  4. After 4-5 minutes, open the oven and feel the boot. If it’s soft enough that it can be shaped, it’s ready. If not, leave it in for another 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to leave the door open too long while checking. You don’t want the temperature in the oven to drop significantly.
  5. Once soft enough, remove your skate from the oven, have a seat, and slip your foot in. Then begin tightening your laces from bottom to top as smoothly as possible. Meaning, try not to strain the eyelets too much. This can damage them.
  6. Once laced up, sit tight for about 15 minutes. This will allow the boot to cool and mold successfully to the shape of your foot.
  7. If you want to increase the width at all, feel free to stand up during this 15-minute cooling period. However, DO NOT walk around. This can both strain the eyelets and mis-shape the boot.
  8. After 15 minutes, unlace the skate and remove your foot. Then re-lace the skate, set it in an upright position and let it sit for 24 hours. This will complete the cooling process.
  9. Now go back to the beginning and bake the other skate.

If it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Some skaters like breaking in their skates the old-fashioned way - by skating, skating, skating. Others don’t want to risk screwing up the baking process and possibly ruin their skates. It’s understandable, I suppose. Though not a difficult process, one needs to be careful when baking. If it’s done incorrectly, this process can result in the pre-mature breakdown of your skates. So pay attention at all times and follow directions closely!

Seeing is believing

If you’re more of a visual person (like me), you might find a video demo more helpful than this article. There are tons of videos online demonstrating this process. The best I’ve seen can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBqRt701oZQ.

50 comments (Add your own)

1. Denny wrote:
Great article. Would you mind if I reposted it on my site with credit to you? Thanks.

Thu, June 23, 2011 @ 12:53 PM

2. Rink Management Services Corporation wrote:
Thanks Denny, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, you may repost it, just include this paragraph with it: Reprinted with permission from Rink Management Services Corporation (http://www.rinkmanagement.com). Check out there blog (http://www.rinkmanagement.com/blog) for other great articles and follow them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/RinkManagement) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/RinkManagement) for the latest news.

Thu, June 23, 2011 @ 1:14 PM

3. Maksim wrote:
These are so cool. And very perfect for my kids . . . I`m a Canadian expat and thugoh my boys were born in Guatemala, they are still half Canadian, so this is ideal for adding a touch of my homeland to the tree this year!

Sat, September 22, 2012 @ 12:52 PM

4. Caleb wrote:
Thanks for the link to such an encouraging theard! I read your post, will certainly join the forum and can't wait to read all the rest. Looks like you started a great thing. My blog has no ego or agenda associated with it other than to encourage others (esp. midlife adults) to try some new and challenging endeavor (like hockey). Please drop me a note if you ever want to share your newbie experiences as a guest poster. Input, advice and pics of novices (like me) falling on their butt are always welcome!

Mon, January 7, 2013 @ 9:57 PM

5. Trey wrote:
Been doing this for ears and have never had problems... Great way to break in new skates :)

Mon, September 23, 2013 @ 6:13 PM

6. Balázs wrote:
175 degrees means about 80 °C? Seems a bit high for me. Thx in advance.

Wed, December 4, 2013 @ 5:47 PM

7. Ellie wrote:
I just got new skates and am so excited to try them! Great article!

Sun, December 15, 2013 @ 1:34 PM

8. Charlie Cross wrote:
Any temperature between 175 Fand 200 F is OK. Use a cup of hot water in the oven to check the temperature. The thermometer will give you a fast reading. Especially a digital one. I use one from Thermoworks, under twenty bucks online. It changes from room temperature to 180 F in about one second. I have an old soccer injury in one foot, so that one is now a little bigger than the other one. To get more comfort, I rammed a rounded drinking mug into the skate, and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Wow, now I have sheer comfort.

Sat, December 28, 2013 @ 4:01 PM

9. Roushan wrote:
hi all :) i just got a pare of Bauer Supreme 170 Ice Skates and tried the baking thing and it hardly made a difference in the stiffness...would i be able to do it again and not be worried about stuffing up the skate? they are a very very stiff skate and i have flat feet and weird ankles lol! i wanna be able wear them and feel safe and comfy in them...

Mon, July 21, 2014 @ 2:42 AM

10. Ryan wrote:
Is it safe to leave the blades on while you bake your skate?

Thu, September 25, 2014 @ 1:39 PM

11. Hockey Rob wrote:
Yes it is safe to bake them with the blades on, just be careful not to burn yourself!

Thu, September 25, 2014 @ 2:16 PM

12. Rob wrote:
Is is necessary to leave them 24 hours.i have a pair of cam Rbz skates I had baked today at 12 and I have a game at 1015

Sun, January 4, 2015 @ 5:49 PM

13. Hockey Rob wrote:
Rob, It's ok to use them, you just may need to bake them again in order to get the best fit. Good luck!

Mon, January 5, 2015 @ 3:44 PM

14. Tommy wrote:
I just bought a new pair of Reebok skates with the pumps on them. I REALLY need to know if this process would damage the pumps or not? i use those alot lol i dont wanna pay 300$ and break them before i get a chance to use them.

Tue, January 6, 2015 @ 6:16 PM

15. Hockey Rob wrote:
Tommy,
I believe the purpose of the pumps is so you don't have to bake them and still have the custom fit in your ankles, however baking them at 150 degrees for six minutes will help form the bottom of the skate for the arch of your foot. No more than 6 minutes tho so you don't do any damage to your skate. Also keep deflated before baking and do not pump them after baking for 24 hours.

Wed, January 7, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

16. Adrian Mitchell wrote:
Hello, if I've bought some barely used skates can I re-bake them to fit me?

Wed, January 7, 2015 @ 11:33 PM

17. Hockey Rob wrote:
Yes, you can re-bake them, I would do it one more time, wait 24 hours, play/skate in them, if they're uncomfortable, try a third time but no more than that...please let us know how it goes!

Thu, January 8, 2015 @ 8:01 PM

18. Levi wrote:
What kind of a baking sheet does it have to be. The one with holes or just a cookie sheet will do?

Sun, January 11, 2015 @ 1:05 AM

19. Hockey Rob wrote:
A cookie sheet works!

Tue, January 20, 2015 @ 11:41 AM

20. paylin wrote:
I just got some carbon fiber hockey sk8s i was wondering if "baking " will work for them?

Sun, February 1, 2015 @ 3:05 PM

21. Hockey Rob wrote:
I would contact the manufacture to make sure the skate was designed to be baked.

Tue, February 3, 2015 @ 9:36 AM

22. Jasper wrote:
This is a awesome way to mold your skates I bought a brand new pair and I did this now they feel like I been wearing them for a year they are molded perfect. Thanks for this great tip

Sun, February 8, 2015 @ 7:21 PM

23. Artium wrote:
I have a pair of bauer inline hockey skates, they are just ice skates with wheels on the bottom instead of blades, I can bake those too right?
As long as the wheels and bearings are off?? Or will this melt the wheel frames or mishape them.

Mon, February 9, 2015 @ 8:16 PM

24. aleynaa wrote:
i just bought reidels 255 and they really hurt my ankles and feet. i already heat molded then but they still really hurt. do you have any other methods that might also work?

Tue, February 10, 2015 @ 4:27 AM

25. Wade550 wrote:
need to bake my skates, but need to skate on then within thirty minutes after. Know that's stupid, but how bad would it be? These are older, used skates that I recently picked up. They get rare use, because I don't have a rink near where I live. I am on vacation, brought skates, but whent to put them on and they are killing my ankles. Can I bake and skate without them literally falling apart?

Sun, March 29, 2015 @ 6:32 PM

26. Hockey Rob wrote:
I would not recommend baking older skates or one's with wheels.

Mon, March 30, 2015 @ 10:24 AM

27. Steven wrote:
Have you done this with waxed laces? I purchased waxed laces before I knew about baking and they are on my skates, would you recommend I remove them before baking? Thanks

Tue, April 7, 2015 @ 7:15 PM

28. Hockey Rob wrote:
Yes, you should remove the waxed laces before baking them.

Mon, April 13, 2015 @ 10:23 AM

29. Ally wrote:
Can you leave the blades on when you bake them?

Thu, April 16, 2015 @ 9:24 AM

30. Naz wrote:
Can I bake my eastons eq3's iv used them twice and will it damage them

Sat, June 27, 2015 @ 5:04 AM

31. Hockey Rob wrote:
It shouldn't be a problem. Don't do it too many times or it will ruin the inside padding. Go to a store or do it at home follow manufacturers recommendations.

Mon, June 29, 2015 @ 10:21 AM

32. Hockey Rob wrote:
Ally, yes, you can leave the blades on.

Mon, June 29, 2015 @ 10:21 AM

33. skyler wrote:
Hey I noticed someone asking about baking reebik pump skates. I work at a sporting goods store and have called Reebok on this matter and was told yes but don't use your pump. They also said its very important they cool for atleast 24 hrs before using the pump as well.

Sun, August 30, 2015 @ 2:18 PM

34. Hockey Rob wrote:
thanks Skyler!

Mon, August 31, 2015 @ 3:45 PM

35. Lauren wrote:
Would a blow dryer with just to mold around the ankles?

Sat, September 5, 2015 @ 10:55 AM

36. Rob wrote:
I just got my son a pair of CCM RBZ's and the recommended temperature is 225 oF for 3.5 minutes. I am worried the side of the boot on the cookie sheet may become damaged at that heat. Any idea if this is safe to do?

Wed, September 16, 2015 @ 1:30 PM

37. Hockey Rob wrote:
If 225 is the recommended temp, I do not believe it will cause any damage to the boot, 225 is a really low oven temp and it’s only for 3.5 minutes.

Thu, September 17, 2015 @ 9:26 AM

38. Steve wrote:
Why is it recommended to only do 1 skate at a time, as two can fit on the cookie sheet?

Sun, December 27, 2015 @ 7:11 PM

39. Hockey Rob wrote:
As long as they can fit comfortably on the cookie sheet (i.e. not touching), 2 at a time should work fine.

Mon, January 4, 2016 @ 10:33 AM

40. Joe wrote:
Thanks for putting this out there.

How often can I bake them?
I baked and stretched them brand new in December 2015. At that time, the fit was OK. I ref men's hockey and have skated about a dozen games since then. They're still killing my feet. It feels like that first bake/stretch didn't hold up and they narrowed up again.

I baked them again tonight- 1/27/2016.
This time, I baked them for 5, then jammed a drinking glass inside and baked for another 5.
The fit is a lot better right now.
If I bake them every couple of months, will they be OK?

Wed, January 27, 2016 @ 8:29 PM

41. Hockey Rob wrote:
Joe, If you keep baking them, unfortunately it will lessen the life of your skates.

Thu, January 28, 2016 @ 10:13 AM

42. Bill B wrote:
Do one skate at a time.. Have someone to help you.. As you put on one skate the other is COOLING down.. It won't have same result as the warm one.. It takes time to lace up skate and tie.. If u heat both the other won't be as warm.So I would do ONE skate at a time. The other person can get skate for you as you have one skate on... GOOD LUCK... Go BRUINs

Sat, February 6, 2016 @ 3:14 PM

43. sam wrote:
Would this technique work on Riddell figure skate? I read a few sites which say not to. my oven even seems to have a fan to vent the heat.

Sat, February 13, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

44. Hockey Rob wrote:
Sam, it is not recommended that you bake Riddell skates.

Mon, February 15, 2016 @ 2:09 PM

45. Jack wrote:
I plan on doing this to my skates when I get them. If I leave them out in the cold will that speed up the 24hr cooling time or do I risk damaging them by cooling too quickly. I would like to use them less than 24 hours after baking them is why I ask.

Thu, February 25, 2016 @ 12:39 AM

46. Erica Simons wrote:
How can you tell if your skates can be baked? I have goalie skates and there is no indication on the box.

Wed, March 16, 2016 @ 7:05 PM

47. Chris wrote:
Hi I have recently bought the Bauer supreme 150 skates and wondered if they were thermoformable? Some sites say yes, some say no! Anyone done it before/know if they're OK?,

Thanks.

Sun, April 24, 2016 @ 6:38 PM

48. kathy wrote:
Is this possible with goalie skates or would the moulding just melt away?

Wed, September 7, 2016 @ 9:08 PM

49. Hockey Rob wrote:
I would be wary of leaving them out in the cold.

Fri, September 9, 2016 @ 10:17 AM

50. Hockey Rob wrote:
Goalie skates should be ok if they are made from the same material as other skates. I would refer to the manufacturers information.

Fri, September 9, 2016 @ 10:18 AM

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