This week's column:
How Do I Know If My Boots Are Too Loose?
Feb. 16, 2012
Hi, Bill: How can I tell if my boots are too loose? And if they are too loose, can I fix them by heat-molding them over again? My boots (Bont Jets) are fully heat-moldable. - Dennis from California.
Hi, Dennis: Skate boots — especially speed boots — should fit snuggly. If they don’t and if your feet can move around in them, you won't be able to get a good push and you also will lose some control of your skates.
My world-champion daughter Nicole isn’t happy with her boots unless she has to literally force her feet into them. Once her boots start to get comfortable, she’s ready to replace them.
You know your boots are too loose if, after lacing and buckling them, your heels slide around in the bottom or if you can fit a finger in between the cuff and your leg.
With fully (and repeatedly) heat-moldable boots, like your Bonts, you can often repair a "sloppy" boot. Just throw them back in the oven and remold them. But this only works if your boots were the right size in the first place. If you bought them too big, heat-molding is unlikely to fix the problem.
If heat-molding doesn’t help, there are a few other things you can try.
One is to wear ankle booties, like the ones made by Ezeefit Sports. They will take up some of the extra space around your ankle and heel and also prevent hot spots and blisters.
If you have too much space at the toe or along the sides of your boot, try building up the inside with wet tissue paper. This is a trick I learned from Inze Bont, the founder of the skate company, and it works very well, at least temporarily.
If you have too much room over the top of your foot ... so much so that the eyelets of your boots touch, place a stiff piece of foam under the tongue of your skate. This will add volume to your boot and help keep the eyelets apart so that you can tighten the laces.
Hope that helps!