June 23, 2017 7 min read
So what are you in for?
The break-in process is the time it takes you to familiarise your feet and body to your boots, and the boots to you! This process is a two-way street! You must realize that when you change your skating boots, you also need to make adjustments to your skating style and technique. This may take some getting used to!
The nature of DBX is to adapt to your feet. With over 70% of the boot able to be heat moulded, you have a tremendous amount of scope to personalize the fit of your boots. Your ability to understand this break-in process will make the transition so much easier.
Understanding how you and your boots are adapting to one another assists you in taking the right steps to complete the break-in process.
Understanding your feet and how YOU will adapt is very important. Keep an open mind and listen to what your body is telling you throughout the process. Skatescool are here to help you through this transition and to offer advice and support should it be required.
We are well versed in the features of DBX boots and only an email away!
Heat moulding the DBX is super easy. There are many ways to do this and there are even more adjustments that you can make to achieve a near perfect fit than with any other heat moldable standard boot on the market. Take note of the fact that your left and right boot may require different levels of attention. Our feet are not the same – so each boot can be custom fit to each foot. Firstly, you have to identify which parts of the boots you'd like to adjust. Identifying “areas of concern” generally happen once you have worn the boots and done some skating. You will know which areas need attention once you have familiarized yourself with the boots while skating. If you have purchased boots only and intend to do the “break-in” process before you mount, we advise against this. You do not use the boots the same way when you are standing in them. We recommend that you skate in your new boots and identify any “areas of concern” while you are skating. The best way to do this is to mark the boots with chalk or rubber so that you can see the areas that you need to work on when you remove the boots for heat molding. Try not to do this through memory unless it is only one or two areas. With so much of the boot able to be heat molded, you can easily miss an area during the process. It is important to note that you should not heat mold your boots “just for the sake of it”. Many people have tried the boots and not heat molded them because they were fine. There will always be a “break-in” process with or without heat molding.
Regardless of changing the shape, your feet have to get used to new boots. There will be changes in pressure points and areas of discomfort in the normal course of getting used to your boots. There is no shortcut when getting used to new boots. Heat molding allows you to really form the boots to your feet if it is required. The first thing you will realize when you use DBX for the first time is the level of support that these boots provide. It is important to note that you cannot heat mold that support away! DBX boots may not suit everyone, but the support is an integral part of the boot design and no amount of heat molding will reduce this feature!
Identifying the right width is the first thing that you must do before you start heat molding. DBX boots have a unique feature that allows you to heat mold the width of the boot. You can physically mold each boot wider or more narrow if it is required.
If you are lucky enough to be in SA please bring your skates to the store and if you purchased through us we we will heat mould them for FREE. If you already have a pair of DBX skates its just $10 to get you the perfect fit.
Heat shaping in your oven at home
In order for you to heat shape your skates at home in your oven, please ensure that you have a Fan-Forced Convection Oven. Your oven should be fan-forced because it will distribute the heat evenly around the boot. If you place your boot into an oven with an exposed element, it will place heat directly onto the boot and most likely burn and destroy the boot. If you are not sure if your oven is fan-forced, please consult your owner’s manual.
Heat shaping process:
1. Once you have skated in your boots, identify the areas that you want to heat shape. Mark those with chalk or some other removable marking device. This will enable you to identify and manipulate this area once the boot is heated through. Do this for booth boots.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. To prepare your boots for shaping (both boots), remove your toe stops, wheels and trucks. Also remove your pivot cups. There should be nothing but the plates and boots being placed into the oven. Loosen the laces on each boot all the way down to the toe. This is done because you need to be able to easily place your foot inside the boot when it is warm without distorting the ABS material. Loosening the laces will also allow the heat to circulate more easily inside the boot giving a consistent heat transfer.
4. Once the oven is pre-heated, place both boots in the oven on the middle shelf. Make sure that the boots do not touch the walls of the oven. They should be free standing on the shelf. Double check the temperature to make sure that you do not destroy your boots.
5. Once the boots are inside the oven, close the door and set the time for approx. 4-5 minutes. Depending upon the size of the boots, you may need slightly longer time. It is fine to open the oven door and check your boots during the process. The best way to determine if your boots are heated enough is to “squeeze” the back of the boot around the heel area and the ABS material should be able to be manipulated. The best way for you to be sure is to squeeze this area before you heat the boot because you will feel how hard and stiff the material is prior to heating. Once it is heated through you will feel a definite difference and then you will know that your boots are ready to be shaped.
6. Put on a sock that you would usually wear when you skate and make sure that you have a comfortable chair in the immediate area. You will need to be comfortable during this process as it takes 30-40 minutes for the boots to fully cool before you can remove them from your feet.
7. Remove the boots from the oven and place on your feet. You will feel the instant warmth. If you find this to be too hot around your foot, remove it and allow to cool for a few seconds, then place your feet inside the boots
8. Once your feet are in the boots, you should start to tighten your laces. This begins the process. As you tighten your laces, the ABS material will start to conform to the contours of your feet. This material will shape to your foot as you tighten. Only tighten the laces the way you usually would. Over tightening the lace will lead to a firmer fit as the boot cools.
9. Lacing in the DBX boot also allows you to have variable widths. The toe box in the boot will also form to the shape of your toes so you can adjust the lace tension in that area differently to further up the boot if it is required. Variable lace tension is possible in the DBX boots because of the unique shape and cut of the material at the front of the boots.
10. Once you have your laces tightened on both feet, make sure that you can “wiggle” your toes comfortably in the boots.
11. Sitting on the chair and looking down at your boots, it may helpful for you to perform the following exercise to help shape the ankle areas of your boots. Place the end of the heels of your boots on the floor with the toes pointing towards the ceiling. Then with your heel staying on the floor, push your toes forward towards the floor. This will cause a “flexing” effect in the ankle area which will stretch the ABS material particularly around the Achilles tendon area. Once you have pushed forward and achieved the “flexing” – hold your feet in this position to achieve the desired shape. This action will help stretch that area of the boot if it is of concern to you.
12. Once the boots have cooled, loosen the laces significantly right down the length of the boot and gently remove your feet. The boot will still need to cool and harden. We recommend a full 24 hours before you attempt to skate.
13. Once 24 hours have passed, place the boots on your feet and lace the boots accordingly. It is important to skate in the boots to see if the shape that was achieved is totally right for you. If you need to conduct further heat shaping in particular areas, we suggest using a hair dryer and then manipulating that particular area/s until you achieve the desired shape.
The process takes time. The process is different for everyone. Some people don't need to heat shape at all, and some people need to do some significant heat shaping that may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired shape. It is important to note here that the boot is designed to be manipulated. Don't be shy when manipulating the boot. Use as much force as you feel is necessary to achieve the desired shape with your hands. You will not damage the boots. In the past, people have not been able to achieve the right shape because they were simply being too gentle with their hands. Like kneading dough, you need to manipulate the material and shape it accordingly. Results will soon follow! If at any time you are not sure of what to do, please STOP. We are just an email away for help!
We hope that this gives you the information you require to both understand and shape your DBX boots. As performance boots, you will love the “second skin” that DBX provides once shaped to your feet! ENJOY!