Skiing: How to Custom Mold Ski Boot Liners

Some ski boot liners can be heat molded for a custom fit. If your ski boot liners are heat moldable and you want to do it at home, we’ll show you how with rice, a microwave, a short two-by-four, and several pairs of socks. Shop REI’s selection of ski boots at

The most basic boot liners mold to your feet as you ski, while others can be heat molded for an immediate custom fit. If your liners are custom moldable and you want to do it at home, here’s what you’ll need: three to four pounds of uncooked rice, a microwave, a short 2×4, a couple old socks you can cut up, a pair of long, thin tube socks, and your thin wool or synthetic snowboard socks.
Start by filling the long, thin tube socks with rice and tying a knot in the ends. Put a bit more rice in one sock than the other. Make sure the rice fills the socks uniformly so they don’t get hot spots, and microwave them. Use this chart to determine how long to leave them in the microwave. Remove the foot bed from your liner and replace your liner in your boot. Keep your boots loose to make it easy to insert the rice sock. When the socks are ready, pick up the more full sock by the knot and place it in the liner. Make sure the boot is very loose and tap it on the heel and the toe until the rice has fully filled the foot section of the liner. Then close the cup and place the other sock in the top. Lightly tighten the boot to keep the liner even. Leave the rice in the liner for ten minutes.
While you’re waiting, you can cut the toe off the two old socks. Wearing these as extra padding will help expand the toe area of your boot for some extra wiggle room. Put the toe cap socks over your toes and pull your ski socks on. Make sure they are smooth and wrinkle-free. To keep your legs in a natural position, you’ll want to wear both boots during this process, even if you’re only molding one boot at a time.
After ten minutes, remove the rice and put the foot bed back in the liner. Then place the liner into the shell, step into the boot, and loosely tighten it. Make sure to keep it far looser than when you actually ski to avoid overcompressing the foam. Step onto the board with your knees bent and your feet shoulder width apart, and lean forward gently. The board will help you naturally flex the boot. After ten minutes of molding, the liner will have cooled enough that you can take it off and repeat the process on the other side. To recap, microwave the uncooked rice inside a tube sock. Add the rice and let it heat your liner for ten minutes. Prepare your socks and put on your other boot. Step in and flex the boot for ten minutes.


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