Heat moldable cycling shoes allow you to customize your fit without the need for expensive fully custom shoes. Everyone has different feet shapes and sizes which is why one-size-fits-all doesn’t always work with everyone. There are a number of cycling shoes that offer the heat molding capability, with most of them allowing you to mold the shoes in the comfort of your own home. In this guide we’ll go over the process we used to mold our Bont Cycling Vaypor S and the Helix shoes. These extend to other Bont Cycling shoes and potentially other shoes, but please only use them as reference. Despite the anatomical fit of the Bont Cycling shoes, out of the box there were a few slight pressure points. This motivated us to explore the heat molding capabilities to see how well the process would work.
The steps provided here are for reference only.
Please follow manufacturer guidelines for molding shoes.
STEP 1: PREPARING THE SHOES
The first step is to prepare the shoes for the heat molding process by removing any attached cleats as well as the insole. It’s important to remove the insole as it will become warped due to the heat of the oven and would need to be replaced. Similarly, there shouldn’t be any cleats attached as they could also become damaged. The original Bont Cycling insole feels as though it is glued in and can take quite a bit of force to pull them off the shoe. Although you can also remove the heel and toe guards, or even the BOA dials, it isn’t necessary for the process.
STEP 2: HEATING PROCESS
What makes the Bont Cycling heat molding process so attractive is that the carbon becomes moldable at only 70°C/160°F. The temperature is high enough that the soles don’t start self-molding mid-ride on a hot day, yet not so high that you need an industrial oven to reach it. Standard kitchen ovens or even counter top units can reach that temperature allowing you to do the process at the comfort of your home. As with any type of baking, using a temperature that is too high will ruin the shoes while a temperature is too low won’t allow the shoes to be molded. If you don’t trust your oven temperature gauge, you can use an external thermometer to confirm the temperature.
Do NOT use a microwave.
Pre-heat the oven to the specified temperature before placing the shoes in the oven. It is definitely an odd feeling to put expensive carbon shoes in the oven, and probably harder to explain to your significant other why you’re doing it. Bont Cycling recommends placing the shoes in the oven for 20 minutes. We recommend checking on them periodically to see how malleable the soles are. As this is somewhat difficult to gauge, you should feel the sole before placing it in the oven when it’s hard and compare it to after it’s been in the oven when it becomes soft.
STEP 3: MOLDING PROCESS
Perhaps even more awkward than baking your expensive cycling shoes in an oven is the heat molding process. The shoes need to be removed from the oven while still hot, but not so hot that they’ll burn you. Once they’re out of the oven,
1. Place the insoles back in the shoes.
2. Make sure you’re wearing socks. Wear the shoes and stand with your legs apart and knees bent to distribute your weight on to the shoes.
3. Keep at this position until the shoes cool – we waited about 5-10 minutes
The process can be repeated as many times as needed, so don’t worry if the first time doesn’t achieve a perfect fit. We repeated the process about twice before we felt like the pressure points were gone for both the Helix and Vaypor S shoes.
- Do not walk with the shoes while they’re warm out of the oven, as that can potentially damage them.
- If you know the pain points or target areas, you can use a blunt object to push/shape those areas instead of wearing the shoes – however, this may not result in an accurate fit.
- You can insert foam/padding below your feet (inside your socks) at pressure points to speed up the molding process
Once you’re happy with the fit, you can install cleats and take them out for a spin!
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase or serve as a reference. The authors or the blog itself does not get any compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.