We have hit the mid-season point for most beer league folks! Hopefully, your new skates are broken in by now. The break-in is the worst part of skates. Most people are fine with them after a few skates. However, there are some folks that still have a small area that might cause discomfort. Did you know there is something you can do, and you don’t have to buy new skates or re-bake skates? It’s called a boot punch or a punch out. This article will explain what it is and what it does and how it can help you get better fitting skates!
A boot punch is an option a person can do if they have some discomfort in a particular area of the skate. Most hockey shops can perform a boot punch. What they do is ask the player where the skate is hurting and then they mark that area on the skate. Then after asking the player how big of an area is causing discomfort, the shop employee can select the best size of punch (I have performed punches after blocked shots and swelling occurred). Then you heat a skate with a heat gun in the correct area (you can throw the skate in an over but it will start the baking process over again…not recommended if possible). After the skate is heated, there is a boot punch press. The skate can sit on the press tool with the correct size spot press inserted in the boot. Then the boot is clamped and sits on the press for about 5 minutes.
During these 5 minutes, the boot is getting reshaped on the clamped area, and getting forced out. Over time the spot can get re-absorbed into the skates depending on how deep a punch goes and the material of the skate. However, after the 5 or so minutes that the boot has been on the press, the skate is ready.
The player should put on the skate to see how the skate feels and if any adjustments are needed. If adjustments are needed, repeat the process until the skate feels better. Otherwise, you are good to go!
If the skate had to be re-baked to heat it up to fit on the press, its best to wait 24 hours before using. To learn more about baking skates, click here see our article.