A question I get a lot after folks got skates baked was, when can I use my skates? The general rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours. You can get away with 18 or maybe a little less than the 24 hours depending on what type of hockey you’re playing. Obviously if it’s just a stick n puck, you can go in about 18 hours.
The reason to wait is that heating up and baking the skates (as discussed here in depth) is that baking breaks down the internal padding and glues made to make the skate. With the internals heated, it is softer and made to form to your foot. The longer you wait, the more you’re allowing the skate to cool down and firm up again. Going out just hours after you bake a skate could do more damage by not having a fully cooled down skate and damaging the internals that make up the skate.
So in short, why wait to get your skates baked? It allows the skate to cool down and re firm up after heating up the internals. By going to play shortly after, it could damage the skate.