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DIY Custom Fit Skates


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Hi people

preview (carefully, a lot of letters)

Over the past couple of years I have thoroughly upgraded my gear. this update required some repairs, which I wrote about in my topics in this section

Lately, I've been thinking more and more about changing skates.

I read on Trav's blog that skates need to be changed every 3-4 years because the foot changes and the skates themselves wear out

I realized this on myself, when the bones on my foot began to increase and skating began to bring discomfort

in addition, although my skates continued to be in very good condition externally and internally, despite their age, they became much softer and fixed the foot worse. I have a weak ankle and need hard skates. to provide the necessary fixation, it was necessary to lace up the boot very tightly, which led to foot numbness

at the moment I have S29


last year, under the influence of general excitement, I began to look towards Bauer Konekt, but for a number of reasons, including the impossibility of trying on before buying, I had to abandon their purchase

but "our hands are not for boredom" and after finishing other gear repair projects, I wanted to take up skating

everyone remembers that the concept of the current Konekt goes deep into the 80s when there were skates with a movable ankle

including me


These skates are very cheap to buy now.

and so I decided to make an experiment and make myself a semblance of Konekt

skates were bought for about 5 dollars



the pluses were their price, ankle mobility and a real "one piece" like on True guys from the show

of the minuses was the profile of the skater's steel, which was quite familiar since in my youth I did not have goalie skates and I played on ordinary skates

but the main disadvantage was that the skates were made of cheap polyethylene (like everything, including modern skates of the lowest price category), which provided no protection from bites fraught with injuries and most importantly, they were very soft and did not support the foot, which I needed most

at the same time donors for buckles were bought for the same money. and their liner was planned to be used for the liner of new skates



all this was prepared in September 22

but the disappointment from the skate donor almost killed the project that had not yet begun

at the same time I downloaded hundreds of Konekt pictures and looked at all the reviews on them

also on my search queries, google often suggested True skates

and then I thought, if the existing skate donor does not suit me, then why not make the boot yourself from scratch

and if you do this, then why not make a completely custom fit boot on your foot, as Van Hoorn did

to be continued



Edited by ser33
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our local hockey skate manufacturer has extensively tested several models from different brands. including by identifying the toughest boot among manufacturers


Konekt took only 4th place in terms of boot stiffness, even losing of CCM. in general, according to this indicator, Bauer did not shine. and in the top three, as expected, were True models with Custom in first place

which once again convinced me of the correctness of the choice of self-manufacturing of the boot using the composite monocoque technology used by Van Hoorn

and if I decided on the boot, then the choice of the holder was difficult and long

with the purchase of S29 I switched to a holder without a hood and 3mm steel. which I was very used to and did not want to give them up

but finding used Vertex holders in MY SIZE proved to be a difficult task. as time went. the 23rd year has come and the project has not moved forward

Desperate, I bought a CCM holder. hood and 4mm steel. sad


at the same time, I studied all the available information on VH skates, photos, videos, articles

but the most useful for understanding manufacturing technology was the old Discovery video that I accidentally stumbled upon

it helped to avoid many mistakes in the work. Of course, there were mistakes, after all, I did it for the first time in my life, but they were minor and did not greatly affect the final result.

to be continued

Edited by ser33
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in the absence of the necessary holders, it was a bad idea to make them yourself like these



or even make one piece like True\VH


thank God I refused it otherwise the project would have died before it started. lol

the spring of 2023 has arrived. I procrastinated. the project did not move

finally, luck smiled at me and I bought the right holders ... along with the skates. Bauer Vaopr X700


which gave me not only holders, but also the opportunity to use other parts - toe caps, tongues

and although I bought new toe caps


it seemed preferable to use time-tested from Bauer

want to know how the skates of the mid-10s of the 21st century are arranged? I wanted to, so I immediately took them apart

the boot was made of, as it seemed to me then, a dense fabric on which vinyl decor elements were sewn


in fact, the "dense fabric" turned out to be nothing more than a sheet of polyethylene with a fabric glued on both sides


inside this piece of plastic with fabric was reinforced ... with another plastic, this time fiberglass with pieces of dense foam



under which was... that's right, another piece of plastic. ha ha


all this was sealed with foam to which the liner is glued


this whole sandwich was attached to the inner sole of thick polyethylene


nails. NAILS, Carl!


that is, the technology for making skates has not changed in 100 years. and this technology itself came from the manufacture of ordinary shoes, which are 300 years old

Well, this design was crowned with a cherry on the cake - the outer sole. that stuck, holding it all together


to be continued...


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having decided on the manufacturing method - a fully composite boot based on a cast of the foot, it is time to decide on the concept

I originally wanted to just copy Konekt completely with its movable ankle

which gives unmatched ankle mobility of 22 degrees and allows you to have a more aggressive stance with a strong forward lean.



Konekt owners are aware of this and mention these benefits first

I am a tall goalkeeper (190 cm) and almost never in a low stance - either in the stance or BF. besides, this was mentioned (like by Coop) on this forum, now the opposite trend is starting - to play more in the rack. Kochetkov also spoke about this in an interview - the longer you are on your feet, the more mobility you have.

I compared the slant in my S29 laced to all eyelets and tight. and the angle of inclination is not much less


in summary - the manufacture of a movable ankle, although it would not be impossible, but significantly complicated the process and delayed the manufacturing time. the longer it all dragged on, the more I was afraid of "burning out" and abandoning the project. and I decided to make a regular boot

another (most important) argument against was the need to make a separate removable liner like Konekt. and its production somehow didn’t work for me right away. I was too lazy to deal with him. lol

as everyone knows, the shape of the sole of the skate boot is not flat, it has a pronounced forward slope with the heel above the toe. accordingly, when making an impression of the foot, it is necessary that it occupies the desired position. for which a special form of platform is required, as from the Discovery video that I applied above


and I made it from a sheet of building thermal insulation



using the same technology from the video, wrapped the feet with a plaster bandage

I got a shape that completely repeats the relief of my feet


gulf in her plaster made a cast of the feet


I now have spare feet. lol

to be continued...


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23 minutes ago, johncho said:

On this line of thought, it would also be kinda cool if you/someone made a skate that leveraged and reused the Bauer liner (as those are for purchase separately). 

I thought about it when I found out that the liners can be bought separately, but now I have a problem with buying equipment and not only Bauer. again, this is a bum project aimed at making skates at a minimal cost and not involving the use of new parts. maybe someday I will do something with ready-made Bauer liners

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if everything is clear with the manufacturing technology of other skates - a hundred layers, a ton of glue and a kilogram of nails, then VH / True skates are made a little differently

foam liner


glued into a monolithic composite "shell"



on which the outer trim sewn with the toe cap is glued


after which the edges of the liner and the outer trim are sewn together

but the most important thing is the order of manufacture. as Mr. Van Hoorn keeps saying, his skates are made from the inside out. a liner is attached to the 3D model of your foot, completely repeating the entire relief of the foot, then a composite "shell" is molded, which will also fully correspond to the foot and after it there is already a decorative finish


this is how my skates will be made

to be continued...

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I am sure that everyone who reads my topic was waiting for all this theoretical part to end and the real action to begin. lol


so, building a skate from the inside out

everyone knows that in addition to the foot itself, the insole and tongue are also placed in the boot

to take into account this additional volume, I glued a layer of foam imitating the insole to the model of my foot


as I said earlier, the sole of the boot is not flat and therefore the foot impression was taken on a specially profiled platform. in my case - insufficiently profiled. haha

attaching the holder, I discovered this shortcoming


which had to be corrected with an additional layer of foam. everything is ok now


I also marked the approximate shape of the back with a marker


further from tongues from ski boot liners and some foam formed imitation tongues



while studying information about Konekt, I read that its liner is made of microfiber - a material that is very resistant to abrasion and perfectly absorbs moisture

i took the microfiber pieces and wrapped my foot models

pulled tight and sewed them on




and cut off the excess



marked with a marker the places where the tongue passes and where the side foam should end


and began to form the inner foam

above the ankle, where the foot goes into the shin, the narrowest place and for its tight fixation it is required either to narrow this part of the boot, which will lead to problems with putting on / taking off, or to apply a thicker layer of foam, which all skate manufacturers do

I glued one layer of foam there over the ankle, making the desired shape of the cutout in the back.


then pasted another layer exciting the previous one as well as the ankle bones


and finally the third layer covering the entire side part


I used regular foam with a sticky side, which I always use for repairing equipment, ditching the special thermoformable foam. because initially I build according to the shape of the foot, completely repeating its relief and additional molding is not required. which allowed to reduce the cost of foam by more than half

after which I wrapped everything with stretch tape, preparing it for the manufacture of a composite boot


to be continued...


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I am loser! it turned out that I do not have a single picture from the process of making a composite boot. I must have been very busy with the process. Sorry

There are two main ways of making a composite - "wet" and "dry". At the same time, "wet" also has two technologies. the so-called "manual lamination" when the layers are placed into the mold by hand


The disadvantage of this method is not very good adhesion between the layers and an excess amount of resin, which increases the weight of the product and reduces its strength. because the "drier" the laminate, the less resin it contains, the stronger it is

The so-called "vacuum infusion" method is deprived of these shortcomings, in which the filler layers are placed in a vacuum bag from which air is pumped out, which tightly compresses the layers and then the required amount of resin is injected, which makes the product light and durable


this is how the speed skate boots from the Discovery video above were made

well, aerobatics is autoclave production at high temperature and pressure. pressure also compresses the layers, and high temperature is needed to activate the resin, which is already initially impregnated with a filler called "prepreg" in the right volume. this is the same "dry" method that is used for the manufacture of parts requiring high strength in the aerospace industry, motorsports and more. most expensive but best quality


for myself, I used a combination of the first and second methods - I laid out the fiberglass impregnated with resin on the foot model prepared as shown earlier, after which I pulled a vacuum bag over everything and pumped out the air. the use of fiberglass rather than carbon fiber is due to its greater availability since carbon fiber for use in small quantities is much more expensive than fiberglass. again, I had never worked with carbon before - a very capricious material and there was a great chance to ruin everything and throw it in the trash

the use of vacuum avoided the main problem of manual lamination - poor adhesion of the layers. which leads to this



yes, you guessed right, these are the heels of True skates. and I was shocked to see it. but the main shock was from the fact that this is a mass phenomenon. I often saw True skates for sale with broken heels or with already repaired ones. people involved in the repair of skates said that this happens precisely because of the poor adhesion of the layers and the ingress of air between them, which violates the strength of the composite

I am not a great specialist in this, so I will not argue that the reason for this phenomenon is a violation of technology, but the fact remains

I wouldn't blame True for this. I am a big fan of what Mr. Van Hoorn and his team do and I understand that those who do nothing are wrong. I just tried to avoid a possible problem of this nature because I am not a professional in this field at all and I did it for the first time

a day after the polymerization of the resin, I removed the resulting boots, while the model of the feet had to be destroyed in order to remove the boots from them

after trimming the edges with excess fiberglass, I got something like this


not so beautiful smooth and shiny but almost the same

it would be more correct to say - not at all such a beautiful lol that required additional processing to bring it into a more or less "decent" look

to be continued...

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then I started making tongues

from the very beginning I decided to make them from foam and not from felt


since I do custom, I decided to abandon the velcro fastening like True, which allows you to adjust the tongues

but at the same time I decided to leave them long so that they go on the fingers, which will ensure a tight fit and the absence of "negative space"

I had an old Koho 260 - my first goalie skates. they were no longer repairable and I dismantled them for parts


took centerpieces of tongues koho


sewed to them the side parts of microfiber



then sewed with the wrong side of microfiber



glued protective plastic inserts to the foam


here is the result


tried on composite boots with tongues but no insoles. the foot does not fit into the shoe and it is cramped in it. wtf? got upset, tore the tongues and threw it aside

as a result, I took felt from tongues Bauer and sewed the middle to it from Koho


using plastic inserts from Bauer



and yes i finally bought myself a professional shoe sewing machine which should cover all my gear sewing needs

to be continued...




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Toe cap from Bauer was glued into the boot. it's time for the exterior

I have always loved the white color in the finish of the skates





i got a white genpro from old koho


and began to fit to his boots



cut to size, began to make a template for the sidewalls



for the manufacture of which I used genpro from liners of ski boots bought as donors of buckles






then sewed all the details together and glued on the shoes





in order to avoid thickening of the overlapping seams, stitched the parts end-to-end

and this method spoiled the whole result. I really didn't like how it looked up close. I'm not an artist or a designer and it's hard for me to "invent" and "draw" something original

I was very disappointed with the result

tore the fuck off and started making sidewalls out of Bauer parts again


and at the junction toe cap used thin plastic from ski boot liners. there will be additional protection for this place


after which I glued my liner


and began to sew parts on a sewing machine


I will say right away - I liked the new look "from Bauer" even less than "from Koho"

frustrated, I abandoned the project for a while

to be continued...


Edited by ser33
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I refused to make a boot with a movable ankle, but I really liked the idea of \u200b\u200breplacing the laces with a buckle. in addition to fastening speed, you can easily control the degree of tightening and it will always remain unchanged

the ski boot buckles I used by design also had a fine adjustment and a steel wire loop like the Konekt buckles. but unlike them, my buckles had a plastic frame around a steel loop


which securely fixed the loop in the buckle and avoided the sadness that some Konekt owners have known


I started installing the buckles at the "Koho view" stage, starting from the bottom




originally I planned to repeat the construction of two buckles as on Konekt

but after trying on the boots after installing the lower buckle, I realized that they are so stiff and perfectly fix the leg that the upper buckle is simply not required

the only thing is that having abandoned the upper buckle, I moved the lower one a little higher, to the bend of the leg already on the "Bauer look"

after which it was the stage of installing the holder with steel

marked and drilled holes for it


studying reviews and reviews, I often saw that on True skates, the rivets holding the holder are loosened. which was explained by the too thin sole of the boot. to avoid this, I made it thicker by adding an inner sole made of plastic from Bauer skates


holder in place


I used solid aluminum rivets, which are much cheaper than similar copper rivets and much stronger than conventional semi-hollow steel

Well, here's what it looked like at the time.





the use of only one lower buckle allowed for a better flexion angle than the S29



and I think it's better than Konekt


the weight of the finished composite skates was 987 grams. not a little, but my task was to reach a weight of less than 1 kg. and it succeeded


weight S29 932 grams


it's very funny that the difference was 55 grams ... exactly as much as the weight of the buckle


finally, I baked skates in the oven


and put it on his feet, wrapping it with stretch tape, as Mr. Van Horne showed in his videos


baked for 10 minutes at 100 degrees, then sat for about 20 minutes while they cooled on their feet

to be continued...

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for the first time I brought them to the ice on July 7th

Initially, I wanted to go to public skating to try out new skates in a relaxed atmosphere. but it didn't work out in time. so I took them immediately to training


I’m afraid I don’t have enough words that also need to be translated into English to describe the sensations and emotions from the new skates

I can say that the "WOW effect" has been achieved

the second in my life after the change of equipment. the first one was after switching from Brians Opt1k pads to 1S pads

sensations were strange and enthusiastic

on the one hand, I did not feel the skates on my feet as if they weighed nothing. they did not regret anywhere. felt comfortable in soft socks

on the other hand, I felt their rigidity. I felt ice through them. as if the holders were just attached to my feet

all movements on the ice, shocks in the BF became stronger and sharper

the buckles held and did not interfere with the rotation of the pads

but there were also unpleasant moments. I rubbed the outside of my left leg very hard


the main reason was a snug fit to the leg (for which they fought, as they say). which, due to the thin, rigid upper edge, led to damage to the leg

but on True there is also a thin edge


I began to deal with the problem and looking through the photos accumulated before working on the project, I saw that in True's boots the composite in this place does not reach the top, but a cutout is made in it


OK. I opened the side seam


and cut the composite


while the leg healed I was forced to return to S29. and this quick transition during the week (I play 2 times a week) from one model to another showed how different they are. I used to know purely theoretically from someone else's experience how hard boots change skating. Now I have experienced it myself and can confirm that it is so. the pain in the legs reappeared, the movements became "smeared" and sluggish

once again bringing the upgraded skates to the ice, I realized that the problem had not gone away

and there were two reasons. one is that using the donor Bauer X700 made of plastic in the sidewall trim, I automatically made the edge hard in this way.

the second reason was my desire to improve the support of the foot and I made high sidewalls. as on the skates of the player, higher than on the skates of the goalkeeper. and when bending the ankles, the leg rested on the high edge

opening the side seam again, I cut off about 1.5 centimeters shortening the height of the edge




this was done on the outer edge, I left the inner edge unchanged and got Bauer's "asymmetric boots"


in the photo S29 with steel and "new" without, so it seems that the height is different. in fact, I adjusted the height to Bauer's skates

the next ride showed that the problem was gone - I rubbed my leg lower than before. lol.

So something needs to be done with the thin edge. again (for the hundred thousandth time) having dismantled the sidewall, added soft foam to it


specially making it higher than the sidewall

sheathed with a liner and sewed all the parts. the photo shows that now I have a soft sidewall rising above the hard plastic part




if the leg heals, I will try them again on the ice this Friday

to be continued...



Edited by ser33
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in the process of working on the project, I set myself the task of mastering a new production technology for myself, creating a working model and testing it in the real conditions of a hockey match

now, after a few ices, I can confidently say that I have succeeded. yes, there are certain flaws, but the design works and shows itself perfectly in real hockey. all the "surfaced" nuances will be taken into account when working on a new pair of skates. desire to create

just a few days after the completion of the project, a video was released

in it, Mr. Van Horne himself tells and shows the technology of composite skates, which I also used. release this video earlier, maybe it would be easier for me, but in general, I did everything the same

I also received a package the other day.


yes, these are my True 2 piece skates. my first True skates

I bought them in a conditionally "live" state for a completely insignificant price.

and again, the irony of fate - having received them earlier, it would have been much easier for me with my project ...

I already completely disassembled one skate ...

so there will definitely be a new project.

so it's not the end of the story

Thanks to everyone who read and supported. if you have something to say or ask, i will really appreciate your feedback

the end

Or the start of a new chapter...


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