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Save those old boots for a rainy day

Thu, Feb  4, 2010 - By Mike Muha

My old and trusty pair of Salomon Carbon Pro Classic ski boots have been replaced by fancy new Salomon boots, not because I wanted to, but because there's a huge hole just above the heal. If I try to put the boot on, my heal gets caught in the hole and won't go into the boot.

Salomon ski boot with a big hole in it

Not a pretty picture...

I hate to use my new boots rollerskiing, especially in the rain, so I really wanted to figure out a way to continue using my old boots. The solution turned out to be easy: a shoe horn!

But I don't own a show horn. Being the clever lad I am, I devised by own shoe horn from an envelope. I simply curved the envelope then slide it down in the boot along the heal. Holding the envelope from the top, I insert by foot and it slides nearly effortlessly past the hole!

Salomon ski boot with home-made shoe horn

Salomon ski boot with home-made shoe horn

The envelope has a tendency to slide down the shoe as you put your foot in, even when you hold it. I found that sliding my foot in part way, then pulling the envelope part way up before sliding my foot in the rest of the way worked just fine.

Sliding my foot into the Salomon cross country ski boots

Sliding my foot in...

Once my foot's all the way in, I pull the envelope out the rest of the way.

I've tried other "show horns" - a sheet of printer paper folded in thirds, a magazine cover, etc. The type of paper you use does make a difference. The short grain glossy paper of the magazine cover tore easily. Long grain paper works best, paper designed to hold up to pulling...like envelopes! I recommend you put some of the junk mail you receive to use!

Ski boot on, shoe horn in Ski boot sans shoe horn
With "shoe horn" Without "shoe horn"

So the boot looks ugly with a big hole in the back. It's still servicable and keeps my racing boots clean and ready for snow.