I saw this post by Ji Cheng (Lanterne Rouge) on Twitter. My question is about the apparatus he posts a picture of. It contains (his?) shoes. Simple question, what is this machine exactly doing? Is it to get rid of odors?
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It is a machine used for heating the shoes so that they can be formed to your feet. the shoes are heated. You then put them on your feet and they use a vacuum bag around the shoe to compress it against your foot so it gets the proper shape. Here's an article that explains it. I've had something similar done for hockey skates, although without the vacuum, and the result was quite comfortable skates. Hockey skates are quite hard, so I could see this being necessary to get the right shape. Cycling shoes are often rigid, at least in the sole, so I could see it helping with fit.