I’ll be honest with you, skates don’t always come perfect for your foot. I remember skating as a kid, and boy did my feet hurt! Everyone just said to suck it up and it would get better. No one said, “go to your local pro shop and get them worked on”.
And that’s exactly where I am now: sitting in the Pro Shop looking all the skates being worked on. The Shop is a full service shop, not only selling equipment, but taking care of any skate, boot, blade needs you have. So let’s touch on some common issues that people have with their skates, brand new or 10 years old.
I’m sure we’ve all heard this one before. Don’t get me wrong, some times the issue is the skates are getting too small. But before you run out and get new boots, pull the insole out. In a fairly broken in skate, you can see the imprint of where your skater’s foot sits. This gives you a good idea of if the skates are really too small, or if there is still room. If there is still room in the skates, it just means your skater’s toes are hitting the sides of the skate.
There are two ways to fix this. Option #1 We can punch out the skates, which simply puts a small bump on the outside of the boot, giving a little more room for the toes. Option #2 is to do a full stretch. We simply put the skates on our strecher overnight and this can expand the toes from a D to almost a EEE.
This is more or less a sign that it is time to make a visit to the shop to get your skates looked at. Sometimes, the issue is that the heel pocket is wider than the heel itself. What we do in these situations is called a heel pinch. The boot gets heated up in the skate oven, wrapped with a towel and pinched by a wood clamp. This makes the heel pocket narrow and will hold the foot better. In drastic situations, while the skate is still hot, we will stick the skates in a fridge to super-cool all the layers of the skate.
Majority of new skates have ankle padding that has yet to be broken in. The padding is normally flat and your ankle bones are round so there is a lot of rubbing and a lot of pain. This is also common in other parts of your foot, most commonly your “navicular bone”(inside of your foot, slightly down diagonaly from your ankle bone) and “fifth metatarsal” (outside of your mid-foot). These all vary skater to skater, but a simple boot punch takes care of it all. Boot punches only take a couple minutes and saves you from a lot of pain and discomfort.
Well, there you have it. Some insight on your skates. I’ll touch on blades and sharpenings next time. But for now, if you have any questions come in and see our shop staff who are all professionally trained and can answer any of your questions!