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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Worried about heel moving in boot

    I'm worried my boots don't fit properly. They're size 7 Jackson Freestyle with Mirage blades, which I got new (previously I skated in rentals and second-hand boots that were far too big). My street shoe size is about 8-9 (ladies').

    My right foot is slightly smaller than the left; it would probably have fit a 6.5, but the left wouldn't have. I also have wide toes and skinny heels.

    Now my coach and I are worried because I feel like my right heel is moving. In my old boots (the too-big ones), doing crossovers would make my foot slide forward significantly, to the point where my weight was all in the wrong places in the boot (sometimes causing me to fall backward). Between each crossover, I'd do a little half-swizzle to shift the foot back.

    This only happened with the right foot -- though at that stage I could only do crossovers counterclockwise.

    Now I feel like my new skates are doing the same thing! After I got new skates, I continued doing the weird half-swizzle things, maybe out of habit, insisting that my foot had moved and I'd fall if I didn't do it. One day to test this I did 79 forward crossovers in a row with no additional pushes, to see whether that would make me fall (it didn't).

    This mainly happens on the right side.

    I honestly cannot tell if my boots fit.
    -- If I sit on a chair with my boots tied and twist my ankles in all directions, waving my leg in the air, it sort of feels like my foot is moving inside the boot, or that there are "blank" spaces (ie. area inside boot not occupied by foot) above the top of my foot -- I have flat feet.
    -- When I stand on my toepicks or sometimes when I do a bunny hop, it feels like my heel has shifted forward. Is that normal? Crossovers don't seem to have this effect as much in the new boots.
    -- When I do a turn and don't check, I go into a slow sort of spin, which my coach says is a good sign (that my blades are the right size). But people say there should be no movement in a boot whatsoever, and I definitely feel some.
    -- I feel like my toes aren't at the very end of the boot. It's hard because skates are so stiff, you can't wiggle your toes and feel where they are. One day at home I put on some of those socks that have a different-coloured toe bit, about an inch long. Then I loosened the laces as much as possible so I could seen right into the boot, and stuck my foot in, and the toe bit disappeared almost completely (into the bit between the end of the laces and the toe of the boot, which is about one inch long).

    Oddly, I don't really get the feeling of my toe shifting forward. It's like my heel is moving and my foot is bending to be slightly shorter, rather than my whole foot moving; maybe the lacing at the ankle is preventing my entire foot moving.

    I'm pretty worried that my boots might not fit. Thanks for any help or advice.

  2. #2
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    Is your heel moving up and down? People with narrow heels and wide toes need to be sure the boot fits in both the areas. Some boots can be ordered in a combination width where the toe and heel are different widths, while others have to be ordered custom.

    Did you have the width of your feet and heels measured?

  3. #3
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    Not only do Bunny_Hop and I have nearly the same user name, apparently we also have nearly the same foot problems!

    My right foot is also somewhat smaller than my left, and although my skating boots were fitted by a proper fitter (he noticed the difference in sizes), my right heel was slipping slightly (left boot fits perfectly). I was able to solve this by placing a heel gripper inside my right boot.

    These are basically thin pads which stick to the inside of your boot. The ones I have (which I got last time I was in the US) look like this but you may find the Dr Scholl ones, which are a slight different design, easier to find. You do need to replace them reasonable frequently, as the adhesive wears off after a while, but I've found them useful. Of course if the problem is bigger than this and your whole foot is actually moving around your boot, the heel grips may not be the answer.

    I don't skate nearly enough to justify buying split width boots (as mentioned by the poster above), although that's certainly worth considering if you're skating a lot.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny_Hop View Post
    But people say there should be no movement in a boot whatsoever, and I definitely feel some.
    Who says this? No insult to you intended, but this isn't correct. If your foot didn't have to move in your boot at all, we would all be skating in ski boots Your foot shouldn't be flopping around uncontrolled inside the boot, but you should be able e.g. to roll your foot very slightly to the inside and outside to get better edges.

    The other Bunny's suggestion about the heel gripper seems like a good one. Try that and see if it makes a difference. Most knowledgeable skate shops can also do various kinds of boot inserts (special soles etc.) to adjust for problems and/or comfort.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    My right foot is also somewhat smaller than my left, and although my skating boots were fitted by a proper fitter (he noticed the difference in sizes), my right heel was slipping slightly (left boot fits perfectly). I was able to solve this by placing a heel gripper inside my right boot.
    I'm just the same -- the fitter noticed the difference. The right would have fit a 6.5, but the left wouldn't have. Actually, I forgot to mention that someone else at my rink, a high-level skater working on double axels, said she uses a heel grip. I got some but they just rolled up and didn't stick to the inside of the boot properly, but I'll look into the brands you mentioned.

    I don't skate nearly enough to justify buying split width boots (as mentioned by the poster above), although that's certainly worth considering if you're skating a lot.
    That's the feeling I get, too. It doesn't seem a large enough size difference to buy the customs, especially at my level. If I ever get to axels and doubles I might consider it.

    Who says this? No insult to you intended, but this isn't correct. If your foot didn't have to move in your boot at all, we would all be skating in ski boots Your foot shouldn't be flopping around uncontrolled inside the boot, but you should be able e.g. to roll your foot very slightly to the inside and outside to get better edges.
    The no-movement-whatsoever thing is just something I found on the Internet, when I was Googling related to this. It did seem to be a one-off extreme bit of advice, which is one of the reasons I asked here. I thought surely there's going to be some movement, unless everyone was skating in custom skates.

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

  6. #6

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    My boots are slightly to big. I have insoles in them and have several layers built up at the heel because thats were I felt movement. It's not ideal but it makes a difference until I can get new ones. Another thing I have used is make-up pads stuck down the back of my socks- not that thick but just enough to fill a little gap above my heel. Sometimes I couldn't quite get that in the right place so I've stuck with the insoles.

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    As C T T mentioned, I stick a makeup pad in the back of my left heel (I actually put it right in the boot, not in my sock), to fill in some of the extra "room" that I have in that boot. I have a more narrow heel than I do for the ball of my foot, so my left heel tends to slip a bit. When the day comes that I have to replace my boots, I will be going with a split width to fix this problem.

  8. #8
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    Thanks again everyone!

    I'm pretty sure my boots do fit okay. I think a half size smaller just would not have fit, especially the left.

    I was worried because after about an hour of skating, especially if I do a lot of bunny hops (my only jump!), it feels like I need to relace the boot to tighten it. Someone told me this means I'm breaking them in.

  9. #9
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    I can't get heel grips to work either. My heels are narrow and the Achilles is very straight, so there is not much to be gripped. What helped me a lot was to skate barefoot. At first, the idea repelled me, but I gave it a try and will never go back. I always had a kind of slippy feeling in my boots, but being barefoot created just the right grip. One word of caution if you try this. Take the boots off after 10 minutes and examine your feet for pressure points, red spots, etc. Have moleskin on hand and cut and apply if necessary. There is a brief adjustment period during which you can get blisters if you aren't careful. Checking at 10 minutes will prevent potential blisters.

  10. #10
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    I've considered barefoot, but haven't tried it. I found that wearing really thin stockings (which I have under my leggings anyway to keep my legs warmer) helps with grip more than skating stockings.

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