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  1. #1
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    Question Skating barefoot

    Hi,

    I actually very rarely visit the forum so please excuse me if this topic has already been discussed. I did my best to search through past posts and haven't found it, though, so if it has, I'd be grateful for a link!

    For years I used to skate in nylon socks and found it comfortable (more comfortable than with any other kind of socks or tights) but yesterday I forgot to bring fresh ones with me to the rink and remembered that I had been told a long time ago that some skaters prefer to skate barefoot I decided to give it a try. I didn't expect much of a difference so I was actually very surprised how well it worked for me! Although my skates are well-fitted I nevertheless do slide a tiny little bit in them when wearing nylons (it's hardly noticeable and never caused me blisters but it feels like it's there...) and this sensation was entirely gone and my feet just felt nice and cosy in general

    I was thinking of starting to skate barefoot regularly but I am concerned about hygiene. Is anybody here skating barefoot regularly? Do you take extra care of your boots because of that? To be honest my boots reek even though I've always skated in socks but I am nevertheless concerned about the smell getting even stronger. And about mould and bacteria. I always take my boots out of the bag to help them dry after each session (I only very rarely forget to do that) but is there anything else I should be doing?

    Also, I assume the breakdown of the boots might be accelerated because of more moisture. It is not a huge concern for me given that currently I actually skate very little and that I overshot a bit when buying the boots and while they're quite fine, I wouldn't terribly mind if they got a tad softer. But on the other hand I wouldn't want to destroy them very fast... Is it OK to use a shoe refresher spray with them or would that lead to an even faster boot deterioration?

    Thanks in advance for your insight!

  2. #2
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    I have friends who skate barefoot. I'd take the insole out once a week and clean it. My friends say it makes the skate smellier/inside dirtier. But for them they feel more secure in their skate than in tights/skate knee hi's.

  3. #3
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    I skate barefoot- can't fathom skating in even thin socks, have worn tights once when required by costume- hated it.
    I love that I can really feel what my feet are doing, how my toes are positioned, etc.

    My boots do smell quite bad- I try to wash the insoles when they get bad (every 6 months?), but there is gunk on the sides too, and that is tough to wash. I throw dryer sheets in them before handing them to the sharpener. I have no noticed any deterioration due to skating barefoot- my boots have all lasted a very long time. I don't think the moisture is any worse than tights, as long as you let them dry out.

    I've noticed that the few elite skater we have around here also skate barefoot. Actually, it was a coach who gave me the idea that it was even 'allowable'. (My first pair of skate was sized wrong, and even the thin layer of tights made it so my feet fell asleep in about 5 minutes, barefoot doubled the time. Those skates were awful.)


    On my Competitors I had to wear silipos pads around my ankles because the leather cut into my ankles- I have permanent scars and the boots have blood marks. My Premiers are better padded and I don't need the silipos, but it is habit now, so I usually still wear them. No pain if I forget them though.

  4. #4

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    I've skated barefoot in the past when I've forgotten tights, I don't mind it but I prefer to wear two pairs of tights, as this is what I'd do in completion and I like to keep that sort of thing consistent.

    If the barefoot works for you then do it!

  5. #5
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    When I coached, I almost always coached barefoot in my skates. I never did anything special to my boots regarding boot care, and I don't notice it making them any smellier. Plenty of skaters in my area go bare foot, but not quite a majority.

    Now, I generally wear one pair of tights in the winter, and often skate barefoot (wearing footless tights) in the summer.

    I do try to go barefoot a lot in the first month of getting new boots, since the sweat from the bare feet tends to better mold the leather boots to the shape of my foot. Gross, but true.

  6. #6
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    I wear ladies' trouser socks currently, but I used to go barefoot. I really dislike the "stuck to the insole" feeling though, so I'd put baby powder on my feet before lacing up. Worked and I've never had an odor problem either way. (I think Jackson's are the worst for odors, IMO.)

  7. #7

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    I can't skate barefoot. I get rubbies so bad that I bleed, so I have to wear a microfiber trouser sock or similar. Something quite thin - like tights.

    To eliminate the odor in your skates, you can use shoe balls or equivalent. Example here: http://www.amazon.com/Sof-Sole-Happy...sneakers+balls

    These types of things usually combine baking soda (absorbs and eliminates odors) with some sort of fragrance.

    Or, if you'd prefer, you can make your own. Put a good 1/2 cup of baking soda inside a clean sock. Tie the top of the sock or use an elastic or similar to tie the top. Place the sock into your skates between wearings. The baking soda, in a few days, will freshen your skates. After a month or longer, the baking soda will stop working, so you just dump the old baking soda, launder the sock, then put a fresh 1/2 cup into the sock and you're good. The nice thing about using baking soda is that it's very cheap, and it doesn't add a perfumy smell - it absorbs the bad odors, doesn't just cover them with chemicals.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    The one time I skated barefoot I didn't like the stickiness, but I am starting to wonder if my right foot would feel more secure without nylons (right foot is the side with dead nerves, bone deformity, and pronation due to past broken tibia/surgeries).

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