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  1. #1
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    Stretching skates?

    Has anyone here had any experience having their skates stretched? I was skating and competing a lot up until my first pregnancy...which was 17 years ago. My skates are in excellent condition, but a combination of three kids, creeping age, and extra weight means they are too small. I've worn them a few times over the years, just for ice dancing, so I can get my foot in them, but they're way too tight. The length would probably be workable if they could be sufficiently stretched in the toe box and across the top.

    I've developed fibromyalgia over the last five years, and exercise is very difficult. Ice dancing would probably be excellent, but those skates are SO tight! Has anyone here had their skates stretched? Who did it? How were the results?

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    If they are just a little tight, stretching may help. If a lot tight, it might not be enough of a difference. However, you can also have them punched if there are specific spots that are too tight. If they are a model that can be heat molded, you can also do that.

    A temporary trick I did with my skates when I got them, was to put those little hand warmer things in the toe boxes of my skates before leaving for the rink, then icing the front of my feet before putting them in the skates with the hot toe boxes. It was sort of like a mini heat molding every time wearing them, and helped a lot (don;t need to do it anymore).

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    I've had skates punched out over the ankle bones, and heat-molded, but I would never try to do any of those things myself.

    If you can, take the skates to a skate shop and see what the skate techs can do. If the skates aren't heat-moldable, which I'm guessing from your description they aren't because of their age, stretching them that much may not be a good idea. It might put too much strain on the stitching and/or the boot's attachment to the sole. And it might weaken the overall stability of the boot.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    We have had skates punched out and stretched. The stretching doesn't do much but for a kid to make it a few extra months or until new skates get in it can help. I think it really depends too who stretches them. I have had different people do it and I have had different outcomes. I have found a good shoe repair shop has done better than the rink pro shop.

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    My skates are custom, so at one point they fit as ideally as they could. When I typed tabs out last night, it was an ugly shock to realize how old they are. (When did that happen?) I actually have two pair, too - freestyle and dance. I'll never wear the dance skates again though, because I no longer have the stability for the dance blade.

    It sounds like I need to look for someone reliable to take a look at them. The really good people have all retired in the last 15 years.

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    If your skates are 17 years old, they are not heat moldable. They're from before that technology was really being used. But they can be punched out and stretched. As others suggested, bring them to a good figure skating pro, and he'll be able to help you.

    You don't say where you are from. If you wanted to post your approximate location, someone here may know of a good pro near you.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    I'm in Portland. The guys I trusted for sharpening and mounting are long gone, sadly.

    They don't make skates out of leather anymore?

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    Portland? Home of Tonya Harding? There ought to be someone in your town who can stretch skates. I had some success with stretching back in my growth spurt days. It would buy me some time, but ultimately I would have to get new boots.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmar View Post
    They don't make skates out of leather anymore?
    They're made out of leather, but it's treated so it can be heat molded.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmar View Post
    My skates are custom, so at one point they fit as ideally as they could. When I typed tabs out last night, it was an ugly shock to realize how old they are. (When did that happen?) I actually have two pair, too - freestyle and dance. I'll never wear the dance skates again though, because I no longer have the stability for the dance blade.

    It sounds like I need to look for someone reliable to take a look at them. The really good people have all retired in the last 15 years.
    Keep in mind that leather shrinks over the years. You could do what they suggested at Klingbeil: take a few wet cloths--really soak them--and put them in your skates. Put the skates in plastic supermarket bags overnight. In the morning, put your feet in the skates. The water will soften the leather and will help to open them up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmar View Post
    I'm in Portland. The guys I trusted for sharpening and mounting are long gone, sadly.

    They don't make skates out of leather anymore?
    Yes, they do. Harlick, SPTeri, and Klingbeil do. I swear by all-leather skates. I have tried the ones with plastic support but can't stand them. My Klingbeils don't need to be heat-moldable because they are already made to my foot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmar View Post
    I'm in Portland. The guys I trusted for sharpening and mounting are long gone, sadly.

    They don't make skates out of leather anymore?
    Portland, Maine?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    They're made out of leather, but it's treated so it can be heat molded.
    The leather is a mere coating for plastic supports. When the plastic is heated, it becomes pliable, hence the heat molding.

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    If they're just a little tight, you can try the old wet-sock break-in routine: Wring out a pair of thin trouser socks in warm water, put them on, put on your skates and walk wear them around the house for an hour. Take them off, let them dry overnight and then see how they feel. Repeat it a couple more times if you think it might help.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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