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When is it time for new skates?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Rukia, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Rukia

    Rukia Currently in the 7th circle of Feelin Good

    Ok, so I'm back for more advice. I started skating in October of last year, and I'm at ISI Gamma/Delta level (doing bits of both). I've run into an issue with my skates though. Initially when I bought skates, I didn't want to invest too much into it (not knowing how I'd really do at this skating business). So I bought some Riedell 133TS skates. They work fine, except they are too wide (I need a narrow, but they don't come in narrow). So I wear an extra sock to try and make up the width.

    Well, I should probably say they worked fine. Lately though I'm not so sure. My Achilles tendon gets really sore after skating, and I'm having a hard time keeping my edge (mostly inside) on things like 3 turns and mohawks. Also, I've noticed my heel slips when I do 3 turns. Also, I sometimes get cramps in my arches after skating for a while. I'm not sure how much of this is the skates and how much is skater error. When we were trying to fix my 3 turn, the first thing my coach asked was if my skate was tight enough, so I guess that's what stood out to her immediately.

    So I'm feeling like it's time for new boots, but what if it's all just me? Of course, if I get new boots I also run into the dilemma of what boots to get. If I'm going to pay that much for skates I want it to last longer than the 6 months or so I've had these, but I also don't want to have boots so stiff I'll never break them in with the 3 hours a week a currently skate. My current skates are still in great shape, I just have to fight to get them tight enough to feel comfortable to skate in. And there is no where locally that I've heard of where I can try on boots, so I'm out of luck with that.

    Ok, that's all I got. Advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    From your description, it might not be that your current boots are worn out....it might be that they never fit you properly in the first place.

    You say that there's nowhere locally that you can try on skates. Is there anywhere close enough that you would be willing/able to travel there to work with a trained skate fitter?
    You could also try calling a place that does a lot of mail/online orders, like Rainbo Sports in Chicago, and see if they can help you over the phone. I think there are some skate shops that ask for very detailed measurements and can try to fit you that way.

    Re the $$$, I know the investment in good skates that fit is :eek:, but it's really worth it. It helps you learn a lot faster and better, because you're not struggling to adjust to the skates and you're not getting frustrated or upset because you're in pain.
  3. Rukia

    Rukia Currently in the 7th circle of Feelin Good

    Oh, they're definitely not worn out, but I'm not sure if they are as supportive as I need. I know I'm not like super advanced or anything, but I'm not sure if it's my weakness or the boots'. I'll try to ask around if there's any place in a drive-able distance. My coach had given me some names of people locally who might be able to measure my feet, but no one has actually gotten back to me...so yeah...And yeah, I am definitely frustrated with trying to get my boots comfortable. I had to leave the ice twice the other day within about 15 minutes to get them tight enough to even feel comfortable enough to do crossovers (which I'm usually fine with).
  4. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    This may sound like a stupid question.

    But the first thought that jumped into my head when I saw "I'm having a hard time keeping my edge (mostly inside) on things like 3 turns and mohawks. Also, I've noticed my heel slips when I do 3 turns." was:

    When was the last time you had your skates sharpened?

    I'm not denying that your problems may be boot-related, but that particular bit is a classic symptom of blunt blades.
  5. Rukia

    Rukia Currently in the 7th circle of Feelin Good

    I actually had my coach check my blades, and she said they were still ok. That was a couple weeks ago though, so I'll probably be getting them sharpened this week. Hopefully that will help some. Thanks!
  6. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    If your heel is slipping in the boot, and the boots are not the right width, they DON'T FIT and it could be the source of a lot of your problems!! You should NOT be wearing socks to "make them fit." Also, the arch may simply be in the wrong place for your foot--I know for me, my Riedells were a bit too long and too narrow, so the arch never hit in quite the right place. It wasn't atrocious but it was enough for me to finally say "ENOUGH!" to those boots.

    You might also check the blade mounting--they may be "off" enough to make it tough to hold an edge one way or the other.
  7. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    "From your description, it might not be that your current boots are worn out....it might be that they never fit you properly in the first place."

    I am guessing that as you have worn them the padding has compressed so what was "too wide" is now "really too wide". Skates are not an investment but an expensive purchase that will depreciate as soon as you wear them once. Because of that, I suggest going out to find a fitter so you aren't wasting your money on ill fitting skates or on lessons wearing ill fitting skates.

    Even great fitting skates can feel loose after 6 months due to compression - having a fitter who is familiar with you and your boots can help with skating progress and good fitting skates can help prevent injuries.
  8. Diane Mars

    Diane Mars Active Member

    ^^^This !

    Thanks for having written it for me :)
  9. Rukia

    Rukia Currently in the 7th circle of Feelin Good

    Ok, well the good news is I think I've found someone relatively close to fit me for skates. Hopefully that will all work out well. Thanks for all the advice!
  10. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    my boots are currently held together with tape.. i think that is a strong indication it's time for new boots ;)
  11. Synchkat

    Synchkat New Member

    I cannot get my left boot tight, that is how I know it is time for new skates. If you can find a reputable skate seller you trust that is the best way to go. I went to try on skates today and she just brought out what she knows I need. I hate breaking in new skates but I can't wait form some nice shiny new ones.
  12. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    It definitely sounds like they were too wide for you in the first place, and as the padding got worn down, it just got worse. You DEFINITELY need new boots! Width is just as important as length when it comes to figure skates, and not only that, but HEEL WIDTH is just as important as BALL WIDTH. If you have an A width ball (forefoot) and AA width heel, don't try to save money by buying an A width boot. Pay a little extra for the split width boot or else you'll just end up with your heel slipping again once you've worn down the padding.

    P.S. If your heel is slipping on 3-turns, it's REALLY bad!! When I was in boots that had a B width heel (instead of the A width I needed), once the padding wore down, my heel started slipping when I did sit spins and maybe loop jumps, but never on 3-turns.
  13. Clay

    Clay Well-Known Member

    to piggyback of this, what does it mean when a boot is "rebuilt"?
    Is there a way to make the boot a bit more stiff to last a few more months?
    My skates are at the "almost but not yet" stage where they probably have a few more months, but would like to save a bit of money over the summer.
    The v-notch was the worst idea for me. That's where it's breaking down the most.
  14. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    The v-notch is supposed to allow the ankle area to mold and crease, so it may not be breaking down. What you need to do is test the strength of the boot - see if you can bend the boot at the ankle point. If it's fairly easy to bend over, the skates are broken down.

    To put off a rebuild or new skates, try these tips:

    1) Replace the laces. Laces stretch/wear out and don't hold the skates tightly closed, so that often solves the problem of having to retie often.

    2) Use packing or duck tape around the ankle after you lace up, to provide more support.

    3) Put sk8tape on the boot to stiffen the leather a bit for more support.

    Back in the day, you could have a pair of skates rebuilt once or twice, depending on how badly broken down or worn out. I've had many skates rebuilt, but they're never quite the same as they are when new. Speaking from experience, I only go for one rebuild; the second rebuild changes the skates too much. The foot area would fit fine, but the ankle area would be tighter for the break in period; on new skates, they're tight all around. Rebuilt skates were fine for Figures or Dance, though; we'd often recycle old freestyle skates by having the blades changed/reshaped for another purpose.

    To rebuild a boot, they remove the top stitching and inner padding, then insert new, stiff leather and padding. They close the top with glue and stitching. If the top of the skate is already glued, they have to cut away an 1/8" or so, which lowers the top of the skate. That's the part that feels weird after a second rebuild - the boot is too low at that point, imo, to provide enough support for jumps. They also broke down again at a faster rate than a new pair of skates. I went through (old-style) Riedells every six months; the rebuild only lasted three or four months. (In fairness, I was wearing a model that wasn't stiff enough for me in the first place.) After three new pairs of Riedells, I switched to Klingbeils, which lasted for years instead of months.

    It's difficult to find a pro shop that still does rebuilds. I think rainbosports does it by mail order. Most of the custom skate makers will rebuild their own skates for free or a small fee.
  15. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

    To answer your question, rebuilding a boot means opening up the layers of leather and adding another layer between them. The new layer is going to be stiff, so it will require some breaking in, but not much. If you live in a major metropolitan area, there may be somewhere local that specializes in this; otherwise, you can probably send them back to the manufacturer and have it done. Out of curiosity, what brand are your boots? My SP-Teri KT2's have a notch in the lace area but they also have a "power tab" (reinforcement) right where the notch could start prematurely creating a crease. Great solution, IMO.