rocker preference and foot shape

treesprite

Active Member
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498
I'm wondering if there is any research or any findings on the rocker profile preferences people with various foot types have.

The reason I started thinking about this, is that skate guy mentioned that I have high arches, and it happened to be while there had just been a flat-footed skater there (who wasn't talking about it, and when she left, her feet influenced my thinking enough to ask skate guy what he thought about my arches).

So, does anyone have any thought on whether or not rocker preference is in part influenced by things like high arches, flat feet, hobbit-type feet, especially long feet, toe size, or other characteristics of feet?
 
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Theoreticalgirl

your faves are problematic
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1,173
There isn't enough (or any, to the best of my knowledge) research on blades and physiology of the foot to make any kind of inference between the two. My educated guess is that foot shape probably plays some part in the overall choice of blade, along with other physical traits specific to the individual skater, skating skills, and so on.

I'm sure familiarity plays a big role in blade selection too, not to mention the costs and adjustment time associated with changing blades. (I've only switched models once in my career, and that was very early on. I've worn Gold Stars since I was 11.)

FWIW, blade purchasing is what I call a "dark art"—there's a lot of anecdotal information passed along through traditional channels (e.g. coaches, marketing), but very little in terms of research or consumer-based testing a la Consumer Reports to help clarify purchasing needs for skaters. Not saying that the anecdotal info isn't useful, but I am surprised that in 2017, there isn't a little something more.
 

treesprite

Active Member
Messages
498
Now that I have read some about high arches, and have had some time on my new blades to see how much different skating on 7 foot rocker profile is, I am pretty much convinced that having high arches is the reason 8 foot rockers are harder for me than 7 foot. Higher arches tend to make the person put more pressure on the ball of the foot and the toes. It makes sense that a skater who, because of high arches, tends to put too much pressure toward the toe of the boot, might have issues with toe picks which are closer to the ice to begin with, such as on 8 foot rocker blades. The sharper curve of the 7 foot rocker blades, forces the pressure further back on the blade and balances out the tendency to put too much pressure toward the toes.

On my new 7 ft rocker Eclipse Aurora blades, I am no longer fighting to keep off the toe picks, I am pushing more to the back instead of the side (was a big struggle on the old lades), I am better able to keep my weight over my hips, better able to keep my body aligned better instead of breaking at the waist, and I have a much greater sense of control which makes me more relaxed. Once I get used to them and get them on the new boots (got sent back to be re-made), I think my skating will progress much faster than it has been. If I had any notion before I got the Matrix Legacy blades (8 ft rockers), that the shape of my feet would affect my ability to use them, I never would have gotten them.

Of course all of that is just theory and opinion, but I believe it.
 

Doubletoe

Well-Known Member
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2,766
If the curve of the blade were consistently 7' or 8' for the entire length of the blade, then I think that would be a logical argument. However, each blade--regardless of the overall rocker radius--has a different profile. That means you'll find 7' rocker blades that are flatter at the ball of the blade (like Phantoms) and 8' rocker blades that are rounder at the ball of the blade (like Gold Seals). The one constant is that 7' blades are rounder from the arch to the heel and 8' blades are flatter from the arch to the heel. I reallly felt that difference when I switched from a 7' blade with a round spin rocker to an 8' blade with the same round spin rocker but flatter overall. I didn't feel any difference in my spins or jump takeoffs, but I had to teach myself to push my weight farther back on the blade when skating backwards on the 8' blades.
 

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