Monday, August 24, 2009

How-to: Break in New Figure Skating Boots

Oh, how I love this tip.

My favorite skate tech, Renee at Rainbo Sports, recommends that skaters break in their new figure skating boots by vacuuming the house.

This isn’t just a cheap ploy to encourage your kid to work off the cost of the new boots; it’s legit. It also has the bonus of making me smile when I have to blast the TV’s volume to drown out the Hoover. *Bliss*

Vacuuming helps break in the skates, Renee said, because the movements are similar to ice skating. The figure skater walks forward and backward while vacuuming. She bends her knees to vacuum under the sofa. These steps help to break in the new boots – and the carpet’s clean, too.

Here’s how to do it:
  1. Put hard skate guards on the blades.

  2. Lace the boots up to the third hook, not all the way up to the top or fourth hook.

  3. Set the timer for 10 – 15 minutes.

  4. Vacuum.

  5. Stop when the timer rings.

  6. Unlace the skates and take them off.

  7. Wiggle toes and feet.

  8. Lace ’em back up and drag the vacuum into the family room.

  9. Set the timer.

  10. Vacuum.

  11. Repeat until the house is clean!
The lacing/unlacing/wiggling steps are really important. These steps will help the skater break in the new boot and prevent blisters, too. Renee recommends that skaters who are breaking their boots in on the ice do lots of stroking and spinning. Hold off on jumping until the third or fourth day with the new boots. When skaters start to jump, they should focus on waltz jumps first. Again, when breaking in the boots, the lacing/unlacing/wiggling steps every 10 – 15 minutes are not a waste of ice time – they’re necessary to breaking in the boot and preventing blisters.

Renee cautions against other methods of breaking-in skates. I hesitate to list the rites and rituals skaters perform when they buy new boots because I’m worried folks will try these methods on their own boots. Let’s just say this: new figure skating boots are a huge purchase for most of us. Talk to your skate tech before you put anything in the boot besides a foot or a sock.

In other posts, I’ve also recommended Silipos Gel Sleeves to help figure skaters with the break-in process. A pair will set you back $30, but I’d rather pay the $30 than a) hear my skater whine and b) waste $500 or more on boots she’ll never use.

What works for you? Feel free to fill the comments area with ideas that figure skaters can use to break-in their boots.


Jillybean said...

Backward crossovers. Lots of them.
And don't lace them up all the way for the first while.
Those gel sleeves sound like a great idea. I wish they had been around when I was skating.

The vacuuming idea is genius! However, I think that to fully break in the skates, the vacuuming should be followed by dusting, sweeping and washing dishes;o)

Elisabeth said...

I used to walk around the house in my boots only (no blades) for about a week or two. Then I'd get the blades mounted and then go out and skate on the ice. I'd start slow- easy spins, jumps and basic moves.

Now that I haven't skated in years and am going skating on a vacation (no ice rink in my current town) I have been trying to get used to my old boots again.

I skated when I went home for vacation but forgot my skates and used rentals. That was awful but even so, I was able to do some spins and turns although I fell when trying to go backwards. Those skates were so dull and had no edge or grip on the ice. I fell a LOT.

Ice Mom said...

Jillybean: Ha! I forgot about the dusting and the dishes! I am now looking forward to buying new boots for Ice Girl!

Ice Charades said...

That's a lot better than when I poured super hot water into the boots, drained them and then stuck my foot in to "seal" the boot around it. That was a mess. But it was cheaper than using vodka, which is what my friend did.

Yu Tok said...

Agree with Jillybean. It's just crossovers.