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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old January 9th, 2007, 02:59 AM   #1
j_nolesfan
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Default Any advice on feet falling asleep?

I've always felt that I had poor circulation in my feet. Is there a "recipe" for tying speed boots that will help me out? I've decided that having the toe box tight is of no value but leaving it loose doesn't help much with keeping my feet "awake". I've considered experimenting with socks by tracing the veins on my foot in the socks and then thinning the socks in those areas. Of course, a fabric probably wouldn't be a very good material for such an experiment. Perhaps leather or something? Anyway, I'm mainly looking for ideas on the best method to tie my skates, tight at the top? Tightest at the middle? Are there any supplements that might promote circulation to the extent that it will help my feet?
Thanks in advance,
Jeff
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Old January 9th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #2
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My toes tend to fall asleep in my speed boots when I lace them too tight across the top of my foot.

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Old January 9th, 2007, 03:53 AM   #3
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Thanks Kathie. Maybe I'll experiment with a looser top and tighter mid and toe.
Jeff
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Old January 9th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #4
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for several years half of each foot would go totally numb within a few minutes of skating. Then i got my boots re-worked (carbon was ground out and re-layed) and the problem went away.

What kind of boots, how do they fit, and what shape are they in? What part of your foot goes to sleep?
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Old January 9th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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Universal reason for 'dead' feet - laces too tight.

Laces only need to be tight enough to snugly hold the boot on you foot - not yanked on as if you're trying to pull start a lawnmower!!

If you have to yank on the laces to make the boot fit - then you have a badly fitting skate, and the laces aren't the solution (different size, heat molding, insoles, custom boot, etc. are the solutions).
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Old January 9th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #6
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for several years half of each foot would go totally numb within a few minutes of skating. Then i got my boots re-worked (carbon was ground out and re-layed) and the problem went away.

What kind of boots, how do they fit, and what shape are they in? What part of your foot goes to sleep?
OI...you mean you put up with numb feet for years? Simmons boots? Seems like you have had all kinds of problems from the Simmons.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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for several years half of each foot would go totally numb within a few minutes of skating. Then i got my boots re-worked (carbon was ground out and re-layed) and the problem went away.

What kind of boots, how do they fit, and what shape are they in? What part of your foot goes to sleep?
They're Mogema MG-XR1 Raptors. They're probably not as stiff as Simmons but they're definitely stiffer than the 2005 Powerslide R2 boots that I had. They fit snugly. First, they were a good deal used (almost new condition). I got them from PJ (pdinphx). They were smaller than what I was originally searching for but the size charts and my foot measurement said this size 8 US would fit. They actually seemed smaller than what the Mogema size chart suggested. I stretched the toe box a little using a shoe tree and some stretching fluid. I've oven molded them once. The infamous ankle pocket issue (for this particular boot) required a few heat gun warmups to heat mold the ankle area. The boot's last at its forward most sides (inside the arch and outside the middle of the foot) where the sides taper down to where the carbon/glass gives way to just leather for the sides and top of the toe box, that part is a little wider than my foot. I think that's probably the only place I could improve the molding to my foot. At practice, the first thing we do after stretching out is skate about 20 minutes with our skates almost completely untied. With more time, I suppose my shin/ankle strength and inside/outside foot balance might improve (if it can get better) to the point where I don't need the laces as tight. I'm afraid to pull out the heat gun every time I feel a little unsure of the fit because I would think that the last will eventually lose its rigidity.

Back to the front of the side support being wider issue. I thought about heating the boot up in the middle of the foot (the arch and the outside of the foot) and using a leather strap/belt to bring the support tighter in on my feet. I've also considered using a C-clamp on that area after it's warmed up. I know that part of the issue is that I prefer to skate with socks on and I haven't found a pair that I really like yet. I feel like socks should wick a little moisture away but also provide a measure of traction between the foot and the inside of the boot. I used a Starter brand that was a cotton/lycra blend and while it was nicely thin, comfortable, and dry, it seemed to slip more than I would like. My son has some cotton Hanes socks that are very thin but they don't come high enough up my ankle and I got a blister where the top of the boot meets the outer right ankle/leg.

Focusing on tying the skates.... Should I try to make the tightness even from the toes all the way up to the top eyelet? Should I try to make toe/mid (arch)/top any tighter or looser than the rest? I know it's largely a matter of personal preference but I'm trying to borrow on experience. I know that several of the skaters on our team with Simmons boots (almost all of them have Simmons) don't even lace the top eyelet. Personally, I'm not sure if that would help me or not. I plan to try it at some point.

Now that laces have been discussed, these boots have a Z strap. Should I try to tie my skates more loosely and use the strap to be the main securing component of the boot?

What part of my foot is going to sleep? Mostly my first three or four toes from the tips to the middle of my foot which means the sole of my foot back to the front half of the arch as well. It's almost like you drew a triangle on my foot starting at the middle of my arch, going down to my fourth toe, and back to my big toe. Wiggling my toes doesn't seem to help either. The only thing that helps is untying my skates for at least 30 seconds. Stomping my feet while my laces are loose seems to speed the relief.

Thanks again for your advice,
Jeff

Last edited by j_nolesfan; January 9th, 2007 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Forgot to include something.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #8
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Jeff,

I have a wide forefoot and high arch, so lacing has always been an issue with me, too.

I've gone to using two separate laces: one for the toebox and mid, another for the upper 3 eyelets. Based on experimentation (for me, at least), the upper three eyelets of most speed boots are the most critical, as they lock the heel and ankle into place.

Of course, I know other skaters who eschew the top eyelet altogether because of ankle or Achilles rub. I guess you'll have to experiment with lacing patterns, if you go the two lace route.

As Kathy noted, if you crank down your laces on the top of your foot, you're likely to cut off circulation to your outer foot ... and crush your arch, at the same time . Avoid doing this and 99% of the time, your feet will NOT fall asleep. If you go the two laces route, you can tighten the top lace with a little more reckless abandon - to achieve that "locked in" feel - without jeopardizing the top or arch of your foot or toes.

Don't be too aggressive with the top strap, either. I found it particularly effective in locking in my foot without having to crank it (or my laces) down too much. When you first lace up, don't go too tight or too loose. Some skaters will crank down their laces in anticipation of loosening or stretching. DON'T do this. Instead, as your skating session progresses and you find your boot fit getting sloppy, ratchet down the top strap incrementally.

I think most skaters will agree that properly lacing up is an art in itself.

Let us know what you try and what ends up working out for you ...

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Old January 9th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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Jeff,

I had a pair of the MG-XR1 Raptors and they did the same thing. I also had a pair of Bont Vaypors that did the same thing. I experimented with different lacing tightness. I even went as far as using 2 different laces, one for the upper part of the boot, and one for the lower part of the boot, but nothing seemed to help. I thought it was the boots, but it turns out that it was some of the SOCKS I was wearing. I normally wear coolmax cycling socks. At the time, I was using several different brands. (Peral Izumi, Defeet, Sock Guy, and Lin) Not all large socks are created equal. Some ran smaller and that was the issue. They were cutting off the circulation to the lower part of my feet.

So, I experimented and found that the only brand that didn't make my feet fall asleep are Pearl Izumi's. So, I exclusively use that brand when I skate and I haven't had any issues since.

I still the PI socks in my custom boots and love them. They're well worth the $9 per pair if they make skating a little more comfortable.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys. We have practice again tonight. I don't think sock tighness is an issue for me but since I was wearing youth socks, it's not impossible. I guess I'm mainly looking to make sure my foot doesn't get sloppy inside the boot. I want the traction. I feel like if I could spray my feet with adhesive and remove the laces, I'd be happy. Are Peral Izumis typically available at running stores? Academy Sports? Sports Authority? Foot Locker? Do the socks aid in traction inside the boot? The boots aren't a loose fit but the forefoot could be too loose like I mentioned earlier though. I have experienced the "arch crush" in the past as well. I don't think that's what this is. If anything, I could probably benefit from a very small arch insert but most of those things are soft and what I would need should be pretty firm. I'm pretty certain the circulation issue is centered around the veins that run over where the first cuneiform meets the first metatarsal. Ignore the arrows.


I suppose that would indicate that I'm tying too tightly on the top few eyelets. This whole thing could be a combination of my lack of experience in this type of boot/frame/wheel combo causing me to try and compensate by tightening the laces. I just want to feel a solid power transfer. I feel like that takes a combination of a properly adjusted/fitted boot and strength/balance. It could be that the strength/balance portion isn't quite 100% yet. Time will tell. I'll post back as things develop.
Thanks again,
Jeff
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Old January 9th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #11
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I use to have that problem when I skated on stock boots, so I just stopped wearing socks all together and my feet stopped falling asleep, the socks just took up to much room in the boot and cut the circulation off in my feet, so either try no socks, ezee feet booties, or some of the suggestions chuck gave
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #12
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I don't wear my speed boots that often, but when I do, I only wear nylon stockings inside. There's no room for socks.

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Old January 9th, 2007, 08:10 PM   #13
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Are Peral Izumis typically available at running stores? Academy Sports? Sports Authority? Foot Locker? Do the socks aid in traction inside the boot?
You find these most likely at a bike shop. I like them better than skating barefoot, because it ads a layer between your skin and the skate for better blister prevention.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #14
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j_nolesfan

May I ask what explanation your coach has given for this drill?

"At practice, the first thing we do after stretching out is skate about 20 minutes with our skates almost completely untied. "

I've got my ideas and I've seen others do it but we've never prescribed it.

Thanks.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:43 PM   #15
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j_nolesfan

May I ask what explanation your coach has given for this drill?

"At practice, the first thing we do after stretching out is skate about 20 minutes with our skates almost completely untied. "

I've got my ideas and I've seen others do it but we've never prescribed it.

Thanks.
I think they took the line from Barry Publow's book very seriously about being able to skate with your boots unlaced. Seeing Eddy Matzger do it is amazing.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #16
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j_nolesfan

May I ask what explanation your coach has given for this drill?

"At practice, the first thing we do after stretching out is skate about 20 minutes with our skates almost completely untied. "

I've got my ideas and I've seen others do it but we've never prescribed it.

Thanks.
My coach, Dave Weber, said that Hedrick himself gave him that piece of advice.
I haven't asked the reason because I think I know the reason; to teach balance and how to find the sweet spot because the point where the wheels are balanced, whether it's leaning in a corner or starting, is often where the most power is transferred. It also puts the least amount of stress on the ankles/legs. I'm open for correction. That's my own assUmption.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #17
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OI...you mean you put up with numb feet for years? Simmons boots? Seems like you have had all kinds of problems from the Simmons.
yes i did put up with numb feet for years. In fact, it took months before i even noticed it was happening. Who cares. Feet go numb. Take off the boot and everything is fine.

As i always say - skate with more experinced skaters. All the talk here about thin socks, a real elite skater told me that early on and i found it does make a difference. I use IronMan Triathalete by Ultimax, sold at REI for about $6 per pair, and they do make a difference. Other skaters i know with tight boots where no socks.

Skatedog, i could go into detail as to what the issue was with my boot that finally was corrected by David Simmons, but it's lengthy and may not apply to others. It was mainly how the sole of the foot was being supported in the wrong area, so he corrected it. This numb feet issue was tolerable for me for a couple of years, as long as it was just going numb. But last summer it got real bad and i could not skate full sessions on some days, so i had to get it fixed. That has been the only issue i had with my simmons, which i have adored in every other respect.

I have a pair of Powerslide R1s that tend to do the same thing to my feet, but i'm not sure if they do it anymore. I don't skate those boots too much anymore.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 05:28 AM   #18
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The 'skating with boots unlaced' thing comes from ice skating, or so one of my old coaches used to say.

And yes, it's designed to teach you to 'feel' your skates - maximize sensory feedback so you can more easily recognize what your skates are doing under you.

It's also good for people who are too much on their toes, since the boot comes off your foot :-)
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Old January 10th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #19
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Jeff, just read your explanation and i think you could benefit from "split laces".

Use one lace on the lower portion of your boot and tie it up to the third to top or the second from the top eyelet. Then use a 2nd lace and only use it on the top two or three eyelets. Tie the bottom lace loose. Tie the top one as tight as you need it for support. I've done this for years. It's an old trick and allows you to get the support where you need it (ankles) but to have looseness where you don't need the support and where your foot is hurting.

Second, i think i may know what's causing your foot pain, but one question first - does your foot hurt on the top of your toes, or on the underside of the ball of your foot and big toe (and perhaps the toe next to it)?

Second, how long have you been in these boots and how long have you been in speed boots?
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Old January 10th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #20
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Thanks again guys,
I practiced again last night. Before I get into the issues, let me say that I did the unlaced warmup and the first few pace laps (laces tied) with my Starter brand cotton/lycra socks on. I couldn't stand it. My feet were too sloppy inside the boot because the socks are just too slippery. So, I went barefooted. While the skates were a tad looser than I would like for part of the time, my feet never went to sleep. In conclusion, I'm thinking the issue is a combination of my current lack of strength/form and the socks/lacing method. If the skin on my ankles toughens up so that the outer right cuff of my boot doesn't rub a blister, I may switch to those half sock things. Are they called right fit booties or something? I don't mind so much going naked but I know they will eventually get so stinky that my wife will make me store them outside. If I was to spray them regularly with a disinfectant, I think it could cause damage to the materials or build up and make my boots slick inside. I do feel a sense of hope after last nights practice though. If my wife happens to have a pair of nylon hose that are cut low enough that you can't see them (yeah, I'm a guy), I may try that. I'll also look into the Peral Izumi and Ironman socks too. The key for me is that they must be thin and they must not reduce traction inside the boot.

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Jeff, just read your explanation and i think you could benefit from "split laces".

Second, i think i may know what's causing your foot pain, but one question first - does your foot hurt on the top of your toes, or on the underside of the ball of your foot and big toe (and perhaps the toe next to it)?

Second, how long have you been in these boots and how long have you been in speed boots?
You got two "seconds" in there
Thanks for the info. I wish I was able to tolerate the numbness but even though it's only slightly painful, it's very distracting. I have a little bit of claustrophobia and when my feet go to sleep, I start trying to wiggle my toes and stomp to try and do anything possible to get the circulation back.

As for what goes to sleep, I'd say it's like a triangle of area (mentioned above) that comes from the first cuneiform, down to my big toe, over to my middle toe, and back up to the first cuneiform. As far as top/bottom, it feels like it starts at the first cuneiform on the top of my foot and goes down to the bottom of my foot at the ball of my foot and the bottom of my first two or three toes.

Now that you've peaked my interest OI, I sometimes feel that if I could grind the area below the ball of my foot and toward my arch down just a little, it would improve things.

Cheers,
Jeff
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