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Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:10 AM   #1
TheQueen
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Default Breaking in new skates?

I got my new skates and tonight my feet were cramping up! I'm wondering if there is a breaking in period for new skates and how long that is?

What can I do to make it easier on myself at practices? I can wear them in the house some and such between practices if that would make a difference?
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 05:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by TheQueen View Post
I got my new skates and tonight my feet were cramping up! I'm wondering if there is a breaking in period for new skates and how long that is?

What can I do to make it easier on myself at practices? I can wear them in the house some and such between practices if that would make a difference?
It sounds like you might be monkey footing. That's clenching the foot in an attempt to "hold on" to the boot sole. Might be caused by too loose a fit. You could try tightening up the laces or putting some good quality in-soles in your boots. 'Hope this helps. Good luck on the floor.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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it does sound like monkey footing, but Yes, there is a break in period for new skates. I think it's about 10 days of use.

There is also a "break in"period for your legs and feet if it's been a while since you skated intensively. I had cramps for about a month when I got back into skating, but getting a pair of orthotics helped a great deal.

Make sure you warm up well and stretch AFTER you are warm. this will help. Mostly, it will just take some time for your leg muscles to get used to being worked. Skating uses many more muscles than pretty much everything else. It will go away soon enough. The more you skate, the quicker you will acclimate, so yes--wear your skates every minute you can. Remember, they are also heavier than regular shoes, so the added weight is something you need to get used to.

Best of luck!
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Old March 31st, 2007, 11:03 PM   #4
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It's gonna take the skates their own time to break in.
TO help break your feet in, have someone teach you the chair pose *yoga* (http://img.timeinc.net/golfonline/im...4/06/yoga3.jpg)
It'll help you use your entire foot/balance while skating (i'd get awful arch pain sometimes). We actually used to do skating drills in the chair pose!

It might help if you try & to go to some open skates outside of practice to help break yourself and the skates in.

Also, and this was great help...
If you get pain (what they refer to as ankle biting) in the front of your foot where your foot and the tongue of the skate meet, use those round make up pads and shove them in place. You can probably shove them wherever things are being painfully rubbed.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 07:37 PM   #5
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It depends entirely on your skate.

If you have a rigid vinyl boot, it may not break in much at all. The insole will form around your foot, but the ankle and top of the boot may not become any less rigid except through months and months of rigourous beating/falling

A leather (suede, etc.) boot will break in faster and easier (but it will also get destroyed faster). If it is causing you pain anywhere, you can take the skates to a cobbler who can stretch them out in exactly the places that are tight.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:54 AM   #6
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I just got new skates and this is what i was told to break in new boots if too tight.


"They look really neat and I am sure she will be real proud of those. ANd real good choice of boot. Real dead cow stuff,(leather),best thing about that is for still growing person you can enlarge the boot when its too tight,sometimes a couple times. Probley sounds nuts? But when they become too tight,head to Wal greens and buy too bottles of rubbing alcohol. Stay with me here,please> Make sure you have no blisters etc on your feet. Put on thickess socks you can find,finda a place you can roll around,garage floor is usually prefered,put skates on,before you lace up pour full with alcohol,then lace tight. Start rolling around-skatin etc until all alcohol has evaperated,allow boot to completely dry out overnight,replace foot pads,laces,wax outside of boot and your ready to go. This ONLY works with real leather and does not damege the leather,mainly because it is tanned and dryed with chemicals already. I do it now for some of the skaters that do not want to spend countless hours braking in there stiff boots. The leather will streach out to your own toes,ankle bones. ETC. Good choice the skates,you did your research,some don't and are forever unhappy with what they purchased,dummist question is the one not ask>"
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
I just got new skates and this is what i was told to break in new boots if too tight.


"They look really neat and I am sure she will be real proud of those. ANd real good choice of boot. Real dead cow stuff,(leather),best thing about that is for still growing person you can enlarge the boot when its too tight,sometimes a couple times. Probley sounds nuts? But when they become too tight,head to Wal greens and buy too bottles of rubbing alcohol. Stay with me here,please> Make sure you have no blisters etc on your feet. Put on thickess socks you can find,finda a place you can roll around,garage floor is usually prefered,put skates on,before you lace up pour full with alcohol,then lace tight. Start rolling around-skatin etc until all alcohol has evaperated,allow boot to completely dry out overnight,replace foot pads,laces,wax outside of boot and your ready to go. This ONLY works with real leather and does not damege the leather,mainly because it is tanned and dryed with chemicals already. I do it now for some of the skaters that do not want to spend countless hours braking in there stiff boots. The leather will streach out to your own toes,ankle bones. ETC. Good choice the skates,you did your research,some don't and are forever unhappy with what they purchased,dummist question is the one not ask>"
Anyone thinking about trying this should first visit a reputable shoe shop and ask them if they would use this method on their own shoes/boots. After they are done laughing, they will likely be able to offer REAL expert advise on boot stretching.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rokdaddy View Post
Anyone thinking about trying this should first visit a reputable shoe shop and ask them if they would use this method on their own shoes/boots. After they are done laughing, they will likely be able to offer REAL expert advise on boot stretching.
this is where i got that quote from. he is a member of this forum.
http://www.skatelogforum.com/forums/...&postcount=173

this is his background. you decide if he is reputable.
http://skatelogforum.com/forums/show...8&postcount=20

im not agreeing with either here. i dont know if it will even work at all. never tried it. i dont know that it will damage the boots. never tried it. i would have guessed mink oil myself (or some other leather conditioner) to soften the leather a little but hey what do i know? ill admit i know nothing, except that my daughter loves her new skates.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 10:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadofskater View Post
this is where i got that quote from. he is a member of this forum.
http://www.skatelogforum.com/forums/...&postcount=173

this is his background. you decide if he is reputable.
http://skatelogforum.com/forums/show...8&postcount=20

im not agreeing with either here. i dont know if it will even work at all. never tried it. i dont know that it will damage the boots. never tried it. i would have guessed mink oil myself (or some other leather conditioner) to soften the leather a little but hey what do i know? ill admit i know nothing, except that my daughter loves her new skates.
My comment was not directed at you dad; you were clear that you were quoting another person. As far as his background, I asked him to elaborate on the "business" that he was involved in and his reply was "RON'S CYCLE CITY". Based on his posts, it's hard to tell whether or not he has actually been employed by a skate manufacturer. Considering the information provided so far, I personaly would rather put my trust in the opinion of a reputable shoe shop instead of a bike shop employee. But that's just my opinion.

You have learned a lot in a short time. It seems that you know a lot more than "nothing". And your daughter should love her new skates, her dad put a lot of effort into choosing the right pair for her.

Rok
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 11:03 PM   #10
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im glad you questioned it really. i wanted to pass this on butt i sometimes forget how people are that might have taken this suggestion without a thought and possibly ruined some new skates. and yeah i dont mind saying it sounded crazy to me. but ive seen crazier sounding things work. i would be a little worried about possible damage. maybe you have an old pair of boots with too many holes or something that you could give this suggestion a test?
whattyasay rok?

and hey thanks again for teaching me all you did about skates. i will carry this knowledge forever and pass it on too!
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 12:48 AM   #11
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USA's rubbing alcohol is ethanol, water, and some denaturants (acetone, MIBK). SO, it is essentially all solvents. I'd expect that it would at worst remove condititioners, oils, & dyes from leather, might cause a polymer topcoat to eventually lose adhesion from the leather, could remove or weaken adhesives, lining may loosen if it was glued to boot. I would not do this to any boots that do not have some type of leather lining.

But, you are wearing the boots while the alcohol evaporates, there is no place for any dissolved materials to go except into the socks or back into the leather boots, and we're talking small amounts of dissolved materials most likely. My guess: Most or all of this would be expected with age and usage. It works because it prematurely ages the boot. If it doesn't put dye all over your socks, it probably won't hurt the boots much. Anyone know what active ingredients are in the boot stretch sprays frequently mentioned here? I'd wager that the stretch sprays are a spritz of some type of alcohol and this method is a real soak. More stretches better. (I'll apologize if I'm wrong. I've done process engineering, not formulations. )

Note that instructions say that insoles are removed for this and replaced after boots are dry. Solvents would be bad for insoles.

If you mink oiled the leather linings after, you'd be restoring fats & conditioners.

MadCow
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 02:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadCow333 View Post
USA's rubbing alcohol is ethanol, water, and some denaturants (acetone, MIBK). SO, it is essentially all solvents. I'd expect that it would at worst remove condititioners, oils, & dyes from leather, might cause a polymer topcoat to eventually lose adhesion from the leather, could remove or weaken adhesives, lining may loosen if it was glued to boot. I would not do this to any boots that do not have some type of leather lining.

But, you are wearing the boots while the alcohol evaporates, there is no place for any dissolved materials to go except into the socks or back into the leather boots, and we're talking small amounts of dissolved materials most likely. My guess: Most or all of this would be expected with age and usage. It works because it prematurely ages the boot. If it doesn't put dye all over your socks, it probably won't hurt the boots much. Anyone know what active ingredients are in the boot stretch sprays frequently mentioned here? I'd wager that the stretch sprays are a spritz of some type of alcohol and this method is a real soak. More stretches better. (I'll apologize if I'm wrong. I've done process engineering, not formulations. )

Note that instructions say that insoles are removed for this and replaced after boots are dry. Solvents would be bad for insoles.

If you mink oiled the leather linings after, you'd be restoring fats & conditioners.

MadCow

good point on the mink oil, i always do that when they are new and then a couple of times a year if i remember lol.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 04:34 AM   #13
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good point on the mink oil, i always do that when they are new and then a couple of times a year if i remember lol.
mink oil is great for softening the leather. as a street motorcycle rider i learned that you really dont want your leather jacket that soft. a soft jacket will tear more easily if you take a spill on the street exposing your skin. saddle soap i learned has acids in it that will eat the leather over time. some swear my meguliars gold (sp.), i have never used that but would expect good results considering the price. what i have been using for the past 2 years with happy results is lexol. it is the only leather cleaner/ conditioner that i found that has the same pH balance as leather. i believe it does a great job without softening the leather too much. i know this would be a personal preference thing as to how soft you would like your skate boot. some people like a stiffer boot while some like a softer boot. butt i havent heard of anyone that likes to break in new boots all the time.


on a side note, i have heard many say that they break in new boots sitting around the house watching TV.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 10:32 PM   #14
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If your daughter was properly sized before buying the skates, stretching shouldn't be required for an initial break in period. Unfortunately, it's always a little painful to break in new skates, but they get better the more you wear them. Anything new can make a big difference. For instance, I switched last year from a 6 to a size 5 plate with a speed mount. This took me almost a month to get used to, and I had a good deal of pain in the process. But, the increase in speed and agility was apparent after that month, and the pain was well worth it.

If after a month of regular use (3+ times per week) the skates still hurt, then I would see a cobbler or shoe repair to see if spots can be addressed.

Best of luck
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Old April 14th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #15
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That alcohol method seems like a variation of http://www.calguard.ca.gov/casmr/boots.htm, except it would be quick-dry.

Edit:

I found this information that should help those trying to break in the stiff upper-end art boots:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/sports/skat...c-skate/boots/
choosing new / used, break-in, lacing

Heating Riedell boots at home if you dare:
I did mine (Riedell 355 Silver Star, Sure-Grip Classic plates) in a conventional electric range that isn't convection. Should also work in gas range, but gas w/o convection tends to have hot spots so I'd borrow somebody's electric. I laced boots so that next to top hole is empty to encourage ankle crease. Removed wheels, left plates and toe stops on, tucked laces inside. Preheated oven to 185 - 200 F, probably closer to 200. Set boots on oven rack so that they were not touching sides or top (don't want scorching.) Closed door. Left oven on, turned down to 185. Left boots in oven 10 to 12 minutes. Removed, jumped in, laced super tight, rocked around on plates on carpet and bent ankles to the max every way possible to make boots to start bending at the ankles. Replaced wheels while wearing boots. Left boots on for a good hour or so. Boots shaped to feet better but still will do the dowel in the ankles for a while to get some dents for my ankle bones. If you have expensive or exotic plates, you might want to remove them. Toe stops are Snyder large gray and don't appear to be harmed, so far. I figured my toe stops and cushions were easy to replace. Boots this still really have to be used in order to break in but at least this helped get some flexibility in the ankles.

I used thickest socks I have because I want to loosen up these boots some.

As for breaking boots in by walking in them unmounted, or wearing while sitting watching TV: Might be OK for soft boots. But the ice sites say if you want them broken in for skating, skate, don't walk or sit. Skating break-in puts the creases and stretch where you need for skating. If you walk or sit, you'll get boots molded for walking or sitting.

Last edited by MadCow333; April 15th, 2007 at 08:04 PM.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #16
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Hi Queen,

I do agree with the one poster that showed some foot exercises and showed you a yoga jpg. Another excercise is to use your toes to pull a towel or old piece of clothing towards you while sitting in a chair. It is very tiring since we as 1st world humans mostly are used to shoes and don't use our toes and arches enough.

My first thought is that with the cramps you described you are having a fit problem with your skate boots and then after that a strenghtening problem. I don't see cramping one bit as a boot break in problem. You would report other problems with boot break-in.

Every foot is different and sometimes you have to make modifications to the inside of the boot (i.e additions) to fit your particular foot. I have to do this to the front of my current boot to tighten up around the toes so that when going backwards my foot doesn't flop around in the boot making me curl my toes like a tree monkey.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Dave
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Old April 14th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #17
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Hi Again Queen,

I know this has nothing to do with your problem yet make sure you use a good pair of light tight socks that won't create wrinkles. And if you do feel anything funny after you start skating stop and adjust your socks, tounges, laces etc till the problem disappears and your boots feel like a simple attachment to your foot. An Overall feeling of tightness is Good.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Dave

P.S. Jane Fonda's No Pain No Gain slogan of years ago is NOT Quite accurate.
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