Boot problems big time!
My fiance baught new skates in December, Graf Edmonton Specials. He's a pre-bronze skater and can't break them in. We have tried EVERYTHING we can think of. Punching them out (3 times), baking them (twice) soaking them in hot water, but they just seem to stay the same size! He has been skating almost daily since December, so ti's not lack of time on the ice that's the problem.
Does anyone have any advice? I think that the skates might have been to advanced to start with, but that might just be my opinion. What can we do, or should we simply give up and look into other skate-options?
I did a quick search and found a blurb that said those were Graf's most advanced boot, oh no, who put him into those? I think they'll never break in for him, he's just not at the level to need that type of support.
A knowledgeable boot fitter will help you find a boot that is appropriate to your skating level and pocketbook.
If you can't make them take them back then stick them in a box and save them for a few years until you get to a more advanced level. In the meantime get a good beginner boot. You'll progress faster and will save your body some pain too.
They are too stiff for his level. Put them aside for later when he's more advanced & able to break them in, & get a new pair that is appropriate for his ability now. Boots that are too advanced for the skater can give you tendonitis over time as well as other injuries, and can make skating a miserable experience! And they can actually hold you back from learning new things/advancing because they're just too stiff to let you flex your ankles/knees.
Everyone is right. That's too much boot for the level of skating your skater is doing. Overbooting is one of the leading causes of injury to adult skaters. Just because you can afford a pricey boot doesn't mean that you need it. (This credited to Mr. Edge whom I talk with on a regular basis). Find a boot fitter than will look at his feet and skill level and not his wallett.
Do you know anyone who has the same size foot and is a more advanced skater? I once had one of my students wear a pair of my new boots for a hour or so of stroking - just to break them in a bit......and that helped.
As for the Grafs -they have a notoriously short life on the ice for most skaters...Not a fan... I had a student break them down less than a month and the heel fell off during a competition. I've also had fairly beginner skaters in the Graf's as well - and they adapted without any visable difficulties. It all depends on the strength of your ankles. One of my parents insisted on Graf's for her daughter - but when she tried them on in the skate shop, the child bent her ankles in the boot so much that the shop refused to sell them to her, saying that she was too strong for them.....At least they were honest! (The child destroyed Harlick Finalist's in less than a month once - at the age of 12
Perhaps you are expecting the boots to 'break down' rather than break in. If the heat molding and bumping out didn't help the boot fit your foot, then the boot is most likely the wrong size. You can't change the physical size of the boot...
See if you can get a pair of gel socks ( tubes of surgical gel that you put around the top of your ankle to prevent boot bite) and make sure the boots are laced up tight enough below the ankle to make the foot snug. Sometimes I recommend foregoing the first set of lace holes (just before the hooks) in order to help the boot bend. Don't lace up the very top hooks for a bit and see if that helps.
Walk alot at home - up and down stairs with guards on. I assume that you have had the blades mounted!! (If you haven't had the blades mounted - that could be the problem. Unless the blades are on the boot and you try them on the ice, there is no way you will be able to tell if the skates work for you. Boots without blades usually feel like cement blocks on your feet but once the blade is attached and you try gliding on the ice, the feeling is totally different.)
Don't give up - boots are too expensive! There's a nasty picture on the web somewhere of Yu-Na Kim's feet outside her skates. I think she wears Graf from the picture of the boots -- and her feet are red, oozing blobs of blisters.
PS remember that Graf are not leather boots but made up of a plastic composite material, so soaking them in water would do nothing more than destroy the padding inside the boot. Did you try a warm hair-dryer?
Last edited by redhotcoach; 04-11-2007 at 10:16 AM.
Katy Taylor was having severe problems with her boots this past season. I think she got them straightened out. We'll find out in the fall.
Sounds like the boots are just to stiff to start with. I had Klingbils and it took me quite awhile to break them in because they were a little to much boot for me at my level. I stuck with it and eventually I broke them in. I wore them around the house with hard guards and did everything!
Your pro-shop should be able to help you out too! If thats where you bought them.
Yes, the Graf's are too much boot for him. Put them away and get a lower level boot. Perhaps you can find a used boot
I have Graf's and love them. They've lasted me 3 seasons. I know some people dont like them, but its personal preference
Originally Posted by laurenjm
I agree that is too much support for him, he needs some lower level boots. Hopefully soon i'll be able to get some new boots myself because i'm getting ready to work on axel and doubles on the ice so i will need some more advanced boots myself, as mine'll only get to double salchow and I hate that jump (salchow) i need something to get me to the doubles that I like (lutz, flip) so yeah lol. Have fun with this little situation, i'd try selling them.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
from what i have seen of Graf boots, they are designed for high level skater attmepting double and triples. pre-Bronze skating is not gonna break them in. He needs a much lighter, flexable boot. The Grafs must have been a lot of money.... so it really a pity that he can't wear them... save them though... he might be at that level one day... you never know.
Boots Hurt no matter what! Take it from an Old seasoned skater. I went through Harlicks( back in the 80's) like Liz Taylor did husbands! The skated HURT when you 1st use them, it takes a while to Work Through the pain,, the skates actually always hurt, its jut a matter of getting acustomed to the pain. That said, I have now been diagnosed with athritis in both of my heels from skating! Not to mention the back and hands, and I am only 40 years! Now THAT hurts!
So its just a matter of dealing with the pain, I DO believe that the better the skate boot to begin with the better one can advance and it will help them. At least, it did for me.
I don't know. I'm just an adult recreational skater and i've only had two pairs of boots so far - my first skates the Risport Lazer (which i think is now the RF4) which was too narrow for me and felt like i had bricks around my ankles and caused pain even after i broke them in and they didn't feel anyless painful once i broke them down. For my next pair i went to a proper boot fitter and settled on the Riedell Silver Stars (boot fitter said i could probably brave the gold stars but i decided to play it safer). I paid much much more for the Riedells than i did for the Risport but it felt like skating in comfortable trainers. The break in period was probably only a couple of weeks and the only thing that hurt was a tiny bit of pinching on the back of my left leg and a small blister on the ankle of the right (landing) leg. After that the boots felt like slippers - great padding and comfortable all round! A good boot fitter will always know best.
First of all Edmonton specials have a forward lean on them and Graf has not changed the design on that particular model.
As for boots being too stiff, try having a scallop(notch) put in both boots so there is a flex point..
As for the old addage that boots always hurt your feet when you are breaking them in. This should not be the case if you are fitted properly. Blisters are caused from friction, friction is from a boot that is too big. The heels should fit snug, if your foot has finished growing then you need to have them fit from heel to toe with no growing room. For a child have then push thei foot up to the front as far as they can and use a pencil and slide it down the inside of the back of the boot. There should be no movement from the heel to the back of the boot.. This allows a years growth. If you have bumps on your heels then the skate is too long or the heel of the boot is too wide again causing friction.
Boots should be sold according to shape of the foot, weight and level of skating.
If the skates are too stiff have a professional remove some of the stiffening materials from the ankles.
My two cents worth:
I'm an adult skater and have been skating very regularly for over 10 years. I have been through several boot brands....Reidell, SP Terri and Graf. I am silver level freestyle and can actually do everything on the adult gold freestyle test except that I do not work on the axel, so I'll never pass that test. I do single jumps up to the lutz but really don't jump as much as I used to since I really like edges, footwork, spirals and especially spinning. I really enjoy doing the salchow and loop jumps.
I never got the stiffest boots even when some of my other adult beginner friends were getting them. I used to be a competitive gymnast and was used to nothing on my feet and all the ankle and knee flexion I needed. I just never really enjoyed skating until I got the Graf dance boots this year. Yes, I am doing freestyle in the Graf dance boots. I love them. They are lightweight and low on the ankle. I can flex my ankle and point my toe to my heart's content. The break in pain was zero....an absolute miracle compared to the SP Terri's and Graf Galaxy that I skated in before. I am enjoying skating so much more. You can't enjoy skating and can't skate well if you can't flex your ankles and bend your knees. It is beyond me why so many are buying the ultra stiff boots, if they aren't doing the very advanced jumps.
The only down side I can see for the Graf dance boots is they feel wobbly at first when you put them on because they are low on the ankle. I love it because they require me to use those muscles to skate properly rather than relying on a tight, stiff boot around your ankle to hold you up. I talked with Graf people at their Canadian HQ before buying the dance boot and asked about doing freestyle in it. They said you could do up to double jumps, so I've got all the boot I'll ever need. I would consider getting the hinged boot someday as well, but I would like the boot style to be refined a bit more first.
Just thought I'd give you a little update on our skate-problem. We have finally decided to give up on the skates. We even soaked them in leather-softening baby-oil, and they are still not wearable.
We are going to buy new ones and are looking at two different; Jackson Freestyle and Riedell Bronze Star 32 Jr.
Can anyone tell us if there are good skates or not? The people at the skateshop can sometimes to be not completely trustworthy, as they are only trying to sell you as much a possible.
Thanks guys for all hte great advise.