Feet in agony
I am new here and apologize in advance for the lengthy post.
We have been going through agony with my daughters figure skates and wondering
if anyone might have any recommendations. Unfortunately the ability to go to a pro
shop and try on boots is really hard because we live in Tampa, FL and there are
very few, especially with the width she needs.
She is 13 years old, 5'3" and 150 lbs. she is currently starting to work on her
axels and some fs6 skills like layback spin, etc. Initially, she finds the skates to be ok but after just a few months her feet are in extreme pain- specifically worst at the outer edge, ball and arch. She loves to skate and I would love to see her continue for the enjoyment of the sport but with the pain it is getting tough. Her coach thinks she may be breaking them down abnormally which is why they are ok at first but then cause pain after a few months, it has not been the length of the skate/ foot growth causing the issue.
She has wide feet. She has gone from Jackson's - competitor first and then
then premiere - same story- her feet where in horrible pain and with the premiere model she had horrible blisters/ bleeding at the top where he skate contacts the leg even with pre- wrap/ bungalow pads. We went to NY and she got gam podium ( I know still made by jackson but recommended by
a skate fitter we went to when in NYC bc wider toe box) ( in c widths because that is what she measured at the time, her twin was In D's). Most recently she has been in edea chorus- which we had specially molded to her feet- were very comfortable at first and now a few months later are almost unbearably painful too.
She has tried some orthotics and we have an appt next Wednesday with a sports medicine podiatrist. Radiographs have been taken- no stress fractures or anything. The problem here is no Dr. really knows about figure skating. Her coach usually recommends Jackson's and is not sure where we go from here either- even with custom boots. We went to try on grafs but they only had the medium width which didn't fit at all.
Her feet are 9.5" long and 9" in circumference at the ball/ widest part. She
doesn't have foot pain normally except during and after skating so I have to
believe it is the skates to some degree rather than just a functional problem with her feet.
She does pronate a bit.
We have spoken with John "Mr. Edge" extensively and he has been so incredibly helpful, even asking to see pictures of her feet and x-rays which we have provided. His recommendation was to continue in Jackson's but special order of the 2500 – Premiere- even though we had problems with them in the fast. He recommended an e ball width with medium heel and rounded out toe box. I am also contacting Harlick but, but he feels they will not be able to round out the toebox enough, even with the x-line. I am a little hesitant to go with Jackson premieres again given the problems we had in the past- but he does think seeing photos of her feet that this is still the best skate for her. I have contacted Jackson and Harlick but not heard back. After her doctors appointment I will call directly to speak with Harlick and Jackson but wanted to get a little more input if possible. Her coach has had SP Teri's and hates them and she recently got custom Klingbeils which are too small - she can't wear them at all so she doesn't recommend those brands. We have ruled out Reidell and Risport due to width of her feet. I know everyone's feet are different- but would love to find a solution for her.
Thank you in advance.
Sincerely, Dr. Michele Lentovich
If her feet aren't growing anymore, it might be less expensive to have her feet fit by a professional fitter. The time and travel can't possibly be more than buying new skates regularly. The skates won't be in stock anywhere, they would have to be special ordered. Hope you find skates that work!
Wicked Yankee Girl
Welcome to Golden Skate, Doctor! I hope you find a good solution for your daughter's problem.
I wouldn't necessarily rule out a functional problem. Skating is different than walking and running in many regards, and what may effect her on the ice might not cause problems elsewhere for her. Hopefully your meeting with the podiatrist next week will be helpful.
Originally Posted by Drmichelele
That said, the fact that you mention bleeding at the TOPS of the boots even with bunga pads almost makes me wonder if she's not tying them toot tightly because her feet or ankles just don't feel secure enough - that could cause a significant amount of pain that would only start to develop after a couple of months of use as the boot begins to lose support, and she starts tying them tighter to compensate. The fact that you describe them being okay initially and then that changes relatively quickly could be a sign of not being in a stiff enough boot, and she could be starting to break them down without the boots really looking like they've reached that point yet. My experience with my own Jacksons is that breakdown isn't always immediately obvious just looking at the boot, so you could have a boot that looks just fine, but it's not strong enough for the skater any more. I have a pair of Elite Plus that I wore for 2 and a half years (I am an adult, working on doubles, but not landing any) that are broken down and have significantly altered (and very inadequate) lateral support, yet they show minimal creasing in the areas you'd traditionally associate with a broken down boot - in fact looking at them they still look to be in very good condition, but they're really not.
Glad you are doing so much for your daughter! I had to quit skating due to plantar fasciitis and shin splints, no one was able to help me back then. I only found out about those conditions in my adult life on my own through the internet and visiting podiatrists and chiropractors.
Graston Technique helped tremendously for pain on the bottom of my feet (plantar fasciitis), which felt like a burning sensation mostly on the arch, and some on the heel.
I have very wide feet (passed down from my father). I skated in Vancouver BC where everyone at our club wore Wifas. Their widest was D, which was still not wide enough for me, the retailer even used a tool punched out the boot for extra width but that did very little in terms of comfort. When I got back into skating as an adult (just recreational), what worked for me was custom fitted SP Teri. Before making the boot they gave me the option to use their insole or for me to give them my custom orthodics. I used their insole and didn't feel the burning pain on the bottom of my feet (after the plantar fasciitis was cured).
The worst time during my childhood skating was I had to take my skates off every 15 minutes to rest because the pain got so unbearable. Couldn't get anything done thus my skating stopped improving, that's when I decided to quit.
Best of luck to you and your daughter.
At the rink. Again.
If she has some pronation issues, it's quite likely as the boot breaks in (or down) that she's tying them too tight to compensate for the pronation. I had a friend who had a similar issue and when she went to get new boots, her boot fitter sent her to a podiatrist for orthotics first. She didn't feel like her feet were sitting funny in them or that she needed to tie them so tight to make it feel like she had enough support and voila! Problem went away.
Is there significantly more pain in one foot than the other? Are there any problems with her back or the shoulder area? If yes, then it could be a problem with blade alignment affecting other boot issues. If one of the blades is longer than the other or not fixed properly, it can affect the skater as the boots break in.
My skates hurt my feet really badly. They hurt my instep and I suspect they were too narrow. Somebody suggested I take the insoles out, and it made a world of difference. I literally went from crying in searing pain after 10 minutes to 100% comfortable. I found out layer skating with no insoles is actually really common here. Something else that helped was getting my blades readjusted. I pronate, so moving the blades toward the outside significantly helped. These 2 things have my skates feeling 100% comfortable now.
Dr. Michele, check your private messages.
Originally Posted by Drmichelele
Are her symtoms anything like sesamoiditis?
It sounds like what she is going through is similar to my situation, however I do not have wide feet.
Try leaving the first 3 or 4 laces (near the toe) loose enough so that when they're all tied, you can wiggle them a bit. Your laces should be very tight in the crease.
Actually, today I talked with some experts because I am getting new boots, and plan on getting orthotics.
Make sure that the person making your orthotics at least knows sports. You should bring the boots with you when you get fit for your orthotics. make sure the orthotics do not change the shape of the boot. They shouldn't be too thick, and probably should not go all the way to the toe (unless really necessary).
If she has plantar faciitis or sesamoiditis, do not expect skating to be pain-free forever. It's just always going to hurt unfortunately. However, I want to encourage you to seek ways to minimize the pain.
Icing the feet everyday is key. Freeze a waterbottle and roll the feet on it for 10 min, and repeat multiple times per day if necessary.
There are lots of exercises that might help like toe-curls with towel, all kinds of ankle circles, gastroc stretch, calf raises, ect.
Best of luck!
I've been through a similar experience with my own feet! I've been through just about every boot out there. Riedell was the first mistake I made; it was much too wide in the heel, and left me with pump-bumps on both of my feet. My parents and I decided that it must be because we didn't order custom. We flew out to Riedell and had the men there measure my feet, do molds, everything! When they came back, they were comfortable at first, but within weeks they were back to killing my heels. So then we decided to switch to Graf; this time we decided to go ahead and get custom right from the start. My parents flew me out to Vancouver, had my feet looked at, traced, measured, modeled and everything they could do. The boots came a few weeks later, and I thought they were the bomb. Very comfortable, didn't have a hard time breaking them in at all, loved them! Within four months I could barely walk with them on. 20 minutes on the ice and I would have tears streaming down my face. We sent them back and they tried a few different things, but nothing was working. At this point my mother decided that she wasn't going to listen to the coaches anymore; what worked for them clearly was not working for me. I tried on SP-Teris, Harlick, Klingbeils, and Jacksons with no luck what so ever. Finally we decided to try Edea. Back then, they were a very newfangled idea and nobody knew much about them. My mother drove me to Orlando to a roller-skating convention (as Edea was originally a roller-skating boot) where the rep had brought in a few different figure skating boots for me to try on. I tried on the Concerto and Chorus and could not STAND the material in the skate. I'm really picky, I know! But actually, I literally could not even walk with the faux-suede material inside the boots. I was a little hopeless and down when out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Ice Fly. I was instantly attracted to the shiny silver heel and rhinestones on the sides. I tried a pair on and from the moment I put those things on my feet I knew they would be my new babies. I have been wearing the Edea Ice Fly for almost 5 years now and absolutely ADORE it. I find the mesh-like inside to be very comfortable, they are very lightweight, and don't hold water after many sessions. My foot is decently wide in the front but VERY narrow in the back. I find that there is not a very big break-in time and they really do mold to your foot. I don't even have to heat-mold them get them comfortable, after about a day, day and a half of skating they are perfectly shaped to my feet. While a lot of coaches do not like them, they are the boot for me. They do look like MoonBoots, something that GalacticGirl would wear, but they work for me! I used to live/train in Tampa as well and I saw less then 5 skaters with the Ice Fly. I have since relocated to Barrie, Ontario to pursue better training for Ice Dancing, and quite a few of the freestyle girls wear them. Them seem to work with a wide variety of foot shapes, and I would highly recommend them!
I wouldn't cut out reidell. While they have a narrow toe box in the regular width. The custom skates they make are amazing. Having had the same issues you describe I went to a different shop that had a warehouse of skates. We figured out that Jacksons would reach too high on my ankle and put stress on my feet. (I had trouble using my ankle to bend a bit and my knees). They ended up telling me that Reidell wouldn't go so far up, while giving me support. (Thus less stress on the feet and evenly distributed onto the knees and feet). Because my feet were wide, we had to order custom skates with a. Wide toebox that is rounded out like you describe. The skates came in 6 weeks after and were comfortable for more than the average 2 months they'd last before. I've continued to order Reidell customs (as my foot grew) and haven't had issues. I'm now in a pair of 435ts and I think I won't need another pair for a while (stopped growing) Perhaps try going to a warehouse, with experienced skate fitters. You can pm me if you'd like to know the place I went to. (It is out of state though...)