Adult LTS - Time for new boots?

Naurh

Spectator
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Hi everyone,

I started LTS a year ago (got about 100 hours of skating in so far) as a 31 year old guy having never been on skates of any kind before. After my first session, I knew it was something I loved and invested in a pair of Jackson Mystique skates. Since January I've been skating 5-6 hours a week and while I'm still progressing, I feel like my boots may be holding me back. I've been stuck around the Basic 4 level for awhile now. My one-foot glides, balance, backwards skating, and crossover progressions have been getting better, but I spend a lot of time fighting my boots. When I lace them up, I have to lace them super tight (so much so that the laces tear into my pinky finger when I'm tightening them) to prevent my ankle from wobbling, but then I have a horrible time bending my knees, which forces me to compensate by leaning forward when stroking, pumping, etc. If I loosen them a bit, I can flex my knees forward enough to do better pumps, crossovers, etc, but I loose support in my ankles from the boots, which makes stroking and gliding well really tough. The problem is especially problematic with my left skate, which is my dominate foot. I noticed that both boots have had a pretty decent crease in them for awhile now. I am thinking about taking them in to the skate shop I bought them from and getting an opinion from them, however I know there's a possibility that they'll just tell me I need new boots, regardless of whether I actually do or not. I'm totally fine investing in a more supportive boot and I know it won't be cheap, but I want to be sure that I'm not upgrading too soon. For reference (because I'm sure it plays into how fast my boots break down) I'm 6' and 220lbs with size 12W feet. If I do upgrade, I think I'd prefer leather over synthetic. Appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks!
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
Welcome!
A crease in your boots + all the other challenges you mentioned does sound like it's time for new boots.
Sometimes a shoe repair shop can add reinforcing stitching from the ankle to top of the boots but I don't think this is a good idea for you.

There are many leather boot choices: Jackson, Reidell, Harlick and SP-Teri if you want customs (probably not yet), and Risport (if they are offered in your area). What you chose also depends on your foot shape so talk to your skate shop. You may want to stick with Jackson if they fit your foot well. Upgrade your blades too. :)
 

gliese

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
If I do upgrade, I think I'd prefer leather over synthetic.
Do you have a reason for this? There's a lot of misconceptions around leather vs. synthetic boots so I just want to make sure that one of those isn't the reason you are making this decision.
 

MCsAngel2

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Country
Scotland
You very very much need new boots. Mystique is a recreational level boot that's not really designed for adults to learn skills in. Heavier adults (like myself) also usually need to go up a level for the recommended boot for the skill level, since the recommendations are based on an averaged size teen skater. In Jackson, you shouldn't be in anything less than a Debut, *possibly* a Premiere.


 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
You definitely need stiffer boots. It's time for you to have an appointment with a professional figure skating tech/fitter. Have them properly fit you and tell you what brand and boot model is best for you.

Good luck!
 

Naurh

Spectator
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Do you have a reason for this? There's a lot of misconceptions around leather vs. synthetic boots so I just want to make sure that one of those isn't the reason you are making this decision.
Anecdotally I've heard that leather conforms to your feet better than synthetic materials and holds up better over time. I'm sure that depends on what kind of synthetic material you're comparing it against though. I also just don't much care for the material my Jackson Mystiques are made of (e.g. especially if I compare them to my fiancée's SP-Teris), but obviously that's more to do with aesthetics than performance. I've only had this pair of skates, so obviously I've only got one data point to go off of.

You very very much need new boots. Mystique is a recreational level boot that's not really designed for adults to learn skills in. Heavier adults (like myself) also usually need to go up a level for the recommended boot for the skill level, since the recommendations are based on an averaged size teen skater. In Jackson, you shouldn't be in anything less than a Debut, *possibly* a Premiere.


Hmm, that's good to know. When I was originally fitted, the lady at the skate shop as well as my fiancée seemed to think that I should be able to progress all the way through Basic 1-6 before needing sturdier boots, but I'm sure her experience has been mostly with younger, lighter skaters and my fiancée started skating at 7, so obviously things are different as an adult skater.

I'm curious if you know anything about the fit of Riedell vs Jackson? I've been trying to do some research on boots before I go in and the 255 Motion caught my eye as a possibility, as it's offered in a 12W. It's rated at 70 though, so I don't know if that would be overbooting myself. Ideally I'd like to find something that will carry me through singles. I don't know if I'll ever get an Axel or doubles, but getting some singles like a Salchow or a Lutz in the next few years would be amazing. My ultimate goal is to get in to partner ice dance.
 

gliese

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
Anecdotally I've heard that leather conforms to your feet better than synthetic materials and holds up better over time.
It's true that it does that on it's own, however there are some synthetic boots that can be heat molded and the rest can be shaped by your fitter to remove any points of pressure, so keep that in mind. The ones that are shaped by your tech actually tend to not lose their shape as much as leather boots. I can't speak for how long they last as I've never worn a well fitted leather boot, but I find skaters that wear leather and skaters that wear synthetic both on average replace yearly at the advanced and elite levels.

As for aesthetics, that's obviously dependent on the brand and personal taste.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Until fairly recently, I'd only ever worn leather boots since I started skating in the 1980s. Then, last summer, whilst was struggling with arthritis, oedema and some achilles problems, I switched to Risport Royal Pros. I've believed as gospel since 1980 that boots made from leather were far superior to those of synthetic material but I have to say that I really, really like the my Risports and they are definitely synthetic. Very light, very comfortable and very stiff. They are also a little lower all round than the other Risports, although not specifically low cut at the back like a dance boot. For me, they're a perfect compromise between the dance boots that I love for pattern dances and the freestyle boots I prefer for Field Moves and spins. YMMV.
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Anecdotally I've heard that leather conforms to your feet better than synthetic materials ...
Our fitter (who likely built your fiancee's boots) told us the same thing on our last visit. He said that the synthetics don't mold around the foot nearly as well as leather. He said the synthetic uppers pinch in a vice like fashion rather than conform to the foot shape. While she's done well in the Jackson synthetics, my skater will be moving to a leather boot next. Ghastly more expensive, but that's his recommendation for a better fit.
 

Naurh

Spectator
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Sadly my skate shop is closed all this week for a staff retreat, so I suspect it's going to be some time next week that I'll be able to make an appointment to get fitted, and several more weeks beyond that before I've got a new pair of boots. There's another skate that's a similar distance away that my club partners with that I might try this weekend. I'm anxious to see what the effect will be of a higher level boot. I feel like I'm just within reach of getting crossovers, one-foot outside-edge glides, and 3-turns, but my boots aren't giving me the stability I need to really nail those down.
 
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