Breaking in new boots (beginner - tips please!)

magdalijena

Spectator
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Hi all,

I am a beginner adult skater (28). I've been taking lessons for a month and I'm currently at about adult 1.5-ish level - working on my backwards skating.
I've been skating in soft skates (which were comfortable on my foot but I don't think were supportive enough) and I just bought a pair of Jackson Excel. I wore them at home (with guards) and my feet are in a lot of pain after that.
I took pictures (attached - and I'm sorry for foot images!) for reference - the biggest pain is definitely my small toe but there are other red areas.
I know there is always a break in period for new skates but are there any tips/suggestions on what can I do to help me avoid any skin-breaking blisters? I can already tell that my small toe will be in agony.
All suggestions and tips are appreciated!

IMG-8772.jpg

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Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
My first question is going to be: Did you get this professionally fitted to your foot?
 

magdalijena

Spectator
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
My first question is going to be: Did you get this professionally fitted to your foot?
No, and I know it's not great. Unfortunately there is no pro skating shops in my area. None. I searched all over. This model was suggested by my coach as a pretty "standard" option for beginners.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
No, and I know it's not great. Unfortunately there is no pro skating shops in my area. None. I searched all over. This model was suggested by my coach as a pretty "standard" option for beginners.
This is more than likely the reason your skates are giving you problems. They don't fit you correctly and are going to put you in a world of pain. Is there somewhere that all the other skaters and coaches get their boots/blades?
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
For the issue with your little toe: buy some moleskin and cut it so it fits over that red area. It will help a lot.

I had a pair of Jacksons (bought used; for coaching only) and had to do this or else I'd develop a very painful corn on the little toes. I'd use the moleskin every time I'd wear those boots. Moleskin is a good protector for areas where your foot rubs against your skate.

Edited to add: But Ic3Rabbit is correct in that these boots don't fit properly. You've already bought them so hopefully you can find some technical assistance and alleviate the other red areas on your foot and ankle.
 
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magdalijena

Spectator
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
This is more than likely the reason your skates are giving you problems. They don't fit you correctly and are going to put you in a world of pain. Is there somewhere that all the other skaters and coaches get their boots/blades?
I haven't asked my coach but will this weekend when I see her. The closest figure skating shop I found is 6 hours away from me :( There is a "pro shop" at the rink I take lessons at but they don't do fittings and only have maybe 3/4 different Jackson skates in stock.
Thank you for your help!

edit: but on that topic, in your opinion, how should the boots feel freshly after purchase? Stiff but otherwise comfortable all around? Just trying to get an idea.
 

magdalijena

Spectator
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
For the issue with your little toe: buy some moleskin and cut it so it fits over that red area. It will help a lot.

I had a pair of Jacksons (bought used; for coaching only) and had to do this or else I'd develop a very painful corn on the little toes. I'd use the moleskin every time I'd wear those boots. Moleskin is a good protector for areas where your foot rubs against your skate.

Edited to add: But Ic3Rabbit is correct in that these boots don't fit properly. You've already bought them so hopefully you can find some technical assistance and alleviate the other red areas on your foot and ankle.
Thank you, I just ordered some.
I will give them a try and see if maybe they will mold at least a bit. The surprising thing is that all the reviews I read said this model is great for people with wide feet, and my feet aren't even that wide 🤷‍♀️
I tried to save money and bought them from a consignment (but new sealed in a box) and they don't take returns...should've gone through amazon ;)
Thanks!
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
They definitely look like they are too narrow for you. You really just need to bite the bullet and travel to a fitter. It's not worth the damage you could do to your feet and yourself. Having your feet in constant pain will hold you back significantly. Just think of all the money you spend on coaching and ice. If you can't skate bc your feet hurt, you're just wasting that.

In the meantime if you can't return these skates, you can look for a boot repair place. They could punch the skate out by your little toe and bunch around the hot spots in your ankles. It's sort of a band aid fix. You really need boots fit for you.
 

sashavis

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Country
United-States
As annoying as the travel time will be, getting fitted by a pro is the best option. You only get one pair of feet, but you can get numerous pairs of skates. Since you already purchased the boots, I'd recommend seeing if the pro shop at your rink could heat mold the skates to your feet, to see if they can punch them out a bit to alleviate some of the pressure, or to see if they can stretch them out (I know my tech offers a 24 hour skate stretching service, but I'm not sure if the one at your rink will). Also--if you aren't already, I'd highly recommend purchasing skating socks (the ones by Mondor are excellent) and using those when you skate. They are much thinner, and they do not cause as much friction as a regular sock. Best of luck, and I hope your feet stop hurting so much!
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
I'd recommend seeing if the pro shop at your rink could heat mold the skates to your feet
Those boots are not heat moldable. In the Jackson line heat mold-ability starts at the EVO model and up (Fusion line) which is a much better boot for not much more. Punching is an option. My skater's first real boot was the Artiste (same line) and it was punched a couple of times. Incidentally it was the only boot she had any break in issues with. Once she moved to the Elle and up she had no break in at all.

Sunk costs are irrelevant. Find a fitter, or if you must, at least deal with an online vendor who can guide you and, if necessary, take them back in exchange for a different size, different model or different maker. You might have to pay a restocking fee, or if you're exchanging, just keep paying shipping back and forth, but those boots you have don't fit.

You can try some of the gel pads that are out there for your ankle, Bunga is one (very expensive) brand. My daughter uses Zen Toes off of Amazon which are much cheaper, which is nice because she needs 6 pair to get through a week of practice. They have gel inside a sleeve that fits over your ankle to relieve pressure. There are also individual gel discs that fit directly on the ankle under your sock. These are just band aid measures though, not a replacement for a proper fitting boot.
 

sashavis

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Country
United-States
Those boots are not heat moldable. In the Jackson line heat mold-ability starts at the EVO model and up (Fusion line) which is a much better boot for not much more. Punching is an option. My skater's first real boot was the Artiste (same line) and it was punched a couple of times. Incidentally it was the only boot she had any break in issues with. Once she moved to the Elle and up she had no break in at all.

Sunk costs are irrelevant. Find a fitter, or if you must, at least deal with an online vendor who can guide you and, if necessary, take them back in exchange for a different size, different model or different maker. You might have to pay a restocking fee, or if you're exchanging, just keep paying shipping back and forth, but those boots you have don't fit.

You can try some of the gel pads that are out there for your ankle, Bunga is one (very expensive) brand. My daughter uses Zen Toes off of Amazon which are much cheaper, which is nice because she needs 6 pair to get through a week of practice. They have gel inside a sleeve that fits over your ankle to relieve pressure. There are also individual gel discs that fit directly on the ankle under your sock. These are just band aid measures though, not a replacement for a proper fitting boot.
Oops! I didn't know that the model mentioned was not heat moldable!! My apologies. Thank you for pointing that out in my post--didn't mean to spread misinformation.
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Oops! I didn't know that the model mentioned was not heat moldable!! My apologies. Thank you for pointing that out in my post--didn't mean to spread misinformation.
No worries. I've become a bit of a Jackson expert. My skater is on her 8th pair. Perhaps her last as we consider moving on.
 

magdalijena

Spectator
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Everyone, thank you for your advice. I will not be using these skates and will try to sell them (since they've been worn for less than one hour I think they're almost new).
I might make a trip to see a fitter in a little bit.
Thanks again!
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Everyone, thank you for your advice. I will not be using these skates and will try to sell them (since they've been worn for less than one hour I think they're almost new).
I might make a trip to see a fitter in a little bit.
Thanks again!
I'm glad to hear you will be seeking out a professional fitter. Make sure that they take measurements and trace your foot to get the best chance of fitting you in the perfect boots for you.

I wish you luck and if you need any help don't hesitate to reach out.
 
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