Crease in skating boots

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
So I've been wondering about this for some time now... many skaters apparently have a crease in the ankle area of their skating boot. I've seen this with higher and lower level skaters alike.
My coach said sth. along the lines of "you gotta have a crease" implying it's a sign that you're doing it right i.e. skating properly.

Is that really a thing? Is it really that common? Or does it depend on what elements you're doing (multi-rotational jumps), jump height and body weight in relation to boot stiffness? Does the way you lace up your boots play a role?

And what's the difference between a broken down skating boot and a 'normal crease'? Is it in a different spot?

Because my four-year old Jackson boots (stiffness 55) are still smooth and show no signs of buckling, neither visually nor when I feel the ankle area with my hands. Granted, I don't weigh much and only do puny single jumps and lots of footwork and edgework in them.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. :)
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
My coach jokes that scuffed up boots are a sign you're doing something right and working hard. However, he says any creasing is the start of boot break down, so I'm wondering if your coach was joking about needing a crease - to me that's a sign the support on your boots is starting yo be compromised.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
My coach jokes that scuffed up boots are a sign you're doing something right and working hard. However, he says any creasing is the start of boot break down, so I'm wondering if your coach was joking about needing a crease - to me that's a sign the support on your boots is starting yo be compromised.

No, he wasn't joking. :)

Our sharpener also mentioned once that a certain crease is normal or even necessary to break a boot in (I guess to achieve a certain knee bend/being able to work the boot properly? :shrug:) and that he sees this a lot with higher level skates that get send to him for a sharpening. But he has no figure skating background nor any actual knowledge, so I don't necessarily believe him, it's just my coach's comment and my own observations which got me thinking.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
In the days before triple and quad jumps were abundant, and when boots were not quite as stiff as they are now, I had a coach that said you should get a crease in the back of the boot above the heel. This meant that you were getting a good point of your toe and creating a good body line.

I never got any major crease in that back area and I don't think that most skaters do. (Maybe ice dancers do?). Any ankle creases I'd get meant my boot was breaking down and I could feel that decay.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I used to skate at a high level and knew when I needed new boots. I have a very deep knee bend (ice dancer) and also like seriously stiff boots/side stability. These days I have dance boots, but back in the 90s I used to wear freestyle boots and leave the top hook unlaced. Both then and now I don't crease my boots. I know when they're no longer stiff enough for me.

I still see people - although nowhere near as many these days, and they are usually people in recreational skates or much older, longtime skaters - with creases but to me a creased boot says, "Broken down and fit only for the bin"!

ETA: Creases in boots can also be a sign of them being too big...
 
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1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I have a very deep knee bend (ice dancer) and also like seriously stiff boots/side stability. These days I have dance boots, but back in the 90s I used to wear freestyle boots and leave the top hook unlaced.

Oh, that's funny, sounds a lot like me (um, except for the skating on a high level and doing ice dance part :laugh:). I also need a lot of lateral stiffness but at the same time want to be able to achieve a deep knee bend and I do exactly what you used to do, leave the top hook unlaced in my freestyle boots.
I don't even realise that I'm doing it, because I've always done it that way right from the first day in my boots. Sometimes fellow skaters or a coach notice and are quite bewildered by it, but I find that my Jackson boots have a rather high shaft compared to some of the other brands, so it doesn't affect the stability on the sides, at least not during the lower level elements that I'm doing.


ETA: Creases in boots can also be a sign of them being too big...

Exactly! This is what I used to think and what I would always tell people with a crease in their boots: to check if their boots aren't too big for them.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
If you tie skates tight, a crease on either side of the ankle is normal. Some manufacturers even build in crease points so the right areas crease.
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
I just wanted to add that I've noticed that the non-leather boots that are now on the market, don't seem to crease as much as the older style leather boots in general. My Jackson Fusion Freestyles have no crease at all and are completely broken down. The ankle area is floppy, but there is no crease.
 

Sunshine247

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
This is a very interesting discussion. I’ve been told a small crease means a properly broken in boot, while a large crease, say around 2 in, is a broken down boot. It does seem like new materials and construction methods are changing this idea. I’m sure style of skating is a huge factor as well.

I have two skaters in the same boot (went into Debut Fusions at the same time) and my DD who is heavier and performs similar jumps, has no crease. My other DD has about a 1inch crease and wrecked the toe ofthe boot with the other blade from bringing her feet together on jumps. She’s “hard on boots”. I know the extra effort jumping is partly it, but she’s always pushed into her knee bends hard....getting a good knee bend in skates stiffer than imaginable. My other skater is more “floaty” she rebounds off of her knee bend and doesn’t seem to bend as far but still gets her jumps. They both have been in these Jacksons for 6 months now, with a consistent axel now and working on doubles. Creased boots DD has had her axel and a double sal a bit longer, and now into more difficult doubles and combinations. It might be worthwhile to mention she loves her boots looser on top as well. She breaks in her boots without lacing the top hook, then switches to lacing the bottom hook, goes up to the top and moves down the hooks to tie at the ankle bend. I’m sure this has an effect on the boot.

Since I only periodically check their skates it does seem like the crease basically appeared suddenly. I’m curious to know from skaters, how quickly a small crease turns into a large one, and then into a broken down boot. Jackson boots have a “flex notch” where the boot is allowed to bend and eventually crease but i believe the stiffness comes from heat moldable material inside, and they have only microfiber material outside. Seems like with leather boots it would be more gradual, while with new materials it could quite quickly go from a small crease to a broken down boot. I find it fascinating that the side support is gone on uncreased boots. Never would have imagined that. My jumping bean is looking into Edea for a few reasons, and I’m worried she’ll be needing new skates every 3 months! still haven’t committed to any switch. but maybe with al, the other manufacturers moving to new materials, this will be the new normal. All I know is, this is going to get real exspensive, real fast!
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
I’m curious to know from skaters, how quickly a small crease turns into a large one, and then into a broken down boot. Jackson boots have a “flex notch” where the boot is allowed to bend and eventually crease but i believe the stiffness comes from heat moldable material inside, and they have only microfiber material outside. Seems like with leather boots it would be more gradual, while with new materials it could quite quickly go from a small crease to a broken down boot. I find it fascinating that the side support is gone on uncreased boots.

This very much depends on the skater, and some never get creases at all.

My Freestyles are breaking down on the inside and still look brand new on the outside. They're not that broken down yet, but I've had some very, very scary jump landings where it felt like the ankle was going to give out. There's barely a scratch on them, let alone any creasing.

As an uninformed kid/teen who was VERY lucky to do this with no injuries, I wore used, shoe-size recreational skates with giant ankle creases the whole time I was first learning to skate. But even after all that time, even though I was working on Salchows by the time someone finally noticed and told me, "Hey, kid, your skates are trash!" the creases never got any deeper than when I first bought them. I'm not sure what it is about me or my skating that is so easy on the exterior of my boots.

Here's an old pair of Yuzuru Hanyu's in an exhibit, and with the exception of the right toe, they don't show much wear either. Brian Orser said in an interview that he can keep each pair longer than usual for his level because his technique relies so much on his own strength and not the boots', so that might be the explanation for his lack of creases.

So, it depends on a lot of things, and uncreased boots can still be unsafe.
 

hydroblader

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
The boots that are synthetic like Edeas, get their flexion from the tongue and less so from the sides of the boots. My Edea Ice Flys look exactly like Yuzuru’s boots (except mine are 4 years old and alas are quadless). I can get hydroblading level flexion on them and I have nary a crease in sight. Most of the Jackson’s and other leather upper boots show significant creasing on the side when there broken in. I suspect, though they are also on there way to be broken down.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Thank you everyone for your input so far, it has been very interesting reading about your experiences. So it's as I thought, mostly an outdated believe that one has to acquire a crease to 'prove one's worth' as a skater and in reality there are way more factors going into it.

I'm really curious, should I ever feel confident enough to start training a single Axel or some double jumps, what impact this will have on my boots and their stiffness/integrity (then again, they might not last this long, since I have another issue with them and might need to replace them before they break down).
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Thank you everyone for your input so far, it has been very interesting reading about your experiences. So it's as I thought, mostly an outdated believe that one has to acquire a crease to 'prove one's worth' as a skater and in reality there are way more factors going into it.

I'm really curious, should I ever feel confident enough to start training a single Axel or some double jumps, what impact this will have on my boots and their stiffness/integrity (then again, they might not last this long, since I have another issue with them and might need to replace them before they break down).

It depends what skate brand you wear and what boot. As Hydroblader has stated: Edeas are synthetic and flex different and don't get crease. Something like my leather Jacksons will especially with all the triples and more that I do. It doesn't show your "worth" it just shows that you work the crud out of your boots!:laugh:
And they don't crease right away but start to when they are beginning to break in, and months later when they really start to get soft and crease more is around the time I'm already feeling that they need to be replaced.

I hope this helps. :peace:

With your questions about your boots, I would say yes- start your jumps if your boots can take it, but don't risk injury. Please replace your boots first if you need to for jumping. Repetitive jumping will eventually crease them if everything is going properly. You can't keep the same boots forever and jumping increases replacement rate by a bit for someone your level. Just make sure you have the right boots for the jumps you are going to do.

:)
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
The boots that are synthetic like Edeas, get their flexion from the tongue and less so from the sides of the boots. My Edea Ice Flys look exactly like Yuzuru’s boots (except mine are 4 years old and alas are quadless). I can get hydroblading level flexion on them and I have nary a crease in sight. Most of the Jackson’s and other leather upper boots show significant creasing on the side when there broken in. I suspect, though they are also on there way to be broken down.

That makes me wonder if the reason my Freestyles' ankles are such a mess is from too much hydroblading. :laugh: Come to think of it, they're more broken down on my stronger hydroblade leg.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
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Country
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That makes me wonder if the reason my Freestyles' ankles are such a mess is from too much hydroblading. :laugh: Come to think of it, they're more broken down on my stronger hydroblade leg.

From someone that hydroblades, yes.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
It depends what skate brand you wear and what boot. As Hydroblader has stated: Edeas are synthetic and flex different and don't get crease. Something like my leather Jacksons will especially with all the triples and more that I do. It doesn't show your "worth" it just shows that you work the crud out of your boots!:laugh:
And they don't crease right away but start to when they are beginning to break in, and months later when they really start to get soft and crease more is around the time I'm already feeling that they need to be replaced.

I hope this helps. :peace:

Haha thanks. I'm afraid I 'need' to work my boots some more then :laugh: because even though they look like they had an unpleasant encounter with a lawn mower, there's still no crease in sight (yet).
Right now I actually think it's the soles who might break down first, because the material is starting to become somewhat brittle (no worries though, for now the screws are still steady and secure, although it took really big ones to get them to grip).


With your questions about your boots, I would say yes- start your jumps if your boots can take it, but don't risk injury. Please replace your boots first if you need to for jumping. Repetitive jumping will eventually crease them if everything is going properly. You can't keep the same boots forever and jumping increases replacement rate by a bit for someone your level. Just make sure you have the right boots for the jumps you are going to do.

:)

I'm about 110 lbs and my boots have a stiffness of 55 per Jackson's scale (maybe started out at 50, since the guy at our shop said heat molding reduces stiffness by about 5 points, and he's an authorised seller who gets his info from Jackson obv). I always thought that should suffice for at least an Axel and maybe some attempts at doubles.
I've jumped quite a lot in them over the past 4 years, not super high but no little hops either, and they're still nice and stiff at the sides. They certainly look and feel like they can take some more. :p


If you tie skates tight, a crease on either side of the ankle is normal. Some manufacturers even build in crease points so the right areas crease.

By 'tying them tight', do you mean up to the top?

Personally I tie mine very tight around the feet, up to the ankles, usually also including the bottom hook. But I leave a little bit of wiggle room when I tie the two remaining hooks, so the tongue is already yielding some when I bend my knees/squat down, and obviously they loosen even more in that area once I've warmed up with a bit of footwork/edges, so I have to take that into account too.
It's really a thin line between too loose and too tight at the top though, and on some days I have to retie them a lot because I just can't get it right (and it doesn't help that I haver super narrow feet and my boots seem to be widening again with age and losing the snug fit they had after the initial heat molding back when I first got them).

I do wonder if my way of tying them prolongs their lifetime.
A friend I skate with has the same boots and she ties hers tight up to the top and then she squats down a few times rather forcefully to 'break them in' before she goes onto the ice. Her boots already have a slight crease, even though she's had hers for a shorter period of time (similar weight and skating load as me).
 

travelingspins

Spectator
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Ankle Creasing

Hi everybody! Recently I have gotten new jackson skates and they have creased in the ankle. They have only gotten worse during the 2nd time I skated in them. I have been told that it may be because of the ways I'm lacing them and I will be learning from an employee soon. But other than that I have read that ankle creasing can be a sign of breaking in boots or breaking down. Thank you for the replies.
 

MCsAngel2

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Country
Scotland
Jackson Elles are not NEARLY supportive enough for someone starting axels. Depending on your weight, you should be in at least a Debut Fusion, or something stiffer if you weigh more.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Assuming you're jumping and not a little child anymore, Jackson Elles are way too soft! Which boots did you use before?
ETA: Oops, just saw the Axel comment. So you're definitely doing jumps in them :laugh:.
 

Sunshine247

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Looks like most people have shared the same opinion. This is unusual, and you need stiffer boots. I’d contact Jackson, or go through your fitter to see if these can be covered during their 6 month warranty. In the meantime a new lacing technique could help until you get new boots. My younger DD laces hers a bit differently at the hooks. Skate tech recommended. But she’s lightweight and wears a debut firm since starting her axel work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dWiTAcbb3I
DD laces the second way. Helps allow more flexibility for deeper knee bend.
 
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