How tight should my skates be? | Golden Skate

How tight should my skates be?

padme21

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
I just ordered a pair of new ice skates online. I ordered a size 9 but they're a bit tight. They hurt when I walk in them. I'm thinking about returning them and ordering a 9.5.
My mom wanted me to ask you guys for advice before I make any decisions. My skates are 119 Riedell Emeralds.
Please help I'd be most grateful.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
I just ordered a pair of new ice skates online. I ordered a size 9 but they're a bit tight. They hurt when I walk in them. I'm thinking about returning them and ordering a 9.5.
My mom wanted me to ask you guys for advice before I make any decisions. My skates are 119 Riedell Emeralds.
Please help I'd be most grateful.

Not touching this with a ten foot pole, other than to say that your best bet is to not order your skates online and to see a professional skate fitter who can help put you in the proper skates for your feet. The last thing I would want is for you to have the wrong thing and hurt yourself. Good luck.
 

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
What size do you wear for normal shoes? I feel like skates are often a half-size smaller than your regular shoe size. I wear 9.5 in normal shoes, but 9 in skates. I also have normal/medium width feet. Some people are wide-width or narrow-width.

Ask some coaches for advice too.

When you say that they "hurt", it's hard for us to determine if your feet are actually squished or if you're just not used to skates. My toes and heel are not squished, but at the same time they don't have much wiggle room. You want them to be as tight as possible without being painful. But it will also take time to break them in and let them mold to the shape of your foot. Would going up a half-size give you too much room and make the skate too loose? Or would it provide much needed room because you're too squished right now? Is it the length or the width that is causing you to be squished? Would a wide-width be better than an increase in size?
 
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padme21

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
What size do you wear for normal shoes? I feel like skates are often a half-size smaller than your regular shoe size. I wear 9.5 in normal shoes, but 9 in skates. I also have normal/medium width feet. Some people are wide-width or narrow-width.

Ask some coaches for advice too.

When you say that they "hurt", it's hard for us to determine if your feet are actually squished or if you're just not used to skates. My toes and heel are not squished, but at the same time they don't have much wiggle room. You want them to be as tight as possible without being painful. But it will also take time to break them in and let them mold to the shape of your foot. Would going up a half-size give you too much room and make the skate too loose? Or would it provide much needed room because you're too squished right now? Is it the length or the width that is causing you to be squished? Would a wide-width be better than an increase in size?

I decided to go up a half size. I literally had no toe room. My big toe was rubbing on the end of the skate boot.
My toes were getting squished together.
 

padme21

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Has your coach looked at them?

Did you use Reidell's size chart?

I don't have a coach. I'm replacing my old figure skates I've had for a little over a year. I did use the size chart. The size chart recommend that I get a 8.5 I ordered a 9 just to be safe. The 9 was too small way too tight. So I'm going up a half size with a 9.5
 

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Just out of curiosity, what's your normal shoe size? Was my prediction correct? Skate size is often half-size smaller than shoe size?
 

RoaringMice

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Just out of curiosity, what's your normal shoe size? Was my prediction correct? Skate size is often half-size smaller than shoe size?

This varies by manufacturer and boot model. For example, my size in Reidells is a 4. In Harlicks, it's a 6.
 

loopy

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
That is odd! My skater is in 7.5 in Riedell boots and in street shoes she is an 8.
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
My shoe size is 6 1/2 and my current Riedell boots are size 5, fitted by an authorized Riedell dealer; yet, upon breaking in my boots, I feel I could have been a size 4 1/2 boots.

Shoe size is not a good measure for boot size, because each maker has different sizing charts and caters to different foot shapes. Apart from the toe-to-heel length, other factors include narrow/wide, how high the instep is, how tapered the toe box is, etc. Any of these factors could cause you pain, if not fit correctly to your foot's shape. A good skate fitter will be able to let you try several models and recommend to you the correct fit.

Re: your thread title, how tight should your skates be.. (disclaimer, I'm not a profession skate fitter, but can only speak from my experience)... it should be tight enough that your entire foot can lay completely flat, without being squished, but with zero addition space in the boot.
 

Pink Ice

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
So, I don't know about you, but I can give you my experience with purchasing Riedell skates online and breaking them in. I found a pair on ebay that caught my eye. I was concerned they would be too narrow (they were a 9.5A and I knew Riedell tends to run narrow). I wear a size 10 shoe. I measured my feet, not using the Riedell cut out thing, but using the directions on Kenzie's Closet and using the chart for Riedell sizing they had. Based on my foot measurements it certainly appeared that I was within a safe range to order the boots. They were the first upper level boots I had ever tried on, I was not sure what to expect. I had some really cheap skates before that were size 10 that I had to wear 2 pairs of socks with and still felt a bit loose so I knew that was not right.

When the skates arrived, I made the mistake of trying them on with regular socks and could barely get my foot in. Then I tried a nylon knee high and my foot went in. I remember they felt tight on the sides but I could still wiggle my big toe. I could walk in them but it was not plesant, they felt really tight, though it was not pain, hard to describe. Anyway, these were higher level skates (silver stars) and I had only paid $100 for them with blades, never worn, so I did not have the option of sending them back and not much to lose trying them. If you talked to me the very first time I put my skates on I would have told you that they either needed to be stretched or I needed a wider size. But I decided to persist with the break in process, these were older model leather skates, I also read as much as I could about breaking in skates.

So, I sat around the house the first day or two with them on forced myself to make it thirty minutes a day. I then started skating with them. I made it ten minutes the first time before I had to sit. I rested, did another ten and called it a day. That was how my first couple of skates went, I wore trouser socks instead of knee highs, more durable but still thin. So, for the first five skates I was fairly convinced I need them stretched, but I wanted to wait until I had really given them a chance before I had them messed with. By about the sixth skate, I knew I did not want them stretched. I was able to skate thirty minutes without stopping and my at-home wear time had increased to an hour. I got to where I forgot I even had them on at home. By ten skates I was up to an hour on the ice, my feet would be reddened all around the bottom from the pressure when I removed the skate, but it was an even pressure, no signs of specific pressure points, and no real pain, just tired and a little achey when I finished.

I have now had them a year, I can wear them as long as I need to, the comfort of my skates way outlasts my skating endurance, I take very good care of them, never leave them out in the car, I always made sure the leather was about at room temperature as much as I could. The real break in process took me about ten skates and about twice as many days off ice, so about a month. It is really hard for me to advise people about skates when they first put them on because mine felt so awful and now they feel so good. The only thing I can say is that length wise you should be able to wiggle your big toe but not have slipping in the heel, they should be quite snug but it should be an even snugness, check the pressure pattern after you take them off to see if there are points of increased redness at first. When I skate now there is no redness at all BTW, but that also took a few months. They should not be painful per say but they will be tight. I know everyone is different too, sometimes it helps to do forum searches on other folk's experiences breaking in skates. Also, if they are lower level skates they are not leather, which gives and molds to your foot over time, they will be synthetic and less predictable in that aspect, I should think they would feel a little better than the leather ones from the beginning.
 

padme21

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
So, I don't know about you, but I can give you my experience with purchasing Riedell skates online and breaking them in. I found a pair on ebay that caught my eye. I was concerned they would be too narrow (they were a 9.5A and I knew Riedell tends to run narrow). I wear a size 10 shoe. I measured my feet, not using the Riedell cut out thing, but using the directions on Kenzie's Closet and using the chart for Riedell sizing they had. Based on my foot measurements it certainly appeared that I was within a safe range to order the boots. They were the first upper level boots I had ever tried on, I was not sure what to expect. I had some really cheap skates before that were size 10 that I had to wear 2 pairs of socks with and still felt a bit loose so I knew that was not right.

When the skates arrived, I made the mistake of trying them on with regular socks and could barely get my foot in. Then I tried a nylon knee high and my foot went in. I remember they felt tight on the sides but I could still wiggle my big toe. I could walk in them but it was not plesant, they felt really tight, though it was not pain, hard to describe. Anyway, these were higher level skates (silver stars) and I had only paid $100 for them with blades, never worn, so I did not have the option of sending them back and not much to lose trying them. If you talked to me the very first time I put my skates on I would have told you that they either needed to be stretched or I needed a wider size. But I decided to persist with the break in process, these were older model leather skates, I also read as much as I could about breaking in skates.

So, I sat around the house the first day or two with them on forced myself to make it thirty minutes a day. I then started skating with them. I made it ten minutes the first time before I had to sit. I rested, did another ten and called it a day. That was how my first couple of skates went, I wore trouser socks instead of knee highs, more durable but still thin. So, for the first five skates I was fairly convinced I need them stretched, but I wanted to wait until I had really given them a chance before I had them messed with. By about the sixth skate, I knew I did not want them stretched. I was able to skate thirty minutes without stopping and my at-home wear time had increased to an hour. I got to where I forgot I even had them on at home. By ten skates I was up to an hour on the ice, my feet would be reddened all around the bottom from the pressure when I removed the skate, but it was an even pressure, no signs of specific pressure points, and no real pain, just tired and a little achey when I finished.

I have now had them a year, I can wear them as long as I need to, the comfort of my skates way outlasts my skating endurance, I take very good care of them, never leave them out in the car, I always made sure the leather was about at room temperature as much as I could. The real break in process took me about ten skates and about twice as many days off ice, so about a month. It is really hard for me to advise people about skates when they first put them on because mine felt so awful and now they feel so good. The only thing I can say is that length wise you should be able to wiggle your big toe but not have slipping in the heel, they should be quite snug but it should be an even snugness, check the pressure pattern after you take them off to see if there are points of increased redness at first. When I skate now there is no redness at all BTW, but that also took a few months. They should not be painful per say but they will be tight. I know everyone is different too, sometimes it helps to do forum searches on other folk's experiences breaking in skates. Also, if they are lower level skates they are not leather, which gives and molds to your foot over time, they will be synthetic and less predictable in that aspect, I should think they would feel a little better than the leather ones from the beginning.

Thanks for sharing your experience! The Riedell 9s were so tight that I couldn't wiggle my toes. I'm fairly confident that the 9.5 that I ordered will fit fine.
 

padme21

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
So, I don't know about you, but I can give you my experience with purchasing Riedell skates online and breaking them in. I found a pair on ebay that caught my eye. I was concerned they would be too narrow (they were a 9.5A and I knew Riedell tends to run narrow). I wear a size 10 shoe. I measured my feet, not using the Riedell cut out thing, but using the directions on Kenzie's Closet and using the chart for Riedell sizing they had. Based on my foot measurements it certainly appeared that I was within a safe range to order the boots. They were the first upper level boots I had ever tried on, I was not sure what to expect. I had some really cheap skates before that were size 10 that I had to wear 2 pairs of socks with and still felt a bit loose so I knew that was not right.

When the skates arrived, I made the mistake of trying them on with regular socks and could barely get my foot in. Then I tried a nylon knee high and my foot went in. I remember they felt tight on the sides but I could still wiggle my big toe. I could walk in them but it was not plesant, they felt really tight, though it was not pain, hard to describe. Anyway, these were higher level skates (silver stars) and I had only paid $100 for them with blades, never worn, so I did not have the option of sending them back and not much to lose trying them. If you talked to me the very first time I put my skates on I would have told you that they either needed to be stretched or I needed a wider size. But I decided to persist with the break in process, these were older model leather skates, I also read as much as I could about breaking in skates.

So, I sat around the house the first day or two with them on forced myself to make it thirty minutes a day. I then started skating with them. I made it ten minutes the first time before I had to sit. I rested, did another ten and called it a day. That was how my first couple of skates went, I wore trouser socks instead of knee highs, more durable but still thin. So, for the first five skates I was fairly convinced I need them stretched, but I wanted to wait until I had really given them a chance before I had them messed with. By about the sixth skate, I knew I did not want them stretched. I was able to skate thirty minutes without stopping and my at-home wear time had increased to an hour. I got to where I forgot I even had them on at home. By ten skates I was up to an hour on the ice, my feet would be reddened all around the bottom from the pressure when I removed the skate, but it was an even pressure, no signs of specific pressure points, and no real pain, just tired and a little achey when I finished.

I have now had them a year, I can wear them as long as I need to, the comfort of my skates way outlasts my skating endurance, I take very good care of them, never leave them out in the car, I always made sure the leather was about at room temperature as much as I could. The real break in process took me about ten skates and about twice as many days off ice, so about a month. It is really hard for me to advise people about skates when they first put them on because mine felt so awful and now they feel so good. The only thing I can say is that length wise you should be able to wiggle your big toe but not have slipping in the heel, they should be quite snug but it should be an even snugness, check the pressure pattern after you take them off to see if there are points of increased redness at first. When I skate now there is no redness at all BTW, but that also took a few months. They should not be painful per say but they will be tight. I know everyone is different too, sometimes it helps to do forum searches on other folk's experiences breaking in skates. Also, if they are lower level skates they are not leather, which gives and molds to your foot over time, they will be synthetic and less predictable in that aspect, I should think they would feel a little better than the leather ones from the beginning.

My shoe size is 6 1/2 and my current Riedell boots are size 5, fitted by an authorized Riedell dealer; yet, upon breaking in my boots, I feel I could have been a size 4 1/2 boots.

Shoe size is not a good measure for boot size, because each maker has different sizing charts and caters to different foot shapes. Apart from the toe-to-heel length, other factors include narrow/wide, how high the instep is, how tapered the toe box is, etc. Any of these factors could cause you pain, if not fit correctly to your foot's shape. A good skate fitter will be able to let you try several models and recommend to you the correct fit.

Re: your thread title, how tight should your skates be.. (disclaimer, I'm not a profession skate fitter, but can only speak from my experience)... it should be tight enough that your entire foot can lay completely flat, without being squished, but with zero addition space in the boot.

That was my problem. My toes were being squished.
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
That was my problem. My toes were being squished.

You may well be right in your assessment of shoe size, but I'll reiterate my point again: getting the right fit is not just about going up half a size. Maybe you need a wider model. Maybe you need a different maker that makes the toe box more boxy (Riedells tend to have narrower toes... It's like boxy clogs vs pointy-toed shoes.) Maybe a skate technician can help you punch out the toe box to give it more room (as I had to do for my pair of skates).

You said your toes were squished... Were they pressed to the front of the boot, or were they squished from the top or sides? You mentioned your toes but didn't mention the rest of the foot. How was the fit at your heel? If your heel fit well previously, going up a half size could give you more toe space but end up with a loose heel... That's still a bad fit.
 

padme21

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
You may well be right in your assessment of shoe size, but I'll reiterate my point again: getting the right fit is not just about going up half a size. Maybe you need a wider model. Maybe you need a different maker that makes the toe box more boxy (Riedells tend to have narrower toes... It's like boxy clogs vs pointy-toed shoes.) Maybe a skate technician can help you punch out the toe box to give it more room (as I had to do for my pair of skates).

You said your toes were squished... Were they pressed to the front of the boot, or were they squished from the top or sides? You mentioned your toes but didn't mention the rest of the foot. How was the fit at your heel? If your heel fit well previously, going up a half size could give you more toe space but end up with a loose heel... That's still a bad fit.

My toes were pressed to the front. My was also a bit of a tight squeeze.
 

SusanaFG

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Hi! I bought a risport rf3 pro a month ago and my feet falling asleep. I don't know if they are small. Could you help me?

I have read the history from Pink Ice, but I don't go to skating so much, I have lost motivation, I expected pain but not feel the feet is worse. They are thermoformable, would the length be modified? someone who has tried it?

Context:
From Edea told me to try the 245 Edea Chorus, but in the store they did not have edea in 245 and 250 was strange, I could flex my knee without noticing a tongue block (limit). I thought that was not normal. Therefore I tried the 245 of risport. In the store I felt my feet falling asleep and my right foot touching the tip of the skate (in theory the left boot is ok). The seller told me that the boot was ok (in Spain there isn't specialist). The problem was that risport rf3 boot in 250 size was wide, the long... uff I don't know, my foot right is 0,5cm bigger and narrower than the left foot.

I bought the 245... but my feet falling asleep in 15 minutes. First, the laces were short, so I changed them. But the insteps hurt, I have to tie the right foot harder because I feel that the heel rises. I thought that the right foot fell asleep because the fingers touch the tip, but I don't understand the left one (in theory the size should be perfect) and the feeling is after removing the skate for a while.


I do not know what to do? Can anybody help me?

Thanks in advance.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
Sounds like you don't have the right fitting boots.
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
I agree with Ic3Rabbit. It sounds like your boots don't fit. The heel should not be rising in the skate. That said, your foot falling asleep in a new boot isn't necessary a sign that the fit is wrong. There is a chance that you just need them punched out somewhere. I got a new pair of Riedel Fusions a year ago and they made my heels go completely numb. I put a tennis ball in the heels for a few days and now they're fine. I'd suggest getting a new pair (hopefully the store will exchange them). It can be hard when you're starting out, but advocate for yourself. If the skates don't feel right in the store, then don't get them, even if the salesperson tells you their fine. Listen to you feet.
 
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