Returning skater in uncomfortable Harlicks

donutchun

Spectator
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
At almost 30, I’ve decided to return to skating, but my Harlicks from when I was 18 continue to be so uncomfortable. Would love ideas on whether customizations would be helpful next time, or whether to just move on. Wondering what boots would be comfortable for a 'heavier' coach skater who needs support to do some jumps but doesn't want to have boots super stiff.

When I used to skate frequently, I had problems with heel slip in Harlick B/A stock boot, so then would always tie my laces very tight (would often end up with numb feet), and would have bruises / calluses around my ankles. Now when I skate, I end up with tender ankles, I think because the tops of the boots are so stiff. I always had trouble landing on my toes and pointing my toes. I do push down a lot and get very deep in my edges, and I do break in skates well because of this, but not without pain from the top of the boot cutting into my ankles at times. Base models of Harlicks also come with only leather-lined wood in the sole of the boot - maybe my technique was not the best, but when I would do toe jumps or land jumps, I sometimes would feel a pounding on the ball of my foot. The problems make it tough to skate regularly- I usually have to space out sessions every few 3+ days. Harlicks (from the late 2000s) seem to be a big heavy, and with me being heavier myself and less in shape, it just seems harder work to lift them. Are these just the realities of skating?? Or is there a better life out there!

Any thoughts on the following for a 150-160 lb, 5'6" older skater who plans to teach and skate minimally (maybe 1-2hr/wk), wants to routinely do singles and maybe axel/double salchow again someday (ISI 6-7)? I'm looking for something to support my weight and deep edges, but not so much that they're so stiff and uncomfy like my old stock High Testers.

-- was I over-booted in the Harlick high testers? Is it necessary for axels and double salchows with my weight, or could I go with something less stiff? I wonder if also modifications could address my issues - like a rolled top lining edge and for comfort, ankle hugger padding for my small ankles, poron insoles.. I just don't want to go through all those expensive modifications and find that Harlicks just aren't right for me.

-- I also really like the look of the Riedell 975 Instructor boots: (https://ice.riedellskates.com/products/boots/975-instructor). My sister uses bronze stars for doubles, which are 80s stiffness. The instructor boots come in 75 and 95 stiffness - would 75 be enough for me with my weight?

-- Was also wondering if a low-cut dance boot might be more comfortable with me for deep knee bends. Would the Edea Showgirl (low-cut concerto) or Jackson 5320 pro be over-booting for a skater my level?

-- Are lighter skates like the Ice Fly just for petite little ones like Medvedeva only? ;) I know that lighter skates are mostly for people doing quads, but could it make a different for a skater who's gained a bit of weight and finds old models of wooden Harlicks really heavy? Or do I just need to get back in shape ; )

-- Would the Jackson Premiere 2800 or Debut be a good match for me? It seems like it from the freestyle levels, but are they meant for lighter/younger skaters?

Thanks for helping this skater get back to things!
 
Last edited:

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
At almost 30, I’ve decided to return to skating, but my Harlicks from when I was 18 continue to be so uncomfortable. Would love ideas on whether customizations would be helpful next time, or whether to just move on. Wondering what boots would be comfortable for a 'heavier' coach skater who needs support to do some jumps but doesn't want to have boots super stiff.

When I used to skate frequently, I had problems with heel slip in Harlick B/A stock boot, so then would always tie my laces very tight (would often end up with numb feet), and would have bruises / calluses around my ankles. Now when I skate, I end up with tender ankles, I think because the tops of the boots are so stiff. I always had trouble landing on my toes and pointing my toes. I do push down a lot and get very deep in my edges, and I do break in skates well because of this, but not without pain from the top of the boot cutting into my ankles at times. Base models of Harlicks also come with only leather-lined wood in the sole of the boot - maybe my technique was not the best, but when I would do toe jumps or land jumps, I sometimes would feel a pounding on the ball of my foot. The problems make it tough to skate regularly- I usually have to space out sessions every few 3+ days. Harlicks (from the late 2000s) seem to be a big heavy, and with me being heavier myself and less in shape, it just seems harder work to lift them. Are these just the realities of skating?? Or is there a better life out there!

Any thoughts on the following for a 150-160 lb, 5'6" older skater who plans to teach and skate minimally (maybe 1-2hr/wk), wants to routinely do singles and maybe axel/double salchow again someday (ISI 6-7)? I'm looking for something to support my weight and deep edges, but not so much that they're so stiff and uncomfy like my old stock High Testers.

-- was I over-booted in the Harlick high testers? Is it necessary for axels and double salchows with my weight, or could I go with something less stiff? I wonder if also modifications could address my issues - like a rolled top lining edge and for comfort, ankle hugger padding for my small ankles, poron insoles.. I just don't want to go through all those expensive modifications and find that Harlicks just aren't right for me.

-- I also really like the look of the Riedell 975 Instructor boots: (https://ice.riedellskates.com/products/boots/975-instructor). My sister uses bronze stars for doubles, which are 80s stiffness. The instructor boots come in 75 and 95 stiffness - would 75 be enough for me with my weight?

-- Was also wondering if a low-cut dance boot might be more comfortable with me for deep knee bends. Would the Edea Showgirl (low-cut concerto) or Jackson 5320 pro be over-booting for a skater my level?

-- Are lighter skates like the Ice Fly just for petite little ones like Medvedeva only? ;) I know that lighter skates are mostly for people doing quads, but could it make a different for a skater who's gained a bit of weight and finds old models of wooden Harlicks really heavy? Or do I just need to get back in shape ; )

-- Would the Jackson Premiere 2800 or Debut be a good match for me? It seems like it from the freestyle levels, but are they meant for lighter/younger skaters?

Thanks for helping this skater get back to things!
First of all, those were never the realities of skating for many of us (even "back in the day"), so whomever fit you didn't do such a great job putting you in those high testers that never fit you properly in the first place. The pounding of the ball of the foot on jumps is a technique issue.

That said, Harlicks and other brands aren't what they used to be and you may find that you like them better now, much lighter, breathable, etc. You didn't need the high testers back in the day for those jumps, sorry to say. Had you been doing triples, then yes.
I don't think you should go with a low cut boot, or dance boot, because you most definitely need support if you want to get jumps back and being on the heavier side. You don't need something as high as an ice fly, just no.

My suggestion for your specific needs are to go to a pro tech/fitter for figure skates and get fit. You may find a mid-level stock boot that works for you, or they might decide your best bet is a semi-custom or custom boot.

Good luck!
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
just to add that the current discomfort may be due to your foot changing shape as you age, in addition to the issues noted above. This is not unusual and maybe the boot is also hitting you in a weird way due to changes in your body and feet. As Ic3Rabbit said, go to a fitter and they can help you the best.
 

macy

you should see her in a crown
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
yes to the above, definitely get refitted. i started a similar thread a few weeks ago, i still have my klingbeils from 12 years ago and they don't fit my feet anymore at all. i have to get new ones when i can afford them.
 

donutchun

Spectator
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Thank you everyone!! I think I was probably over-booted, and they never fit -great- but when I was younger I just put up with it, and probably worked around it... but now I am too old and tired to deal with discomfort all the time :wink:
 
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