Skate Ortho solutions for a seriously pronating foot? (Asking for a friend) | Golden Skate

Skate Ortho solutions for a seriously pronating foot? (Asking for a friend)

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
I’ve never had any problems with my skates, so I cannot relate to this issue at all, but one friend of mine has a seriously pronated right foot. But only in skates, not in tennis shoes. But I think it’s why she can’t do backspin or loop very well at all. It’s bizarre she pronates soooo strongly in a skate, but not in shoes.
I’ve told her over and over again to go see a podiatrist or something because skate fitters aren’t going to be able to fix her foot, they just sell skates. But I do worry how much a general podiatrist or ortho person can really help, unless they’re someone who also specializes in skates. Is there anyone you know who specializes in skates and ortho corrections? Do you know someone who had a seriously pronated foot in skates, but was able to fix it? What did they do?

She’s been skating for years at this point and no amount of exercise has given her the strength to straighten out her foot while skating. Her left foot is totally fine and aligned in skates. Her right foot always pronates inward when she skates. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for her to learn and control things like backspin and loop with such a wonky foot.

P.S. She tried stiffer skates and that didn’t help. She still pronates, but now she can’t bend fully in her skates. So “just make them stiffer” isn’t the answer. She also has the blade moved as far over as possible to try to “correct” her pronation, but that still doesn’t fix it.
 

MiraiFan

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Could it also be an ankle strength issue? Something she may want to consult a physical therapist about. There are lots if ankle strengthening exercises online to look at...
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
Where are they located? Have they seen a physio (or even a PT) about this?
 

christy

On the Ice
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Are you sure it's pronation and not a problem with the skates? The reason I ask is you say she's OK in tennis shoes.
I was going to suggest trying to move the blade but it looks like she's already tried that. Maybe different insoles, but if the problem is really severe then getting orthotics might be a better optoin.
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
Are you sure it's pronation and not a problem with the skates?
This is common too. I pronate in Jacksons. They also don't fit my feet but they make me pronate. Something about it is just not right for me and that's okay, it just means I can't wear Jackson.
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Country
Australia
Weird fact I pronate in roller blades, but not ice skates. I can't figure out why this is...
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Weird fact I pronate in roller blades, but not ice skates. I can't figure out why this is...
I do, too. I've worked out that it's fear, pure and simple! Falling to the inside is okay because you have the other leg right there to stabilise and catch you. Falling to the outside is swift and inevitable death. Simple as.

I love my artistic inlines for the freedom to glide outside in the sun but other than that, they terrify me.
 

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Are you sure it's pronation and not a problem with the skates? The reason I ask is you say she's OK in tennis shoes.
I was going to suggest trying to move the blade but it looks like she's already tried that. Maybe different insoles, but if the problem is really severe then getting orthotics might be a better optoin.

She started in Jackson and moved to Edea. Same problem in both brands.

I know she’s tried and tried to strengthen that ankle on her own over the years. That’s why I don’t think it’s just a strength problem. Her other foot has always been fine from day one, in both brands.

Won’t a podiatrist be able to tell her if it’s a foot, ankle, or knee alignment issue?

She’s taken private skating lessons for years and even passed up to Bronze MIF/FS. So if it was anything a coach could have fixed, it would have happened by now. But she’s really hit a brick wall in terms of progress because of backspin and loop jump and I fully blame the right foot that isn’t aligned. She just skates forward and you can see it. Even if you put a bag over everyone’s head, I’d know which one is her because of that awkward-looking right foot.
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
She started in Jackson and moved to Edea. Same problem in both brands.
Those are two very opposite brands. Something in the middle may help.

What happens when she tries to not pronate?
 

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Those are two very opposite brands. Something in the middle may help.

What happens when she tries to not pronate?


As far as I know, she can’t stop pronating, even when she tries to. Even with the blade moved all the way over. Even after several years of skating and private lessons and trying to strengthen the ankle to not pronate.
And yet she’s fine in shoes, but not in skates.

I know she also tried putting one of those gel arch supports underneath her heel area to try to correct it, but then she was putting a bandage on the outer side of her ankle for where it was being rubbed from the way the gel support was repositioning her foot in the skate.

That’s when I was like: “you MUST go see a podiatrist. You shouldn’t have to use all this stuff and STILL pronate. You’ve literally got a rubbed spot on your ankle from trying to correct this on your own.”
She’s been to multiple skate fitters in large cities and they do not help. One skate seller fitted her with a much stiffer boot, which didn’t help, and made it impossible for her to bend since she doesn’t exert enough force at her ability level.

I think part of it is how is she supposed to know if a certain boot brand is better until she’s on the ice with a blade attached to the boot? She can’t tell and the skate fitters apparently can’t tell either.

She’s had more than one coach and none of them have fixed her. I think all of the coaches and fitters are kinda like “Why don’t you just not pronate?” And I’m thinking: “Don’t you think she would if she could? And especially after all this time? It’s not like she just started skating a few months ago.”

I have no idea if it’s her foot, or ankle, or knee, or whatever, but something is wrong and has stayed wrong for years. So a podiatrist is the only thing I could think of.

As far as visually to my untrained eyes, her foot simply pronates inward and looks similar to people who have just started skating. I don’t know why it does that. I don’t know why she can’t correct it. Because I agree with her that she looks normal when she walks in shoes. She just doesn’t look normal in skates on that particular foot.
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
She’s had more than one coach and none of them have fixed her. I think all of the coaches and fitters are kinda like “Why don’t you just not pronate?” And I’m thinking: “Don’t you think she would if she could? And especially after all this time? It’s not like she just started skating a few months ago.”
Yeah I agree that's crap advice.

I agree that a podiatrist might be the best bet. Even someone who is inexperienced in skating could potentially detect a problem, though if you leave them with nothing, it would be time to look for one experienced in skating. If you can't find a podiatrist experienced in skating, a physical therapist will do. My guess is it's a hip issue if it's not just coming from her feet.

Too stiff boots will no doubts make this worse. What boot is she in? And moving the blade is probably not a helpful solution here. Have they tried tilting it?

Quick questions: Does it cause her pain or is it painless? Does she have fallen arches?
 

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Yeah I agree that's crap advice.

I agree that a podiatrist might be the best bet. Even someone who is inexperienced in skating could potentially detect a problem, though if you leave them with nothing, it would be time to look for one experienced in skating. If you can't find a podiatrist experienced in skating, a physical therapist will do. My guess is it's a hip issue if it's not just coming from her feet.

Too stiff boots will no doubts make this worse. What boot is she in? And moving the blade is probably not a helpful solution here. Have they tried tilting it?

Quick questions: Does it cause her pain or is it painless? Does she have fallen arches?

No idea about the arches, but I don't think she does.
I don't think she's in pain at all (other than the whole rubbed ankle thing when she tried the gel cushion under her heel for correction). She just can't stop pronating, which makes learning to skate anything that relies heavily on the right foot, like backspin and loop, really hard for her. She can start backspin, but then falls out of it after 1 or 2 rev and that's gotta be the foot pronating and knocking her off the right spot. Same with loop. Sometimes it happens, but most of the time I think her foot pronates to the wrong place and she can't do it.
She's been working on it for years at this point, so it's not a "oh just give it more time and practice" scenario.

When she was in LTS, she was in Jackson beginner boots. Then she moved to Edea Overture. Then she let a skate fitter talk her into buying Edea Concerto because of her pronation issue (skate fitter claimed stiffer boot would fix it) and because her Overture was breaking down on the right foot much more quickly than the left foot because of her pronation issue. She learned she doesn't have enough strength to make Concerto work for her, even after doing many squats in them to try to break them in more. I'm not surprised by that, since she doesn't even have a proper loop and is only doing very "gentle" waltz jumps, toe loops, and salchows. She doesn't take off from those jumps with more "grit" and strength like I do. I'm always trying to go for more height, since I want to turn them into doubles one day. She just wants everything to look delicate and pretty. :)

She stopped tying the Concerto all the way to the top, to deal with the fact she couldn't bend in them. And I was like: "This is insane. Sell those skates and go back to Overture and go see a podiatrist. Stop letting these skate fitters talk you into crazy stuff."
With the "gentle" way she skates, I think even Chorus would probably be too stiff for her. It sucks her right foot Overture breaks down so fast because of the pronation, but being able to bend in your skates is rather critical.

Tilting the blade? Is that where you put a wedge in on the bottom of the skate? I don't know if our skate sharpener would know how to do something like that. That sounds more like something a podiatrist would have to get involved in? Our skate sharpener knows how to mount blades, so it was easy for him to move the blade all the way over for her.
 

Keviardi

Spectator
Joined
Nov 8, 2021
I feel so much confidence I can help you with this in some capacity! I have a very bad pronated left foot, but was corrected with a lot of research, trial and error, and lastly by Patti.


Located in Houston, she is a figure skater and a certified orthotist, which I have spent years trying to find someone that knew both. Patti also pronated heavily. She understands and has gone through her years with this.

She has skaters and national skaters all over the country fly to her to go see her. I have nothing but good words for Patti. She cares more about your feet than your wallet. I can promise you that.

Please make a call to her. You will not regret it. Let her know Kevin from Dallas sent you. My initial boot fitting with her lasted 4 hours. She was very attentive.

If you have questions I can answer as well. I am wearing Aura skates (complete custom) and they do help a lot. There is a custom orthotic in there made by Patti as well. Blade did need to be aligned, and wedged. There are multiple steps in correcting the pronation, but it can be achieved.

I have also helped many people with their skates as I'm a boot fitter myself. It's true a lot of boot fitters just fit boots, which isn't bad but that's what they do best. But I always look at the feet to give them the best options for what they need, simply because I understand how important a foot alignment needs to be in the skate, which many skaters don't consider.

If you happen to send me pictures, or a video call, I can help the best I can as well, with confidence! I just need to see the feet with and without skates on!

Please let me know how I can help. And please give Patti a call. She's located in Houston, Texas , but a phone call doesn't hurt.
 
Last edited:

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
I feel so much confidence I can help you with this in some capacity! I have a very bad pronated left foot, but was corrected with a lot of research, trial and error, and lastly by Patti.


Located in Houston, she is a figure skater and a certified orthotist, which I have spent years trying to find someone that knew both. Patti also pronated heavily. She understands and has gone through her years with this.

She has skaters and national skaters all over the country fly to her to go see her. I have nothing but good words for Patti. She cares more about your feet than your wallet. I can promise you that.

Please make a call to her. You will not regret it. Let her know Kevin from Dallas sent you. My initial boot fitting with her lasted 4 hours. She was very attentive.

If you have questions I can answer as well. I am wearing Aura skates (complete custom) and they do help a lot. There is a custom orthotic in there made by Patti as well. Blade did need to be aligned, and wedged. There are multiple steps in correcting the pronation, but it can be achieved.

I have also helped many people with their skates as I'm a boot fitter myself. It's true a lot of boot fitters just fit boots, which isn't bad but that's what they do best. But I always look at the feet to give them the best options for what they need, simply because I understand how important a foot alignment needs to be in the skate, which many skaters don't consider.

If you happen to send me pictures, or a video call, I can help the best I can as well, with confidence! I just need to see the feet with and without skates on!

Please let me know how I can help. And please give Patti a call. She's located in Houston, Texas , but a phone call doesn't hurt.

Thanks! I’ll pass this info on.
I think Skate Magazine actually interviewed her in the previous month edition. I remember reading that article and pointing it out to my friend as proof that some people have knowledge on how to fix pronation issues.
 

Keviardi

Spectator
Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Yes, that's her in the magazine!

Let me tell you, she has the heart to take her time with people, and will go with their needs. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about her. I've spent years and all the line of Edea skates all the way up to piano, and have gone through Risport, Jackson's, SP Teri's, and it was so worth it to have met her! All I had to pay her was for the skates and custom inserts. I went home with even more knowledge than ever as well. Couldn't be happier.
 

Sunshine247

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
I can also recommend Patti in Houston. She sent some custom insoles for my skater after doing a video analysis. Those helped a ton! I’m super close to flying down for a total experience of fitting but my DDs local fitter is really good so I’m on the fence.

We’ve deduced that my skater has hyper mobility in her ankles so she needs insoles plus some exercise. She also breaks down her boots and warps them to the side so ugh. Lots of TLC for those. Hopefully these new boots will last a bit longer. 🤞🏼
 
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