Upgrade to new boots / blades for overworked ballet feet - adult skater | Page 3 | Golden Skate

Upgrade to new boots / blades for overworked ballet feet - adult skater

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
thank you :) I'm excited to try...I was going to head into the rink today to take my weekly class but something came up so I had to skip tonight, sadly. I'll try to head to a public session soon....my skates feel wonderful. The bunga pads are awesome too...I just thought for that price point, I should have skates I could lace right on up but happy to get any help so I can skate better!
Just a note in case you don't know, do not lace all the way up to the top at first while they are breaking in. ;)
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
I've been breaking in my SP-Teri skates - and I have incredible foot arch pain. I've gone to see George three times (which is quite challenging given he's about an hour drive away) ...and it seems like I've stumped him as to why my toes seem to be gripping the soles of my skates when I am on the rink.

My heel feels a bit too low? Does that even make any sense? I feel that when I'm distributing my weight across the blade evenly - I'm way too back on my heels so I can feel my toes gripping to counter balance. My skating instructor has informed me that if I'm not skating "properly" - my weight it way too forward on the metatarsals of my feet so she keeps on asking me to distribute my weight more to the middle / back of my feet so I'm not skating so much near my toe pick.

George at SP Teri has put a tiny bit of arch support underneath the insoles but I don't think it's nearly enough. He's recommending maybe we consider raising the heel a bit more as a next step, if my foot arch pain continues.

The arch pain seems to be along the bottom of my arch - from the toe gripping. My arch doesn't seem very supported either - I have flexible arches that go completely flat when I stand and skate so I could use some arch support. The custom insoles I was given - supposedly custom even though I never got "fitted" for my insoles - feel nearly completely flat to me on the ice.

I don't think it's a foot problem that I need to go see a podiatrist for, and I thought I already had strong feet due to ballet, so this is all very curious to me. My sense is telling me this is a skate fit issue - any suggestions / thoughts would be welcome! Frustrating as I'd wanted to be skating and working on my skills right now but instead, I find myself debilitated by foot cramps 10 minutes into the lessons so I have to sit out on the side for a few minutes for the cramp to subside...
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
I've been breaking in my SP-Teri skates - and I have incredible foot arch pain. I've gone to see George three times (which is quite challenging given he's about an hour drive away) ...and it seems like I've stumped him as to why my toes seem to be gripping the soles of my skates when I am on the rink.

My heel feels a bit too low? Does that even make any sense? I feel that when I'm distributing my weight across the blade evenly - I'm way too back on my heels so I can feel my toes gripping to counter balance. My skating instructor has informed me that if I'm not skating "properly" - my weight it way too forward on the metatarsals of my feet so she keeps on asking me to distribute my weight more to the middle / back of my feet so I'm not skating so much near my toe pick.

George at SP Teri has put a tiny bit of arch support underneath the insoles but I don't think it's nearly enough. He's recommending maybe we consider raising the heel a bit more as a next step, if my foot arch pain continues.

The arch pain seems to be along the bottom of my arch - from the toe gripping. My arch doesn't seem very supported either - I have flexible arches that go completely flat when I stand and skate so I could use some arch support. The custom insoles I was given - supposedly custom even though I never got "fitted" for my insoles - feel nearly completely flat to me on the ice.

I don't think it's a foot problem that I need to go see a podiatrist for, and I thought I already had strong feet due to ballet, so this is all very curious to me. My sense is telling me this is a skate fit issue - any suggestions / thoughts would be welcome! Frustrating as I'd wanted to be skating and working on my skills right now but instead, I find myself debilitated by foot cramps 10 minutes into the lessons so I have to sit out on the side for a few minutes for the cramp to subside...
There could be a few different things going on here: One is that you have to get used to using your feet differently for skating than you do ballet. It's going to be something hard to get used to. The second is that you aren't meant for SP Teri and the boot is causing your foot issues.
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
I've been breaking in my SP-Teri skates - and I have incredible foot arch pain. I've gone to see George three times (which is quite challenging given he's about an hour drive away) ...and it seems like I've stumped him as to why my toes seem to be gripping the soles of my skates when I am on the rink.

My heel feels a bit too low? Does that even make any sense? I feel that when I'm distributing my weight across the blade evenly - I'm way too back on my heels so I can feel my toes gripping to counter balance. My skating instructor has informed me that if I'm not skating "properly" - my weight it way too forward on the metatarsals of my feet so she keeps on asking me to distribute my weight more to the middle / back of my feet so I'm not skating so much near my toe pick.

George at SP Teri has put a tiny bit of arch support underneath the insoles but I don't think it's nearly enough. He's recommending maybe we consider raising the heel a bit more as a next step, if my foot arch pain continues.

The arch pain seems to be along the bottom of my arch - from the toe gripping. My arch doesn't seem very supported either - I have flexible arches that go completely flat when I stand and skate so I could use some arch support. The custom insoles I was given - supposedly custom even though I never got "fitted" for my insoles - feel nearly completely flat to me on the ice.

I don't think it's a foot problem that I need to go see a podiatrist for, and I thought I already had strong feet due to ballet, so this is all very curious to me. My sense is telling me this is a skate fit issue - any suggestions / thoughts would be welcome! Frustrating as I'd wanted to be skating and working on my skills right now but instead, I find myself debilitated by foot cramps 10 minutes into the lessons so I have to sit out on the side for a few minutes for the cramp to subside...
Oh, that's not good. I hope you can find a solution, but I'd suggest a visit to your podiatrist anyway, bring your boots with you. It sounds familiar to something my skater's coach worked with her on, distributing her weight along the blade. This was her first coach, awhile ago, so it's a bit foggy.

I hope it works out.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
Aw shucks...thank you @Sibelius @Ic3Rabbit for your thoughts. This doesn't sound good, I agree....

I'll skate a bit more on my SP-Teri skates and see if I can adjust my weight distribution on the blade. I've also purchased superfeet insoles plus stick on arch supports and a slight heel lift to see if any of those things will make a difference. Just trying everything here...

I need to find a better podiatrist. The one I recently went to - wanted me to immediately stop ballet because he swore I wasn't going to be able to walk in a few years. His main patient population is over 70+ yrs old and he didn't really see athletic patients. I'll do some research into finding one that treats - ideally skaters. as always, I appreciate your help / insight!
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Aw shucks...thank you @Sibelius @Ic3Rabbit for your thoughts. This doesn't sound good, I agree....

I'll skate a bit more on my SP-Teri skates and see if I can adjust my weight distribution on the blade. I've also purchased superfeet insoles plus stick on arch supports and a slight heel lift to see if any of those things will make a difference. Just trying everything here...

I need to find a better podiatrist. The one I recently went to - wanted me to immediately stop ballet because he swore I wasn't going to be able to walk in a few years. His main patient population is over 70+ yrs old and he didn't really see athletic patients. I'll do some research into finding one that treats - ideally skaters. as always, I appreciate your help / insight!
No help with one that treats skaters, but I did get a recommendation (by the ballet school principal and H&W coordinator) for mine awhile ago for a Podiatrist if you're looking for someone with more experience with dancers feet. They are on the other side of the bay from you though. Dr. Lawrence Oloff (dancers) or Dr. Amol Saxema (athletes). We ended up seeing a different one for her Sever's disease because of timing.

I would heartily suggest asking some of the OIC coaches for a Podiatrist recommendation for skaters. Try Michelle Hong or Laura Lipetsky. Who is your skating instructor?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
No help with one that treats skaters, but I did get a recommendation (by the ballet school principal and H&W coordinator) for mine awhile ago for a Podiatrist if you're looking for someone with more experience with dancers feet. They are on the other side of the bay from you though. Dr. Lawrence Oloff (dancers) or Dr. Amol Saxema (athletes). We ended up seeing a different one for her Sever's disease because of timing.

I would heartily suggest asking some of the OIC coaches for a Podiatrist recommendation for skaters. Try Michelle Hong or Laura Lipetsky. Who is your skating instructor?
Wendy Sylvia is one of my instructors in the LTS intermediate program, I can ask her. I can also DM Michelle Hong on Instagram - she's gotten super popular these days so I'm not sure if she'll respond! I've had really good experience at ST. Francis dance medicine group in San Francisco but parking is a nightmare and the location isn't exactly a convenient area - not to mention that St. Francis charges an additional $150+ "facilities fee" on top of the physician co-pay.

Doing a quick search, there seems to be lots of "sports medicine" podiatrists in the east bay - I wonder how they might react if I brought my ice skates with me to my appointment?? It can't be something they see very often....
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Wendy Sylvia is one of my instructors in the LTS intermediate program, I can ask her. I can also DM Michelle Hong on Instagram - she's gotten super popular these days so I'm not sure if she'll respond! I've had really good experience at ST. Francis dance medicine group in San Francisco but parking is a nightmare and the location isn't exactly a convenient area - not to mention that St. Francis charges an additional $150+ "facilities fee" on top of the physician co-pay.

Doing a quick search, there seems to be lots of "sports medicine" podiatrists in the east bay - I wonder how they might react if I brought my ice skates with me to my appointment?? It can't be something they see very often....
St. Francis charges an additional $150+ "facilities fee" on top of the physician co-pay.

What? Oh my. I won't complain anymore.

I don't think any competent Dr. wouldn't think twice if you brought your skates with you. They're just bulky shoes right, and that's their job, making your feet work properly.

I don't know Wendy, I know a bit about some of the others (Michael Chack, Kristen Mita and Billy Kheir, if he's still there). We'll be up there for St. Moritz in September! Mine likes the macaroni and cheese at the snack bar. Parking there is always fun too, unless your event is early.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
St. Francis charges an additional $150+ "facilities fee" on top of the physician co-pay.

What? Oh my. I won't complain anymore.

I don't think any competent Dr. wouldn't think twice if you brought your skates with you. They're just bulky shoes right, and that's their job, making your feet work properly.

I don't know Wendy, I know a bit about some of the others (Michael Chack, Kristen Mita and Billy Kheir, if he's still there). We'll be up there for St. Moritz in September! Mine likes the macaroni and cheese at the snack bar. Parking there is always fun too, unless your event is early.
When I try on the skates in front of George or Aaron - the skates feel fine. It's only when I'm on the ice - I feel myself more on my metatarsals and pitched forward and my toe pick scrapes the ice more than they should. When I try to bring my weight back near my heels more - my toes grip for dear life onto the soles of my skates. My instructors keep on telling me to bring my weight closer to my heels more and to bend my knees more - and when I do - my toes grip and try to counterbalance. It feels like such a weird thing that's happening...I mean, the slight lift in the heel on my boots should keep me from feeling like i'm going to fall backward.

Is it the Coronation Ace blades? I'm not used to these "nice" blades - my old skates didn't have any rocker to them...the blade sharpening on my older blades were pretty much wore them down so my rocker was nonexistent. Could it be that I'm not used to the CA rocker?

Re: Parking at Oakland Ice....errr yes. Stay safe - not the best neighborhood. I'll have to check out the mac & cheese someday :) I didn't even realize there was a snack bar!
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Firstly, you absolutely must take your skates with you when you see a podiatrist. Otherwise they really have no clue how to treat you if they can't see what they're working with/against. I always took mine when I needed support for my arches and the orthotics worked like magic, although my pain started in my arch and moved up through my ankle and knee to the hip. I suspect you probably do need more support under your arches than you currently have.

One problem I've to be quite common with beginner skaters is that they literally grip the sole of the boot with their toes for dear life. It's very rarely a boot fitting problem (provided they've been fitted properly, which you have) and very often a mind thing. Ice is slippery. Very, very slippery. In a completely different way to a floor - even in brand new, non-darned, non-resined pointe shoes! I have to say that I agree with the advice of your coach to work more on getting your weight over the right part of your blade, which very definitely involves a lot of knee bend and no clenching those toes.

As a starter exercise, stand on the ice with your feet parallel and arms out to the sides at hip or waist height for balance. Bend your knees, making sure to keep your head over your hips and your hips aligned over the middle of your feet and blade and very consciously relax your toes. If you are correctly positioned, you will glide forward without moving your feet at all. That is the right position for skating. It's also what we call the "hidden push" and while it seems a bit like magic at this stage, it's incredibly useful as you progress to build power and speed. But without that proper positioning, you're going to struggle with everything.

So, seek some better orthotics, try that exercise and consciously relax your toes as you skate. Good luck!
 

marcopolobear

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Country
Canada
Hi,

How is the fit in the forefoot region? Can the forefoot move up and down significantly? To me is sounds like you have too much room there and are trying to keep your foot steady by gripping your toes. Just a thought that came to me. Wanting the heel raised could also mean you have too much room over the arch too and want to take up that space by raising the heel. Again just a thought as it sounds like you have low profile feet.

How is the flex on the Teri's? New boots can push your weight back until your get them flexing well and so can upset your balance. Lot of forward stroking trying to keep a low position with both knee and ankle flex, and doing swizzles a lot can help break them in. Doing rocking horses can help you learn the balance of your new boots and how to keep your weight on the full length of the blade (instead of just over the toes if that is what is happening). Elementary stuff but it can help with new boots.

M
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
Firstly, you absolutely must take your skates with you when you see a podiatrist. Otherwise they really have no clue how to treat you if they can't see what they're working with/against. I always took mine when I needed support for my arches and the orthotics worked like magic, although my pain started in my arch and moved up through my ankle and knee to the hip. I suspect you probably do need more support under your arches than you currently have.

One problem I've to be quite common with beginner skaters is that they literally grip the sole of the boot with their toes for dear life. It's very rarely a boot fitting problem (provided they've been fitted properly, which you have) and very often a mind thing. Ice is slippery. Very, very slippery. In a completely different way to a floor - even in brand new, non-darned, non-resined pointe shoes! I have to say that I agree with the advice of your coach to work more on getting your weight over the right part of your blade, which very definitely involves a lot of knee bend and no clenching those toes.

As a starter exercise, stand on the ice with your feet parallel and arms out to the sides at hip or waist height for balance. Bend your knees, making sure to keep your head over your hips and your hips aligned over the middle of your feet and blade and very consciously relax your toes. If you are correctly positioned, you will glide forward without moving your feet at all. That is the right position for skating. It's also what we call the "hidden push" and while it seems a bit like magic at this stage, it's incredibly useful as you progress to build power and speed. But without that proper positioning, you're going to struggle with everything.

So, seek some better orthotics, try that exercise and consciously relax your toes as you skate. Good luck!
This is super helpful @WednesdayMarch - which is super encouraging actually. Means my $800 investment isn't completely down the drain! Will a podiatrist help with orthotics for skates? I understood from George that only SP Teri insoles are "really" good for their skates and from my experience, customized orthotics from a podiatrist tend to be super thick soles. .... I'm willing to try the Superfeet carbon pro / hockey insoles too since they have such good reviews from skaters. I might go to a public session today to practice the exercise on balancing my weight correctly over my feet. With my ballet training, my weight keeps on wanting naturally to go over my metatarsals - it's very strange to adjust to put my weight over the middle of my feet. I really want to learn fast but in this case, I'm going to have to learn to go slow (it's very anti- my natural personality :D)

Thank you!!!
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
This is super helpful @WednesdayMarch - which is super encouraging actually. Means my $800 investment isn't completely down the drain! Will a podiatrist help with orthotics for skates? I understood from George that only SP Teri insoles are "really" good for their skates and from my experience, customized orthotics from a podiatrist tend to be super thick soles. .... I'm willing to try the Superfeet carbon pro / hockey insoles too since they have such good reviews from skaters. I might go to a public session today to practice the exercise on balancing my weight correctly over my feet. With my ballet training, my weight keeps on wanting naturally to go over my metatarsals - it's very strange to adjust to put my weight over the middle of my feet. I really want to learn fast but in this case, I'm going to have to learn to go slow (it's very anti- my natural personality :D)

Thank you!!!
You can see a podiatrist and take your skates with you, and they should be able to help you with orthotics. Now, I will say, I always saw my Orthopedist for my skate injuries as well as he took care of my orthotics for my skate boots. So, there's an option there.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
Hi,

How is the fit in the forefoot region? Can the forefoot move up and down significantly? To me is sounds like you have too much room there and are trying to keep your foot steady by gripping your toes. Just a thought that came to me. Wanting the heel raised could also mean you have too much room over the arch too and want to take up that space by raising the heel. Again just a thought as it sounds like you have low profile feet.

How is the flex on the Teri's? New boots can push your weight back until your get them flexing well and so can upset your balance. Lot of forward stroking trying to keep a low position with both knee and ankle flex, and doing swizzles a lot can help break them in. Doing rocking horses can help you learn the balance of your new boots and how to keep your weight on the full length of the blade (instead of just over the toes if that is what is happening). Elementary stuff but it can help with new boots.

M
Hi @marcopolobear The space next to my metatarsals / forefeet are pretty tight (I had to punch out the areas next to my pinky toe and below my pinky toe more on the side of my foot) but there is a little bit of space right above my toes in the toe box, if you will. I definitely have low profile feet. I was even thinking of putting some of my gel pads from my pointe shoes to fill in the area above my toes?

The flex isn't too bad - I'm able to bend my knees pretty easily. I'm just way off balance usually - I think it's a problem with my weight distribution vs the flex in my boots...

I'm looking up rocking horses now...:) Thanks for the advice
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
You can see a podiatrist and take your skates with you, and they should be able to help you with orthotics. Now, I will say, I always saw my Orthopedist for my skate injuries as well as he took care of my orthotics for my skate boots. So, there's an option there.

Good to know @Ic3Rabbit - my feet are so weird - very flexible and collapsible - orthopedists in my experience have had no clue what to do with my feet. When they suggest an MRI to see if there's a tumor - I run away and don't look back :)
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Good to know @Ic3Rabbit - my feet are so weird - very flexible and collapsible - orthopedists in my experience have had no clue what to do with my feet. When they suggest an MRI to see if there's a tumor - I run away and don't look back :)
The podiatrists were always the clueless ones in my own experience, and didn't want to deal with skater feet and ankle injuries and issues from living in skate boots.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I think I got really lucky when I had incredible foot pain that then spread all the way up to my hip. I left my part-time office job one afternoon and literally hobbled across the park to the local branch of Scholl (back when they had branches and dealt with all manner of foot problems, not just retail sales of foot products). I was adamant I'd just walk out if the person I saw just told me that I had "fallen arches" and needed arch supports.

Well, the person I saw did exactly that, but also explained quite a lot about why I had fallen arches and why I wasn't wearing the best footwear to support my feet outside the time I was wearing my "little concrete foot coffins"! A lot of advice and a pair of very strong, stainless steel (seriously!) arch supports, covered by a half insole (back half) of leather were fitted into my skating boots on top of the normal SP-Teri footbed. We decided that whilst the plastic supports felt fine, I'd break them in hours and I really didn't want - or have room for - a lot of padding under foot. So I walked out of that shop without the crippling pain I'd limped in with, and I went back every couple of weeks or so to have the steel adjusted because I'd flattened it. I dearly wish I could find those insoles now! I'm using little leather covered arch supports instead, and they work but those 3/4 insoles really were the business. And yes, I took my skating boots in every time I went to have the supports adjusted. Every single time. There really is little point going without them.

But I still think the thing @Adultballerinaskater needs most is to work on the correct alignment over the blade and relaxing those poor tense toes!
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
I think I got really lucky when I had incredible foot pain that then spread all the way up to my hip. I left my part-time office job one afternoon and literally hobbled across the park to the local branch of Scholl (back when they had branches and dealt with all manner of foot problems, not just retail sales of foot products). I was adamant I'd just walk out if the person I saw just told me that I had "fallen arches" and needed arch supports.

Well, the person I saw did exactly that, but also explained quite a lot about why I had fallen arches and why I wasn't wearing the best footwear to support my feet outside the time I was wearing my "little concrete foot coffins"! A lot of advice and a pair of very strong, stainless steel (seriously!) arch supports, covered by a half insole (back half) of leather were fitted into my skating boots on top of the normal SP-Teri footbed. We decided that whilst the plastic supports felt fine, I'd break them in hours and I really didn't want - or have room for - a lot of padding under foot. So I walked out of that shop without the crippling pain I'd limped in with, and I went back every couple of weeks or so to have the steel adjusted because I'd flattened it. I dearly wish I could find those insoles now! I'm using little leather covered arch supports instead, and they work but those 3/4 insoles really were the business. And yes, I took my skating boots in every time I went to have the supports adjusted. Every single time. There really is little point going without them.

But I still think the thing @Adultballerinaskater needs most is to work on the correct alignment over the blade and relaxing those poor tense toes!
Wow - this is an incredible experience you've had! I have had luck in the past with plastic arch supports in my regular shoes (I can't imagine flattening out steel arch supports!) and I've been chatting with a podiatrist friend (not local unfortunately) who also told me that if I don't have the proper arch support, my body weight will be automatically pushed backward towards my heels. So in order to compensate, I pitch forward. When I try to adjust my body weight like my instructors tell me - my body weight is too far backward and I compensate by gripping my toes.

It's becoming clear that 1) it is possible to put adjustments to either replace my SP-Teri insoles or to add to it (George really didn't want me to mess with the insoles saying the entire skate fit be thrown off) and I need an athletic feet specialist to help.

Like you said previously @WednesdayMarch - I'm beginning to feel like I need more arch support in my skates. My body weight just doesn't feel right when I adjust my weight per my skating instructor's directions, it feels like a mechanical foot thing. My Superfeet insoles arrive today so I'll try those and I'm looking to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist, hopefully sometime this week. Thank you for your perspective / insight! Sometimes I wonder if skating is worth all this effort / pain....I think that about ballet sometimes too but what can I say? I love it too much to quit....
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Wow - this is an incredible experience you've had! I have had luck in the past with plastic arch supports in my regular shoes (I can't imagine flattening out steel arch supports!) and I've been chatting with a podiatrist friend (not local unfortunately) who also told me that if I don't have the proper arch support, my body weight will be automatically pushed backward towards my heels. So in order to compensate, I pitch forward. When I try to adjust my body weight like my instructors tell me - my body weight is too far backward and I compensate by gripping my toes.

It's becoming clear that 1) it is possible to put adjustments to either replace my SP-Teri insoles or to add to it (George really didn't want me to mess with the insoles saying the entire skate fit be thrown off) and I need an athletic feet specialist to help.

Like you said previously @WednesdayMarch - I'm beginning to feel like I need more arch support in my skates. My body weight just doesn't feel right when I adjust my weight per my skating instructor's directions, it feels like a mechanical foot thing. My Superfeet insoles arrive today so I'll try those and I'm looking to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist, hopefully sometime this week. Thank you for your perspective / insight! Sometimes I wonder if skating is worth all this effort / pain....I think that about ballet sometimes too but what can I say? I love it too much to quit....
Bear in mind I was flattening those steel arch supports when I was jumping... :wink:
 
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