Ice skate fitting help
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12-26-2011, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
My first piece of advice would be to try on every make and model of skate you can get your hands on at a store before buying. Women's feet are built differently than men's feet, typically with much narrower heels and low ankles but a wider (and lower) calf. You want to walk around in the skates in the store if possible to see if they give you enough support in the top. My guess is that you're wearing a model that's relatively straight back to front rather than tapering in at the heel like most women need.
Tight lacing, especially as a beginner, can also help. As your ankles and legs get stronger, you should be able to loosen the top, but a stop gap is to lace the final 2-3 eyelets as tight as you can without cutting off circulation. If the boot is cheap or it's way too big in the heel, this won't fix everything, but if it's all about ankle strength, it will give you a good starting point. Ankles should have room once you know what you're doing, but when you're just starting, you don't have the muscle memory or strength to do the super loose thing.
It took me forever to find skates (I have the opposite problem from you - I have wide front feet but a narrow heel - I measured a 5.5 EE in some brands but wear a 6D in others while wearing a 8.5/9 regular width women's shoe), but it made a huge difference to things like stopping. I highly, highly advocate making use of a good local skate shop because there's really no other way to find out what works for your foot.
ETA: The other thing I do is retighten my top 2-3 laces on each skate after taking 1-2 laps around my end in warm ups. Lacing them while sitting is a good start, but your foot will shift a little in the boot through walking, standing and skating, and I can usually get it tighter without cutting off circulation once I've moved around in it a bit. Wax laces shouldn't come loose if you tie them well enough, so I suspect your feet are shifting once you get up and they weren't as tight as you meant them to be.
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