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12-21-2012, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
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I'll go into more detail later, but:

- Re: the thicker socks comment, this will only help if you have loose, poorly fitting skates. If you have skates that fit properly (and it sounds like the OP's skates fit reasonably well), then thick socks are not necessary or even a hindrance. This is something that little kids do when their parents purposefully buy skates that are too large for them, so they can grow into them. It's not something you should do as a fully grown adult, you should just buy skates that fit properly

- Re: the U+ CLs, they're excellent skates. If they fit you properly, you really should not worry about them at all

- Re: ankle support in general, as long as your heel is locked down, that's really all that matters. You want to be able to flex your ankles both forwards and side to side. You actually need to be able to bend your ankles side to side to skate at a high level, it's what allows you to be a really agile, mobile skater, as opposed to a stiff skater. For example watch Subban's ankles here:

When I stand in my skates, I can easily flop my ankles from side to side, and they fit more or less perfectly. This is the case with all skates, they're designed that way on purpose. It's definitely you who keeps the ankle straight, not the skates. Again, this is something that will simply come with time. If your skates fit reasonably well, and you don't have serious pronation issues with your feet in general (i.e. while running, not just while skating), then any ankle bending issues are purely related to technique. Again, this is an incredibly common problem with new skaters, their ankles bend and flop all over the place, but with time and practice you learn to control them without even thinking. To further nail this idea home, just look at speed skating skates:

These guys skate great with literally zero support above the ankle. Skates are meant to be very snug below the ankle, but to allow for mobility above the ankle, they aren't meant to fit like ski boots.

Taping your ankles is a crutch, it might help with ankle stability at first, but it cuts down on much needed mobility, ultimately you want to be able to skate (and stop) with your ankles untaped. The odd pros tape their ankles, but they don't do it for support, they do it for extra power. They have super strong legs, and they'll tape the tendon guard to the front of their shin pads to force the whole boot to flex when they bend forwards at the ankles. For almost all skaters this tape job would make us very stiff, awkward, inflexible skaters who wouldn't be able to get a nice forward ankle bend, but for the odd super powerful pro skaters who use this technique, they're so strong that they can easily flex at the ankle anyways. The point is that this is an advanced technique for super strong skaters, not something that newer skaters should try.

Last edited by ponder: 12-21-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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