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Do skates stiffen?

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04-17-2013, 12:14 PM
  #1
Tawnos
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Do skates stiffen?

I'm about to start playing roller again for the first time in about 3 years. I pulled out my skates, which are probably 10 years old, and found them more difficult to put on my feet than they were 3 years ago. I haven't grown in that time. Is it possible that the upper part of the boot stiffened somehow? Or is it just that my feet/ankles aren't as flexible as they once were? If the boot stiffened, how do I remedy that?

Edit: I just realized this should be in the skates thread. Mods, feel free to move it if you want


Last edited by Tawnos: 04-17-2013 at 12:42 PM.
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04-17-2013, 12:57 PM
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cptjeff
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No. Skates break down and soften with time, they certainly do with use. Either your memories or your muscles have changed.

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04-17-2013, 01:04 PM
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Tawnos
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Makes sense that it would be the muscles then. When I said I'm about to play roller again, it's been even longer since I was out on the ice. Last night was the first time I put on any pair of skates in the last 3 years.

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04-17-2013, 01:19 PM
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You'll probably wanna get a new pair of skates.

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04-17-2013, 01:23 PM
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cptjeff
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Eh, I would stick with the old ones for now. If and when OP really gets back into it again, he should buy new ones, but my philosophy is to not shell out money until you're sure.

Oh, and good luck OP in getting back into it. There's some decent ice in Charlotte too if you want to go all the way.

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04-17-2013, 01:24 PM
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Tawnos
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Flowzie: The thought had crossed my mind too, but could you expand on that? Those skates are in pretty good shape other than the struggle to put them on and they feel fine once I do finally get then on.

Kirk: the cost is definitely a factor. I don't believe there's a summer league here, but there is a fall league. So I'll be playing open hockey until then. I can make a decision on new skates before then. Thanks for the well wishes. I might get back into ice, but that would require more pads then I currently have.

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04-17-2013, 01:48 PM
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I don't have a definitive answer to your question, but I have noticed a similar phenomenon in my Kor Shift2 which I'm skating on over the past few weeks after almost two years off the ice.

Maybe my feet have changed slightly, maybe the skates are breaking in more (they didn't get much use before i was taken out of the game by life circumstances for a while) and opening up, but to me they do feel stiffer and harder to put on than they used to, and they don't hug my feet the way they did in the time right after I baked them - especially on my right foot for whatever reason. (My right and left feet are characteristically fairly different form each other - right foot slightly smaller with higher arch and wider at its widest than the left)

I will say that in my case, they also are less comfortable to skate in than the first few times I skated on them back in 2011. I'm now moving to Shift1's a half-size down, which have much more of a glove-like fit and have a great deal less negative space in them.

I can only assume that my feet have changed in some way - that seems more likely than the skates morphing while not in use. Don't be too sure that your feet haven't undergone slow change.

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04-17-2013, 03:55 PM
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AIREAYE
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But that could be due to the drying out of the material, the cold, or the crystallization of any minerals in the moisture that went in them. Material currently used in skates do not 'refresh' or 'heal' themselves so there is no way that a skate worn for a year, and left unworn for another year will return to its original stiffness level. It's all perception.

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04-17-2013, 04:09 PM
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Tawnos
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Mine spent some time in storage and also made two moves between pretty different climates in those 3 years. They could've dried out during the time I spent in Nashville. If there was some crystallization (which, as a geologist, makes perfect sense to me) going on in the upper boot, will it just take a kinda "re-break" period? I get that you're saying it will never go back to exactly how it was, but will it change again?

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04-17-2013, 04:59 PM
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AIREAYE
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I'm not sure, I suppose that a skate under different environmental conditions will react differently. If other materials (macroscopically, like stitched on leather stiffeners or chemically) were added, you could 're stiffen the skate per se, but through artificial/superficial ways. People used to stitch on leather stiffeners on old skate boots; common practise.

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