Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wiggle room and misc.reports from the ice.

When I last checked in, I was moaning about how my laces go slack after 30 minutes or less of ice time.  At that point I tried waxing the laces to see if they'd hold better.  The short answer is "No", at least the way I did it--dragging the laces around the stump of a Christmas candle several times.  That didn't do diddly squat.  Additionally I've tried replacing the stock Jackson insoles with yellow Super Feet brand insoles; I've swapped out the stock Jackson laces for Riedell laces; I've tried different socks and combinations of socks; I've had the boots remolded; tried different lacing techniques; tried skating with and without the silipos gel tubes I usually wear to prevent ankle chaff.  I may have done other stuff but with so many variables I've probably forgotten some.  The bottom line is that I still have to come off the ice after skating briefly and adjust the tension of the laces.

Super Feet insoles.  Did they make a difference?  Maybe a small improvement, or maybe it's just wishful thinking after spending money.  At any rate Super Feet didn't entirely fix the problem.

Now, while I was trying different socks and combinations of single vs double socks I realized how limited the choices are for male skaters in a sport which is top heavy with female participation.  Women figure skaters have a number of options from which to choose--tights, trouser socks, knee socks, short socks etc. of varying thickness, materials and texture.  Men on the other hand do not have that range of foot coverings to pick from.  Even thin dress socks are too thick and squishy and also tend to roll up the malleolar ankle sleeves which I put on before socks.  While sorting through my alternatives during the loose lace trouble-shooting period I noticed my wife's thin trouser socks and stole a pair.  They worked so well going over the silipos malleolar ankle sleeves that I had diaristwoman go and buy me several pairs of my own.  I've since been told that many male skaters raid their wives hosiery department to obtain skate appropriate sockage!  When getting my boots remolded I wore a pair of these without the maleolar sleeves to get the tightest fit possible.

I wonder what all the other manly men are wearing this season?  Diaristwoman says she's good with this as long as my adoption of women's underwear begins and ends with trouser socks.

So where does this leave me?  I've become resigned to my fate and I simply need to be disciplined to show up at the rink early enough to put on the skates, do squats and stomp around in them for 15 minutes and then untie/retie the laces once more before stepping out on the ice.  I suspect that my feet warm up the boots which causes them to expand and in turn that stretches the laces to the point where I'm aware of a sloppy fit and reduced "blade feel". After the second session of tugging on the laces I always have more lace to deal with after tying the bow knots so I know it's not my imagination. 

Final thought:  I think when I go to buy the next pair of boots I'm going to insist that the boots are sized to my left (smaller) foot, with the notion that if that size pinches my right foot then I can have the right boot stretched.  It's probably easier to stretch a tight boot than it is to get a loose one to behave.

1 comment:

  1. Now I know exactly what you mean when you say that your skates come loose...I realized I have pretty much the same problem. I always have to ite my skates twice. What I do is I put them on, tie them as tight as I can manage and then do something innocuous like go fill up my water bottle. I then untie and re tie them again and I always have a bit more lace left over the second time. Once I do this though, the skates are tight enough for the whole (2 hour) session.