The Skate Boot
To kick off our “Skates: Your Most Important Piece of Hockey Equipment” series, Laura Stamm of Laura Stamm Power Skating explains the importance of good boots in preventing ankle pain, ensuring good skating form and protecting feet from sticks and pucks. (Hint: This fancy boot shown will not work!) The quality, fit, manner of lacing, sharpening and maintenance of your skates will affect performance. A cheap pair of skates is a bad investment. When it comes to the boot:
- To skate well, hockey players must have well-constructed boots that fit properly with blades made of well-tempered steel, properly sharpened.
- The skate boots support the feet firmly while allowing skaters to lean their boots inward and outward. Good boots have reinforcing material in the counter (instep) area. The reinforcing material makes that area of the boots especially supportive for the arches and ankles. If boots are well made, you should not be able to squeeze the counter and ankle areas together.
- Top-of-the-line boots fit better, provide more support, last longer and offer better protection against injury from pucks or sticks. Choose your skates wisely—they are instrumental in preparing you to develop the skating skills necessary for speed, agility and power.
- Lack of good ankle support almost guarantees that skating will be difficult and uncomfortable. Ankles that cave in cause pain!
Note that unless there has been a specific injury to the foot, weak ankles are generally a myth. If ankles cave in, the cause is usually boots that are ill-fitting or have poorly constructed counters.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Laura Stamm of Laura Stamm Power Skating for this story.
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