Ice staking looks so elegant and easy but I know it isn’t but I can really appreciate those guys who make it look effortless, that takes a lot of hard work. Skating boots are very supportive but are totally unforgiving especially if you hire them as a one off trip to the rink, as with any footwear, wearing shoes that are not yours is always a compromise!
The ankle area is the most susceptible to blisters, mainly due to the height of the boots and the pressure they exert on the ankles. For those of you who are casual skaters, take a long wicking sock so it covers your ankles, maybe two thin socks if you are between sizes, so the boots fits as well as it can without the sock rucking or creasing.
Ok, let’s start with the boots, if you’re serious about skating then the boots have to be yours, don’t buy them too big as there will be too much foot movement in the skates, which can be just as big a problem as too tight boots. I know they have to be very supportive around the ankle as those impressive spins, lifts and landings can go very wrong if the ankle is not kept stable, some boots can be heat moulded around that area to gain a better fit.
Again with any activity, conditioning is key, increasing your time in the skates so your feet get used to this activity and if you have an old pair of skates, switch them over when you suspect the new boots are causing areas of pressure and friction.
Best socks for ice skates
Socks are an issue in any activity and skating is no different, short socks that don’t cover the skin where the boot goes up the leg will then result in blisters on the leg. Wicking socks which will absorb the sweat and keep it away from the skin, two socks always work better than one in reducing the friction applied to the skin but if one sock works in preventing blisters then two is unnecessary.
Armaskin sock liners would work really well for skating and there are a longer option to go past the boot edge, wear your usual wicking sock on top of it. They prevent blisters all over the foot.
2Toms blister powder works really well as a friction reducing measure, just apply to the foot and ankle areas affected by blisters before putting your socks on. Do not empty in the sock and do not use on broken skin
Engo patches applied to the areas of the boot that are causing hotspots will prevent the friction to that specific area.
Taping of the skin prior to training or an event works for some skaters but make sure is it secured down as peeling at the edges of tape can cause blisters.
Silipos gel sleeves and gel padding socks addressing specific areas of the ankle that are blistering, work really well at preventing blisters at that area of the shin and Achilles or the malleoli’s (the boney bits on either side of the ankle) Silipos digi caps work well for using on the individual toes if prone to blistering, do not use on open skin