Protecting your feet as an Ice Skater is the thing you are most conscious about. They are the most important delicate part for a skater on an ice rink. Feet are the most vulnerable part of the body during skating and prone to injuries if not properly taken care of. It is highly imperative that you wisely decide what to wear and how to wear in the bottom-most part of the body to reduce the potential risk of foot pain and injury that could easily cut short your time on the ice.
Foot pain and injuries are not nice, you will spend weeks in rehabilitation doing all the physiotherapies if you take them for granted. Young skaters, especially young ones, often hurt themselves because they do not have appropriate knowledge of how to protect their feet during ice skating. But you don’t need to worry, we will give you a proper guide to protect your precious feet and get a comfortable experience on an ice rink.
Preventing Foot Pain With Your Skates
The most paramount decision for skaters is to choose their skates wisely. We can not emphasize enough how important the selection of your skates is, as it does not only help you perform all those moves and spins but also protect your feet in jumps. Your skates must fit your feet properly they should not be too loose or too tight. Parents of aspiring skaters often buy skates that are too big for their kids in order to get their money worth out of the skates. That’s a mistake, especially for a young athlete who has just started to learn the art of skating.
Skates that are too loose will leave room inside where your feet can move, the least it can cause are blisters and bruises on your feet and ankles. Besides, it is very difficult to maintain balance on loose skates as ankles may topple over due to the extra space inside the skate. Moreover, you can not gain pace in the glide and get height in the jump if your skates are not fitted correctly according to your feet.
Too much slack can cause severe damage to muscles, bones, and ligaments on your feet and can bring on fierce injuries such as ankle sprain. Skaters try to overcome this problem by fastening their laces too tight, this causes further damage to their tendons and causes foot pain and injury. It should also be kept in mind that your laces should not be too loose which also can damage your feet by leaving a space for movement, make sure you have adequately tightened up your lace and you should only fit two fingers between the tongue of the skates and your ankle.
Teenage skaters often use the same skates for too long because firstly, skate prices are exorbitant, and secondly, they become fond of them so do not want to change them. But as their bodies grow, they become excessively tight and can cause injuries. Tight skates time after time cause blisters around the toes and cause lace bites. They also can cause numbness in your feet, especially around your toes by restricting the flow of blood which is excessively necessary to maintain heat in your feet and keep them agile. So, you should choose your skates wisely, keeping in mind the size of your feet, and even if it costs way more buying custom-made skates go for it without any hesitation because your safety should be your first priority.
For young skaters, the weight of the skates matters too. You can not let a twelve-year-old kid wear a very heavy skate that could put an extra burden on foot and ankles. The weight of the skates should not be more than five percent of the bodyweight of the skater. So, parents of aspiring skaters should buy skates that fit well and have adequate weight so that it should not harm the health of young skater.
Skaters Feet Protection – Tights And Socks
Tights and socks are another important material that can keep you far away from injuries if they are chosen according to your need. Otherwise, they could be a contributing factor towards your way to get injured. Skating tights are extremely expensive and can be an unbearable burden on your pocket. Therefore, figure skaters buy tights that are not made for athletes. Always make educated decisions when selecting tights and socks for your sensitive areas, which require more protection and demand more input in terms of money spent.
Figure skating tights are made up of special material such as spandex or lycra. These are made in the way that they act as shock absorbers and protect the skin from bruises and blisters during fall. So, it is necessary to wear proper tights during skating to protect your skin from minor injuries and you thoroughly enjoy your skating experience.
Like tights, socks also play a vital role in protecting your feet from injuries. During skating sessions, your feet can get wet due to sweat and can cause acute irritation and make a bunch of wrinkles under the feet that can cause friction points. These friction points can cause wounds and blisters. You need to wear socks that can absorb the perspiration without getting wet or make friction points. Go for anti-slip socks to restrict your feet movement under the skating boots. Low-cut socks are not for skaters, it can cause blisters and bruises around the ankle area by rubbing of the skin with the upper part of the boots.
You should not wear worn out or very old socks as it will create friction points under the feet by continuous rubbing against the stiff boots. Skaters often use old tights or tights in practice sessions and training that can not be used in the main competition. These tights are usually worn out or torn in some areas. These tights can also cause bruises and blisters when rubbed with ice during a fall. Besides these tights can also restrict the flow of blood if they are too tight, can cause irritation so you can not completely focus on improving your skills and they are good for nothing. Therefore, it is better to wear socks instead rather than tights that serve no purpose.
The length of your socks is also very important to protect your feet, low cut socks are not for skaters and you only get bruises if you opt for it. Go for knee height socks if you are not wearing tights, they are made with the same material and are much cheaper so it will not put a burden on your pocket. You can wear them in training sessions and even in competition to protect your feet and ankles. You can also go for socks with pantyhose but they can be changed instantly when you need to.
Bunga Pads Can Protect Ice Skaters Feet
Gel ankle sleeve Bunga pads provide you great protection around the ankle and can be a great thing if you still use oversized skates. Bunga pads provide cushioning around the ankle and keep them safe from continuous tapping, rubbing, and chaffing of the stiff skates. If you do not have custom-made boots and can not find a good pair of socks then you need to put your feet in them and experience a smooth-skating session without any irritation and pain. This is a great tool for young skaters because as they grow they tend to get bruises around the ankle area and Bunga pads would be their great friend to protect their feet from injuries.
Orthotic‘s Can Help With Pronation Of The Feet
A custom orthotic is one of the best foot protection tools ever made and it can be a life-saving tool for young skaters. They provide great support to your feet by adding extra padding inside the boots. They provide you cushioning which is tailor-made according to your feet so your skating session can go smooth as butter. Young skaters who do not have custom made skates can buy these orthotics to have a smooth-skating experience without pain. Orthotics are very helpful for those who have pronation of the feet. It can control pain caused by excessive pronation by redistributing the weight on your feet and ankles and hence, also prevents injuries. Similarly, it also helps in controlling the pain caused by supinating or high arches.
Warm Up Initially Before Your Session
It is vital how you start your training session, proper warm-ups and stretching are extremely crucial to protect yourself from getting injured. Do stretch properly with special consideration to your calves, hamstring, and ankle joints. Slowly build up your session, do not rush into things, and attempt jumps and spins straight away. Give yourself some time, feel the ice under your skates, and move around the rink for a few minutes before really getting into it. Do not practice if you feel pain and inflammation in your feet during a warm-up, otherwise, it’s a sign to focus on those feet to protect them or take some rest.
Try A Foot Massage After a Skating Session
Your feet must be hurting and soring a lot after a tough practice session or a breathtaking performance in a competition, you want them to relax by keeping them nice and warm in comfortable padding. Protect your ice skating feet by treating yourself like a King or Princess after a skating session and try to have a foot massage, it will do a world of good to your feet. Your feet will need some rest to get ready again for the next skating fun. Keep them in soft and comfortable socks or sandals. If you find any medical condition related to your feet such as bruises, calluses, corns, or bunions, pay a visit to your doctor before starting the skating session again.
Prevent The Cold Feet Nightmare
Cold feet can greatly damage your experience of skating and affect movement and agility by causing numbness to your feet. Cold feet can be caused by multiple reasons, one of them is wearing skates that are too tight and stop the circulation of blood to your feet. This can cause great irritation and numbness to the feet and restrict your movement. As opposed to this, skates that are too loose can also cause cold feet. They can not hold the heat generated by the movement in the feet. This heat keeps the feet nice and warm and it is necessary to be warm in the cold temperature outside to make swift movements. Socks are also one of the contributing factors towards cold feet. They are meant to absorb transpiration from the feet but if they fail to do so, they can cause wet and cold feet.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Never a bad idea to visit your chiropodist to give you guidance about your feet who can predict and foresee medical problems that can later turn into a potential injury. Each foot of the human body is made up of 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 tendons, ligaments, and muscles that all work together to provide you balance, mobility, and agility. Severe damage to any of can end your dreams as a skater. So, visit your doctor regularly to keep yourself aware of your ‘feet’ condition and get a first-hand expert opinion about your feet that can make your life long on ice and painless in skates.