There is an absolute standard in Skate fitting. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
There is a clear guideline for every brand in terms of Skate fitting. In an ideal world, every Skate specialist should give you the same suggestions in terms of boot length for the same brand of Skate.
You can find the image below in Edea’s new passport and on the Edea website.
For example, Edea’s fitting guideline clearly states that your boot size should be no greater than 10mm of your foot for growing feet, and the allowance should be no greater than 5mm for feet that have stopped growing. That means no matter how narrow or how wide your feet are, the length should never exceed these parameters unless the growing skater has short skating seasons. Just remember that the the guideline only gives us a maximum. The rule of thumb is that you should always go for the smaller size if you can.
We have seen cases where specialists have suggested boot sizes that exceed these parameters for a fully grown competitive skaters. In some cases we even see Skaters being fitted by trying on 5 different sizes and get asked how “comfy” they are, these Skaters generally end up getting Skates that are 2cm+ larger than their feet (Of course larger is more comfy). Surprisingly, a lot of “professional fitting service providers” will ask if the Skates are “comfy” and would tell the Skaters they need to feel “comfortable”. I would say – if “comfy” is the standard in Skate fitting then you might as well trust the advice of someone on their first day of work at a shoe store.
Over-sized boots will not only hinder the Skaters performance but it will also compromise the durability of the Skates. Providing ankle support is the core function of the boot, if sizing is too large then the boot will experience pressure at wrong points therefore compromising ankle support as well as causing premature failure of the boot. In addition to this, over-sized Skates can hinder the Skaters performance due to delay in boot reaction and incorrect blade location. A blade profile is designed to assist skating elements and it is also designed to sit in a specific position under your foot; wearing over-sized boots will not only compromise the blades features, it will also cause difficulty in performing elements due to the incorrect positioning of rocker and pick points.
Examples of ill-fitted boots and well fitted boots provided by Edea.
Take your insoles out for a quick check – Left image is an example of extremely ill-fitted boots, right image is an example of well fitted boots.
The feeling on brand new Skates is quite foreign for new Skaters and for Skaters who are switching to other brands. For instance, Edea boots feature the memory foam padding which shapes to Skater’s feet as they are worn in. When the Skater puts them on initially, even the perfect size will seem “too small” and this feeling is completely normal to have. Hence the term “Break in period”. The pain relieves after a few sessions when the foam starts to mold to the Skater’s feet.
So some may ask: What if I feel the recommended size feels too small and painful, what if my toes are cramp when I put my boots on? This happens, and happens very often. We’ll talk about it next time.