Roller skating is a great social activity where you keep yourself entertained and fit, but these skates need to be comfortable in order to enjoy them for a long time and get the maximum out of them. If this is your first time with roller skates, or you have purchased yourself a new pair, you may be wondering how to make them more comfortable – also commonly known as breaking in your skates.
Roller Skates Break In
It is very important for you to make your roller skates as comfortable as possible because the last thing you want is to end up getting blisters after 30 minutes of trying and putting the skates back into their box for good.
How do you break in your roller skates? Here is what you do to make your skates as fun and comfortable as possible.
- Heat Molding
- Wear Frequently
- Flexible Movements
The best way to make your roller skates comfortable is to mold the boots according to the shape of your feet. All roller skates of a certain size belonging to the same brand are almost identical. What is not identical are two different sets of feet. If you apply some heat and mold your boot according to the shape of your feet, the result is having a super comfortable skating experience.
Many good skate shops have heat molding ovens from where you can heat mold your new roller skate boots. It is great to have a professional to it for you especially if you are new at roller skating. But the good news is, you can heat mold your boots at home by yourself.
Hairdryer method: Skate shops have special ovens and skills for heat molding your boots. You do not have to bake them in your oven as there is a safer method (fewer chances of your boots turning into a roast) that you can do at home. Follow these steps carefully for heat molding, without over-heating (or even burning) your skate boots.
- With the help of a hairdryer, heat your skate boots evenly in all directions and make sure it is warm from all parts. Do not overheat your shoes or else you can end up burning them. Also, if you overhead leather, it could quickly crack or even burn your skin.
- Put on socks (that you will be normally wearing with your roller skates), and then put your feet inside the warm boots.
- Lace-up and keep on wearing the boots for about 10 to 15 minutes when they start to cool off and hence start taking shape of your feet. It is a good idea to skate around the house with the warm boots on for these 15 minutes so your skate boot can take the shape of the exact curves and flat areas of your feet.
Oven method: Although this one is a bit riskier as compared to the hairdryer method, many skaters go for their ovens to make their roller skates more comfortable. Here’s how to do that.
- Preheat the oven at 79 degrees Centigrade/ Celcius and then turn it off (you are not baking a cake so make sure your oven is completely off when you put your skate boots inside). A higher temperature may cause permanent damage to your boots.
- Now put your boots inside the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove the boots and let them cool a bit. Do not put your feet right away into them, instead check with your hands if the temperature is warm enough to mold but not too hot to burn your feet.
- Lace-up and allow them to cool and adjust by putting them away for 24 hours.
- Now try these skates on. This method is especially useful when you have tried your skates a couple of times and find them causing you blisters and pain.
Do not go beyond 20 minutes in the oven. If you are in a hurry, do not decrease the heating time by increasing the heat. This may end up damaging your boots for good. Also, make sure you do not make a habit of baking your skate boots as constant baking (no more than 3 times) will end up permanently damaging your skate boots.
You can play with the lacing technique to make your roller skates more comfortable. If you feel your new skates are too stiff from certain parts, try the following:
- Put on your skate boots and start lacing up. Skip the two holes at the top and tie the laces up in a loose manner.
- Now skate for 4 to 6 hours.
- In your second skating session, lace-up until you reach the top hole and skip the top hole.
- Skate again for 4 to 6 hours.
- In the third session, lace up your stakes until the very top – like you normally do. Skate again. This way, you will be able to make your stiff boots more comfortable without negatively impacting your ankle support.
A great way to soften that stiff leather of your roller skate boots is to apply the leather condition. To do this:
- Purchase a leather conditioner (it is not expensive and may cost around $20- $40). Remove the laces so that it becomes easier for you to apply it.
- Using a soft cloth, rub in the conditioner to those areas of your boot that are too tight and uncomfortable for your feet.
- Once you have applied it on all the stiff leather areas, bend the leather in a backwards and forward direction as you want to break the stiffness and make it more flexible.
- You can do it once and try on the boots to see the difference. For best results, repeat this process three to four times to completely soften it.
Many roller skate experts believe in wearing your skates as often as possible to break in them. The more you put them on and skate, the more they will adapt to the shape of your feet as well as your skating motion. If you feel they are very stiff in the beginning, start with a small skating session, and slowly increase the session time. It is just like an old pair of shoes or jeans – the more you wear them and the older they get, the more comfortable you feel in them.
Many skaters put their new roller skates on for a long duration of time even when they are not skating – like while watching TV or reading a book. While this may be a bit uncomfortable in the start, your feet as well as the boots get a good amount of time to adjust with each other. The result is comfort in the skating sessions to follow.
As mentioned above, your frequency and time will greatly impact the comfort level of your roller skates. The more you skate, the better will your boots adapt to the shape and structure of your feet. Practice different movements that allow you to bend your knees and ankles. Not only that, but you can also try with different styles of lacing to get different levels of flexibility.
Your deep curving motions while you use a new pair of roller skates may feel uncomfortable in the first session, but movements like these will help you break in the boots. As a result, the inflexible leather skin will start loosening up with your movements and maneuvers and before you know it, you would be able to roller skate for hours without feeling a thing.
If you feel uncomfortable in your roller skates, do not let the stiff boots cause hindrance in your passion for roller skating. With the above techniques, you are guaranteed to make your roller skates super comfortable. Try them out and thank us later!