What the what?
Why do we, skaters and referees, accept pain and or discomfort as a fact of skating or try in vain various combinations of things til we find something that is most tolerable? Yes folks, I’m writing about skates and feet. Again. This time, specifically about a heel lock, one of a few remedies that can help your confidence as well as your skating ability. Bologna!
Well I’ve come to find out that some skaters have issues with their skates and just deal with it until they find the right combo. Assuming it is because of the boot that they cannot skate well. Well, that is only part of the equation. You see, when you buy a car, generally, you make it your own. You might get new wheels and rims, or a nice stereo and speakers. Or at the very least a bumper sticker. SO why do we just get on our skates that costs from one to three car payments, and go around in circles until our feet callous over and get used to the pain?!
I for one don’t tolerate pain unless I absolutely must, which was only for nine weeks of basic training. Ever since I look for the best most efficient solution. “Work Smarter not Harder”. I unfortunately had the mindset of just buying a new boot everytime the pain got to be too much. Eventually my circumstances changed and I couldn’t spend a couple hundred buck to buy another boot.
Now at RollerCon 12, among one of the 20 or so bouts I officiated on and off skates, I skated with a ref who had some Bonts. They were Hybrid Carbon Pros, like the last pair I had just before I bought my Antiks. but He didn’t use the straps, but laced around the plate behind the rear trucks. I have yet to see anyone else do the same. I have however seen skaters lace around the plate near the middle of the foot to lock the arches down (but that’s another post for another day). His complaint was that the strap wasn’t high enough to hold his heel in the boot. No matter how tight he pulled the strap, to keep his heel from slippin and slidin while he does his crossovers. He said he felt it gave him better ankle stability. I really wish I could remember his name, or what league he’s with. But I doubt there’s another skinny lil ref (shorter than 6′ / 1.8m weighing in less than 175lbs )
Lack of Heel Lock was a secondary issue I had with my Bonts. My main issue was that my arches were killing me. I kept cinching the laces tightly so I could get a semblance of an heel lock in addition to using the strap. However I never really felt like I had ankle stability, because my heel would slide a little in the boot. However my arches would be in excruciating pain. Anywho, because of arch pain and ankle instability I went with Antiks because I believed that they’d solve all my problems.
As it turns out, there are a few skaters who have an issue with their heel staying put. Also with foot arch pain. So Here’s a picture of what a solution might look like. I have not skated with my laced laced this way so I can’t attest to how well it will work with resolving with your arch or heel lock issues. I love how light my bonts are (I actually still have them … somewhere.. I think) but I also love how snug my ankles are kept in my antiks. So if you can’t afford to buy another pair of boots, and seriously why spend the money on new boots you’re going to have to break in. When you can just go ahead keep what you got, spend a few bucks on long wax laces and try something out that can save you hundreds as well as solve instability and or foot pain.
But if this works out for you or you know a skater who might benefit from this, please feel free to share. Be sure to follow because you never know when I might have an epiphany about something that could help you out. Cuz I surely don’t have a clue either.
check this link out! It’s a new/differ way to achieve a heel lock if you have low top boots. Or even antiks. I can’t take credit, I saw it on some skaters in Acadiana/Lafayette and they said they saw it somewhere on the interwebs. But I couldn’t find it so I had one of the skaters video and upload it so I could link it. Thanks Weezy for the video and I think Foxxi Cleopatra for the lacing