Kids Outgrowing Their Skates

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By John Harmata

askmredgeSummer is over and I signed my children up for skating classes again. I tried their skates on just a couple days ago and they felt fine. Today at the rink they told me their feet are hurting. For most parents, this is the last thing they want to hear from their kids, especially if they just recently purchased new skates for them.

No need to worry just yet because chances are your children haven’t grown out of them. It may be just the way in which they are putting them on their feet; in a hurry and not paying attention to what they are doing. Remember, these aren’t tennis shoes you’re putting on, so take time to put them on properly.

How do you check to see if skates fit or not? First check to see if they are putting them on properly. This can be done by following a simple check list:

• Loosen up the laces all the way down to the tips of the toes.
• Pull the tongue forward.
• Place the foot into the boot and kick back into the heel of the boot
• While the foot is still pointed upward, begin lacing from the bottom, all the way to the top. Do not put your foot flat down till you’ve totally laced them up.

Now stand up and see how they feel. If it still feels as if your toes are touching the front of the boot, then proceed with the following:

• Pull out the insoles and check if the front of them has curled backwards
• If so, cut off the backward curl with a pair of scissors, place them back in the skates and lace them up again.

If all is well and good, fine. If not, guess what? The boots no longer fit and it’s time to be measured for a new pair.

Note: Don’t confuse feeling tight in the width with growing in length. Many times I have skaters who say their feet have always felt tight in the width but just recently have become worse. Often times it is because they were originally fitted longer in length to accommodate width. Now that they have grown in length the widest part of their foot is closer to the front of the boot, making it tighter. When this happens, parents are often surprised to hear that their child still needs the same length boot, but much wider.

– Guest author, John Harmata