At long last, you’ve got your brand-spankin’-new roller skates. You lift the lid off the box and survey the new skates in all their pristine glory. You’re so excited to lace them up and hit the skating rink, but wait! Before you do, take a few steps to protect your ankles while breaking in your new skates.
How to Break in Roller Skates Without Ankle Pain
Just like a nice, new pair of boots, it’s essential to break in roller skates before wearing them for an extended period of time. Here at Rainbow Roller Rink, we’ve broken in innumerable pairs of skates over the years, so we’ve definitely learned what to do…And what not to do. These are some of our tried-and-true tips.
Rock Your Socks
Socks are not just a hygienic precaution (although we do require all skaters to wear socks with our rental skates), they can also make a big difference in the comfort and fit of your skates.
- Choose socks that are taller than the ankle cut of your skates. This will prevent the top of the skate from rubbing directly against your skin, which can cause chafing.
- Choose the right thickness of socks. If your skates are on the tighter side (as they often are when brand new), opt for a thinner sock to leave more “wiggle room” for your toes. If your skates are on the bigger side, thicker socks (like those made for running or hiking) can help adjust the fit.
- Usually people purchase their correct size of roller skates, so sock thickness doesn’t make or break the fit. However, if you’ve purchased a larger size of skate for your child to “grow into,” keep in mind that socks can only do so much. Do NOT stuff a rolled-up sock or anything else in the toe of the skate boot to fill the excess space. This can lead to chafing and blisters, and it will also make the environment in the skate hot and humid, which can lead to athlete’s foot.
Adding Some Padding
No matter how good your socks are, sometimes you need a little extra padding for those hot spots like the heel, Achilles tendon, toes, bridge (top of foot), etc. In order to prevent blisters, purchase some moleskin padding and cut pieces as necessary to fit the areas that are most troublesome for you. The soft moleskin adds more padding and also reduces friction, allowing the sock and skate boot to slide more easily against each other.
Give Yourself the Boot(ie)
These days you can find tons of ankle sleeves, booties, and braces to choose from, whether at your local big box store, pharmacy, or online. A simple, stretchy ankle sleeve is great for preventing chafing during the breaking-in period, but you can also choose a stiffer bootie or brace if you want additional ankle support. Opt for a seamless model if possible, as seams can be another cause of chafing.
Ready to rock and roll? Head over to our schedule to see our public skating sessions, and join the fun at our North Tonawanda skating rink!