This morning, I wrote an email to my new coach to give her an idea of what's been going on with all my skate drama.
As I wrote it out, I realized just how ridiculous this whole thing ahs been, so decided to post it here, for posterity.
February, we decided to start skating.
Porter had a pair of boots he'd bought used from a roller skater when we started doing that last year before moving (We did like 2 sessions, whoops).
He liked them. (He ended up with minor equipment drama because they were actually way too big and he wouldn't listen to me about that being a problem, till I made him get fit for a new pair, which fit him perfectly and were a huge improvement immediately!)
I was really hoping to use my old Rose boots, but they felt just SLIGHTLY too small. Like they felt amazing until I tried to skate. SO close. I loved those skates, and they're no longer made.
We went to a shop to get me fitted for new skates.
They had very little anywhere near my size, but had a pair of Edeas for me to try on. I got my foot in and NOPEd right out - ugh, they felt terrible.
I whined about having to go through this when I've got skates that are literally like ¼" too short, and the tech said they could stretch them lengthwise for me!
So I left them there.
When I got my skates back, they felt good until I skated, they were just slightly too small still.
Also, it looked like they'd taken the blade off and freshly sanded the finish off the bottom of these skates. There was even a fine powder left on them, from the sanding.
These skates had been in storage for 20 years, so it was really obvious. I certainly didn't remove the blades and sand them down, and this boutique was the only other place to handle them since coming out of storage.
Aside from the weird sanding, the blades were hanging off the end of the heel, WAY too big for the skate.
I hadn't looked closely at them before taking them in, but I would have thought I would have noticed too-big blades (not to mention that my previous skate guy would never have sold me blades that big?).
The weird thing is, the wear marks on the bottom of the skate point to this being a completely different pair of blades. Look at how far back the heel is, from where it had been.
If that blade had been on my skate previously, it would have hung off the front by more than ½".
I had called in and they said they hadn't removed the blades at all, and basically accused me of lying about it - and that was before I even noticed the blade size issue.
I didn't even get into wondering if they swapped them out for some reason, before calling.
SO... that was all sketchy as hell.
So I went to a different store and they luckily had some old stock, leather Jacksons (I don't like the new plastic type of skates!).
Got them bumped out, bought new blades for them because I prefer 7'.
They don't make my old blade style anymore, so I went with Coronation Ace.
This was late Feb.
We started skating the last week of Feb. I only did really short sessions each time, because breaking them in was MURDER.
I've basically only worn super comfy, probably bad for my feet sandals and such for 25 years, so my feet were NOT happy about this development.
Beyond that, the skates felt very weird, and I kept feeling like I was falling backward.
Then I DID fall backwards, and knocked myself out - concussion. That was April 12. I didn't skate again til June 5. Still felt like I was falling backwards, at that point.
Heel Size Makes a Difference!
After that, we measured the heel height.
My old boots and blades together were about ½" taller in the heel, than the new ones.
SO, we bought heel lifts.
I was still trying to get used to the boots in the first place - so there was still foot pain before the lifts.
I went with a small heel lift to start, which made an immediate difference, but felt like I should go a bit higher.
I did, and was IMMEDIATELY able to hit my sweet spot for spins. Also, no more feeling like I was going to fall backward.
But there was awful arch pain.
It felt like knives in my feet, I couldn't skate more than 5 minutes on a session.
I've been trying to muscle through that pain since June, figuring I'd get used to it. Recently, I added Dr Scholl's "custom" orthotics, which did nothing.
More New Boots...
Around three weeks ago, I saw a listing come up for a pair of my same pair of skates, but a width down.
I was in 8.5D, these were 8.5 C, but I bought them anyway, thinking that I'd be losing weight anyway, so these would probably end up fitting by the time I broke down my current boots.
I did NOT want to go through trying to find a different boot, aside from the arch issues, these fit well, and they were leather - but discontinued. I wanted backup skates just in case.
Anyway, back to the arches...
When it was clear that toughing it out wasn't helping, I bought a different, full-length arch support/insole.
Putting that one on top of the full-length heel insert one made the inside of the toe box too short.
So I took the heel lift out and tried with just the arch support, which added a LITTLE height in the heel. The toe area was now WAY too big, and my heel was moving up and down in my skate. It felt dangerous, so I only did ONE LAP that day!
So I pulled it all out, cut the front off the heel lift insole, and carved the front of the heel lift ones down so that it was just under the heel, and partway under the lifted arch.
I tried them on Thursday, and it was EXCRUCIATING pain - mostly on the left foot.
I pulled them out, and realized that the left heel was extending under the arch more than the right foot, so I trimmed it back to match the right one, and then trimmed them back a bit further, as the right one hadn't been perfect.
Around this point, I noticed that the size printed in my boots wasn't 8.5D like I thought, they were 8.5C - the same size I just ordered in backup skates.
I went skating on them (yesterday morning) and the arches felt OK enough, but for some reason my shins were immediately in crippling pain.
I wondered if the shins were contributing to the arch issues - I could tell they were tight - so I saw a massage therapist that afternoon, who agreed that my shines/ankles were all kinds of messed up with tightness/pulling, and that it sounded like I've got the SKATES figured out, and they'll be fine once I get my shins straightened out.
He beat them up and gave me stretches to do.
I went skating last night, and the arches felt more or less fine, but my shins weren't holding up the best - definitely better than earlier that day, but I'm pretty sure I've at least narrowed it down to the shins being the remaining issue now.
The only problem?
My boots feel too big now! Like probably manageable, but there's an awful lot of room in the toes, especially.
While all this was going on - since just before the time of the Dr Scholl's attempt - I lost almost 30 lbs in 2 months - Starting in late July. I guess it all came off my feet?
SO. Last night we figured... OK, it's not the end of the world, the backup boots should be here in the next week or so, if the toes get TOO big... well, the new ones are the same size, but the current ones were bumped out SIGNIFICANTLY in the toe box, so they might actually be perfect.
Still a good backup plan.
Then, to cap it all off and go ridiculously full circle...
This morning, I was cleaning, and came across my old Rose boots.
Just for the hell of it, I tried them on, knowing I'd lost a bit of size in my feet. I figured that maybe if I put an arch support in now, they could be another option.
Well, they seem to fit pretty well even without arch supports, even standing on them.
I might end up ditching the backup skates soonish after getting them, because my Rose boots are EVERYTHING. Actually cried when I put them on and they fit.
I am very, very attached to those boots.
So. That's where I'm at.
If the current boots get too wide, we'll move the blades to the backup boots.
If it comes to pass that the Rose boots fit, then I'll either move the blades over or get new ones to fit that boot, as needed... then I will literally NEVER buy another pair of skates again because I'll just have a shoemaker rebuild them as needed.. and you will have to pry those boots from my cold dead hands.
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