You know those new skates that I was so excited to have my hands on back in March? Well, I'm not so excited anymore.
At first they were painful, but I was expecting that, since the boots are leather and need time to break in. I was miserable for about three weeks, and then they started to feel better, helped by my relacing and skipping a set of eyelets on the right one.
The pain never really went away, though, and neither did the numbness in my toes. I was also having trouble with my heels sliding around, so I bought some of those sticky foam cushions from CVS that attach to the back wall of your shoes. They helped, but not enough.
At DerbyCon in May, I took a class about Riedell boot fit. The rep said that a common problem people have is that if their boots are too loose in the heels, they'll tighten the laces and speed straps down too far to try to compensate, and then they still have loose heels, accompanied by pain, foot cramps, and numbness. Afterward, I had him take a look at my skates, and he agreed that that was exactly my problem, evidenced by the fact that when I laced my skates up, the sides nearly touched across the top of the tongue. (Apparently that shouldn't happen...)
Basically, I bought entirely the wrong boots for my feet. When I got "fitted" at Bruised, they measured the length of my foot to get me a boot size, but didn't check anything else, just asked if each pair I tried on was comfy and how it felt. Having only ever worn one pair of derby skates, they all seemed better than what I had, so I went with the popular choice: the 265, made for derby. Everyone else seems to like them and the price is pretty reasonable, so why not?
Here's why not: the 265 is a D/B split last, which is medium in the heel and wide in the ball of the foot. That seemed like a good idea, since the ball of my right foot had been pinched in my old skates, forcing me to skip a set of gromets. As it turns out, I have about the narrowest heels that anyone can have, and what I really need is the B/AA split last (medium in the ball of the foot and super narrow in the heel).
Conan used the leather stretcher on my right boot to widen out the section where I skipped the lace holes, and I was able to lace them back up normally without pain. I would have to do the same with a pair of B/AAs, but that's not a big deal. I'm considering getting either the 495 or the 965 boot. Of course, having recently dropped a lot of money on a new pair of skates, I'm not too eager to do it again...but I really want skates that fit.
The 495 The 965
The 495 The 965
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