Pronation is a common issue that many skaters experience. Unfortunately, this process can cause instability in the ankle and knee, leading to injuries. Fortunately, there are some methods you can use to correct pronation in your skating stride. In this article, we will discuss three of the most effective techniques how to fix pronation in skates. Keep reading to learn more!
Skates are the most essential piece of equipment for any recreational skater. A good set of boots is crucial to skating safely and having fun on the rink. However, beginner and experienced skaters should take certain factors into account when it comes to picking out new skates.
What is Pronation?
Pronation is a natural function of the foot. How much pronation happens depends on each person’s unique body mechanics. Pronation is needed to absorb shock support your weight when standing, walking, or running. As the foot strikes the ground during regular activity, it will flatten out before rolling inward.
This allows for shock absorption through the foot’s arch and along the length of the lower leg. Without pronation, every step would be excruciating because there would be no cushioning between your feet and whatever surface they were striking against! A sure sign that someone has flat feet or over-pronates is if their ankles buckle inward while attempting to stand up straight after sitting for a while.
A Stepwise Guide on How to Fix Pronation in Skates
Step 1: Determine How Severe Your Pronation Is
As a quick note, pronation is simply the outward roll of your ankle from the centerline. How much you pronate typically corresponds to how much you overpronate. Of course, there are degrees of each, but here we will focus on those who either severely or moderately overpronate experiencing issues with their skates.
If your pronation degree falls between these two extremes, then great! There’s nothing wrong with that, and, likely, you will not have any problems as a result. However, for those who fall into one of the more extreme categories mentioned above, read on to find out how to fix this problem!
Step 2: Know If You are Overpronate
A great way to determine whether you overpronate is by looking at your current skates. More specifically, how does the boot feel on the inside? If there’s excess room around your heel and sides of your foot, you have too much volume. This will lead to instability (and ultimately compensations) as one tries to find stability within their new environment; this results in friction on your ankle, which causes pain.
Knowing that you overpronate means that you need more control on the lateral side of your boot (the inside). One method is making use of heat-moldable shells. These shells are thinner on the outside but thicker where it counts on the inside; this means that your foot will sit in the boot more snugly, with less volume overall.
In addition, the added space around your heel and ankle is reduced, limiting excess movement within your skates (thus decreasing friction) and providing better support to address any issues of pronation you might have. Again, this can be done by making custom shells or using heat-moldable insoles.
Another option is to use a tongue stabilizer. A tongue stabilizer attaches between the laces and tongue of the boot, limiting the forward movement of your ankle as you stride. Since you want as much energy going into your stride as possible, this device might seem counterproductive. However, it provides stability by slowing down how fast excess pronation happens on each stride. Think of it as a more gradual version of overpronation instead of an extreme “over” motion; we certainly don’t want that!
Step 3: Addressing How Overpronation Affects Your Skate Fit
Now that you’ve determined how overpronating affects your skate fit, it’s time to do something about it. Of course, how you address said effects will vary depending on the type of skates discussed. Still, the basic idea is the same across all types of skates: reduce volume where necessary by trimming excess material off of your boot shells and insoles.
Trimming down the internal space available for your foot might seem scary at first, but there are plenty of benefits. Lowering internal volume reduces friction, which in turn helps prevent blisters from forming on your ankles as well as any pain associated with them.
Additionally, since you’re using skates that fit correctly, this should improve overall control! It is also possible to have custom, heat-moldable shells made for your skates designed with specific volume requirements in mind. Of course, how low you go is up to you, but finding the right balance between reduced volume and support will help keep you on the ice longer than coming home early due to pain.
Step 4: Fix Your Skating Stride
Fixing your skating stride is more involved than the other steps presented here, but not by much. How you do it will depend on what type of skates are being used; in any case, two things should be done for all skates to fix pronation within one’s stride.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your skates fit correctly in the first place! If you’re overpronating currently, then chances are, even if they do fit, it’ll still cause discomfort at some point due to the fact that they were made for someone without this problem. Also, remember that your foot isn’t shaped like everyone else’s and thus requires special attention when making them fit properly.
For example, extra material needs to be added at the toe of a boot shell so that your toes aren’t crammed inside – which can cause pain and lack of control – but instead have space to move freely.
Similarly, making sure you have the most comfortable fit possible is just as important as any other step presented here. How low or high volume your skates are should depend on how much stability you’re looking for. Regardless of what type of skates are being used, having more control over-pronation will improve overall performance! Getting a proper skating stride means getting more vigorous strides with less energy expended; this means better efficiency, which makes one a better hockey player.
You Can Check It Out to Goalie Skates Vs Player Skates
Step 5: Fix Overpronation
The key to fixing overpronation within your stride is simply ensuring that you have the right fit. How low or high internal volume your skates are needed to match how much support you need. As said in step four, this means controlling over-pronation so that it happens gradually rather than quickly and sharply. Otherwise, you’re likely to experience discomfort with some benefit when using them on the ice!
When looking for custom shells or heat-moldable insoles, try to get ones that will encourage your feet into a more neutral position inwardly. But, of course, how much room for movement they give is up to how severe your case of pronation is; if you feel like you can afford less internal volume, then it’s best to err on the side of caution! After all, having more control over how you move means better skating ability overall.
Using custom shells or insoles with built-in volume management attributes will help eliminate overpronation rather than exacerbate the problem further. How much volume they give is up to personal preference; however, many models are designed with varying amounts of space for you to choose from, depending on your needs.
How much internal volume you need should depend on how severe your case of pronation is – if you don’t need as much support as everyone else seems to want, then don’t be afraid to trim down things a little bit. In any case, this step will make sure that pronation is kept in check through your skating stride to get more control over how you move on the ice. These steps will help in how to fix pronation in skates.
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Fixing overpronation in skates is a fairly simple process that can be done less than an hour. Here are some additional tips when fixing pronation in skates:
- If you need to, ask a friend or family member for assistance. They can help you take the area apart and put it back together much easier than trying to do it independently. If they are not available, consider asking a professional at your local skate shop if they would be willing to fix pronation in skates for cheaper than a skilled cobbler or manufacturer representative.
- Use caution when taking off the boot from the plate as there may be screws holding it in place. Attempting to remove them without being mindful of possible damage can easily cause more problems than intended.
- The screw used for fixing overpronation is usually a 5/16″ x 3 1/4″ hex head screw. It is suggested to use a wrench when tightening it back into place.
We hope this article will make you understand how to fix pronation in skates. If you pronate, you can do a few things to help improve the issue. First, try using orthotics in your skates. This will help keep your ankle stable and prevent it from rolling inwards. Second, make sure that your skates fit properly.
A good skate fitter can help adjust your skates so that they don’t put too much pressure on the inside of your ankle. Finally, practice proper technique when skating. This includes keeping your knees bent and maintaining strong core muscles. Do these three things, and you should start to see an improvement in how well you skate!
You may also read: How to Make Roller Skates Out of Shoes