OK, Something is not right here, my feet hurt when I skate!

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Do your feet hurt??
I hear it a lot, "My feet hurt when I skate" or a lot of skaters experience cramping in their arches.  Not every skate will fit your foot exactly, because everybody's feet are a little different.  When your feet  hurt, you don't want to skate but there are some things you can do to help alleviate foot pain, blisters or cramping. 

Are You Tense?
The first thing to take notice of is your skating.  When you are in your skates, are you tense or nervous? Do you have your toes curled up tight like you are trying to hold on?  Every once in awhile when you are stopped, take a deep slow breath, relax and step onto the grass or another soft surface, uncurl your toes, and wriggle them.  When your toes are curled up, your foot is arched and that can cause your foot to  cramp while you're skating.

Do Your Skates Fit?
Are your toes curled up because your skates are too big?  Are you trying to grip the inside of your skates with your toes to keep from sliding around?  If your foot is moving back to front or side to side, you are probably trying to keep steady by gripping your toes.  You need to look into getting a better fitting skate.  It might be that you just need thicker socks to take up some room. 

Maybe Your skates are too small?  If you have wide feet, and you feel the boot closing in on you mid foot while you are skating?  Trying going up a half size and filling the toe space to avoided foot movement. Or if you are a woman, try skating in a Men's skate, they tend to run wider. If your compensating for a wide foot, by selecting a longer boot, then you need to fill the toe gap firmly with something so your foot doesn't keep sliding forward. 

Foot Beds
You can replace the existing foot beds that came with your skates.  They are usually not that supportive and can cause cramping if your arch isn't properly supported.  Do you wear an orthotic?  Slip it into your skate.  Or you can go to the drug store and purchase some arch supportive insoles.  Instead of full arch supports, try silicon heel supports (heel cups) alone. These are typically used for heel pain, but in some people they help with mid foot discomfort. You can also have custom moldable insoles made for your feet.  Local ski shops are a great resource to find help with your foot cramping issues. 

Do You Have Blisters?
If you are getting blisters, pull your lining out and clean it, make sure it is positioned properly in the shell of the skate.  Check the seams to see that they are not bunched or twisted wrong in the boot. Check your socks to be sure you are wearing ones that don't absorb moisture.

Do You Have High Performance Skates?
Sometimes those high performance skates, with the light frames tend to transfer road vibrations directly into the feet, causing foot pain and fatigue.  You can add a gel arch support to help absorb the vibration transfer.

Instead of full arch supports, try silicon heel supports (heel cups) alone. These are typically used for heel pain, but in some people they help with mid foot discomfort.

Sometimes seeing a specialist is a good idea.  A podiatrist can help diagnose more difficult foot pain issues, related to your stance or other variables.  Pronation, or supination, if extreme can also cause foot pain when skating.




In simple term, pronation is the flattening out of the arch when the foot strikes the ground. Normally, the foot will pronate to absorb shock when the heel hits the ground, and to assist in balance during mid-stance. The ankle will 'tip' towards the inside.

Excessive pronation can be problematic because the shifting causes increased stress on the inside/ medial aspect of the foot. It pulls on the stabilizing muscles in the lower leg (posterior tibialis) and often causes the knee to shift to the inside. The excessive stress on the

The body can overcompensate for this pronation and shift the ankle towards the outside causing the ankle to roll over


Note: Every body pronates and supinates

It is the body's way to absorb shock and allow the foot to work as a lever. Excessive motion in either direction can be very problematic if not controlled.

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Supination is the opposite motion of pronation. A foot is in supination when the ankle appears to be 'tipped' to the outside so you are standing on the outside border of the foot. Supination allows the foot to be a more stable, rigid structure for when we push off on our next step. The foot naturally supinates during the toe-off stage (when the heel first lift off the ground until the end of the step) to provide more leverage and to help ‘roll’ off the toes.

Excessive supination predisposes the ankle to injury because the stabilizing muscles on the outside of the lower leg (peroneals) are in a stretched position. It does in not take much force to cause the ankle to roll over, potentially causing ligament damage.