Author Topic: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet  (Read 257 times)

NathanH

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Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« on: November 28, 2019, 05:28:53 PM »
Hello everyone
Could anyone recommend a U.K based fitter (I am based in London but happy to travel within the country) of appropriate competence to "diagnose" the best option for a beginner feet of extremely narrow and thin fitting (all the areas: heel, ankle, bridge, arch, sole, instep, achilles) ?

In all my eagerness and ignorance, I purchased a pair of Edea Overture of B Width (the AA Width which would have been more fitted was apparently not available) and find my heels have no maintain when skating, my feet automatically push towards the front of the boot and the sides are not well maintained by the boots, making each movement wobbly. This is troublesome as I am a complete beginner still trying to make my basic gliding coherent.

At the moment I have been trying various DIY (filling the boots with bits of insoles to compensate, skating with thick socks, I also ordered a pair of heel and ankle support sleeves hoping it'll help). In the likelihood that my endeavours lead to no good, I am investigating the existing options for extremely thin feet; and trying to gain real knowledge of how to communicate clearly with a fitter to make the right choice.
My feet have ways been very thin proporsionally to their lenght (39 eur, US 6.5, UK 5.5) and have always had to compromise when buying shoes. The heels almost don't protrude like most heels do, the sides of the feet and ankles are much thinner than most feet considered "narrow". I'm not even sure that any commercialised boot would ever fit but am looking forward to any advices.

Many thanks

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 01:11:57 PM »
I wish I could give advice that would make all your problems go away.  But I have found it very tricky to feel I can get the right advice and buy skates that work as well as possible for me.  I would trust no-one but myself.  Go to as many shops as possible (phone first to check what stock they have) and try as many on as possible, don't be afraid to make them work and still buy nothing.  Ideally don't buy until you've exhausted what there is to try within a reasonable travelling range.  You may end up making a lot of trips and spending a lot of money on travel.  If you find a pair that work for you but are too wide the shop may be able to order in a narrower option, but in my experience shops don't carry unusual options in stock and won't order in unless definitely buying.  Skates should be very snug - hold your feet firmly everywhere, toes with enough room to lay flat and not be scrunched but 5mm or ideally less space between them and end of boot, with heels right up against the back.  Alternative is to sell your current skates and order in the narrower model hoping it works better.  Either way unless you get lucky it's time and effort.  Shops I can think of are:
London skate centre - Leinster terrace
Streatham rink shop
Skate shop in Chelmsford
Rink shops in Milton Keynes, Lea Valley, Guildford
Skate attack Turnpike lane
Everglides down on the south coast

NathanH

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 01:11:44 PM »
I wish I could give advice that would make all your problems go away.  But I have found it very tricky to feel I can get the right advice and buy skates that work as well as possible for me.  I would trust no-one but myself.  Go to as many shops as possible (phone first to check what stock they have) and try as many on as possible, don't be afraid to make them work and still buy nothing.  Ideally don't buy until you've exhausted what there is to try within a reasonable travelling range.  You may end up making a lot of trips and spending a lot of money on travel.  If you find a pair that work for you but are too wide the shop may be able to order in a narrower option, but in my experience shops don't carry unusual options in stock and won't order in unless definitely buying.  Skates should be very snug - hold your feet firmly everywhere, toes with enough room to lay flat and not be scrunched but 5mm or ideally less space between them and end of boot, with heels right up against the back.  Alternative is to sell your current skates and order in the narrower model hoping it works better.  Either way unless you get lucky it's time and effort.  Shops I can think of are:
London skate centre - Leinster terrace
Streatham rink shop
Skate shop in Chelmsford
Rink shops in Milton Keynes, Lea Valley, Guildford
Skate attack Turnpike lane
Everglides down on the south coast

Hey, thanks for the reply. I'll look into the shops you've mentioned and possibly try and contact Everglides as I've heard they're knowledgeable. I have an intuition that no matter how many stores and skates I try on, I ultimately need a semi/full custom, so not sure if trying on many skates will be that helpful.

WednesdayMarch

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 02:19:56 PM »
Definitely try Everglides (as I suggested on a different website) as they are very helpful, especially for beginners.  I think that trying on as many different makes and models as possible is a good idea, as even if you do end up needing custom or semi-custom, you'll at least have a better knowledge of what's out there, and what is more likely to suit your foot and skating.  Knowledge is never wasted and well-fitting, suitable skating boots are usually quite expensive so you really want to make sure you're investing in the right thing. 
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Dance blades. It's still a bit slippery...

NathanH

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 03:08:08 PM »
Definitely try Everglides (as I suggested on a different website) as they are very helpful, especially for beginners.  I think that trying on as many different makes and models as possible is a good idea, as even if you do end up needing custom or semi-custom, you'll at least have a better knowledge of what's out there, and what is more likely to suit your foot and skating.  Knowledge is never wasted and well-fitting, suitable skating boots are usually quite expensive so you really want to make sure you're investing in the right thing.

I have contacted them and their first reply has been very helpful in itself, but they also suggested that I'd need an appointment with them. I provided the informations they asked, waiting to hear from them.  They said two trips might be  required as a custom fit may be necessary. I'm more than happy to take my time and male several trips anyways as, as you said, it is a big investment. What I'm anxious about is that if I need a custom fit, I'd have to pay BEFORE trying it. It's unavoidable I guess.

WednesdayMarch

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 04:20:42 PM »
Yes, that is always a bit of a worry, but the thing with custom fit is that they should fit you perfectly.  Make an appointment with Everglides.  Try everything they have, go through all the problems that you have with finding boots to fit and see if they can help you.  If you honestly don't feel that they can, then there's nothing to stop you going somewhere else for your custom fit boots.  I'm not sure what ranges Everglides carry, although I know they do stock Edea and Risport.  Do not be pressurized into a boot - even custom - that you really don't feel will be right but you need to start somewhere and Everglides are as good a place as any - and a lot better than some!


Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Dance blades. It's still a bit slippery...

Heavener

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 02:11:26 PM »
When do you know a boot is just right for you? Does everything just click and you know it instantly or is it more complicated than that?

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 03:24:11 PM »
Well speaking personally after having tried a few different boots over the years and skated for 10+ years by now I think I can feel pretty much straight away what is going to work and what isn't, but I certainly wasn't in that position as a relative beginner, and in any case before buying I would still go through a mental checklist of feeling whether my toes or foot are bring crushed or scrunched up or whether they have too much room, how well my heel is held in place, whether there is any obvious rubbing (harder to tell until you have skated a few sessions by which time it is too late!), whether your ankle bone is being crushed, too much or not enough tightness around the instep.  I tend to think that if you loosen the laces right off, and put your foot in, the foot should slot in without you having to force too much but equally should sort of clunk in and then feel held semi-firmly by the form of the boot even without lacing up.

WednesdayMarch

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 03:39:43 PM »
Transmissionoftheflame is bang on the money there.  Excellent advice and description.  It's nigh on impossible for a beginner to know whether a boot is a perfect fit or not but following that checklist will really help.

One thing I will add, however, is that the perfect fit for a beginner or recreational skater is different from that needed by an intermediate level skater who is serious about improving to the best they can be.  And the fit required for an elite skater would probably cause a beginner to seriously consider taking up a different hobby...

The best thing about retirement?  "Coaching slippers"...  ;D
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Dance blades. It's still a bit slippery...

NathanH

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2019, 04:51:55 PM »
Thanks to all who added to the discussion.

An update on my personal situation, and what I've learnt from travelling to the South coast and meeting with an Everglides person yesterday:
My Edea had been ill-fitted. After having tried a mondo size 255 of medium width in my local ice rink shop, and feeling like the lenght was relatively fitted, we had decided on ordering the same pair with a B width (the narrowest Edea does). I brought the boots to Everglides, who confirmed that they are both too long and large.

We tried on quite a few boots and came to the conclusion that:

-A UK 3.5, (mondo 240) seems to work better for me than my actualy feet lenght of roughly 39 centimeters.

-The Risport RF4 seem to match my feet reasonnably well as they are particularly narrow (production stopped due to unpopularity as too narrow for most people, the model is still abundant on second-hand selling platforms).

-Riedell's Motion is a potential match, my size was not available but we tried on a pair about 3 sizes above just to get a feel of the width. Ideally I'd love to find a Uk model that I can try on without buying but that's gonna be difficult. I also think the model we tried had a C (medium) width, but I realized afterwards that Riedell's width goes until AAAA: my absolute (unreachable) ideal would be to try on all of their A + AA + AAA + AAAA beginners skates in different mondo sizes from 240 to 250  :uglystupid2: :')

- Because the surface of my feet is very... "hollow", rather than "padded", I ultimately will feel some "empty spaces" even in a skate that's as snug as possible.

Overall I learnt a lot of fascinating things as the Everglides staff really has an extensive, experience-based knowledge of skate-fitting.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 05:00:07 PM by NathanH »

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Advice fitting for unusually narrow and thin feet
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2019, 05:35:43 PM »
I am glad you had a good experience
It sounds like you are already getting a good feel for what works for you and that can only improve and will stand you in good stead in the years to come
Even if you donít find the perfect skate this time you will know how to make the best of whatís available
Secondhand RF4s in that size should come up fairly often though you may need to paint them black if youíre bothered about the colour as there are more young ladies than young men that figure skate