Orthotics for Figure Skates and Hockey Skates
Foot orthotics can be a great benefit to skaters –whether figure skaters, hockey or speed skaters. We are the Seattle specialists in ice skate orthotics and we recommend custom orthotics for skaters who have trouble getting to an outside edge or who suffer with the following conditions:
- Big toe joint pain
- Painful ankle bones or bursitis at the ankle
- Painful or enlarged navicular (the bone on the inside of the foot about mid-arch)
- Arch pain
- Ball of foot pain
- Posterior tibial tendonitis
These are all conditions that are associated with excessive pronation (flat foot). To control this abnormal motion that causes these problems we can make orthotics that fit easily into either stock or custom boots.
Who Should Make Your Skate Orthotics?
You need to work with a podiatrist who is experienced in making orthotics for low-volume boots such as most ice skates and understands the biomechanics of skating. Skate orthotics are very specialized, both in their function and in the fit in the boot.
If you are in the Puget Sound area, make an appointment to see us in our Seattle foot clinic. If you are outside of the Seattle area, ask other skaters or coaches who they recommend for orthotics. For the best outcomes, you absolutely need someone with plenty of experience.
Be sure to bring your skates with you for your appointment. Once we take the cast of your foot, the skates must be sent with the casts to the orthotic lab for fabrication of your orthotics. It normally takes about two weeks to get the orthotics back and you will be without your skates for that time. The lab does offer a rush service for an additional cost.
Ice Skate Orthotics for Flat Feet and Other Hard to Fit Feet: Custom Skates
If you have severely flat feet you may require extra wide orthotics to support your foot. Although we can usually make an orthotic to fit your current skates, in some situations an extra wide orthotic is needed to support a very flat foot and that orthotic can be difficult to fit inside a standard skate. (You can learn more about orthotics for flat feet here).
In this situation we will often make a special skate orthotic to support the patient’s flat feet and then the patient will be casted for a custom skate while wearing the orthotic. The skate is made to fit both the foot and the orthotic.
For figure skaters we have had good success with Riedell custom skates. If you are a candidate for this combination of custom skate orthotics and custom skates we will first make the orthotics for you and then refer you to a skate technician to be casted for the custom skates.
Besides flat feet, this combination of custom skate orthotics and custom skates also works well for other skaters with hard to fit feet.
Prefabricated Skate Orthotics
Although not as effective as custom skate orthotics, prefabricated orthotics for ice skates can offer greater stability and pain relief than the insole that comes with the skate.
We have evaluated a number of prefabricated orthotics in a number of skates to find those that provide the best support and still fit well into skates. We have had the best luck with FootChair Orthotic with adjustable arch. FootChair orthotics have a stable arch to start with plus they come with additional pads that can be added (up to two) to a pocket under the cover. This allows the arch to be increased for more support. We have a number of our skaters wearing these excellent OTC arch supports quite successfully in their ice skates.
It is the most stable prefabricated arch support that we have found that still fits into skates. If you are not in the Seattle area, or are not yet ready to try a custom orthotic, we recommend trying this PowerStep Arch Support. You may need to trim it a little to fit into your skates.