July 17th, 2013, 04:10 PM #1
Break in period for new skates
OK so I finally decided to upgrade my skates from Bauer 16's to Graf 535's after 5 years. It was a good beginner skate but the steel was running out and they have the old tuuk 1 chassis meaning I would spend nearly as much as i did on the skates originally to keep them (replace steel and chassis on boot).
I had thought I wanted to stay in the Vapor family but the new boots did not feel good on my feet at all and I switched. When I was first learning I know there was the break in period but it was mitigated by the fact that because I was learning I really wasn't putting much weight into the boot. Haven't had a chance to get to the rink to break the skates in before playing in them but after the first game my feet were tender and I could tell I wasn't committing like I could on the edges because of it.
So, I cannot remember, how long should it take to break in a pair of skates for a bottom level/intermediate player (220lbs) in ice time?
If I got to free skates or stick times what does everyone recommend in terms of skating drills/reps whatnot to help speed the process?
Any advice appreciated!
July 17th, 2013, 04:39 PM #2
The Graf skates have a system of foot measurements that determine which model, size and width skate you should purchase. If you haven't done this already, I would recommend going down to Hockey Monkey and have the measurements done. Once you have the correct skates, the break in period on Grafs is minimal.
July 17th, 2013, 04:43 PM #3
Hey man, I also switched from Bauer to Graf about 2 years ago. First thing I noticed right away was the forward lean of the Grafs, that took me about a game or two to fully get used to being more on my toes. Where I really noticed it was when pivoting to go backwards, I caught my heel edge quite a few times, and fell, it sucked. Soon enough though I was able to pivot without a hitch.
Regarding the break-in period, sheesh, mine literally took about 2 seasons of 14 games each season (about 10 months). I bought the Ultra G5's in a "regular" width, recommended to me by my bud whom is a manager at Hockey Monkey. I bring that up because he knows his stuff, and I was on the edge of "Regular" and "Wide" boot versions. I tried on various Graf models so I could feel the difference in fit, and after 3 different pairs, the Ultra G5's felt the best. He persuaded me to go with Regular, with punching in the the potential problem spots. I expected the skates to be uncomfortable for the first few skates/games, but the discomfort never went away when it seemed like it should have. I went in for a total of 3 different punching sessions and finally got them dialed in. Now they fit great, and don't cause any pain at all. I also discovered that the wax laces they came with were causing severe lace-bite, and causing my foot to tingle and go numb for a bit until they barely loosened up around the 2nd period of a game. I switched the wax laces out for the regular cloth ones and holy crap did my feet ever thank me for that!
Hope that helped!
July 17th, 2013, 04:48 PM #4
A couple skates at most is all you should need if they're baked well. I had the same issue with Bauer. Skated on them for over a decade, but the new boots just weren't doing it for me. I went to Grafs and played a game that night, and had zero issues. That was the first time I skated on them.
July 17th, 2013, 04:54 PM #5
^ dang, I wish my transition to Graf was that smooth.
I've considered going back to Bauer, the NEXUS line is a wider boot. I tried them on and they felt pretty good. Maybe after another season or two. My break-in period with my Graf's was pretty brutal to be honest, and I wanted to like the skates, but I couldn't, because they kept hurting my feet. Perhaps if I went with the "wide" boot from the get-go it wouldn't have taken as long. Oh well.
July 17th, 2013, 05:29 PM #6
Ok some quick notes,
1) I'm in the SF/Oakland area so hockeymonkey is out. I did however get measured at HockeyXsport here in town and they did measure my feet for size for the Graf's. In the store they felt good. The store itself is pretty highly recommended amongst our hockey community.
2) While skating the boots didn't hurt, it was more like my feet got tired if that makes sense. I've only been on ice with them once.
3) I have the regular laces in, no wax. I'm not a big fan of the waxed laces (or at least I wasn't with the bauers)
Going to try to get to some public ice and if issues persist I'll get back down to the shop. Interesting to know that the breakin time should be minimal. Really sorry to hear about your experience beedee, I'm hoping mine isn't similar.
July 17th, 2013, 05:34 PM #7
It does take a little bit of getting used to, so I wouldn't worry about the feet getting tired. The muscles are there, you're just using them differently and that should resolve itself soon.
Originally Posted by jammer06
Not all wax laces are the same. My laces now are much less stiff than my previous pair, but still provide enough wax to keep the skates tight. Perhaps that would be something to look in to on that front.
Which reminds me, I need new laces....
July 25th, 2013, 10:05 AM #8
Just a quick update. I've managed to play 3 games so far, no public skates. Going to call it 50-60 minutes total ice time. By the end of game 3 the skates are much more comfortable. I'm trusting the edges a lot more and was able to make many more escape type moves. Soreness/tiredness last night taking off the skates was minimal.
One thing I have noticed is I do need to get out and practice my straight line stride. Not sure if its the heel tilt or what but I'm definitely swimming a bit when I'm racing to a puck. Will try to get out today.
July 25th, 2013, 12:34 PM #9
Loosen up the laces and put on 2 or 3 pairs of socks until they are broken in. Stand up and put weight on your feet while you tie the skates.
July 25th, 2013, 10:52 PM #10
Walk around your home while wearing them (with skate guards on). Also, that "swim" feel you get can just be because of ice condition.