Ice Hockey Skates & Flat Feet
Shopping for your first pair of hockey skates can be challenging, especially when purchasing them online. It can be even more difficult for players with flat feet because skate boots are stiff, have a snug fit, and are mostly designed with regular foot widths and arch heights in mind. So what should a player with flat feet keep in mind when buying skates?
Manufacturers, Lines, & Models
Let's start with the basics. Currently, Bauer and CCM are the two biggest manufacturers in hockey skates. They each offer three lines of skates with three entirely different fits - one for narrower feet, one for regular feet, and one for wider feet. Players with flat or wide feet should look at skates from the Bauer Nexus line because they have the roomiest fit. For CCM, they should look at Tacks skates.
Bauer Nexus skates have a high-volume boot that allows the skate to comfortably wrap around the foot and give a natural-feeling glide.
CCM Tacks skates will also give players with flat feet a very snug fit while providing a nice forward pitch for improved speed and acceleration.
After finding the right model skate, players should then find out what boot width they need. Skates are offered in Narrow (C), Regular (D), and Wide (EE) widths. When shopping for Nexus, Tacks, or any other skates with a wide fit type, consider a D width to be similar to an EE width on a narrower skate. Players with extremely flat or wide feet should then consider an EE fit.
Inserts & Footbeds
If your skates still hurt your feet despite being the correct width, the footbed may be to blame. Often the generic footbeds that come with skates are made of low-quality materials and should be replaced with a high-quality insert. CCM makes custom inserts for low, medium, and high arch types that fit in any skate, including non-CCM models. Flat-footed players should choose the low arch option. The CCM Custom Insoles sell for $49.99
Bauer offers players Speed Plates, which are custom, heat-molded inserts. Speed Plates are rigid and give the most support out of all other hockey skate footbeds on the market. They can be heated at home in the oven and will form to players' feet inside the skate. The Bauer Speed Plates sell for $49.99.
Another insert option is Superfeet. They have hundreds of different inserts for every foot shape and type of discomfort. For hockey, the Superfeet Yellow and Carbon Pro Hockey inserts are recommended for flat feet. They provide players with the necessary forward pitch and take up very little room in already snug-fitting skates and sell for $44.95 and $54.95, respectively.
To ensure a proper fit, players should start by choosing a Superfeet letter-size based on their shoe size, not their skate size. However, if the difference between their shoe size and skate size is two sizes or more, players should consider going down a Superfeet letter-size to better match the size and fit of their skate.
Flat-footed players can experience pain and discomfort caused by several different factors. Thankfully, wearing properly fitting skates and using custom skate inserts can relieve these problems. If you need help finding your next pair of skates, please come visit our Superstore in Los Angeles and one of our skate experts will help get you into the perfect fit.