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Author Topic: Question on pain along inner side of foot  (Read 321 times)

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Offline DressmakingMomma

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Question on pain along inner side of foot
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:17:23 PM »
DD is 14 and has a pair of custom Harlicks that she has been wearing for about a year. They were tough to break in, but were feeling comfortable until recently. I traced and checked her foot measurements and they haven't changed since we ordered last December. She is experiencing pain all down the insides of both feet and sometimes particularly at the front of her arch, just behind the ball of her foot. She does pronate pretty significantly and uses cork wedges to help bring her foot into a neutral position.

I haven't done anything yet to try to rectify, we were going to maybe add some superfeet and see if those help. The only thing that has really changed is that she is skating less, down to only two days a week so maybe it has to do with loss of muscle in her foot? Not sure, thought I would ask here in case anybody has some ideas.

Thanks!

Offline Leif

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 04:11:16 AM »
Firstly I should point out that I wear hockey skates, not figures. That said, SuperFeet raise the heel and reduce the volume of the skate so they will change the fit markedly. They will support the arches, but it's a one size fits all solution. I tried some but found them uncomfortable, they changed my balance, and they gave me lace bite due to reduce skate volume. So they might not be what you want. I use Bauer Speed Plates which are heat moldable insoles. They support my arches and increase the contact area between the soles of my feet and the skates. They are wonderful, at least in my hockey skates. I do not know if they will fit figure skates. I know someone who got custom insoles for his skates and the price was not much more than SuperFeet or Speed Plates.

My experience is that the more I skate, the more likely I am to have foot discomfort. That said, since getting Speed Plates I have had very little discomfort.

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 01:46:06 PM »
Did you measure the width and circumfrence of her feet, or just the length?  Is it possible that her feet have grown a little wider than when she was first measured?

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 08:20:45 PM »
Foot shape has not changed, I did a new tracing just to be sure. What I think might be happening is that the skates could be breaking down. She doesn't beat up the outsides too much, but I noticed a dent in the right boot at the ankle and the tongues feel really, really soft. The skates are way more bendable than her old Harlicks, so I'm wondering if that could be causing the pain? I'm going to check with her coaches on Saturday and see what they think.

Offline Query

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 01:29:48 AM »
Fixing the bend in the boot itself would be hard. For example, if the boot is breaking down, and isn't too old, some boot makers will "rebuild" the skate - for a fee, possibly $50 - $100 (USD). You have to call the boot maker to check. And it isn't necessarily the problem. Plus, you may loose access to the boot for a few weeks.

There are six very quick, cheap and dirty temporary things you could try:

1. Add a little tape or adhesive foam on the side of the boot directly opposite the bend. My assumption is that the bend is pushing your foot over onto the the opposite side of the bottom of her feet more than before. The new tape will create a counter-pressure.

2. Examine the insole, and what is underneath. Is a nail or other bump coming through, that is hurting the foot?

3. Stick on a little tape or adhesive foam (e.g., molefoam) underneath the insole directly underneath the point that hurts. (My assumption is that the part of the foot that hurts isn't getting enough support.)

4. Stick a little tape or adhesive foam everywhere underneath the arch on the inside of the foot. (My assumption is that the entire arch isn't getting enough support.)

5. Remove the tape or foam from the place that hurts. (My assumption is that the part of the foot that hurts is getting too much support, relative to the rest of the arch.)

6. Stick a little tape or foam EVERYWHERE on the insole except the point that hurts. (My assumption is that the part of the foot that hurts is getting too much support, relative to the entire rest of the foot.)

If none of these removes the pain, I don't want to speculate on what would help. But you can hopefully get back to where you were, and do not harm, by removing the tape or foam.

BTW, if your coach doesn't know what to do, but there is a very good skate tech in your area, he/she might be able to fix the problem. But I love just taking the empirical approach, and trying things myself.

Anyway, good luck.

Oh, one more thing: If it feels like there is a lot of pressure on the top of the foot, in the toebox, maybe it could be stretched, upwards.

Let's hope it isn't caused by a foot injury!

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 11:04:27 AM »
Thanks Query, your questions are helpful in that they have me thinking more deeply about the 'why' of how her foot hurts. With that in mind, what do you think about the following ideas?

It is the whole inside of her foot, more on the right foot than the left, but both feet hurt. The dent developing in the boot is on the outside by the ankle. She pronates significantly. Now I'm thinking that if the outside or ankles of the boots are no longer giving her the support they used to, then she is feeling the pressure of her foot wanting to push inwards from her pronation and causing the pressure/pain along the inside of her foot.

She uses cork heel wedges to correct her pronation under her insoles, but I have noticed something else. The marks on her insoles show really dark marks by her heels and her big toes, but have faint marking at her ball and no marking at her arches. I am thinking that means her arch is not making contact with the insole and she needs greater arch support. I also wonder if that means much of her skating is on her big toe and not on the ball of her foot. I don't know ANYTHING about proper technique (I leave that to the coaches) but I am thinking that you would have more marking under the ball of your foot rather than your big toe. I wonder if the cork wedges under her heels are lurching her too far forward onto her toes and she is countering that by applying all sorts of pressure to that big toe rather than the balls of her feet.

I also noticed that the tongue feels soft and bendable - so it probably isn't giving as much support as it used to either. Her boots are custom Harlicks, and they rebuild support and replace tongues for a reasonable amount of money.

Thanks for your guidance. I'm going to see if I can upload a picture or two.

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 11:22:51 AM »
Okay, lets see if this works. I'm attempting to link to a picture of her insoles. These are just about a year old.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pu81svdyNE85kJAdurOxxQoNwKCfZ779/view?usp=sharing

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 11:25:51 AM »
And this is the right boot. Hard to capture in a picture, but the shadow where the first eyelet starts is the dent that has started forming.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lt7CjX4ckjEhYJKHZwBX7HF_kbeXXklR/view?usp=sharing

Offline Query

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 12:28:00 PM »
I'm not an expert on anyone's feet but my own. :) And I don't tend to pronate.

However, I notice that both her insoles and her boots are well worn. If the cork wedges were made a while ago, they may have compressed and no longer be fully functional, as is likely true of her insoles. Replace them?

I know this is not what you would like to hear, because boots are expensive, but to me at least, those boots are more than just broken in - they are broken down. I don't see how they could be providing much support. Notice also the inwards curvature below the ankle, which shows the boot has been collapsing there, when she puts much weight on it.

But experimentation is always a good approach to take to solve problems, in my opinion. I like to think through possible solutions, and try them.

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 01:10:27 PM »
Thanks for the input, Query!

I was thinking the boots were probably broken down, they feel soft. This is a first for her, she has always outgrown boots before breaking them down so I wasn't sure. At least I feel like we got our money's worth out of them this time.

She is skating between 3-5 hours a week now, but she does about 5 hours of training over the summer every day so they had a lot of wear and tear for those months. She is a strong, muscular girl too, but the outsides don't tend to get beat up because she pulls her pants down over her boots. They are a year old in January, so that would make sense. She has her singles, no axel, but she has a lot of power to her skating and her edges are very strong - those are her skating strengths.

Also, I looked up the insoles Leif mentioned and they look like something she should definitely try. I feel like the cork wedges are an okay solution, but they stop at a funky spot in her arch and even though we do lots of adjusting they are never quite right.

Offline icedancer

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2017, 02:09:20 PM »
What make of boot is that?  It doesn't look very stable.

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2017, 02:19:33 PM »
They are competitor level Harlicks, with two layer construction. I don't like to go too stiff because she has really sensitive feet, although we will probably go up one level next time. I'm going to call Harlick tomorrow and see if they can rebuild the support in these before we order new boots. We also order the lower cut BB backstay, otherwise they cut into her calves.

Offline icedancer

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 06:22:36 PM »
I see!  Well I think that is a fairly stable boot so it must be something about the photograph - maybe with all of the laces undone or something -

It will be interesting to see what the solution is!

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 09:29:40 PM »
And this is the right boot. Hard to capture in a picture, but the shadow where the first eyelet starts is the dent that has started forming.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lt7CjX4ckjEhYJKHZwBX7HF_kbeXXklR/view?usp=sharing
That dent is the start of a crease.  In most recent boot designs at the intermediate or advanced level, there typically is now a flex notch cut in that position to relieve the stress and prevent the formation of such a dent (while allowing for easier ankle bend).  I'm surprised your Harlicks don't have flex notches.  When you order new boots in the future, you should specify flex notches.  If you find out that your current pair is still otherwise serviceable, you should ask your skate tech whether he can cut and stitch flex notches (at a reasonable price, of course).

Offline Query

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Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 12:47:00 PM »
BTW, I suppose it is possible that what I see as an inward warp, could just be the shape of her feet, and have been produced by the heat mold, rather than a sign that they are breaking down and not supporting her feet any more.

I have mixed feelings about flex notches. It's possible they make the boot break down sooner. OTOH, they can obviously make a boot more comfortable. I eventually had notches cut in my Klingbeils, and it helped.

I think 1 year lifetime is fairly plausible for good custom fit boots (which should last longer, due to better fit), with the number of hours of presumably-freestyle skating she is doing. I've heard (I think that was from Mike Cunningham too) that 18-24 months is more typical for good properly custom fit boots, used for Freestyle, on people whose feet are no longer growing, but there is a substantial range of variation for different athletes. It's an unfortunate fact of life that good athletic equipment designed for optimal performance can't last forever. Extremely high boot lifetime also isn't compatible with ideal comfort, lightness and functionality. For example, I was once told that for Harlick's lightest boots (which were lighter than Edeas), 6 months might be more typical lifetime.

Sure, some people's, including mine, last longer. But I don't jump much, and probably am not as strong as a good athlete, even a young lady. I had single layer Risport boots break down in a few weeks. (Possibly because I was taught to use deep ice dance edges.) (They were used, but showed no signs of wear whatsoever - the kid must have been growing very fast.) But I've gone back to my approximately 13 year old Klingbeil Dance boots, that must have a few thousand hours on them by now. But must of what I've done on them is more or less ice dance, NOT freestyle. And Klingbeils, which were essentially all leather, were heavy boots made of very durable materials, that were expected to last a long time. Plus, mine were rebuilt by Klingbeil, after 6 years. They are now quite broken down, but are finally comfortable as long as I don't try anything beyond an occasional Waltz jump, and are sufficient for what I mostly do. When I was trying to jump more, they weren't adequate. If I needed extra sideways support against pronation or supination, I suspect they wouldn't be adequate for that either.

I tried SuperFeet (both the shoe and skate models) and a number of other brands of insole, in skates, shoes, hiking boots, and XC Ski boots. The problem with SuperFeet, etc., is that they are a specific shape, which might not happen to be what your DD needs, to make her particular feet work with her particular boots. The end result is that some people love them, and some people hate them. And also means that most people have to adjust their shape a fair bit to get a really good fit - which, done right, is about as much work as making your own insoles from raw materials, like foam, but SuperFeet are much more expensive than raw materials.

The worst, from a customization perspective, were gel-filled insoles. They weren't stable enough for precision edges, and you can't cut into them to make adjustments without loosing the gel. OTOH, they might have been fine for walking or running shoes, or XC boots.

I tried one type of heat mold-able rigid insole - I forget the brand. They worked moderately well for a short while, but eventually pushed out those boots at the bottom. Though, again, those were single-layer boots. Good quality double layer leather boots, with an additional stiffening layer in between, like any high level boots have, would have undoubtedly lasted longer. That caused them to wear out and be too wide for my feet quite quickly, and they eventually started rocking and being unstable. I concluded that I would never try heat molded insoles again.

I've concluded that making your own insoles, completely customized to your feet and body, works better than any insole or consumer market "orthotic" you can buy - IF AND ONLY IF you have the foot sensitivity to feel where the high and low pressure points are on your feet, how your feet are deforming as you skate, and the analytic skill to figure out what you individually need your insoles to do. It gets more complicated if your daughter isn't mature enough to do that herself, and you have to do it for her, because she still has to be able to describe to you precisely what she feels, and if she lacks the sensitive or analytic skill to do that, it can't completely work, no matter how hard you try. Maybe if you had the pressure sensitive socks that some podiatrists use (they connect to a computer) to map out pressure points, as their customers move - but I'm not even sure that non-medical people can buy them, the total set up must be expensive, and you'd have to learn how to use it.

However, completely customized boots, like I think Harlick is capable of making, if both the fit and post-production final adjustments are done by someone who really knows what they are doing, like Harlick's own factory reps (one of whom, Phil[?], I think, used to be their master boot maker), ARE, in effect, fully customized orthotics (which are the same thing as custom insoles, but are made or modified by a professional), specifically designed to work with her feet. So, at least at first, if all that is done completely right, she wouldn't need different insoles than they came with - and they could theoretically be even better than making her own insoles, because the customization could cover the entire feet. So, if she does need new boots, I encourage you to take her to to Phil (if I remember the name right), or to the factory store, for both initial custom fit and post-production adjustments.

Hope things work out!