It’s worth analysing your old faithful hockey boots to see whether they are still right for you – if you do need new boots, it will help you in choosing the right set for your foot. We look at the common signs that tell you that your feet have changed and that your hockey boots should too.
What kinds of signs should you be looking for? Many of them will be hard to ignore as they often relate to pain. Here are 5 signs that you need new boots.
- Toe graze. When you are wearing your boots, you should be able to wiggle your toes around comfortably without them rubbing up against the tip of your boots. Remember that your feet tend to swell during the day so it is best to test this at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest.
- Blisters and bruises. If you are getting these on your feet, take note of where they are. Chances are, your boots are too tight or narrow in that area. Be sure to find a boot that is slightly wider or looser in these specific areas.
- A result of wearing narrow or tight shoes for too long. The pressure hardens the skin which could lead to painful bunions, corns and ingrown toenails. Find a shop that will stretch your shoes for you, otherwise you may need to buy a spacious pair.
- Aching arches. This indicates a lack of support as your lower foot muscles strain to hold your arch up. Keeping these muscles strong through exercises and stretches is one way to combat the problem. However; if it is bothering you constantly, you may want to consider getting customised arch supports to put in your shoe.
- Your boots look like they have been squashed. If your boots are more wrinkled than your skin in the bath then it is definitely time to change them.
TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BOOTS
Once you have a new pair of boots, it is important that you look after them to ensure you don’t suffer from the problems above too early. Start implementing these tips into your hockey routine.
- Keep your boots dry wherever possible. Naturally, your boots will get wet from sweat and rain. Simply stuff them with newspaper and leave them dry.
- Keep two pairs so you can rotate your use of each. This will help each boot last longer and has been shown to reduce injury; particularly with slightly different pairs of boots.
- Keep them cool by storing them at room temperature. Don’t leave them in the car where they can get very hot or too cold.