So you’ve bought a nice pair of new beginner inline skates. You’re sure you did sizing correctly, but rollerblading for a couple of days has hurt your feet real bad. What now? How do you break in inline skates that are killing your feet? Do you just keep powering through hoping the pain and discomfort will go away after some time?
Also Read: How to Carry Your Inline Skates
Make Sure You Have a Proper Fit
Are you certain you bought your inline skates in the right size? I keep finding people saying buy this or that rollerblade a size bigger. But for the most part and with most inline skate brands, that’s bad advice.
Rollerblades are supposed to fit like regular shoes. But these skating boots are designed to fit pretty snug. If they hug your foot quite closely, understand it’s normal, precisely how they should fit.
If you size up, the odds are your skates will soon start feeling like they’re not providing enough support. And you likely won’t have good power transfer. Since rollerblades by their nature stretch a bit with time, it makes perfect sense to fit them nice and snug.
Properly fitted inline skates feel reasonably tight, and you don’t experience heel-lift during use. Also, there should be adequate room at the toe box, just enough space at the front to allow your toes to wiggle a bit.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s see how you can break in your inline skates.
5 Ways to Break in Your Rollerblades
- Wear your rollerblades more often.
- Tie your skates correctly.
- Bake them in the oven if the manufacturer says they are heat-moldable.
- Wear the same socks when riding your new rollerblades
- Have a skate expert fit your feet.
I’ll now expound on each of these points a bit so you can get more out of your time investment here.
1. The More You Blade, the Easier It gets
The more you skate, the faster and easier breaking in your boots gets. Assuming there isn’t a design issue that prevents your skates from breaking in, skating your boots for a couple of days often solves the problem.
Speaking of design issues, some rollerblade brands are just harder to break in. And sometimes you’re unable to break them in completely.
Take Swell inline skates, for example. Most of these skates come with a hard plastic part over the ankle bone. I’ve heard many skaters saying that the only way to break in Swell rollerblades is to use proper insoles that raise your heel and ankle a little.
Maybe you’re wondering how long it takes to break in inline skates. Some boots take as little as 12 hours to break in while others need a bit more work. I’ve skated in rollerblades that took me weeks to break in, and those weeks were pretty nasty. I persisted, and things started getting better for my feet.
So, start with short rollerblading adventures and keep going every day. As time passes, start doing harder, longer rides. Before long, you’ll start loving the comfortable, worn-in feeling your skates provide. Broken-in rollerblades won’t hurt your feet, and they certainly cause blisters and sores when you skate hard for long.
2. Tie or Fasten the Closure Mechanism Correctly
The way your lace up your rollerblades has a huge effect on how comfortable or uncomfortable they feel. You don’t want skates that are too loose as they won’t be supportive enough. Additionally, blades that are too loose tend to make breaking in the boots a tad more challenging.
Here’s the right way to lace up your boots so that you can fasten the wearing process. Pull each lace taut from the bottom working your way up.
You want to pull the laces even as you work each eyelet. Once you’ve done the entire length of your rollerblades, make sure to tie the ends of the laces in a tight knot.
What if my skates aren’t fastened using laces? If your boots have Velcro closures and plastic buckles. no problem. Wear the skates and pull the straps and the plastic on the buckle until they’re nice and snug rather than tight over your ankles, foot, and lower shin. Then, snap the buckle and power straps into place.
3. Wear Socks Every Time You Skate
Seriously, what does wearing socks have to do with breaking in rollerblades? A lot. It’s just not a good idea to ride rollerblades without socks.
I tried blading barefoot once as a beginner. And all I got was terrible sores and blisters. Plus, breaking in the boots proved impossible without socks. Also, I remember reading somewhere that riding rollerblades without socks causes the inner liner/comfort liner of the skates to wear away. Not desirable at all, right?
So, wear socks. Actually, wear the same socks every time. Why? Waring the same exact socks each time you’re out skating makes sure that your skates wear evenly.
You need rollerblading socks having a medium thickness to relatively thick. Choose athletic socks that you can pull all the way to the top of the boots.
4. Heat Mold Your Rollerblades in the Oven at Home
Heat-molding is a temperature-fed skate-fitting process that makes the boots conform to the shape of your foot. This is a pretty effective and the fastest way to break in rollerblades.
You can handle the process at home if you know how to do it right, and you can also have a skate-fitting expert to do it for you at a fee.
Now, not all inline skates can be heat-molded. Some rollerblades aren’t heat-moldable, and it’s your job to find out whether they’re thermo-moldable or not.
Most inline skates these days can be heat-molded, but to be 100 percent sure, read the product’s description to learn what kind of liner it features.
In most cases, you’ll have either Intuition liners or MyFit inner liners, and each is treated a little differently when heating them in the oven.
In this post: How to Heat Mold Inline Skates, I explain how to heat mold each type of liner correctly and safely.
5. Have a Skate Expert Fit Your Rollerblades
Sometimes, your boots are killing your feet because there are some pressure points that need to be addressed through expert knowledge.
If you’ve tried everything but your skates just won’t break in, maybe it’s time to have someone that understands the skate-fitting process to help you out. In fact, having your feet fitted is the best way to make your boots fit you comfortably.
Usually, a fitter designs custom insoles for your feet and pairs that up with heat-molding your boots.
How to Break in Your Rollerblades: Conclusion
Breaking in rollerblades isn’t always easy. It can take as little as 12 hours in some cases, but it can take you days or even weeks before your inline blades can have that nice worn-in feel.
Generally, the more frequently you use your skates, the faster the wearing process. Wearing socks also helps as is properly tying the laces or whichever fastening mechanism you have. Also, make sure to choose fitting rollerblades, and if necessary, have a fitting expert work on your boots and make them comfier. Finally, you also heat mold your rollerblades at home but be careful or you’ll damage them.