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Magua

Skate Fit Issues (Mission/Alkali specifically)

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I'm moving from a 5.5 to 6.0 in skates, as measured in a store. My years old Mission skates, over the last 6 months or so, have been giving me some fits, especially in the ankle ball bone area, but mostly only if I'm skating for a while. They're generally OK, but the boots are crumbling, and it's well past time for a new pair. So I'm in the market for new skates, but I've had a lot of trouble finding anything that fits even half decently. I don't have ice skates either, so I'm a bit in the dark trying to find my way here. Virtually every skate that is a D width I've tried on (Tour, Bauer Vapor, CCM Tacks) is a complete no-go. They all seem to crush my foot in the inside mid foot area, shaded towards the heel, where your foot should narrow but mine is a bit straight. Mission Inhalers E width are fine there, though they are bothering my ankle bone area again when I lace them up. Worse comes to worst, I think that's maybe fixable in the heat mold (?). They're roomy otherwise in my foot. But they feel a bit clunky on me, and I was really going back and forth. 

So I got 2 pairs of Alkali skates online because I have no other options: the RPD Team+ in D width and the RPE Rival+. I know they're very heat moldable and have a unique fit, so I wasn't sure if the D would fit. To my surprise, I think the RPD Team+ fit better. Because I cannot win, it seems these skates (both pairs, but the Team+ isn't as tight) give me tightness in a hot spot on my foot the other skates haven't: the outside mid foot area, close to the same spot as I described above, just on the outside part of my foot. Not quite as bad though. I couldn't even walk in those or put pressure on my inside foot, let alone skate. 

I am curious if anyone could tell me if this sounds like something that could be fixed in the heat mold, because I think these Alkali skates feel sleeker and fit better otherwise than the other brands. They also fit a bit differently in length (read: smaller) in that my bigger foot has my big toe up against the cap when I stand erect. But when I crouch in skating pose, I don't feel my toes feathering. It's a tighter fit than I'm used to, but I read that this is a thing with Alkali skates due to their unique foot fit. So I don't think this is something I need to worry about? If it's not, I'm wondering if the other issue is fixable with a heat mold........or maybe I should just go with the Missions. At a loss here.   

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You can get them punched or stretched, any decent LHS can do it or you can do it yourself at home for around $20 of tools (2 x c clamps), some wood off cuts and a D shaped stone.

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I've found the outside midfoot pressure issue easier to deal with in baking than issues in the arch. Prior to punching, which can seriously impact the durability of skates and make them prone to creasing, my first suggestion is to build up the area on your foot where you feel pressure with dense material -- I've found the felt sticky floor protector pads used on the bottom of kitchen chairs quite useful for this purpose. Stick them where it hurts, wrap with tape, put a sock on, and mold the skates after baking with the felt in the boot, lacing pretty tight. Generally it is also a good idea to stand up while molding for at least a minute (but don't move around). Alkali specifically recommends standing though other manufacturers do not.

What you are describing with the unbearable pain sounds like it comes from a compressed arch. Typically this arises where the arch is misplaced in the boot relative to your foot and/or where the skate is not deep enough (you don't pass the pencil test) resulting in you tying too tight. If the culprit is arch placement, it may be worth looking into OTC orthotics like superfeet. The arch issue is very difficult to address even with professional skate fitting, as it tends not to show until you've been skating for 10 minutes or so.  If the culprit is lack of depth, bulky orthotics will only make it worse. 

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