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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old October 28th, 2016, 07:17 PM   #1
LaterSkater
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Default Barefoot vs. Socks

I always skate with somewhat thick socks and thin EZ fits. Beginning this summer, I started getting blisters. Today, when I arrived at the lake where I skate, I realized that I forgot to pack my socks. I decided to skate anyway with bare feet and EZ fits.

Since I was sockless, I watched my form more closely than usual. The result was no blisters and a 10 second per mile faster pace on my usual 14 mile route.

I am guessing that two factors caused this: better form and a bit more wiggle room inside my skates. Recently, I re-molded the boots while wearing the usual socks and EZ fits, but perhaps a bit of wiggle room works better for me.

At any rate, I think I will skate barefoot from now on if the weather allows it.

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Old October 28th, 2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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Thicker socks are usually cotton. Cotton = sandpaper to your skin. If you decide to go back to socks, try using a coolmax cycling sock. Your feet will thank you.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 08:48 PM   #3
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Blisters are primarily the result of relative OSCILLATING MOTION of a pressure surface near the skin.

One might think that a thick sock can mitigate the the potential blistering damage that the moving inner lining of a boot could inflict on the skin, but in fact the sock can lower the friction with the inside boot surfaces and cause a GREATER AMPLITUDE of foot sliding inside the boot.

This can cause the inside surface to cycle further back and forth over a wider range of motion that ends up triggering greater levels of surface irritation to the skin.

If going sockless raises the level of friction between the layers of things trying to move and slip relative to each other, then the skin can stick better against the inside surface of the boot and the relative sliding of what presses against the SURFACE of the skin will be reduced .

This also means a bit more foot push force gets converted into moving your body further/faster laterally, instead of just sliding inside the boot

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Old October 28th, 2016, 09:06 PM   #4
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I started going without socks a while after getting custom boots. At first I couldn't get my feet in them very well without socks, pulled on my skin and hair. Eventually I decided to shave the hair off my ankles and fore-foot and I could get them without too much annoyance. Once I did, though, oh man the control I had! I didn't have to tie them as tight to keep them from moving around, so I was getting less cramps. It was great.

I can't seem to use Ez-Fits since one of my main issues revolves around my flat arches. Ez-Fits wrap around the middle of the arches, leaving the heel and ball exposed, which just makes the arch issue worse for me. This is certainly not a bash on the product, they're great, just doesn't work for me.

Now, the down sides of going sock-less:

Sweat. They are literally wet after practice.

Stink. Oh man, I had to get a bag with outside straps to let them air out. The trunk of my car can sometimes smell of them even when they haven't been in there that day. I'm not allowed to leave my bag in the living room.

Abrasiveness. My Bont boots have a micro-fiber lining. On wear areas, like the upper ankle, it's gotten very rough as it's worn down. I started taping my ankles for a while, but I've found pads to be better. I also get a bit of bite from the edge of the tongue at times. Pads help there, too. Plus I needed a bit more ankle pressure, so the pads have helped to close up that space a bit. I use round, disk shaped make-up sponges.

Grunge. You can literally scrape out gunk from my feet that has collected in the lower end of the boots. Yeah, it's gross, and I'm sure adds to the stink.

But, sometimes the down sides are worth it for the performance.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 11:08 PM   #5
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Bare foot = NOTORIOUS RED - an all natural deodorizer developed by derby folks, it's base is tea tree oil (naturally has anti fungal, anti-mocrobial properties). It will help keep the stink at bay, or prevent boot stink if your skates have not turned already. Good stuff!




Ezeefits work wonders to still provide good control and feel in the boots, and with no socks your foot is less apt to slip. Movement = power loss (and potential to get blisters)

If you're going to wear socks, a thin, moisture wicking is best - we love the SOLE socks. they are micro-seamed, and worth their weight in gold.

A side note in using combination of ezeefits & socks - ezeefit (if used) should be your first layer of defense, and not worn over the sock, but under the sock.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 11:24 PM   #6
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When I was using socks I almost exclusively used Addidias Climate quarter socks. Not Climate II. The Climate socks had very small seam at the toe, almost non-existant, thin enough to not be too squishy, but just enough to have a layer between you and your skates. They seemed to wick sweat pretty well and hold up great. I use them for daily wear socks as well.

For a while I also used cheap trouser socks. They look like thick nylons. I would literally get them at the dollar store. They were a little more slippery than I would have liked, but they were very thin.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 11:49 PM   #7
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Some of the barefoot skaters on the team I skate on use Old Spice deodorant on their feet. Not only does it help to eliminate the odor, it helps to get the skates on their feet.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 05:53 AM   #8
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My training partner rides a motorcycle and once asked me if he could leave his skates in my car boot until our next session to save him carrying them home in a backpack.

My car was funked up like an episode of Jerry Seinfeld so I had to move them, I put them in my laundry and funked it up. The smell was horrendous.

Be warned.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 01:03 PM   #9
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I use these. They are thin enough for comfort and keep the smell down. They don't slide either. Just ask my teammates. It took 3 people per foot to pull off my pinnacles when I broke my clavicle.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old October 29th, 2016, 04:10 PM   #10
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Default No blisters

If going barefoot does not work for you the way to avoid blisters is to wear 2 pair of very thin bike socks. The socks will take up all the friction.

Learned this way back while playing racket ball.

Try it!
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Old November 2nd, 2016, 01:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shesk8 View Post
Bare foot = NOTORIOUS RED - an all natural deodorizer developed by derby folks, it's base is tea tree oil (naturally has anti fungal, anti-mocrobial properties). It will help keep the skank at bay, or prevent boot skank if your skates have not turned already. Good stuff!




Ezeefits work wonders to still provide good control and feel in the boots, and with no socks your foot is less apt to slip. Movement = power loss (and potential to get blisters)

If you're going to wear socks, a thin, moisture wicking is best - we love the SOLE socks. they are micro-seamed, and worth their weight in gold.

A side note in using combination of ezeefits & socks - ezeefit (if used) should be your first layer of defense, and not worn over the sock, but under the sock.
I think you mean "stank", rather than "skank" (a woman of ill repute).
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Old November 3rd, 2016, 03:12 AM   #12
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I love the feel of barefoot... BUT... really love my super thin EzeeFit booties!

I have to say that one of the biggest attractions to my super thin EzeeFit booties besides the great comfort, is that the top of the booties trap a lot of sweat that otherwise would be sinking into the depths of my boots for a stink show! I love those darned booties!
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Old November 3rd, 2016, 04:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentek View Post
If going barefoot does not work for you the way to avoid blisters is to wear 2 pair of very thin bike socks. The socks will take up all the friction.

Learned this way back while playing racket ball.

Try it!
The other option for those of us that won't do barefoot is Wrightsock. They have socks with two layers of very thin material, and are guaranteed to prevent blisters. Here's an example Wrightsock at Amazon
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Old November 3rd, 2016, 05:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckboucher View Post
Some of the barefoot skaters on the team I skate on use Old Spice deodorant on their feet. Not only does it help to eliminate the odor, it helps to get the skates on their feet.
I'm guessing they don't put it on the soles for their feet, thinking their foot would slide around inside the boot? Not a big fan of Old Spice but I like it better than any sneakers I've worn without socks
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Old November 8th, 2016, 01:20 AM   #15
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Yes, replace skank with stunk or stink.

In past I had tried wright sock only to find out they were the wrong sock. I thew them away. With 2 layers and there is movement between the foot and boots, even in tight fitting boots. If there is need to feel barefoot and still have some level of added protection against dirt and grit getting into the top cuff of botos causing issues, or protecting against moisture/sweat (which too can cause blistering) Ezeefits are choice! Bike socks are generally not tight/snug enough and have textures. Running socks in past were okay, but found they do not hold shape over time, and eventually get loose feeling in the boots after some usage.

Still our all time faves that are tight, stay in place, with arch support, micro seamed toebox, moisture wicking, and antimicrobial... SOLE Socks.

There is/was a product called Body Glide that many barefoot skaters would use, too. Some of this stuff comes from cycling/Running to help prevent chaffing. Just as word of caution and helpful tip while lingering on topic of barefoot skating (and, I think there is an entire thread dedicated to "When Boots Turn Nasty"...) vinegar will not neutralize or descent already deadly, smelly boots.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 06:47 PM   #16
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Guy who used to be russian olympic (long track) team candidate said that they skate without socks because feedback from feet while skating is very important. More feedback improve technique. And any extra stuff between feet and skates is bad (from professional athlete point of view). He aslo joked that the ultimate solution is to attach blades/frames directly to the bones
I have also read in a book that professionals skate w/o socks unless it is so cold that you may damage tendons.

But amateur skating is another story, we don't rush for 0.001 seconds, don't always have excellent technique, or custom boots, so... skate the way you feel more comfortable. You can't skate with blisters, right? Socks or booties may fix fitting problems or give more comfort, especially if you don't have custom boots. Coolmax socks work well.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 01:50 PM   #17
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My skates dry out very quickly with a homemade desiccant. I took dollar store socks, filled them 2/3 full with activated charcoal I purchased at a pet store. They use it to replenish aquarium filters, better quantity and cheaper than Walmart. I sealed the tops with Goop (shoe goo) Four pairs for all my shoes cost about ten dollars.

They can be hand washed, air dried or heated in an oven at 220 degrees f. I don't know how long they last, mine are about a year old and working fine. It works for me. Miss Bee
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Old December 30th, 2016, 09:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Miss Behaved View Post
My skates dry out very quickly with a homemade desiccant. I took dollar store socks, filled them 2/3 full with activated charcoal I purchased at a pet store. They use it to replenish aquarium filters, better quantity and cheaper than Walmart. I sealed the tops with Goop (shoe goo) Four pairs for all my shoes cost about ten dollars.

They can be hand washed, air dried or heated in an oven at 220 degrees f. I don't know how long they last, mine are about a year old and working fine. It works for me. Miss Bee
Nice idea. I like it.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 02:02 AM   #19
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since i have started using wigwam sport socks(triatholon) no issues. I just can't skate without socks.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 10:22 AM   #20
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since i have started using wigwam sport socks(triatholon) no issues. I just can't skate without socks.
Heard man! It's the only thing keeping your skin deposits oils, sweat etc from getting into your boots and decaying them.


the trick is to have clean socks and clean feet each time ya skate. also socks that fit super tight is a huge plus.
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