Monthly Archives: August 2016

How to Ice Skate Sharpening

In ice skating, a sharp blade means a good grip and easy maneuvering, while a dull blade means less friction and better speed. That, however, doesn’t mean you need to keep your blades dull to skate well. In fact, you need to do the exact opposite of that. Irrespective of whether you are an amateur skating enthusiast or a veteran of the field, you need to keep your skates sharp and in good condition; not at all difficult, if you grasp the basics.

How Often Should Skates be Sharpened?

This is an important question that needs to be taken into account beforehand, as too much of sharpening (or too less of it), can end up damaging the skates. Sharpening the blades too frequently can either damage them, or cause them to wear out quickly. How often to sharpen the skates will largely depend on how often you use them. Going by the rule of the thumb, sharpening them once a month is more than enough. Or else, you can just test the skates to find out whether they really need to be sharpened. Just run your fingernail down the blade. If the blade is sharp, it will dig into your nail, but if it is dull, your nail will just slide over, and that would imply that the blade needs to be sharpened.

How to Sharpen Ice Skates?

Your ice skate sharpening equipment will include a vise and a whetstone, along with a bottle of honing oil. The vise will act as a holding device, while you can use the whetstone to sharpen the blade. It is ideal to cover the leather portion of the ice skate with some old cloth; this will avoid any scratches on them.

You can start by placing the skate upside down in the vise, so that you get proper access to its blade. Make sure that the grip of the vise is tight enough to prevent the skate from moving. As the next step, pour some honing oil on the whetstone. Place the whetstone at a right angle on the blade, and move it back and forth around 6 – 8 times. Make sure that you hold the whetstone at a right angle―approximately an inch of it should rise above the blade, as holding it flatter will only erode the blade and thus, damage the skates.

Check whether you have achieved the desired level of sharpness; if not continue with a few more strokes until you get it. If you notice any metal shavings on the whetstone, promptly get rid of it, pour some more honing oil, and continue. These tips are also applicable for sharpening newly bought pair of ice skating shoes, as they are not sharpened by the manufacturer.

These were some simple tips which will enable you to sharpen the metal blades of your skates. On an average, skate sharpening costs anywhere between $5 to $15, depending on whether you take them to the facility in your neighborhood skating rink itself, or to a professional who would use a sophisticated sharpening devices to execute the task. Now that’s a decent amount, and you can save it by sharpening your skates on your own.

Tips Skate for Beginners

Does speed thrills you? If yes, then skates can bring a new adventure in your life. Standing on wheels and just letting them roll is all what a skate holds. Skating is not such an easy job though. You have to concentrate on the techniques and have to practice a lot. There are lots of skates now available in the market like, roller skates, inline skates and blade skates. Apart from normal skating, ice skating has also become one of the most loved sports today. Well, whatever may be the trend or interest, the frequently asked question is, how to skate? Skating is not only considered as a fun activity but is also a very good aerobic exercise. There are many people who want to learn this adventurous and one of the most exciting sports.

Whether you start the lesson in ice skate or roller skate, you need to have confidence and most importantly, you should always be prepared to fall. Skates can be broadly classified into roller skates and inline or blade skates. Roller skates have four wheels with ball bearing. These wheels are located on four corners, similar to the positions of the wheels in a car. Inline skate consists of four or five wheels in one line and if it is an ice skate then these wheels will be replaced by a blade. So after you know what kind of skates are available in the market, you must decide about the kind of skates you are going to use. Let’s look forward and start with some of the basic requirements and tips on skating.

Things Required in Skating

The most important and the most general requirement are the skates. Go to the market and get the type of skates you want. The skates should be of good fitting. Loose skates can result in a number of falls. So, look for your perfect fitting and comfortable pair of skates. But before going to buy a new pair I will suggest you to arrange a pair or take a pair of your size on rent. As a beginner you are bound to fall or dash your skates to something or the other. So, to save your brand new pair from getting spoiled go for the old ones. You can get your new pair when you learn enough to save your skate from being spoiled.

Next are the clothes. You should always wear the clothes which are comfortable. Try not to wear something very loose, that might get stuck with the wheels and you end up with torn clothes and broken mouth. Always wear guards like knee pads, wrist guard, elbow guard, etc., to save yourself from the injuries. You should always wear a helmet as head injury is one of the most common thing with skates. If you want to learn ice skating, warm clothes are also required because of the very low temperature at the skating arena and even outside.

How to Skate

  • The most important thing to start with skate is to have a perfect balance. Once you are able to balance and stand straight, rolling will happen automatically. Place your feet in ‘v’ position so that your toes are apart and your heals touch.
  • Stand upright, bend your knees a bit and spread your arms out. Always look straight and avoid looking down as you can spoil your balance.
  • Try to march taking small steps and keep your legs in the same ‘v’ position.
  • You will be able to learn skates only when you don’t have the fear of falling. Try to fall if not accidentally then intentionally. This will take away your fear of falling and then you can practice with ease.
  • Try to balance and walk around in a plain grassy surface before going to the sidewalk. This will give you an idea of your skates and will teach you to balance. Grass will also save you from serious injuries.
  • When you are on the sidewalk initially, try to practice very slowly and make yourself comfortable with standing. Stand in a ‘v’ position and push yourself outside. Try to maintain your balance and repeat this with your other foot. This will help you to slide. Start slowly and then gain speed. I will suggest you to first take the technique and then move forward with the speed skating.
  • Now, if you have started sliding you definitely have to learn the lesson of how to stop. Performing right thing at the right place is very important and hence common sense and instant decisions are very necessary while skating. First try to understand your skating skills. If you are not so good then it’s better to slide slowly. It is simple to stop with a roller skates as compared to the blade skates or the ice skates. There is a stopper given at the toe end of the skates. Just press with the toe slowly whenever you want to stop. Apart from this, you can either drag one of the leg stopper and stop or make a ‘T’ and stop.
  • Now when you know the stopping skills, let move forward to backward skating. Simply make a reverse ‘v’ and push your legs out. While rolling maintain the torso and just jump to take a 180 degree turn. As your speed will be in the same direction, only your direction will change and you will be sliding backwards. Repeat the process and come back into the same position and slide forward again.
  • Take proper training if you are a lover of figure skating and ice hockey as it is better to get techniques from an expert who can not only help you learn hockey skate but can also give you a platform to show your skills.

From the above information you must have understood some of the techniques of skating but this does not mean you are able to solve your query about how to ice skate. But yes some basics are similar for every kind of skates, so they can help you for sure. Although you have the above information, you are advised to get your training under an experienced trainer or practice it in the presence of some experienced person.

Choosing the Best Running Shoes for High Arches

People with high arches tend have shorter foot length, experience pain while walking, running, jogging, or even standing, and have difficulty finding the right kind of shoes for the job. To determine whether you have a high arch, you need to see whether the space between the balls of your feet and the back of your feet has a defined arch or not. If this arch is higher than it seems normal, then you have high-arched feet. In order to avoid any injuries while walking or running, it is necessary that you buy running shoes for high arches. This helps eliminate pain along the arch, reduces stiffness in your feet, and avoids health risks concerning knees, hips, and calves.

In the following section, we will be discussing the fundamental requirements or helpful pointers (if you will) to find the right running shoes for high arches. Now remember, these shoes will be completely different from the shoes required for flat feet. This is because flat feet and high-arched feet are two opposite foot types.

Supination

First, we need to understand supination, also known as, underpronation. In this condition, the feet roll outwards a little bit, while running or walking. If due attention is not given, supination can lead to several chiropractic health hassles. Sometimes, people opt to operate themselves out of this problem, but if noticed in time, certain lifestyle choices (like shoe selection) make it a negligible issue. Actually, it is a very rare condition, and as such, often ignored. Don’t make the mistake, make the right choice of shoes.

Feet with high arches are very rare. However, as the arch is too high to provide the support and help absorb the shock, it is essential for the shoes to provide adequate support and comfort. The best shoes for high arches will have cushioning for the heel and the arch of the foot.

Running Shoes for People with High Arches

  • The high arch running shoes will be marked as such. When out for shoe shopping, make sure that you ask, specifically, for running shoes for high arches. Mostly the salesperson will ask you; however, it is important for you to be vigilant about it as well.
  • The next step is to know whether the shoes you select have shock absorption technique. Your shoes will require adequate shock absorption so that you won’t injure or experience pain in your knees, arches, and calves. Due to the supination, often the heel feels the shock and it doesn’t get balanced across the foot. This causes injuries and pain. As such, when buying running shoes, keep in mind the balance factor.
  • A running shoe for high arch will have several layers of padding. This is to balance and even out the pressure to avoid injuries. Less layers of padding will lead to pain in the shins and the foot.
  • Good running shoes for high arches will be as light as possible. This is to facilitate better mobility and general comfort for the user. All in all, the shoe needs to be light weight and flexible.

Other Deciding Factors for High-arched Running Shoes

Whether the shoes are being bought for men or women, you should not sacrifice on comfort and flexibility. Adequate cushioning for the hollow area in your feet make a whole lot of difference while you’re running, walking, jogging, or simply standing. Also, this way, you won’t strain the muscles in your feet and entire leg. Your back will be supported properly and you won’t experience any issues with lower back pain as well. As such, it is most advisable to go for running shoes with high arches as they are flexible. The shoes need to have some breathing space. Mostly, excessive sweating causes rashes or skin allergies. So, if there is no breathing space like a mesh, in the running shoe for high arch, overheating can cause excessive sweating. The running shoe for high arch will require several layers of padding for further comfort and support. Unlike flat footed people, people with high arches require more soft texture to even out the pressure.

You will find that many companies like Reebok, FILA, Nike, Puma, Adidas, and Spalding specifically design shoes for people with high-arched feet. Be sure to browse as many different shoes for designs, patterns, comfort, and colors. Once you find the right shoes that fit you well, there’ll be no looking back.

Toning Shoes for Women

Toning shoes are amongst the latest and hottest trends ruling the segment of women’s footwear, and also gaining popularity as an ultimate body toning accessory. The huge marketing done by shoe manufacturers about these shoes, which are known to tone up your body, and the debate about effectiveness of the same, has together lead to vast popularity of this type of footwear. Well, let me tell you that there are a number of ladies who are opting for toning shoes! These shoes offer multiple benefits, and are worth trying out if you walk a lot or regularly perform some physical activity. There are a number of manufacturers having a special product line which includes designs for men and women.

Choosing the Right Shoes

Toning shoes are known for their unique design and ultimate features, which offer much more than a simple footwear does to protect your feet. While you look for ‘toning running shoes’ or ‘toning walking shoes’ for women, there are a few factors that you need to consider and check out, so as to ensure that you pick up the best piece. The first thing that you need to consider while buying toning shoes is, where and when you will be wearing them. As most of the manufacturers have a separate product line of toning footwear for walking and toning footwear for running, choosing only the right one according to your activity is going to help you gain maximum benefits from the pair.

Apart from this, you need to consider whether you will be wearing them while jogging, walking, or to office. The shoes which come in sporty styles are perfect for jogging or walking. Well, the sports styled footwear doesn’t match with your office wear, evening wear or beach wear! This makes choosing the right piece suitable for your attire, very much essential. If you do not perform exercises like walking or running, you must look for some formal, semi-casual and casual-styled shoes, which you can use everyday. Similarly, if you play tennis regularly, then get the toning tennis shoes for women, instead of toning walking or running shoes.

The right fit is something that you can’t afford to miss out on while buying a pair of toning shoes. Though these shoes are known to offer perfect comfort, you need to check the same by trying out the shortlisted pieces. Features like proper inner cushioning and heel cushioning to take the pressure off your joints, arch support, adjustable straps or laces, slip-resistant and shock absorbing insoles, make it a perfect pair of toning footwear which offers the needed comfort while firming up your muscles.

Reebok Reeattack Women’s Toning Shoe
MBT Women’s Baridi Shoe
MBT Women’s Fora Shoe
Skechers Shape-Ups Women’s Toning Shoe
AVIA Avi-Motion
Merrell Women’s Eden MJ
Reebok Easytone Reenew Women’s Toning Shoes
New Balance Rock&Tone
Skechers Shape-Ups-Awareness
New Balance True Balance
Best Brands to Choose From

You can browse through the products mentioned in the aforementioned list of top-rated shoes. Apart from these, check out the product line of famous manufacturers of these shoes, where you can find a desired style of footwear. Though the latest designs in toning shoes also offer small heels, it is best to avoid them as far as possible. You can also have a look at the toning flip flops and sandals, which can be rightly paired with beachwear and casual outfits. With a lot of options to choose from, you are sure to find a piece that fits your feet and offers ultimate comfort with style.