Winter is here, which means snow, ice, and hockey are here as well. If you’re a hockey player, whether you do it just for fun or are part of a regular team, you know your skates are one of your most important pieces of equipment. Making sure they properly support your feet and ankles isn’t just a good idea—it’s necessary to prevent injuries that could make it painful to skate at the very least, and end your season at the worst.

Blisters follow hockey season closely, and your skates are a part of that. Boots that don’t fit correctly, are too worn down, or aren’t broken in yet can all cause incredible friction on your skin and result in blisters. If your skates are causing your skin to suffer, don’t ignore the problem. Make sure your boots fit snugly through the foot and ankle so you aren’t sliding around in them. Tighten the laces from the bottom up, but avoid wrapping the laces around the top of the boot—that can damage the leather over time. Wear thin athletic socks that wick away moisture and don’t wrinkle or slide on your feet. If certain parts of the skate push into your foot, consider having a professional punch the leather to relieve the pressure.

When you do develop blisters, you’ll need to take care of them right away to prevent an infection. Cover the sore with a blister bandage and tape. Liquid bandages also work well. You may want to pad the area with a moleskin to relieve pressure. Corn pads, which have a hole in the center, also help. Place the hole over the blister and tape it in place to secure it. This pads the high-friction area without pressing directly on the sore spot.

If you have persistent blisters that are not healing, or any other pain in your feet from wearing your skates, don’t ignore the problem and hope it gets better on its own. Instead, contact the experts at Martin Foot and Ankle for an appointment or more information and take care of your feet. Call (717) 757-3537 or visit the online contact page to reach us.

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