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Riedell Roller Skate Care and Sizing Information

Care Counts!

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Four factors generally determining how long boots will last: Skating level, skater size and weight, type of boot and most importantly, maintenance and care of boots. If properly cared for, the life of a boot can be dramatically prolonged to maintain the skate's original comfort and performance. For handcrafted leather boots, it is essential that care be given after every use best preserve the condition of the skate from the time of purchase. Premature breakdown caused by material deterioration is the biggest cause of boot wear. Leather deterioration as a result of chemical and thermal forcers produced by the feet entering and corroding the leather.

Perspiration = Deterioration
When boots are skated on for an extended period of time, they often become wet from perspiration on the inside lining. Composed of 98% moisture and 2% salts and acids, perspiration is a central element in boot corrosion. The foot produces and carries more bacteria that any other part of the body. Bacteria consumes protein, and since leather is 98% protein, it also eats boots. To prevent these different types of deterioration, perspiration should be wiped from the inside and outside of boots after every use.

Save the Leather
It is often necessary to loosen laces on the boots and pull the tongue forward to allow the boots to dry at room temperature. When wet skates are stored in skate bags or lockers, they quickly become victims of mold, mildew and rotting leather. The routine use of leather protectants will help keep leather looking and feeling like new. Riedell recommends using Silicone Protectant to prevent moisture absorption by linings, Sno Seal to keep heels and soles from weakening, and Lexol® to restore and condition leather uppers. After protectants have dried, using Shoe Finish helps bring back the original color and shine of the boot.

Proper Fitting of Riedell Boots:

Identifying Indicators of Misfit Boots
With proper understanding of boot fitting, it is relatively easy to determine if a boot is misfit. Such determination can be made when a boot is new, but as the boot is worn, such indicators usually become much more evident. The following indicators may assist with determining proper boot fit.

A. Ball area and throat of the boot
An extremely critical area to watch is the throat and ball area of the boots.
1. If the lacing pattern is drawing too close together or buckling of the eye stay area occurs when the boot is laced firmly on the skater, two possibilities exist:
a. The boot is too long for the skater.
b. The boot is too wide for the skater.

2. If the lacing pattern is extremely wide, or the ball and throat area is too wide apart, the reverse situation may exist.
a. The boot length is too short.
b. The boot width is too narrow.

In this situation, usually, the skater will complain of pinching or discomfort. Proper lacing in the throat area should be no closer together when the boot is laced snugly on the skater than the normal width of the throat of the unlaced boot.

3. If the lacing pattern is too close when laces are pulled snugly, the following may result:
a. The skater will not obtain a snug fit, particularly after the boot is used, as the boot stretches to a certain degree when broken in.
b. The skater will experience a lack of boot support.
c. Foot slippage will occur resulting in possible blisters and/or discomfort.
d. Poor skating performance.
e. Premature skate breakdown.

B. Heel or ankle area
The second primary area of concern is the heel and/or ankle area. Remember that the majority of a boot's support is obtained from the counters and back quarters of the boot. If those areas are not fit snugly, heel slippage may result causing:

1. Blisters and/or foot irritations.
2. Loss of structured support affecting performance.
3. Premature skate breakdown

As with the throat area, the lacing pattern of the entire boot should be uniform. If the lacing pattern of the instep and ankle area is too close together, the boot may be too wide or too long. An excellent indicator is excessive heel slippage. If that results, all of the above listed problems will occur. If the lacing pattern is excessively wide, the boot may be too narrow or too short, once again the skater will usually complain of discomfort.

The majority of misfit boots is usually caused by selecting a boot that is too wide for the skater rather than too narrow for the skater. It is suggested that the boot be fit as snug as possible in width without pinching. Remember, it is always better to adapt any particular spot on a boot, with the aid of a boot press or a ball and ring device than to go wider over the entire boot just to accommodate a particular area of the foot.

When determining proper or improper fit of a used boot, the examination of the laces and the footbed can provide valuable information on the boot fit. Usually the laces will stain or mark which will indicate where they were pulled snug. In this way, you can re-lace the boot without the skater and determine the lacing pattern of the boot.

The footbed will also stain in use and show you exactly how the foot is fit in the skate. Indication of foot slippage can be found by the staining or imprint of the toes on the footbed. The darker or more dominate stain is caused by the weight of the foot and fit in length can be easily determined. The light edge stains on the footbed will indicate foot slippage, and the total impression of the little toe on the footbed is an excellent indication of the boot being too wide.

Again, the vast majority of misfit boots is caused by oversizing. If undersizing occurs, adjustment can be made with the use of a boot press or a ball and ring device. Unless it is the skater's preference, undersizing seldom occurs due to the skater's immediate discomfort or pinching. However as with oversizing, the same indicators of laces and footbeds can be used to make the determination on undersizing a boot.

Heat Moldable:

All Riedell boots designated with the "HEAT MOLDABLE CONSTRUCTION" symbol are able to be heat molded to the foot. The process is simple, however caution is suggested. Artistic boots can use a heat gun, oven, or a hair dryer to form the boot while the quad and inline skates should use a heat gun only -no oven heating. The materials used in the construction process are laminated with heat sensitive adhesive cement. The best way for boot adjustment is to heat the boot with a heat gun or hair dryer in the area to be adjusted. The boot is then put on a boot press or stretching machine to push out the trouble area. This process is suggested for areas of the foot such as bunions, ball joint areas, anklebones, navicular bones, heel spurs, etc. Be careful not to over heat the boot as this can cause the leather to burn or delaminating of the soles and uppers. If heating in a boot oven, do not exceed temperature of 180 - 200 degrees F with length of heating time not to exceed 4-5 minutes.

Sizing Info:

All boots are US men's sizes, except for the Artistic skates which are US women's sizes.

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