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Time to Square Up (Skate Holder and Blade Alignment)

posted Aug 20, 2015, 2:16 PM by Skate Doctor   [ updated Aug 20, 2015, 2:25 PM ]
Pronation and Supination may sound like superheroes, or maybe some far away imaginary lands, but they’re actually a term you’ll likely hear more often in your Chiropractor, Podiatrist or Physiotherapist’s office.

Pronation, or eversion, is the inward roll of the foot (medial malleolus) while walking, running or skating.

Right foot (from behind) - over-pronating, or rolling inward.

Supination, or inversion, is the outward roll of the foot while walking, running or skating.

Right foot (from behind) over-supinating, or rolling outward.

Your body cycles in and out of pronation and supination with every step (or stride) you take. Most people have a resting foot position that either pronates or supinates. Excessive, or over-pronation and over-supination can cause many symptoms that affect the foot, ankle, knees, hips and back. These symptoms can cause a wide range of problems related to comfort and performance.

As we’ve hinted, over-pronation and over-supination does not only occur on pavement, but while skating as well. Due to the construction of skates and the mechanics of skating, these conditions are often amplified on the ice.

A skater who over-pronates leans inward on his skates, using mostly the inside edge of the skate blade. These players can often not “reach” their outside edges, or have difficulty doing so because of the angle of their ankle and the skate.

A skater over-pronating (exaggerated) on skates.

A skater who over-supinates leans outward on his skates, using mostly the outside edge of the skate blade. These players can often not “reach” their inside edges, or have difficulty doing so because of the angle of their ankle and the skate.

It doesn’t matter if you’re over-pronating or over-supinating – both of these factors are equally destructive to your skating performance, balance, comfort and technique. Think about crossovers, tight turns, accelerations, pivots, etc. Those all sound pretty difficult to accomplish if you aren’t square on your skate blades and able to use both your edges.  

What causes over-pronation and over-supination? There are a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

- Biomechanical (or the structure and function of your body) reasons, including foot shape

- Improperly fitted skates (too large, wrong cut or boot shape)

- Inadequate support in skates (skates too soft, unable to support player properly)

- Improperly constructed, lasted or designed skates.  

What can be done to correct over-pronation and over-supination? The good news is that there are a lot of ways to solve these common problems – and a skilled, experienced, and trained Skate Technician can diagnose and recommend the proper solution, or combination of solutions to solve the problem. Not all skate or local hockey shops are trained or able to diagnose and make modifications to solve these issues – so select your shop and Skate Technician carefully.

The following methods, or combination of methods may be used to help skaters who over-pronate or over-supinate:

1). Ensure the player is in the correct skate. This includes solving any fit- or support-related issues that may be leading towards, or amplifying the condition.

2). Ensure the player has a suitable, supportive insole. Skate Doctor is an authorized retailer for SuperFeet insoles, which help align the foot in the skate, support the heel, and put the foot in alignment with the knee and rest of the body. Some players will require custom or orthotic insoles for their skates – we can refer you in the right direction for these as well. 


3). A series of small, plastic shims may be inserted between the skate sole and the skate blade holder. These shims alter the angle at which the skate blade contacts the ice to align the player’s foot over the blade and allow equal access for both edges.
4). The skate holder itself may be moved either medially (inward) or laterally (outward) to alter the center-point of the skate blade under the player’s foot

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Skate Doctor is skilled, experienced and trained in skate assessment, troubleshooting and blade alignment. Our many years of experience in this area give us the distinction of being one of the few shops in Alberta comfortable and capable of diagnosing skate alignment issues to solve over-pronation or over-supination problems. We’ve worked with countless players at all skill levels to help them find their edges. All brands and models of skates are welcome.


While helping you obtain proper alignment, we are also able to address any pain or comfort issues you may be experiencing in your skates. Contact Us today to book your skate assessment and alignment appointment!