By Dr. Madhu Brar-Hayer,, Doctor of Chiropractic
Your feet have a direct impact on the rest of your body and support you with every step. Hockey players, football players, golfer and runners alike can improve their performance with custom orthotics to achieve optimal posture and stride based on your gait, or limb movements.
In Canada, most hockey players will purchase particular skates for comfort, support and performance so they can skate effectively.
- Some players wear their skates one size too small or don’t wear socks to get a better feel in the stake boot for their feet and ankles.
- Baking skates, profiling blades, or even punching out parts of the skate are valuable adjustments that provide increased comfort and help with performance on the ice.
- Almost all competitive hockey players get their skates fitted by a skilled professional.
But no two individuals have the same “footprint” and gait. With all the adjustments made to the skate boot and blade, often the area that is overlooked is the bottom of the foot.
Custom Orthotics Help Reduce Injuries and Improve Comfort
When wearing your skates, your entire weight is on the insoles of your feet. If this portion of the skate isn’t fitting perfectly or comfortable, not only can performance suffer but this can also lead to injury.
The best way to get a perfect fit between the skate and the bottom of your foot is with custom orthotics.
Custom orthotics are moulded to the shape of your feet, so they eliminate any gap from the foot to the skate for an improved fit. This close fit also improves how pressure is distributed on the bottom of the feet, reducing pressure points and improving comfort.
How Hockey Skate Orthotics Work
Hockey skate orthotics work differently than orthotics for most other uses. Most orthotics are made to guide your foot through a step from heel-strike to toe-off.
However, when skating, your feet are not moving through steps the same way as when you walk or run. So instead of guiding your feet through a step, skate orthotics work by connecting your legs more directly to the skate.
Custom orthotics block that movement of the arch. When you push off, your arch is already in contact with the orthotic. It doesn’t drop and your foot does not roll down and inwards. The pushing energy from your legs is immediately transferred through the orthotic into the skate and then to the ice. The same happens with cornering, stopping, and any other on ice maneuver.
In hockey development, explosive leg power is one of the key elements focused on during off ice hockey player development. If that leg power cannot be translated to the skate blade while moving across the ice, then power is lost and you have a less efficient stride.
Proper foot biomechanics are vital in controlling and distributing the generated force more evenly and increasing the edge control, and orthotics assist performance by ensuring foot biomechanics are optimal for your individual stride.
Improve your Hockey Game with Hockey Skate Orthotics
Everyone has a different foot structure, yet skate manufacturers don’t offer different skates for each person’s instep, it is one type fits all. Orthotics correct this to each person’s unique foot structure to achieve the best performance and comfort.
We offer custom orthotic fittings at our clinic as well as on-site depending on availability. Please email us at or phone the clinic at 403-457-6883 for more information.
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