Equipment: New Vapors: Breaking in but Left Foot is Larger...

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by jayarebee, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. jayarebee Registered User

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    I just purchased a new pair of Bauer Vapor 2X's Size 8.5D, I was looking at another pair of Size 8's, actually a lower end model but they felt tight in the back heels. Asked if he had a size larger and they fortunately only had the higher end model (2x's I wound up getting).. He broke out a pair of 8.5's, I liked them despite hating all new skates and the feeling/pain. I wish I would have asked for size 9's or possibly a wider pair (E or EE)... but doubt they would have had them in stock, I should have ordered and waited but I'm impatient.. and I know these skates will be fine in time. Plus he knocked off about 35-40% so I saved close to $100 on them. I know skates at Pro Shop usually just sit for long periods of time and they just want to make the sales.. but I do not regret it.

    I was wearing a pair of Nike/Bauer Vapor XXXX that a buddy had given to me years ago, they were broken in perfectly, but were pretty worn down. I pretty much killed them in the last year or two... really no support anymore, both feet feel "okay" but the rest of my body takes a toll. After wearing my new pair to a 10u practice last night I couldn't believe how great I felt... besides my left foot, which I had to loosen up 15-20min into practice.

    I loved my old Vapors, they were a nice "gift" and after wearing Supremes since I was about 14 and just being stubborn with that model for as long as I can remember. I wish I could have purchased a new pair of them but I believe they are discontinued. I looked briefly online, couldn't find my size.. but saw a few pairs still going for $350+.

    I'm happy with my purchase, after only 2 public skates, a bake, and doing one 10u practice last evening my Right Skate feels about 99% perfect, no pain, feels amazing... Sadly my left foot is still hurting a great deal. I know it's going to take some time but after measuring my feet, my Left foot was .5 inches larger than my right... and is a tad wider/larger all around.

    I am just wondering if there is anything I can do to help with the Left skate. When I tie them both up tightly you can just tell that the Left one is "tighter" as you can see the foot is wider. So I have to loosen that skate up a bit. It's mainly at the middle-top of my Left foot, basically under the tongue on top, too tight and I get that immediate pain and lose circulation to my toes, and the pain stinks.

    I highly doubt I would try and return them or look for something else, I got a pretty good deal on these and I think they'll be great. I just wish I could find something to help the Left Tongue a little softer, make it more comfortable on the top of my left foot. I know it will take some time, hard work, sweat, and pain like the old days... but with all the technology out there nowadays who knows. Maybe I will take them back to be baked a 2nd time.. because for now I will only wear them while Coaching and Recreational skating.. I am they will be comfortable soon enough to use for Officiating.

    Thanks and sorry for the lengthy post and apologies if I posted in the wrong spot... But just seeking any friendly advise from a fellow hockey lover, possibly a freak like me with 1 foot that is larger than the other. In a perfect world I would have went with Size 9's or just ordered and waited for the wider 8.5's in the E or EE size... but it probably wouldn't benefit my Right foot which is 100% fine.
     
  2. Filthy Dangles .

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    Here's my list of things to try in order

    1. Thinner sock or no sock

    2. Removing the insole/footbed (for troubleshooting purposes, wouldn't really recommend you play without it)

    3. Re-bake like you said

    4. See if your LHS can punch the boot of the skate to give you more room. I'd try and make sure you trust the shop and that they have experience doing this because doing this wil probably void any warranty and if you screw it up, it might make it worse.
     
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  3. jayarebee Registered User

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    Thanks!

    I was actually wearing pretty thick socks last evening, certainly not the best. I will most likely try and go barefoot or very thin socks this evening. I'm also using wax laces, which I will probably take out again before I bring them back to get baked... but I honestly don't think the wax laces will melt in that little Bauer "oven". Not sure if the Wax laces really keep the skates tighter, I've always preferred them.. don't think it matters though.

    It's been almost 2 decades since I had to last break a pair of skates in, and that was 1999 as a Freshmen when I had to buy a new pair since my feet grew so fast. I was very fortunate my neighbor who is 2 years my elder always handed me down his old Bauer Supremes from age 7 to 13'sh... Unfortunately I outgrew him in HS as my feet were larger than his come 9th grade and he was in 11th.

    I struggled for about a week with a brand new pair of Bauer Supreme 4000's or whatever they were, then I was on the ice for about 2-3 hours a day 5 days a week and I just fought through the pain and at the end of the week they were perfect. To me that's the BEST way to break in a new pair of skates, countless hours of hard work on ice, skating... Training Camps and anything that had me wearing them every single day while they were still moist/wet always did the trick.

    After HS I purchased a pair of Bauer Supreme Classics, and got them in a 9.5D, I knew they were totally 1+ sizes too large, but they did really well and I remember tossing in a Dr. Scholl's like insert, I think I cut them in half or had the ones specific for the toes to help with the extra wiggle room up front, worked great... but skates that are too large are not good, they'll either buckle or look funny, and often feel funny.

    I'm sure they'll even out, that is a very good idea about "punching" the boot. There is only one guy I really trust with my skates around here anymore, whether it's sharpening or anything maintenance related, sadly the best shop we had closed 2 years ago... and now all we have are the Bryce Salvador Pro Shops (xHockeyProducts). Great Stock & Inventory at most of the local rinks, but literally only one guy I trust to sharpen my skates after a few of the locations did completely terrible jobs... even forgot to do one of my skates completely, only did one... felt ridiculous when I went on the ice to Officiate a PeeWee game.

    I'm going to wear them again tonight with thinner or no socks, maybe dribble some water in since Coaching isn't exactly a work out unless I do all the drills with the kids. Saturday I'll probably bring them to the rink and have him bake them again, and see if he can "punch" them. But yeah... he's the only guy I'd trust. Sadly all our local Pro Shops are ran by the same company now here in the State of NJ... very few small mom and pop-like shops left. As for my team's home rink, we do not even have a pro shop which is rather pathetic, since the County that runs the rink, more so the Rink GM is a piece of corrupt trash who would rather use the room/area built for a pro-shop to lend out to his buddy who does private goalie lessons, so basically a waste of a room that rarely gets used, no pro shop for the kids at home which is sad... Unless we go to Newark Prudential Center (Barnabas Hockey House Rink) where the Devils practice, and we all hate going to Newark hehe.
     
  4. jayarebee Registered User

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    100% the Socks.

    Went barefoot, felt amazing, didn't even break a sweat and was moving around fairly well considering I am not used to the different length and height of the skate blade/holders, and I have not measured the height off either pair but I can tell I am a tad taller on these skates versus my old Vapors. I just need to adapt to that, I think I'll manage.

    I don't see any reason to go back to my old pair, absolutely worth the $250 usd I spent. I was way too attached to my old pair.. definitely worth keeping as a backup pair though if I can make the a tad more comfortable.

    I am curious as to if I could get a replacement tongue or even just the sole, something or anything for my old vapor pair to help if I ever decide to wear them again. I am not very familiar with whatever the heck new technology has come out in the past 15 years, I swear I did not even notice the little blade trigger to replace the blades if required. Pretty impressive feature but lol in all my years I think I've maybe seen one broken blade ever... but I never played at any super high caliber levels after 18.
     
  5. BruinDust Chairman of Par Lindholm Fan Club

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    Maybe try a different footbed like Superfeet in the problem skate/foot.
     
  6. Filthy Dangles .

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    Bauer doesn't sell OEM Tongues, you might be able to find a pair of Vapor tongues specifically on a site like Sideline Swap (example, this one sold) or eBay. But you could grab an after market Tongue like Nash Hockey ones and put them on your old Vapors. You could DIY or I'm sure your LHS could do it as a service for you.

    If you mean insoles, you can just grab a pair of Bauer Speedplates or SuperFeet which if anything would give you a better fit than the stock insoles.

    --

    And as the poster above said, if you still struggle with pain in the new skates, custom orthotics (SuperFeet, SpeedPlate etc.) might help you by better positioning your foot and distributing the pressure evenly.
     
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  7. jayarebee Registered User

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    Thanks! Great information.

    20 years ago my friend had his old tongues put onto his new skates once. Stitched w/ dental floss, literally.. it was either that or fishing line, and looked great and he said they were the most comfortable skates ever. Think his mom did them or the local shop that just closed which was our best local shop.

    I've worn the new pair a few times for public skates and coaching 12u practices, been doing the drills with the kids and going barefoot they really feel 100%. It was the socks seriously killing me.. especially the left foot. I still get a little pain on the top of my left foot but as the skates mold it feels better. Just a matter of breaking in those nice fluffy insides of the tongues. I have a "higher arc" on my left foot if that makes sense? Which is probably the only issue.

    My left foot is a tad longer, wider, and the worst part is the top of my left foot is higher (like the arc area), which is evident if you ever look at my feet barefoot or in skates/sneakers. You can just tell looking at my skates when laced up, same with sneakers. Higher arc or whatever...

    I love these new skates.. I'm still adapting to the slight size increase w/ the 8.5d's (only .5 inches) compared to my last pair (size 8d). I think if I would have went with the 9's or 8E's they would have been just fine, possibly better or worse hindsight's always 20/20.

    My heels both have the "Bauer Bump" which stinks, just years of wearing Bauers and playing hockey. I'm not having the corrective surgery, where they would chip the excess calcium off the back heel, 1 foot at a time, 3-4 weeks per foot to recover. I don't play much anymore, and I just buy my sneakers a size larger.

    I may grab a pair of the Speed Plates for my old pair, but it's not really the soles that bother me in those skates, just the heels that have no support. Too bad the don't make anything but those skates probably wouldn't have much room for anything like that if it existed, the speed-plates/super-feet or something if they go on sale.. just don't really want to spend $50+ usd at the moment there's nothing wrong with the new skates.

    I think the new pair will be just fine, I just need to man up and skate as much as possible, I remember breaking in my last new pair during a 1 week span where I was skating for my HS team in the mornings and going to club camp in the evening, just being on the ice for 3+ hours a day for 5 days in a row did the trick... They felt 100% after that week which was long and very grueling, but by the 4th/5th days they were so damp/wet they were molded perfectly.. and the "oven baking" technology was very new then.

    I'll miss my old pair, I certainly won't sell them I doubt anyone would want them anyway, I'll keep them as backups. If I could ever get something for my heels for those skates I would absolutely buy a pair of those Bauer speed-plates and continue to wear them... but the new skates are wonderful, I'm just a big baby come any feet pain. I love this new pair, I just need to get used to the little things, like stopping and kicking the puck. Everything came so natural in the last pair, but I imagine all new skates have their "adaptation" time period. Just going to take some hard work on my part.. never heard of anyone breaking a pair of skates in any other way.
     
  8. Bruckuss long time lurker, random poster

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    Just wondering how you made out since your last post? Just purchased a set of the Vapor 2x (non pro) yesterday, I also have one foot larger, both have some pain/discomfort on the metatarsals (forefoot bones stick out a fair bit) and insteps are a bit tight.. Can you comment on how much they have loosened or broken in for you? I had mine baked, and hope a good week of skating will do the trick..

    As for footbeds, I am a huge supporter of Superfeet - but in this case, find they elevated my instep high enough to increase the pressure - so for now will stick with the stock beds and go from there. If/when they pack out, will add them back as I do like the deep heel cup on my SF.

    Originally purchased Tacks AS1 in 8.5 EE (baked, taken home but overall crazy stiff/tight on ball of foot), didn't skate them for fear they would take too long to break in. Store exchanged them for Ribcor 80k in 8EE (felt really comfortable, but far too much padding, skated them 5x and had to CRANK laces to feel secure which created lace bit and other ankle cramp issues, otherwise felt loss of edge control and no real power in stride). Took them back to discuss, and the shop suggested these new Vapor 2x and I am somehow in a 8D width? The new toe cap dimensions are unlike any vapor I have ever tried on. The 2x feels like an extension of the foot, so really hoping my two pressure spots will give and they should be perfect otherwise.

    Any follow up on the length of break in, or the amount of pressure relief you're getting since new?
     
  9. Bruckuss long time lurker, random poster

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    As an update on the 2x skates, had two games last night in them, same one or two hot spots but wow, incredible skates. Feels like someone bolted a runner to my feet, wish they were perhaps a tad stiffer, but plenty stiff for an advanced beer league level skater.

    Heat moldability is generally great to excellent, and to help with fitting - spent some time spot heating the forefoot of the boot with a heat gun up to about 180 degrees (used infared thermometer to measure), wore them around the house, kept heating the sore areas and let them cool a full 30 mins on foot. First game, tied them snug/average, felt good. Second game, tied them borderline tight, felt better. If they don't give enough with another 10 skates, going to try and punch them with a c clamp, golf ball and socket.

    Happy with the purchase overall, and looking forward to them molding further with time. Now to get the radius/balance point dialed in..
     
  10. Filthy Dangles .

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    Yeah, they offer advanced stiffness but not pro-level stiffness. You could ponied up an extra $300 for the 2X Pros which come with the fully composite outsole and have NHL level stiffness on top of the LS5 steel. But I'm not sure $300 is worth it for some extra stiffness on top of some of the other gimmicky features.

    The best option budget wise if you wanted Vapors with pro stiffness would have been trying to snag a pair of 1x's on clearance which some with fully composite outsole like the 2x pros.

    Bauer Vapor 1X Ice Hockey Skates
    Bauer Vapor 1X Ice Hockey Skates 2017 - Ice Warehouse
     
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  11. Bruckuss long time lurker, random poster

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    I think the new anatomical toe is the only reason I can wear a vapor, and the shop didnt have the pro version in my size in stock or I would have seriously debated it.

    For me, a skate without a composite outsole (in addition to the drainage) just seems like it's deficient, the quarter package is solid on these non pro versions though, and after 2 games they feel stiff enough (for now) anyways.. If they break down in 2/3 years, perhaps I will be able to move up then. Skate 5 x week, weight 210 and am a fairly strong skater
     
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  12. jayarebee Registered User

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    Sorry been awhile since I last posted.

    The new skates feel amazing, I am still going barefoot and they feel 100%. I noticed the right skate has a tad more wiggle room (barely) than the left, which is absolutely perfect now. No more blisters, no more pain. I do wear my skates close to 15-20 hours a week, obviously sore from all the coaching/officiating especially reffing 8+ games a weekend, but I still feel 100x better than with my old pair.

    Actually pretty surprised how great they are after only a month, only performed 1 bake after a few public skates/coaching practices. Thought about getting them baked again, but I've worn them enough that they feel fine.

    I tried those Achilles heel gel pads made by A&R. As my back left foot (larger foot) has had issues for years (non hockey related injury), plus the "Bauer Bump" I would get some pain when pivoting/skating backwards.. they worked "okay. I noticed the left foot was a tad tighter, unfortunately my right foot was a little out-of-place.. hard to explain, but my right ankle was feeling sore, a little hurt.. So I took them both out.

    Now I am just wearing them barefoot, sometimes with a pair of lace bite protector sleeves . I do not have lace-bite issues though, however they do feel a tad more comfortable when wearing for 2-3+ hours at a time. I think wearing them for a bit they've helped the skates mold/fit.

    I was considering another bake but I highly doubt it would be necessary, and I do not want them to lose their firmness or become flismy.. not sure if over-baking can cause that. Otherwise, these skates are perfect!

    Best $250 I ever spent, I feel so much more comfortable and confident when going to the rink, especially if I have a few games to call and I know I'll be stuck wearing them for 3+ hours. I would like to try socks again, probably my next 1 hour practice with the kids... just to see if I get that "pain" again, as I really don't like going barefoot all the time, especially since I wear them 4-5 days a week and I don't always have time to air dry them out.. so they are usually moist, just annoying putting them on at 6:45am to ref and having those bare-feet hit those slimy skates, plus the cold in the morning... So hopefully socks will be an option again, just need to try.

    Other than that they fit wonderful, Left skate/foot 100%. Right foot is finally feeling much better, I realized I need to tighten the right skate as tight as possible, or tighter than I was.. otherwise I get blisters. As long as they are both tight 0 issues. I am most likely going to try those Power Foot Toe Inserts as I can feel the Right foot is still a tad smaller than my left, reason why the Right skate needs more attention/tightening versus the Left foot/skate which is absolutely perfect. I have a feeling I'll either love them or hate them. I feel like the Achilles heel inserts were a waste of money as I am not using them anymore, but worth a try.

    I am happy, loving them, no need for any punching, as mentioned afraid another bake would be useless, possibly bad. The skates are as stiff as I need them, they are starting to look more and more "broken in" as colleagues have mentioned by just looking at the laces, curves, etc.. "molding" to my foot. I am by no means a high-caliber player anymore, simply coaching 14u to Mites, as well as Officiating games. I played one adult league game back in January and it took about 1/2 the game until I started feeling/looking real comfortable. I also weigh about 210-215lbs, I'm a big boy for 5'10" but stay in well enough shape, really started to feel the "workouts" from Officiating 3-4+ games at a time, finally feeling more comfortable.. always depends what level though. The worst are the younger levels or lower skilled levels where we simply stand around a lot, painful for anyone I'd imagine as I personally prefer to move around as much as possible.

    Hope this helps, like I said I'm not a high-caliber player, but man I would have loved these skates back in high school instead of my Bauer Supremes. I was lucky a friend gave me his old Bauer/Nike Vapor XXXX's, I still see a lot of guys wearing and loving them.. but mine were just way too worn, I thought about getting new inserts, but buying a new pair was the best idea and I am glad I did. These skates have great support in the heels, that "new-skate" cushioning, and I feel incredible when skating backwards, pivoting, etc.. little to no pain now compared to my old pair. I tried those Achilles heel gel pads, they helped but were unnecessary, and I believe they kept my right foot a tad out of place so I removed them.

    Good luck... I love these skates, so glad I got them. I honestly did not see myself skating this much a few months ago, but when I was asked to return to Coach & start Officiating I knew immediately it may be time for a new pair of skates, I knew 100% after the first 2-3 weekends I Officiated and did 6+ games over a weekend, as my feet were chewed up.. and my back was just hurting as well as everything, heels, ankles, etc.. New skates are solid!
     
  13. Bruckuss long time lurker, random poster

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    Have gotten probably 20 skates into the new boots now (2x, non pro), so as a random update in case anyone is wondering or following this lol

    DIY PUNCHING - Eventually had to punch out one hot spot, used the C clamp method with a smooth stone and a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon - click here for a really great writeup on this. Actually, that spot punch took less than 5 minutes in the press, NO heat, and it's held up perfectly in a dozen skates since. You can't see the imprint on the exterior of the boot, but inside there is a perfect little peanut shaped bump out for the baby toe knuckle (5th metatarsal). I think I went 1 or 1.5 turns on the C clamp past snug, nailed it first try.

    LACE BITE - Ended up getting lace bite, probably as a result of the D width (failing pencil test, but needed for the heel fit), but also due to the waxed laces... Been experimenting with stretchier vs more static non waxed laces, and actually the stock laces might be the ticket.

    FOOTBEDS - Otherwise, tried the stock footbeds to add more depth, then my trusty superfeet (too thick = more lace bite), then some speed plate 1.0's. Speed plates ended up changing shape on me after a few games, and would irritate my underfoot, so went back to the superfeet and just cut off the little plastic "fingers" at the front, dropped my forefoot down enough and keeps the nice heel lock - so far that's my favourite.

    RUNNER/PROFILE - Oh, and the LS3 runners I got with the skates must have been machined or stamped incorrectly.. Had serious speed wobble in the one skate, tech showed me the contact patch on the ice was under 1" - says he has never seen it before. Ended up with a combo radius 9.5/10.5 and problem solved, actually never had a radius so this was an amazing decision.

    SHARPEN - Tried a flat bottom V (90/75) as well with the radius, honestly the best sharpen I have ever skated on - am still using it now and may never go back to a 5/8 hollow. The glide is real, I constantly find myself keeping pace with other players who are striding, while literally gliding along with them..
     
  14. Neutrinos Registered User

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    Yeah, I've had the same issue

    What you need to do is soak your left skate in molasses for about 3 - 4 hours

    That'll fix the problem for you
     
  15. Bruckuss long time lurker, random poster

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    bake for 3 to 4 minutes in Bauer oven, spot punch as needed, or soak in molasses for a few hours - tough call on what's going to be most effective to mold foam and composites..

    I hope nobody actually follows your suggestion, lol
     

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