I have extremely flat feet, to the point that any arch in a shoe is painful. There is no orthotic or other insert that has an arch that helps because my foot is completely flat; arches actually give me pain. I have no back pain or other problems whatsoever from having flat feet my whole life (from birth, in other words).

So, I've noticed when buying ice hockey skates that they all have arches basically molded into the boot and after about ten minutes of skating, my feet just plain ache. If I skate or play for an hour or more, I have such extreme pain that my I can't stand for about 15 minutes. I recently purchased a wide skate that appears to have very little arch support (yea!) but they still give me aching pain after about 30 minutes.

Is there any ice skate or advice for a person such as myself with extremely flat feet?

  • My temporary solution was orthotics - but an hour was still as much as I could stand, so I pretty much gave up.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 26, 2012 at 17:57

5 Answers 5


Have you tried using a professionally made orthotic (not the one you buy in the store)? These are custom made for your foot and should give you the proper support so that you don't hurt while skating. Note that it takes your body a while to adjust to orthotics. Your doctor should give you a schedule for breaking them in.

Also a wide boot helps. I've always found that Bauer skates have much wider models available.


Me too. I too have long history of hurt, no one understanding, and it affected hockey And alpine skiing too. Without history, As a kid Imhad leather skates, like kangaroo leather tacks and the killed until stretched out. No socks. could not use top three eyelets. Then when skates went all synthetic, they would not "break in" in any more. Only plastic Micron Quads worked-- with no footbeds. Finally, my figure skating niece said go see Scotty Cook in Wilmington MA. His dad used to MAKE boots for his big sister because of fit trouble Scot had learned how to for and modify boots. I was put into some Swiss made Grafs with footbed s he made. He shimmed the blades for me to adjust for left foot pronation. No sole pain. A couple of trials on ice and he punched out pinch points. And the shimming? After a lifetime of "trouble going left" especially back to front turn on defence, all was good. Lesson? Find someone who has shoemaking skills around skating. Mostly there's experienced folks work with Figure skaters. But some gurus are around in hockey areas but not so much. Mostly kids in hockey who's feet hurt just quit. If you haven't or know a kid who's feet hurt in soles and balls of feet help them to find a fitter who really knows. And don't worry about what brand of boot. Just use what filter says. Right now I am (still) on CCM 652 tacks, somehow the fitter finds "old-new stock". Lost the grads in a fire, those Swiss Made boots were great, too.

You are here still? Here's the "flat foot" problem in a nutshell. You have flat feet. When you clamp those feet into a boot that forces an arch, it puts a curve into the tendons on the bottom of your foot. A curve is a longer distance than a strait line so your tendons are pulled extra tight, more than YOUR normal. then your skating posture bends the knee and requires forward bend at the ankle. The tendons are now pulled tight like a piano string. NOT normal FOR YOU. Result, pain, inflammation, misery.

By the way the same exact trouble occurs for the foot type in downhill ski boots.

One home remedy is to place cardboard shims under std footbed heel, taper them so you have an even load from heal to toe, which makes the arch go away and reduces the amount you bend at the ankle. If this helps then go find a true skat guru (nearly all are Figures boot techs) and commit to work with them. Anyone with this foot pain type, including any child you know, it will change your hockey life.


Graf makes skates for a wide variety of feet.

The website even has a fit chart that will help you pick the right model based on your foot information.

  • 1
    Unfortunately, Graf Canada, known for the wide variety of skates available for various shapes of feet, has gone out of business this year. Graf Europe is still going.
    – Ben Miller
    Dec 1, 2016 at 15:59

I have the exact same problem. I've tried lots of different skates and insoles. Some help a bit, none have ever fixed things completely. (very frustrating) The best fix I've found so far is an original pair of Reebok 9K's in double E width. I baked them twice to mold them as much as possible to my feet. I use a simple Buaer thin foot pad w/ a bit of cupping at the heel but no arch support, and I don't use socks when I play. You really have to dry them out good after each use this way, but at least I get a good 40 min to an hour w/ little discomfort.


My ice skating solution for my flat feet: goalie skates. For years I've worn Riddell goalie skates with no arch pain. Occasionally I try regular hockey skates and they absolutely kill me within 10-15 minutes, so back to my old standbys!

Many goaltender's skates have very little arch support -- significantly less than a regular hockey skate. The trade-off is the profile of the blade -- goalie blades lie flat (front-to-back) on the ice compared to the curved profile of regular hockey skate blades. I can't make sharp pivots and quick turns wearing them, but at least I can skate without pain. (Can't comment on figure skates because I've never worn them.)

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