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With the economy still struggling, skaters are

trying to get every last bit of wear possible from their skates. One common area of the boot that easily breaks down is the tongue. When this hap- pens, it leaves the door open for developing a deep bruise or tendonitis on the instep of the foot. Tis commonly happens when a skater in a boot that has too much support or has just outlived its usefulness. In boots with too much support, the tongue takes all the force when landing jumps and begins to crease easily rather than develop a normal crease at the instep area of the boot. After a period of time, there is no more support left in the tongue and it begins backing up and pressing into the in- step.

Signs of this beginning to happen are easily visible, but also can be felt. Te physical symptoms will come on slowly, until it is almost too late to fix. It is wise to take note of the visible signs and repair the problem at that point rather than wait until you are feeling pain in your instep. Repairing the problem can be done by replac- ing the tongue or resupporting it. Replacing the tongue is the easiest, but in many cases, your boots will need to be sent back to the manufacturer to be repaired. Tere is also the possibility that you may not be able to replace the tongue, because of how

it was sewn into the boot when it was made. It is best to call the manufacturer and ask if it can be replaced or not. Tey will be able to instruct you on the best way to go about doing this. Resupporting the tongues in most cases can be done at a local shoe repair shop, providing it has the proper materials and follows the instructions I’ve listed below:

Materials needed:  1/4” or 1/2” sponge rubber — will need only if replacing the original lining

Poron — used sometimes, but not always # 5 or #7 iron line rubber Barge cement

Instructions: 1) Peel back sponge lining to the bottom of the tongue (will need both a razor blade and Barge cement glue solvent). 2) Peel off Poron behind sponge lining in cen-

ter of boot. Try to get off in one piece as this will need to go back on again. 3) Use poron as a template for making the

reinforcement piece. It may need to be shorter, but not longer, and will need to be wider than the original Poron piece.


4) Cut the reinforcement piece to fit on the 5) Glue back on the Poron where it came off.

(Will need to fine-sand the tongue backing for bet- ter adhesion.) 6) Glue in the reinforcement piece over the

Poron piece. 7) Glue the sponge lining back on over the

reinforcement piece. Before closing, I would like to suggest that

everyone reading this article make a copy of it and keep it in your skate bag just in case you ever need to have your tongues repaired.

Mr. Edge

Mr. Edge is a qualified skate technician with years of experience. He answers questions on boots, blades and foot problems related to your equipment. Te opinions of Mr. Edge are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Figure Skating or SKATING magazine. Remember, if you have problems with your feet, check with a doctor — the problem may well be with your boot, but it could be more serious. Check with your local pro shop for more information about boots and blades.

Tongue breakdown 30 MAY 2012


#5 or #7 Iron Line Rubber

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