Thursday, May 8, 2014

All Hail the Mighty Gel Ankle Tube!

There are three great inventions in figure skating:
The rocker,
Heat Moldable Boots,
and the gel ankle tube.

 About 8 inches long and 3 inches wide it is composed of a stockinette fabric exterior magically lined with medical gel. This tube is the savior of many skating careers; protecting skin, and helping boots fit correctly. 

For example, you have a pair of boots whose rough top rubs your leg skin raw. I even read that Michele Kwan had calluses on her legs from her skates (this is called mechanical dermatoses). Simply slip the magical gel tube so it covers the affected area--problem solved!

What if the heels of your boots, or just the heel in one boot is just a little too wide leading to your foot slipping around? Slip the tube over your heel! (I usually use a stocking over the tube to keep it smooth).

I actually don't wait until mine wear out to replace them (and they will wear out after a long, long time) I keep an extra one in stock in case I lose one.

What about calluses on the side of the foot, or the toes, or the heels? I've found that for small calluses that the small burn gel pads from the drugstore work very well.

So there's your helpful skating tip for the day!


  1. I was very skeptical about these tubes, but then one day one of the other adult skaters at my rink had an extra pair and she was very insistent I should try them. I was very surprised by how my feeble attempts at a backspin immediately felt better.

    My coach doesn't approve of them, though. He says that they make you lose the feeling of where you are on the blade.

    1. I've never found that to be a problem for my skating.

    2. Amazon. Sometimes pro shops at ice rinks may carry them.

  2. I have found it more and more difficult to find these ankle tubes. I had one, that I cut in half to cut down on my boot bite. Then I lost one. The Pro Shop at my rink doesn't seem to carry them any longer. I am on the hunt for this wonderful invention!