Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I used to have pretty feet...before derby

When I was a wee newbie, I skated every chance I got; skating so much made me awesome, made me mighty, and really really wrecked my feet. Not only did I get blisters, I got blisters on top of blisters on top of blisters!  At one point, I actually went to the Urgent Care because my blister got infected, and everyone was worried I had MRSA.

PS.  It wasn't MRSA, but the doctor was fascinated with the prodigious amount of pus coming out of my blister.

Before I would skate, I would tape up almost every part of my foot and I would still get blisters, or I would just wear parts of my skin out until I was bleeding. I kept thinking "One of these days, my feet will get tough enough to skate without pain!" but it just wasn't happening. I should have gotten stock in tape! Eventually, I bought new skates, and my new boot made things better, but I was still getting blisters.

Lucy Lastkiss saved my feet.
Finally, one of the veteran skaters came over and pointed out that I was wearing the wrong socks.  Lucy Lastkiss, a serious badass, told me that skating in cotton based socks can lead to moisture retention, and therefore blisters. I had fallen into the trap of wanting to skate in cute socks.  Lucy suggested I get some Miracle Wool socks; she used them for hiking and a lot of outdoorsy stuff.  I like this style myself.  Q's socks.  Wool socks tend to wick moisture away from your body, and offer less friction against your skin.  I like the socks with the thicker bottom to them because I tend to jam a lot and I put a lot of pressure on the balls of my feet when I'm sprinting.

The downside of Miracle Wool or Smart Wool socks is the price; they are more pricey than regular socks.  When I bought my first pair, it cost me fifteen dollars, but I have never worn a pair out.  I own about three pairs which I rotate through on a day to day basis.  Since I have worn these socks, I have not gotten a blister, not even once.  I also am starting my fourth season with the boots I bought in my rookie year.  I surprised the Riedell rep at Rollercon when I told him how old my skates were.  He was shocked by the fact that they were in such good shape, and I really do attribute the lack of wear and tear to the socks.  Also, I haven't had to tape my feet for years; I don't even carry it for emergencies anymore.

These socks may not work for everyone; I know that some people are allergic to wool, but I have been lucky so far.  Tannibal Lector of Oly told me at Rollercon that she skates barefoot, which blew my mind.  She also told me that "You don't want to go anywhere near her skates because they reek."  That, coming from a derby girl who deals with many nasty smells on a daily basis, made me shiver.  Some people like to skate in really thin socks as well, and for them I would suggest the Miracle Wool thinner sock.  And of course, some people will always want to wear the cute socks.  Lucy Lastkiss had a great suggestion; "wear the miracle wool socks and cut the feet out of the cute socks to wear over them."  She's such a savvy lady.

If you're still suffering from blisters, here is a guide for caring for them.  I do NOT suggest that you do any kind of surgical stuff to yourself unless you sterilize your implements well.  MRSA and infections are no joke.


  1. Yay! Spreading the love of wool socks!! Other skaters always look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I wear wool. They always ask me if it's hot and itchy and are skeptical when I tell them they actually regulate temperature better than cotton.

  2. Yea! I love my socks. Slide wears them too!

  3. Ever hear of Thorlo socks?

    would be worth checking out at well. (for people with Wool allergies especially)

    just a thought. I have a pair that I bought about 12 years ago. I don't wear them every day, but they're great when hiking..