How To Shop For Curling Shoes
Curling has become more and more mainstream now that the Olympics are in full swing. The sport involves sliding granite stones down an ice rink to try to get them into the bullseye. A teammate uses a broom to sweep the ice in front of the stone to help it go a greater distance, helping help earn the points they need to win the game. Curling is not done on ice skates though - it is done in a pair of curling shoes. Many people wonder what makes them different from regular shoes and how do you choose them?
When buying a curling shoe, curlers should look for an upper that provides both comfort and warmth. Like with any athletic shoe, it is important to find the right fit, as each shoe fits differently from person to person. Another factor to consider is the amount of insulation a pair of shoes has because ice games can cause cold feet. The ideal upper material of a curling shoe is leather. The best insulation material is a technology called Thinsulate.
What's A Slider?
The slider is what makes the curling shoe unique from other athletic shoes. While the upper is the same on both shoes, the sole on each shoe is different. The slider is most commonly made of Teflon and is designed to slide during the thrower's conveyance. When choosing a slider there are two key elements to look for:
The thicker a slider is, the faster and more slippery it will be. Sliders tend to range from 1/32" to 1/4" thick. If you are a beginner, it is smart to opt for a 3/32" thick slider.
Next, you want to look for configuration. A flat slider may cause you to get what curlers call the "wobblies," so it’s important to get a slider with a round portion underneath the ball of your foot and the heel.
What's a Gripper?
The sole of the opposite shoe is equipped with a rubber gripper that acts as a way for a curler to gain traction. In order to prevent drag on the gripper foot, some curlers use something called "toe coating" that results in a more efficient slide at optimal moments in the game.
If you are a curler, getting the right shoes can help prevent serious overuse injuries. If you are learning the hard way and have now suffered a foot or ankle injury while curling, call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Your feet are our top priority.