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Thread: Heel treatment

  1. #1
    If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~ bunnybarista's Avatar
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    May 2018
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    Country: United States of America

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    Heel treatment

    I have a question about the various heel "treatments" that can be done on a custom boot. For example, Sp-Teri's website lists these options: wax finish, lacquer finish, and varathane finish. Harlick's website adds on a chem-glaze finish. Any insight into which is the easiest to maintain / best for overall sole health? Harlick is helpful enough to specify that the wax finish "requires maintenance" and that even the chem-glaze finish "needs to be waterproofed." Is waterproofing a separate step from glazing/finishing the sole? Thanks in advance for any insights!

    Edited to add: my concern is that the wrong type of sealant might crack and then start trapping moisture under the blade / under the rest of the finish. Ideally I want to preserve the sole for as long as possible without it rotting or causing rust on the blade. I am very careful to wipe down my blades and soles every time I skate, but I want to take extra precautions on my next pair of skates. This will be the first time I've been presented with natural soles, and I want to make the right choice!

  2. #2
    On the Ice sandraskates's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    I see so many different heel and sole treatments now, including the addition of glitter in the coatings.

    I've had 2 kinds of heels treatments over the years. "Back in the day" aka 20+ years ago when there weren't so many choices, my friends and I used spar varnish on our heels and soles. It gave the glossy appearance and looked very pretty. It was very durable and water repellent but I did notice that over many years the screws area would be decayed. Not badly, but noticeable when the blade was removed.

    My newest Harlicks (about 2 years old) have the natural sole and heel. Every few weeks I have to put on another coat of Sno-Shield Leather Protector which is a beeswax substance. And I can see that water does get past it in one particular area on the sole.

    I kinda wish I'd sprung the extra $$$ on the pretty glitter soles that look very well sealed. I suggest discussion the pros and cons with whatever manufacturer you buy your boots from. And I'm not sure that all of them offer the fancier options.

  3. #3
    Rinkside WednesdayMarch's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
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    Country: United Kingdom

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    I've only ever had boots with natural soles and heels and I've never had them sealed or done any "treatments". Only one pair ever got slightly creaky but I'd worn them out anyway. I've always broken boots down (at least for my skating) before any problems with the sole/heel had chance to surface...

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