Re: Ice skates?
That article raises some good points. I used to work in a higher end/pro hockey store when I was going to university. We sold Bauer, CCM, Graf, Mission etc.
When I fit skates, I had the customer wear very thin socks. Dress socks actually work well. As mentioned, thick socks and multiple socks allow too much foot movement. Then, I would fit the skates so their toes would almost touch the toe cap when they are standing straight. When the knees push forward to skate, the toes pull back slightly.
Next, I would have them stand on their tip toes. If their heels slid up and down at all, the skate was the wrong application. Ive seen many blisters and heel spurs from skates that slid around on the heels.
The lace eyelets should lace up parallel. If they are bulging in the middle, the skate is probably too narrow. If the eyelets converged in the middle, the skate is probably too wide.
Then, if the customer wanted to pay for it, I would modify the skate with blade alignments (moves the blade under the centre of gravity of the foot to compensate for leg length differences and other anatomical anomilies), heel lifts, punches etc.
One thing to keep in mind is you cannot compare the same size between different manufacturers and even models. CCMs fit different from Bauer which fit different from Graf... CCM's tend to have narrower heels while Bauers tend to have wider heels. Graf 703's fit very different from Graf 707's. You have to try them all on to see which fits best.
The article mentions also the tweaks. Depending on the manufacturer, the skates can be heated, vacuum fit, stretched, punched etc so a new, very stiff pair of skates can feel broken in right from the store.
Even a cheap, properly fit pair of skates will perform better and last longer than a $700 dollar pair of skates.
Btw, that sore foot feeling that gpenguins was describing is a result of the tendons and ligaments in the arches of the feet being stapped down tight with little to no wiggle room. Once the get stretched out a little they loosen up and the pain subsides.