When it comes to performance, the biggest problem for roller derby skaters is the lack of arch support, which can make skating feel very uncomfortable. Combine this with the fact that on average, a woman’s heel has up to 26% less volume compared to a man’s heel, and sadly, this results in women feeling like they lack a snug heel lock in unisex derby skates.
Heel slip in your skates can massively affect performance. If your heel slips every time you move from your wheels to your toe stops, you are wasting time—and power—through your push. If your foot slides in your boot as you come to a stop, your performance will be affected, because your foot needs to move and fill space within the boot before you can even start to exert power in your stop. Everything you do will be less than what it could be!
Alongside performance issues, you can also experience pain.
A poor heel lock results in multiple issues, as it compromises your lateral stability and brings with it two common problems (we call them pain zones… ouch!)
Common Pain Zones Resulting from Heel Slip
- Calf cramping
- Pressure point on top of the in-step
Together with Sergio McCargo, one of the leading manufacturers of custom boots, we have developed a derby-specific last (a boot-shaped form used to create skates) that eliminates this problem, and is used in all CHAYA roller derby boots. We are confident that our heel lock is the best offered in the roller derby market today. Your heel is locked in tight as soon as your put your foot in the boot, with no need to exert extra force via a top strap or overly tight lacing (which further adds to your instep pain.)
We are inundated with feedback from skaters telling us how their previous pain disappeared once they started skating in their CHAYA’s—this makes us so proud of what we have achieved with CHAYA thus far, and we will continue to innovate and move forward as roller derby evolves and grows as a sport. Happy skating, everybody. May it be pain free!
Here are some examples of the feedback we receive on a daily basis…
“My feet are extremely narrow and flat. I’ve always had issues with pain in the arch of my foot and heel slippage. With a few heat molds to specific spots I was able to get the fit I need to perform for my team and increase my skating skills all around.”
“Over the past several seasons I have struggled to find skates that can accommodate my narrow heel and the Chaya boots are the answer. From the time I lace them up until I take them off my heel is securely in place.”
“The ankle support is amazing… Zero heel slippage and no looseness.”
“The boots are light and feel like an extension of my own foot. No more heel sliding out of the back of the boot. I now feel secure with all my stops and movement on my toe stops.”
“I’ve always found there’s been a loss of power transfer from my foot to the floor as my foot would always turn in my boot, but the CHAYA boots fit so well, that even the slightest movement my foot makes I can feel through my wheels.”