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Frequently Asked Questions

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Contents

What is Harlick's Warranty?
How can I know which custom options to select to best meet my needs?
What are some common Custom Boot configurations?
What is the proper way to break-in my new boots?
Why do I fall to an inside edge all the time?(featuring and article by Dr Mike Selsner
How do I care for my boots?
Why do my tongues twist?
How do I clean suede leather?

What is Harlick's Warranty?

First we want to thank you for choosing us to fill your skating boot needs. We endeavor to provide each skater with the best possible boot for his or her individual requirements. Please review the Harlick Warranty below so that we can provide you with the best possible service.

First a few words about fit, comfort and problems.
We at Harlick endeavor to make the finest skating boots in the world. However, it is important that our customers understand that skating is an athletic activity which brings with it inherent risk of injury and foot problems. No matter how carefully we make a boot or how carefully it is sized, skaters will continue to have the potential for physical ailments and injuries, including blisters, calluses, bursas, cysts, bone spurs, etc. While we attempt to make our boots fit as perfectly as possible, the variation in feet is almost infinite, and it is impossible for one boot size to perfectly fit every bone protrusion and indentation of every foot which measures to that size. The anatomy of the individual foot will cause each skater to require a different size and fit, according to personal preference.

Keeping this in mind, Harlick cannot be responsible for any blister, calluses, bursas, discomfort or any other foot problems a skater may suffer as a result of skating while wearing Harlick boots. Harlick will cooperate with you to attempt to correct any sizing problems. However, if you continue to experience these types of difficulties after resizing or adjustment, stretching or any other normal remedies that we are able to perform, it may be due to numerous conditions such as:

  • the stress of skating
  • the shape of your foot
  • your weight
  • you bone, tendon, or muscle structure
  • the angle of your joints, etc.

It may be impossible to create a boot which will allow you to engage in the athletic activity of skating without experiencing problems.

The right options for you can only be determined by you and your coach or trainer. Harlick will make a boot in the size and stiffness that you order, but we cannot choose the right combination for you. If you are experiencing discomfort, it may be due to the options you specified. The best boot in the world will not guarantee that every foot will be able to wear that boot in their "size" free of any discomfort or physical ailment. Unfortunately, that is the nature of feet under athletic stress. Harlick Highly recommends that skaters retain a spare pair of boots in order to avoid loss of income, cost of inconvenience as the result of loss, theft, or failure of these boots, or delay in their repair.

Harlick Limited Warranty

Harlick boots are warranted to be free from defects in material or workmanship for a period of 90 days from the date of purchase of the shipping date, whichever is later.

Harlick at its sole option, will repair or replace a boot which is returned during the warranty period if the boot is defective. This repair or replacement will be made within a reasonable period of time after the boot is returned to Harlick. This warranty extends only to the original purchaser and does not extend to any subsequent purchasers or users.

This warranty does not apply to any aspect of the boot which may have been subject to misuse, incorrect blade mount, neglect, accidental or abnormal condition of use, or damage caused by the use of aftermarket accessories. "Defective" does not mean that the boot fails to perfectly conform to the shape of your foot. Nor will the boot be deemed defective if you suffer boot problems or discomfort as a result of wearing the boot.

Harlick's liability is limited in time and remedy, as described below, and Harlick will have no liability except as specifically stated.

This limited warranty is exclusive and is in lieu of any and all other warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to any warranties of merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose, which warranties of merchantability and fitness are hereby excluded. Some states do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusionary not apply to you. This limited warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

Harlick's entire liability and your exclusive remedy in the event of any defect, deficiency of failure of the boot shall be at Harlick's option, (i) repair for the defective boot, or (ii) replacement of the defective boot, or (iii) return of the price paid to Harlick LESS THE DEPOSIT.

This obligation to repair, replace or refund is Harlick's only obligation and this obligation is void if the failure of the boot or its defect has resulted from accident, abuse or mistreatment and, in any event, this warranty expires at the end of the 90 day warranty period.

Harlick will not be liable in any event for the purchaser's loss of profits, loss of business, or goodwill or for any of the customer's pain or discomfort, or for any consequential or general damages or for any costs, including but not limited to lost lesson time, ice/rink time, entry fees, competition fees or other costs or expenses. Further, Harlick will have no liability for any losses or damages suffered based on any claimed failure on Harlick's part to provide a timely repair or replacement of the boot.

Harlick & Co., Inc. (Contact page)
893 American St.
San Carlos, CA 94070
650-593-2093
e-mail: info@harlick.com

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How can I know which custom options to select to best meet my needs?

This is one of the biggest problems skaters face. Sometimes they choose a boot that is too stiff or too soft. Maybe a Lambs Wool Tongue would be better than Rubber. Do you need Orthotics or Inside Wedges? Will a Dance Backstay help with toe points? These are just a few of the possible considerations.

Unfortunately there are no set choices that will meet everyone's needs the same. You must take into consideration many factors.

  • How old is the skater?
  • How much does the skater weigh?
  • Is this for Dance, Free Style or Figures?
  • What kind of jumps is the skater doing?
  • How many hours a week will you be skating?
  • What model boot is currently being used and does it meet the skaters needs satisfactorily?
  • How long does a pair of skating boots usually last for you?

These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself. Lets review why.

The age and weight of a skater are important because it helps to know how stiff the ankle support and weight of the boot need to be. If a skater is 70lbs. or less you should consider a lighter weight, two piece constructed boot. In a stock boot this would be a Classic or Competitor Model. In a custom request a Two Piece constructed boot. Ankle support can be adjusted softer or stronger by adding or deleting different ankle strengths such as Duo Bond, Double Duo Bond, or Quadrabond for very stiff. For a soft boot do not request any ankle support at all. For someone over 70lbs. it usually is best to stay with the standard three piece construction boot and the appropriate ankle support. In stock that would be the Tester and Finalist Models.

The above also would depend if the skate is for Dance, Free Style or Figures. Normally a Dance boot is the softest of all the disciplines. But again it depends on the individual. Men usually need more ankle support than women. Free Style is usually the most supportive boot.

If a skater is a recreational skater and will only be skating two or three hours a week, naturally will not need as stiff a boot as a competitive skater skating fifteen to thirty hours or more a week. It could take months or years for a recreational skater to break in a boot that is designed for a competitive skater.

Too often a skater will be fitted with a boot that is too stiff because they are trying to make it last longer. This is a mistake because they spend months trying to break it in and they end up with sore ankles and blisters. This is a hindrance to your skating. A skater can not improve or advance when their feet hurt or the boots wont break in. It is always better to favor a lighter or softer boot because if it does break down it can always be reinforced to restore the ankle support.

The average life of a pair of skates can range from a few months to several years depending on who and how the boots are being used. Advanced Free Style skaters usually get one to two pair a year. Dancers can get one to two years per pair. A Recreational Skater can usually get twice the time out of a pair.

A good guideline to follow for choosing a boot is to decide which Stock Boot would be closest to match your needs and then choose the Custom Options to match, or improve your Custom Boot to best serve you.

There could be more to consider when making your decision, but this should give you a good start point. If you still are not sure, check with your Pro Shop, Coach or you can call us and we will be happy go over the choices with you on the phone.

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What are some common Custom Boot configurations?

There are nearly as many combinations that can be made as there are skaters. Remember, this is for general situations. Lets start with:

Free Style for skaters 70 lbs. or less, doing single or double jumps.

  • Elk leather, with Deluxe Linings and Two Piece Construction. This would be similar to a Stock Competitor.
  • Add Heel Huggers for narrower heels.
  • Add Duo Bond for extra ankle support or Double Duo Bond for a lot of ankle support.

Review the Custom Options List for other additions that may be suitable for your needs such as Natural Wax Soles, Lambs Wool Tongues, Growth Insoles, etc.

Free Style for skaters over 70 lbs. doing single, double or triple jumps.

  • Elk leather, with Deluxe Linings and Heel Huggers, Three Piece Construction. This would be similar to a Stock High Tester, Gold Tester or the Finalist Models.
  • Add Duo Bond for additional ankle support, Double Duo Bond for a lot of ankle support or Quadrabond for extreme ankle support (Only recommended for very few skaters).

Review the Custom Options List for other additions that may be suitable for your needs such as Natural Wax Soles, Lambs Wool Tongues, Growth Insoles, etc.

Dance for most women skaters.

  • Elk leather, with Deluxe Linings and Two Piece Construction. This would be similar to a Stock Classic or Competitor.
  • Add Heel Huggers for narrower heels.
  • Add Scallops for additional knee bend flexibility.
  • Add Dance Backstay for calf muscle protection while doing toe points.
  • Add Duo Bond for extra ankle support or Double Duo Bond for a lot of ankle support (Most don't need Double Duo Bond).

Review the Custom Options List for other additions that may be suitable for your needs such as Natural Wax Soles, Lambs Wool Tongues, Growth Insoles, etc.

Dance for most men skaters.

  • Elk leather, with Deluxe Linings and Two Piece or Three Piece Construction. This would be similar to a Stock Competitor or Tester Models.
  • Add Heel Huggers for narrower heels.
  • Add Scallops for additional knee bend flexibility.

Add Dance Backstay for calf muscle protection while doing toe points.

Add Duo Bond for extra ankle support or Double Duo Bond for a lot of ankle support.

Review the Custom Options List for other additions that may be suitable for your needs such as Natural Wax Soles, Lambs Wool Tongues, Growth Insoles, etc.

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What is the proper way to break-in my new boots?

During the break-in it will be necessary for you to occasionally stop and retie your boots. This is due to the stretching of the new laces, and the boots conforming to the shape of your foot and ankle.

Begin by putting your boots on and lacing them leaving the top two hooks unused.

Skate in your boots in this manner for approximately 4 to 6 hours. This time should be accumulated time. For example you may skate the first day for 30min. to and hour and the next day for 1 to 2 hours, your choice. Continue skating until you have accumulated the necessary time. During this time you should not be doing any jumps, spins or other moves that will cause you to do deep knee bending.

Next lace your boots leaving only the top hook unused. Continue skating as above for another 4 to 6 hours following the same precautions as above.

Now you can lace them all the way to the top if you desire and begin your regular skating routine.

This may seem like a waste of time and unnecessary. Your boots may feel very comfortable and you will want to perform all of your regular jumps, spins and routines. What could happen if you do, is your boots can break-down instead of break-in. Lacing your boots all the way up and jumping in them before they break-in puts pressure on the boots ankle support and hooks, causing among other things, the boots to crease in the wrong places. This can also put tremendous pressure on the muscles and tendons of your foot and ankle.

Take the time to follow the correct break-in procedures and you will have better performance and fit from your new Boots.

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Why do I fall to an inside edge all the time?

Have you ever bought new boots and for the first month or so your edges are great and you feel secure while skating, and then suddenly you start to loose all your jumps and edge control? You notice that your boots are breaking down at the outside ankles and your boots look twisted.

This could be caused by different circumstances such as the boots sole balance, poor or uneven sharpening of the blades, or the blade position on the boot. Most likely though it is caused by the skaters own body structure.

Many skaters have low or flat arches and or pronation of the ankles. Pronation is an inward rotation of the ankle.

Pronation Normal (Left), and flat foot with pronation (right).

Pronation Can you see the pronation in this photograph?

Read more in the Article by Dr Allen Selsner, Chairman of the USAC/RS Sports Medicine Department and noted podiatrist/sports medicine specialist.

Biomechanics, is the study of the mechanics of the body, especially the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure. Through these studies we learn that people who pronate will tend to fall to an inside edge, their boots will break down sooner, and the boots will twist after a short time of normal use.

So what do I do? Quit skating? Never!

Sometimes there are minor adjustments you can make to the blades position to counter balance your bodies center of balance. But if this does not work there are corrections that can be made to the boots. This is done by building into the boot specially designed arch supports, also known as orthotics. Also an inside wedge correction in the sole of the boot which is also known as posting is required. Some lucky skaters will need a combination of both corrections. In Harlick boots these corrections can be built into the boot to keep the boot a single unit. However some people prefer to use orthotics provided by their Doctor. This is OK provided the Doctor understands skating, and we know ahead of time so that allowances can be made inside the boot for the additional space that the orthotic will take up in the fit. This is important because some of the orthotics have a large heel base or posting that will raise your heel in the boot and not allow proper heel positioning when the boots are worn. Other considerations when using a Doctors orthotic are, is it full length or partial length, does it have a thick padded insole attached to it. These things can effect the fit of the boots as well. Orthotics made for street shoes or tennis shoes will not fit well into skating boots because the heel of a skating boot is much narrower that that of regular shoes. So make sure that your Doctor sees your boots and understands the fit of the boot to your foot.

Some skaters flat arches and pronation are so sever they can completely distort the shape of the boot. When pronation is this severe, special structural reinforcements need to be built into the counter and sole of the boot to prevent this twisting and torquing.

The more advanced you become in your skating the more important it is to have perfect control of your edges. The more weight you have the greater the forces on your boots and edges. If you are having trouble with your edges check with your Pro or consult a foot specialist to see if they recommend any special attention to correct your arches or pronation.

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How do I care for my boots?

Keep them dry
The most important thing you can do to take care of you boots is to keep them dry. Moisture from the ice is your boots enemy. They can cause your boots to loose support, longevity. As soon as you have finished skating dry off your boots and blades with a towel completely. Then loosen the laces so that you can pull the tongue back which will allow air to circulate inside the boots and dry out the inside.

Many people keep their boots in a bag, locker, trunk of the car etc. All of these are bad places to store your boots. There can be no air circulation in these conditions to allow the boots to dry out. If you do store them this way you will probably start to see some green stuff growing inside your boots. Do you really want to put your foot into something that looks like it is alive? It is OK to transport your boots in a bag or a trunk of the car, but as soon as you get home you should take them into your home or office and remove them from the bag. keep them near a low speed fan or other location where there is some air movement. The air movement will carry the dampness away from your boots and allow them to dry. There are boot dryers that you can buy for the purpose of drying them out over night. This is a good controlled way of drying your boots. You can contact Harlick if you want more information about them.

Never, Never, Never put your boots in the oven or microwave. This will destroy your boots. Some of you may chuckle at this, but I can't tell you how many times we have had people send their boots back to us looking like a Pork Chop that got left on the bar-b-que. Leather needs to dry out slowly and gradually as described in the paragraph above. When leather dries out too fast it causes it to separate and curl at the ends. Where the screws attach the blades, the leather will become brittle and cause the screws to fall out. The layers of leather in the soles will crack, separate and start to roll up. Believe me, it is not a pretty site.

The soles and heels
For boot maintenance there are several things you can do to prolong the life of your boots. Keep your soles waxed with a shoe wax or other materials like "Sno-Seal". You should do this as often as necessary. When you skate and do a deep edge, lunge, or something else that causes the finish to come off the sides of your sole and heel then you need to replace the sealant that was there. If you use Sno-Seal you should apply it to the sides and bottoms of the soles and heels, then using a hair dryer on its warmest setting, heat the Sno-Seal until it melts and soaks into the pours of the leather. Do not use anything hotter then a hair dryer.

We do not recommend any lacquer or varnish finishes on soles and heels for ice skating. While it does look very nice, it tends to crack and allow moisture to get into the leather soles and heels. Then the moisture gets trapped under the finish and it can not dry out. Wax allows moisture to penetrate, but slowly. Moisture that does build up on the wax will stay on the surface for a time and allow you to remove it occasionally while you are skating. There have been a few developments using resins and epoxies for sole finishes that seem to keep moisture out. You can contact us to see if it is something we recommend.

Blades
You should remove your plastic blade guards from your blades when you take off your boots. You should replace the plastic ones with a "soaker". Usually a Teri cloth cover. If you leave on the plastic guards you will probably end up with rust on your blades.

When attaching blades, apply some silicone gel to the threads of the screws before screwing them into the leather sole. This will seal the screw hole and keep moisture from entering at that location. Also, throw away the screws that come with your blades or at least use them for something else. Go to the hardware store and purchase some stainless steel screws. Stainless steel screws will help prevent the leather where the screws are attached from deteriorating.

Keep them looking good
For black boots it is best to keep the upper of the boot waxed with a good shoe wax like Lincoln or Kiwi brands. For white or other colors, try to avoid polishing them too often. The polish tends to build up and crack. Between polishing we recommend using towlets like handy wipes or baby wipes to clean the surface dirt off. Polish your boots just before competitions or when you think they really need it. When you do polish the boots clean them with rubbing alcohol first to get any dirt and oils off the surface. This will allow the polish to adhere better. Harlick sells its own white polish. It is the same finish that we put on at the factory. You can contact your local pro shop and ask them to order some, or contact us direct. We also sell our tan polish.

If you follow these simple suggestions you will prolong the life of your boots.

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Why do my tongues twist?

The Problem
Some people have problems with their tongues twisting or sliding to the side of the ankles. They usually will twist or slide towards the outside ankle. When this happens it is usually a symptom or cause of Pronation in the ankles or a blade set too far to the inside. With every stroke the skater takes the addition of weight and then the removal of the weight when the foot it is lifted off the ice, will cause the ankles to go through the motion of Pronation. Each time it goes through that motion it can cause the tongue to slide or twist just a little more towards the outside ankle. At one point it will stop moving and remain in that twisted position.

Some different ideas
So what to do to prevent the twisting. I have seen many different methods of holding the tongues in place. There is the loop of leather sewn to the front of the tongue which allows the laces to be put through the loop to try and hold it in place. The problems with this is that the loop can tear loose and also the tongue and laces just slide through the loop. Does not help much. Another way is to have a hook installed on the front center of the tongue. Then a short piece of shoe lace is tied into a small circle. That circle of lace is then hooked onto the center hook installed on the tongue and then hooked onto one of the inside hooks by the ankle. This usually works, but sometimes the loop  can work loose and fall off causing a hazard on the ice. A third way is to take a strip of Velcro and sew it down the middle of the outside of the tongue. Use only the hook part of the Velcro. When you lace up and tie your boots the laces get stuck on the Velcro hooks and it usually stays in place. This method works but can cause snags on the lace material and the Velcro hooks can accumulate different things that get stuck in them. Visually this is not the best solution and if you use a lace that will not let the hooks grab hold it will not work. All of the above will requier the solution to be installed at the time of assembly, or you will need a boot maker to install them later. These are not things that you can easily do yourself.

The best solution ?
This final solution  I have found to be the best and easiest to do. It is the least noticable visually of the ideas and probably something you can do yourself. The only tool you will need is something to punch a lace hole size hole into the tongues. A hand heald leather punch will usually work just fine. Here's how it works. There are picture links to help you understand. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

After you have broken in your boots and if you have the twisting tongue problem, put your boots on and lace them up and tie them as you normally would. Keep the tongue centered while you lace the boots up. Now where the lace from the top outside eye or lace hole crosses over to the bottom inside hook, take a pencil and make two marks about 1/2 inch apart at the center of the tongue. Now take the boots off and using a leather punch or similar tool punch two holes through the tongue where you made the two marks. If you don't have the tool necessary a local shoe repairman will probably punch them without any charge to you.

The next step is to put the lace through the tongues. This is probably the most important step. If you don't do this right it probably won't work. Take the lace that comes out of the highest lace hole on the outside half of the boot and feed the tip of that lace through the new hole in the tongue closest to the inside half of the tongue. Then feed the tip of the lace back through the other hole so that the lace is looped around the tongue and once again on the outside of the tongue.

The last step is to tie up your boots. Keep the tongue centered or slightly to the inside of center while you tie them. When you get to the point where the lace goes through the tongue just pull it taking up the slack of the lace and then continue with the hooks. The first few times it may be a little tough pulling through the holes in the tongue but they will break in and slide easily after a few skates. What this method does is loop the lace around the tongue where it goes through the holes, locking the tongue in place. Each time you stroke and bend forward it pulls the tongue back to the inside keeping it centered. There have been a couple of times that this has not worked but for the most part it does.



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How do I clean suede boots?

  1. Mix one capful of Woolite with warm water in a quart jar.
  2. With sponge dampen the suede with the Woolite mix.
  3. Using a (hand) fingernail brush softly rub the suede with the brush in a circular motion.
  4. When the boots have dried overnight, rub the suede with the same (dry) fingernail brush to brush up the nap of the suede.

Note: If the suede becomes smooth you can very lightly sand the shiny area with some 120 grit sand paper to bring back up the nap. Do this before cleaning. Be very careful not to sand too deep and avoid the stitching. 

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