Development of lower leg muscles
The VH boot stiffness is designed to promote the development of lower leg strength and the activation of stabilizers. The following information will provide advantages for long-term skill development, as well as safety considerations.
Contributing Lower Leg Muscles:
- Calf muscle and tendon complex
- Peroneus muscle and tendon complex
- Peroneus tertius muscle and tendon
- Extensor Digitorum and Hallucis Longus muscles and tendons
- Tibialis Anterior muscle and tendon
By using the VH boot skaters develop their muscle strength to increase technical development (edge control , body alignment) and kinesthetic awareness.
As you can see in the illustration on the right the VH boot allows for proper activation and development of lower leg muscles used for edge control (inside & outside edges) and ultimately weight transfer (long and short track). The critical feedback provided by the VH boot allows the skater to increased feel of their edges, body position, alignment, and overall kinethetic awareness.
Please note a very stiff boot does not allow for the critical development of lower leg muscle strength for technical development, kinethetic awareness, and strengthening for injury prevention. A stiff boot is a band-aide to ankle strengthening and is not a solution.
Off-set can also be used as a tool for body alignment, as well as performance. Please see the FAQ section under resources for more information.
It is important to note that the VH boot is designed for proper development of speed skating muscles and stabilizers, which balance on a 1.0-1.2mm thick blade.
Stiffer inline boots with less knee-over-toe design focus around the demands of muscles and stabilizers, which balance on an inline wheel which is 24mm thick
Speed skating edge control requires a fine activation and feel of lower leg muscles and stabilizers to properly perform weight transfer vs the demand of inline.
Through the strengthening and activation of the lower leg and stabilizers by the VH boot, skaters will then benefit from increased performance as they will have a direct line of power transferred to the ice. This resulting in maximal speed and execution of skills and tactics.
The goal of all speed skaters should be to develop proper lower leg strength and activation of stabilizers. This development is what will provide the framework for continued skill development and performance.