Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What kind of Soakers should I buy?


How do like those apples! Don't buy soakers! I find them to be a waste of time, money and effort, and sometimes even counterproductive.

No, Flipper! Nooo!

I know. I know. Stitch has soakers. Worse, he has the Bunny Soakers. You know why? Because Rink Culture dictates that the kids need Soakers. Rainbo Sports has an impressive array of bejewled, bedazzled, cute, and stupid soakers. I bought them in a moment of weakness, and he'd been begging since we bought his first pair of skates.

Because Pink Ribbons that say "Princess" make everything better.

I once had a vendor at a comp spend ten minutes detailing the soakers she made by hand, made with terry cloth of such high quality I swear she was making them out of towels she swiped from the Hiltons she stayed in. I passed. Because I hate Soakers.

I know what you're thinking; I need something to absorb the moisture off my cold blades when I come off the ice.

Send in the Clowns.

I hear you, and here's what we did for the first year of Stitch's skating: I laid an old towel at the bottom of his skate bag. It worked beautifully, and we had less instances of rust than we do now.

Soakers need to be removed from the skate blade when you get home, and put out to dry, or else the blade develops a film of rust and the soakers mildew. Frankly, there's enough gross stuff in that Zuca, the last thing I need to do is add something else to the mix. Even worse, the larger, puffier soakers trap moisture against the bottom sole of the boot, which appears to hasten its demise. (Unless you have a Starter Level skate with a Vinyl sole.) Also, the more fluff, bling and doodads on the soaker, the more disgusting they become. I can't begin to describe the horrors I've seen on a "tricked out" soaker showing its age.

If Scarlett O'Hara wears things made out of Curtains, why not you?

Soakers give me something else to worry about, one more thing to do, something else to wash, something else to lose, something else that breaks (the clip on ours has broken and snags on dang near everything) and something else that has to stand up to the judge and jury of preteen kids who are always looking for someone who stands out in any kind of weird way.

Is it a caterpillar or a severed calf's leg?

That having been said, you're going to get scammed into buying Soakers. So, what kind should you buy?

They're all terrible. Just buy whatever the kid hands you.

Except these.


  1. We don't use soakers. Too many rust problems. We just towel dry now and bring skates out of bag as soon/often as possible to air dry and de-stink.

  2. Zuca is the leading cause of blade rust.

    I do everything wrong. I leave my skates in the car, I leave them in the soakers, I leave them in the bag.

    I don't get rust.

    When I commented on this to a coach she told me it's because I haul everything around in an open bag. With plenty of air circulation every thing dries out quickly.

  3. I usually leave our skates in the soakers, but I dry the blades very well and always open the bags or take the skates out. Never had a problem with rust but we live in a dry area. The main benefits I see from using soakers are 1. to keep my daughter's $500 blades from banging around in transit, 2. to minimize getting stabbed by toepicks or sliced by sharp blades when handling the skates, and 3. to entertain our skate technician who loves to squeeze them (they meow). I would never have bought the kitty soakers, but luckily for my daughter there's a doting aunt who loves to buy gifts.

  4. The thin, terry-only soakers work as advertised, and double as a drying-rag when you lose yours. The ones with the gros-grain bottom can double as walking-guards. The big poofy ones actually work exactly the opposite as they are supposed to because they are often filled, not with moisture wicking, but with foam, which doesn't breathe. You can get ones that have the moisture wicking stuff in them but the way I look at: $25 for soakers? Or an extra lesson?