A pair of curling shoes: this is the key piece of equipment that any curler will ever own.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, maybe you have thought about purchasing curling shoes for that important curler in your life. But then you think to yourself, “Shoes? How can I possibly buy shoes for someone else?” Whether you are a curler yourself or simply an armchair curling quarterback, there are two things you need to think about when you embark on your shopping expedition.
Righty or Lefty
The first question you will generally be asked when buying a shoe is whether the curler is right-handed or left-handed. For the veteran curlers reading this note, this may seem to be a ridiculous question. But for those who know nothing about the sport, they often think that being right-handed means the slider is on the right foot (trust me, I hear it in our retail store all the time)! In curling, if you hold and release the rock with your right hand, the slider will go on the opposing (ie. left) foot, and vice versa.
In curling, with experience comes improved balance and stability (at least one hopes that is the case). And as balance improves, one generally begins to think more seriously about the Teflon that is used on the surface of his/her shoe. Teflon is the most common material used for sliders and comes in a variety of thicknesses. If you don’t know why the thickness of Teflon is important, the easiest explanation is as follows: for a given amount of leg drive (out of the hack), the thicker the Teflon, the further one will travel down the ice.
Perhaps your spouse/child/significant other started curling this year. In many cases, (s)he has started the same way thousands of other new curlers out there do: (s)he’s sticking sliding tape to the bottom of his or her shoe, or using a slip-on or step-on slider.
For these individuals, the move to a curling shoe will generally lead to a huge improvement in their balance and stability. Now when it comes to a shoe for newer curlers, I would suggest a thinner slider. Newbies really don’t need the speed associated with a thicker slider as their primary objective is to stay upright. At Goldline, our two most popular choices for beginners are the Glide, with a 1/16” inch thick slider and is available for both men and women, and the Podium Bronze shoe, which comes with a 3/32” inch thick slider and is also available for for both men and women.
For those who have played a bit longer and/or have achieved a good sense of balance and stability out on the ice, the preference is often towards a thicker slider. Goldline offers numerous choices for these individuals. Our Podium Silver shoe (men's / women's) comes with a 5/32” inch thick slider, and in addition to the regular fit it is also available in a wide fit for both men and women. At the top thickness we have our Podium Gold shoe, which has a ¼” thick slider for men or women, as well as our G Force shoe, which is our newest offering this season.
Shoppers: if curling shoes are the gift that will put a smile on your loved one’s face but you are still very hesitant about whether you’ll pick the right style and size, you can always purchase a gift card. You can even clip out one of the pictures of the different Goldline curling shoes shown below and include it with the card so that there is no uncertainty as to your intentions. Or, if you really want to be able to wrap up a pair of shoes in your best wrapping paper and decorate with the most beautiful bow you have, rest assured that Goldline would be happy to exchange shoes for the proper size, or provide a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
For those who are just now compiling their wish list, simply clip out this column and attach it to your annual letter to the jolly old man up north, or discreetly slip it into the hands/purse/newspaper of that special someone in your life (hopefully they can take a hint!).
HO HO HO!!!