By Nick Kitinski – When you start curling, you often just use the equipment provided by the Curling Club. Usually this will include a worn out 2/32” slider with a rubber band that slides on to your shoe. They glide poorly, never seem to fit your shoe and you have to share it with others while playing. This is not ideal if you intend to get serious about the sport.
One option you could consider is to buy your own slider for about $20. I would recommend the 5/32” thickness for several reasons. It is a bit fast for a new curler, but it will last you longer than the 2/32″. For arena ice, you definitively would want the 5/32” due to poor ice quality. Eventually people who started on the 2/32” want to upgrade pretty quickly to the 5/32”, so why spend the money twice? Get the thicker slider the first time.
If you don’t like to deal with the annoying rubber band slider that takes time to put on and off, then there is one other option that doesn’t require buying an expensive pair of curling shoes; make your own!
Pick a pair of shoes that you can curl with. Get the gripper style slider (the kind that slips over a shoe) and buy an additional gripper(just gripper without a slider), one size larger than the slider. Now you put the gripper slider on the shoe, and then the regular gripper on top of it. Now you have converted a shoe into an instant pair of curling shoes for about $50!
Another way to make your own curling shoes would be to buy the Slider material, and custom cut it to fit your shoe. Glue it on and buy a gripper. Asham makes a kit just for this purpose that comes with a special glue, or you can simply get some super glue from the hardware store. This option takes a bit of work, and the slider can loosen from the shoe over time, so be prepared to spend some time for occasional repairs. The cost is about the same as the previous DIY option, about $50.
If you don’t want to hassle with all this, there are several great curling shoes for less than $100 on the
market. If you get last years model or any outgoing model, you can even get them for less. End of the
season and Summer usually gets you the better discounts. Most starter shoes come with 3/32” sliders, so
be prepared for a future upgrade or replacement. Ask your curling peers what they like about their shoe
or read all about it here on Kodiak Curling and pick the right shoe for you!
Glide on and glide off, get your curling shoes on….