Houston Skate & Sports Orthotics Center takes a completely unique approach when it comes to the fitting of figure skates and sports orthotics. We have taken the science of biomechanics and applied it to the evaluation and fitting of figure skates. Our focus is incorporating full foot and body assessments, regardless of the skater’s level, in order to determine the best possible skate and fit for the skater so they can perform to their potential while reducing the risk of injury. We also offer biomechanical assessment of the foot and ankle to all athletes regardless of their age or level.
Patti Larkin, CO (R), C Ped
Patti Larkin is the epitome of figure skating meeting medical science. A figure skater since the age of seven, Patti grew up as a competitive skater and over the years has participated in countless skating competitions as either a competitor, coach, or judge. In addition to coaching several of her individual students through their individual competitions, Patti, herself, has ranked at the National level as both a synchronized skater and synchro coach.
In addition to her love of skating, Patti was always attracted to the medical field. After obtaining her American Board of Certification in Pedorthics, Patti attended The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX while continuing to teach skating. At UT Southwestern, she received a degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics, a field in biomechanical science. Patti performed her residency in Dallas at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, a hospital specializing in all pediatric orthopedic issues. After successfully passing a series of required exams, Patti obtained her American Board Certification in Orthotics.
As a Certified Orthotist, Patti treated a wide range of patients suffering from a variety of ailments, all necessitating the forceful manipulation of the body to assist either in the healing process or the mobility of the patient. Typical patients included accident victims, cancer patients, diabetics, patients recovering from debilitating surgery, and babies suffering from plagiocephaly. Treatments included braces for the spine, hips, legs and arms; custom designed orthotics, cranial helmets, and specially designed shoes. In practically all instances, these treatments were customized and/or designed specifically to address the particular patient’s biomechanical issues and required problem solving and independent thought - there was no such thing as an “off the shelf” treatment with these severe cases. During all this time, she continued to teach skating.
After spending almost 20 years directly in the Orthotic field, Patti retired as an Orthotist and opened Houston Skate & Dance Shop, now known as Houston Skate & Sports Orthotics Center, where she has combined her skating and biomechanical knowledge to assist the skater and everyday athlete to reach their potential and avoid injury. Constantly conferring with skate manufacturers, individuals in the medical field, and specialists in the fields of strength training, sports recovery, and chiropractic medicine, Patti continues in her Orthotic realm by developing and designing solutions to address the performance and injury problems facing today’s skater and athlete from the biomechanical standpoint.
Now recognized as one of the elite skate fitters in the country, Patti is a regular contributor to both Figure Skater Magazine and USFSA Skating Magazine. She has skaters from throughout the nation and across the world visit her on a regular basis for personalized skate fitting and troubleshooting issues. Skaters have traveled to Houston from places as far away as Utah, Missouri, West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Mexico, Indonesia, Scotland and New Zealand, to name a few.
Being a native from Northern Michigan Stephanie grew up ice skating and even had a rink in her own back yard. As much as she enjoyed skating, her real passion was dancing and she starting taking lessons when she was 3 years old. She trained rigorously in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap and ballroom up to and through high school. She then danced professionally for 4 years, performing with ballet and modern dance companies in Jackson, MS; Holland, MI; and finally with Ad Deum Dance Company: a professional Christian Modern dance company in Houston, TX.
She joined Houston Skate & Sports Orthotics Center over 4 years ago and has been an instrumental part of the success of the business. Taking her understanding of body movement from dance and the love of working with children, Stephanie has been able to perfectly transition that knowledge into the skating world and is one of the primary professional skate fitters. At the Center she is also the primary customer service contact, and she manages all social media marketing.
In her spare time Stephanie enjoys reading, dancing, singing at her church and spending time with her husband and family.