How to buy Figure Skates
Purchasing the right figure skate is essential to your child's
performance on the ice. A skate must fit properly and be the right skate
for their level of ability. It is important that you buy
your child’s skates at a skate shop that knows figure skating and the
different figure skating levels. You must have someone who is
willing to work with you to find the perfect fit.
A proper fitting
boot is extremely important to prevent painful blisters and improve
performance. The boot and blade combination should be
level-specific and should perfectly fit your child's abilities and
needs. So keep in
mind that he important considerations when purchasing a boot are the
size of the skater, level of skating and the amount of time on the ice.
Determine Level Skating
The first thing to
do is to determine how the skater will be wearing their figure skates.
It is important to know how often they will be using the skates.
Will they be taking lessons? Do they plan on doing jumps?
Are they in this sport for the long term? Are they interested in
Skates, like most
sporting equipment, get more sophisticated as ability increases and it
will become necessary to purchase boots and blades separately. But
for the beginning stages of figure skating most manufacturers produce a
pre-made boot and blade combination that are available and acceptable.
you find that your child is a casual figure skater, one who skates only
a few times a month, consider purchasing pre-made figure skates . Buy
the boots and blades separately if the skater is going to be figure
skating often, performing jumps or ice dancing.
is generally worth the money to purchase ice skates with quality ice
skates blades. Otherwise, you will likely have to spend money and/or
time sharpening them.
How to determine a proper fit?
When determining size be
sure you measure both feet in case one is bigger than the other, and
when sizing for width, both feet should be measured while you are in the
sitting position. The skater should only wear a thin pair of
socks while skating, so size accordingly. It
is important for the skater to try
on several pairs of boots to determine a correct fit, because each brand
will vary slightly.
Consider getting information on fit
from the website of the manufacturer or vendor prior to your visit.
Also be sure to look at the boot's tongue for stiffness and padding to
protect your legs and feet from injury.
boots should provide a snug fit. Their foot has to fit in the boot
so that there is no extra room especially in the heel.
When walking around,
the skater's heel should not lift out of the boot.
The lacing pattern should be constant from toe to ankle.
When lacing skates,
always lace the instep firmly. Then, lace the ankle eyelets snugly
enough that there is ankle support.
A skate needs to be an extension of your
Make sure that the toes
can wiggle but the heel does not slide up and down or around once the
foot is properly laced in the skate. Make sure the ice skate boot
provides adequate ankle support. The ankle support should allow the
skater some flexibility around the ankle, but not be too loose. If the
ankle support is not correct it could result in the likelihood of
sustaining an injury.
Can Use Rental or Used Skates?
If rental skates are
available and in good condition, the best path is to go with rentals for
at least a half-dozen sessions. This will give you time to make sure
that your child is making progress and intends to keep skating. If you choose not to
invest in skates, when renting skates, ask for a pair of firm boots with
adequate support and sharp blades .
Good used skates can
be okay for your child, especially in the beginning stages. If you plan
to buy used, you must do your homework so that you have an understanding
about the brand and model of the boot and blade that you are interested
The problem with a pair of skates that someone else
broke in is that they will never fit you as well as they should.
source of information is your coach. So be sure to talk to him/her
about suggestions on what to look for. Make sure the boot has support
and the blade has some “sharpening life” left in it. Be sure to ask
questions to get some details on the age of the skates, and activity
level of the skater.
Try some specialty shops, some will exchange a boot that a skater wasn’t
satisfied with and then resell it at cost. If you can get a pair that
has only a couple of hours on it for half the price it is a great deal.
Used kids skates can also be worthwhile because with growing feet kids
are less likely to be affected by the less perfect fit of a broken in
How to buy Hockey Skates
Hockey skates are the most
important piece of hockey equipment you can buy. Because they are so
important, it is vital that you buy the right skate for your child's
style of play, and that they are sized properly. Don't underestimate the
importance of hockey skates because they provide the skater with speed,
control and protection. It is extremely important to get the right skate
for your child so
go to a reputable skate shop, where the staff understands hockey, to
purchase the skates. You will need to explain to them how
often you skate as well as your skate history.
Hockey skates are comprised of two
basic parts: the boot and the blade.
- Most skates are manufactured
with a combination of leather and synthetic materials for
durability, performance, and comfort. The exact mixture of these
components depends on the quality of the skate and the cost. Look
for tough materials like carbon reinforcements and Ballistic nylon.
- Hard plastic boots offer
better protection against pucks and provide more ankle support.
- Look for a skate that has a
- Evaluate features like memory
foam inserts, reinforced nylon quarters and heel locks for stability
and ankle support.
- Hardcore players should go
with a stiff boot while active players should look for a moderately
stiff boot. Recreational players should opt for pure comfort.
- Heavier players generally
benefit from a stiffer boot.
How to Determine Proper Fit
Most hockey skates are sized smaller
than your normal shoe size. It is important that they are tight to
offer stability when skating.
Your foot should be
measured standing up so that it is fully extended.
Then start one size
smaller than your shoe size.
Be sure to wear the
sports socks that you will be wearing when you play to insure sizing
When you slip your foot in, your toes should
lightly touch the toe of the boot, and the heel should feel stable.
Tap the heel on the floor several times to
make sure your heel is firmly set in the back of the boot then lace the
skates firmly. You should apply the most pressure on the top four
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and
crouch slightly, so that the knee is over the toe. Your foot will shift
ever so slightly. This is the skating stance. If your toes are
scrunched up, the skate is too small. If your foot has any room to
move inside the boot, the skate is too big. Skates come in different
widths so if it feels too narrow ask for the same size in a wider boot.
The skater should try on several
pairs of boots for a correct fit because the brands vary slightly in
styles and cuts.
sure to walk around in the skates and check for pressure points or heel
movement. Remember that with all skates there is a break in
Tips for Fitting a Child's Skate
If you are purchasing skates for a
child remove the insole from the skate and ask the child to stand in it.
Make sure the heel is properly aligned with the heel of the insole.
Check the big toe, it should almost reach the front edge of the insole,
with no more than half an inch of space to allow growth during the