Buying the right pair of figure skates is far more complicated than simply going to a store or hopping online and picking the first pair that looks good.
Skates are an essential piece of athletic equipment and need to be chosen wisely in order to have the best results. This is what you should consider when shopping.
Type of Skater
To begin with, the type of figure skates that you need can vary depending on what type of figure skater you are. If you are only just casually skating once in a while, you will not need the same type of figure skates as a skater who competes regularly.
Beginning skates are not as rigid and do not have the same amount of break-in time as competitive skates do. Beginning skates will be comfortable right away and should be made out of a soft material.
Meanwhile, competitive skates need to have a longer break-in period in order to get that custom fit that is needed to be successful on the ice. The skate is essentially an extension of your leg so it needs to fit snugly. In addition, the more rigid the skate; the more stability that your ankle will have in order to skate at high speeds and manoeuvre easily.
Broken down more, there are many levels of skaters that you should keep in mind when looking for a pair of best figure skates.
- Recreational: For this type of skater, think of skating on ponds in winter. Usually seasonal, casual skaters.
- Beginner: Beginning skaters push beyond the recreational skater’s forward, turn, and stop moves. This type of skater takes classes and practices. You need better skates here, but nothing too intense.
- Instructional: This is more of a transitional place of skating, where you have learned the basic moves and are getting in better shape to move up. You should be moving to skates you need to break-in.
- Competitive: These are the competitive skaters, testing their skills against others in the same position. Your skates need to allow you to perform the skills you have been working on with ease.
The boot of your skate needs to fit you well. Regardless of your skill level, you should not be able to slide your foot around within the skate. For all skaters, loose skates are a breeding ground for blisters and injuries.
Your boot should fit snugly, but you should also be able to move your toes around a little, so they are not completely squished at the end of the boot. The heel of the boot should fit comfortably and snugly. Any slippage will cause trouble and reduce your ability to control how you are skating.
Skate sizing does not work the same as shoe sizing, so it is better to go off size guides in inches rather than working with the size of shoe you wear. Skate sizes are usually smaller than shoes, but that varies based on brand.
Material-wise, the more advanced skaters need boots that are made with tough and high quality leather. This material is what takes so long to break in, but it gives far better results than other materials. For a more casual skater, the material is less important. It is more important that your feet feel comfortable than to worry about what the boot is made out of.
For the blade, you should consider the type of movements that you will be doing on the ice. If you are more competitive, the blade and the boot will not come together. This is to ensure that you get a boot that fits well and then get an appropriate blade for you.
In the world of competitive skating, you need different types of blades depending on the type of figure skating that you do. There is also the factor of the moves that you perform as well. Singles skaters are more likely to do jumps and spins, whereas ice dancers need to worry more about the exactness of their footwork.
Casual skaters, however, can buy blades that are already connected to the boot. You are not likely to be performing spins at high rates of speeds, so do not need to get the high-end blades that would allow you to do so. Instead, get a pair of skates that will help you be a better skater. The blades will be a more affordable price and the blades will work better to teach you what you need to know.
Also, make sure that you have the blades perfectly sharp all the time. If you want to step up your game, check out our Sparx Skate Sharpener review here.
Understanding Your Skates
Your figure skates should not cause you any pain or difficulty. If you are working on harder skills, having a more rigid pair that needs to be broken in is a better idea than a soft skate. If you just want to get out and have some fun, get a comfortable skate that will work with what you need.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.