How to Choose Ice Skates

How to Choose Ice Skates
A properly-fitted boot is the most important part of your time on the ice. A secure fit can prevent painful blisters and improve performance. In addition, your boot and blade combination should be level-specific and should perfectly fit your abilities and needs. We encourage you to make an appointment with one of our trained technicians to ensure that you receive the quality care that you require. For our online shoppers,you can contact for specific information and recommendations. With over 25 years of experience in all facets and disciplines of figure skating, she has fit all levels from first glides to Olympic skaters. Here is a general guide to our selection, and remember that sometimes categories can overlap:

If you can't wait for outdoor skating season and/or you love the public skate sessions at your local rink, the Recreational Skate Packages might be right for you. These packages give you boot and blade combinations that are warm, padded and comfortable; perfect for everything up to beginning Learn to Skate lessons.

If you think you can pass your next Learn to Skate Basic Skills test before the season's over and you're thinking about private lessons, Beginner Skate Packages should fit your needs. These are boot and blade combinations with more standard styling and better quality blades, that can take a skater into the Basic Skills Freestyle levels.

If you feel like you only need one more week of working on single jumps and are ready to start on the elusive axel, check out the individualized Boots and Blades links. These customized options give the advancing skater the flexibility of choosing the appropriate skates. These boots and blades range from Beginner through Senior US Figure Skating levels.

If you're a first-time buyer, here are a few good tips on how to size skates:

1) First, most recreational skates run close to or 1/2 size under shoe size; however, to be safe, you can always give us a measurement in inches of the length of your longest foot. Stand with your heels against a wall and measure perpendicularly to the end of the largest toe.

2) For children, add a 1/2 size for growth room.

3) Some skates come in N (Narrow) M (Medium) and W (Wide) widths. Unless you are a high-level skater, width is common sense: if you think your feet are wide for their length, they probably are. M widths are a good bet for those who feel perfectly comfortable in all sneakers. It is also important to remember that different brands will fit your feet differently. Jackson lasts are wide in the toe box and narrow in the heel, while Riedells tend to run slightly longer, but narrower. Do NOT go up a size to accommodate extra width; it will cause uncomfortable creasing and heel slipping as the skates break in.

4) Keep in mind, that thin socks are best (the thinner, the better). Trouser socks or tights for ladies/girls and dress socks for men/boys are most appropriate.

5) When lacing skates, always lace the instep firmly. Then, lace the ankle eyelets snugly enough that there is ankle support but not too tight that you cannot comfortably flex your leg in a deep knee bend. You should be able to fit two fingers into the top of the Achilles heel of the boot when the skater is flexed forward in the boot.Proper stroking requires bending your knees. If laced too tightly at the ankles, it makes bending extremely difficult and can cause irritation of the front tendon.

6) Make sure the heel is all the way to the back of the boot, or the foot will slide forward when standing upright. It is sometimes necessary to bang back on the tip of the blade tail to force the heel backward. Warming the skates gently with a hairdryer will soften the leather and enable the skater to get the heel back more easily, providing a more comfortable, initial fit.

7) When it is in proper placement, the skater's heel should not lift out of the boot when walking, unless the skater is a child and you are accounting for growth. In this case a small felt or sponge pad should be placed under the heel area of the insole to put the foot in proper position. Lift-out should be kept to a minimum (less than half an inch) or blistering may occur.

8) When standing, the skater should feel centered on the blade. Rolling to the inside or outside indicates that an adjustment should be made to the blade position so that weight distribution is balanced. This is not unusual if the skater has "flat feet"( Pronates). Your technician can make all adjustments and even correct for any tender spots or pressure points.

These are just some of the things to look for when sizing skates. To ensure a proper fit, come in to see our technicians at any of our locations. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to contact or call 978-810-9576.