How do I choose ice skates?
Ice skating is a graceful sports that captivates individuals of all ages .It gives a unique sense of freedom and joy that is hard to match in any other activity. Choosing the right ice skating boots is important and depends on several factors such as your skill level, intended use, foot size and budget.
Skill Level: The choice of proper ice skates depend on whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced level figure skater skater. Different skating boots are designed for different levels to provide appropriate support and performance.
Perfect Fit: Proper fit is crucial for comfort and performance. So it is important to choose the size accurately to allow freedom of movements and enjoyment.
Boots Material: Ice skates are commonly made of leather, synthetic materials or adjustable plastic. Leather is more comfortable but requires more time to break in, while synthetic materials are often more affordable and easier to maintain.
Blade Quality: The blades of ice skating boots are essential for performance. Higher quality blades provide better edge control and durability. Beginners do not require top of the line blades but intermediate and advanced levels figure skaters must invest in better quality.
Budget: Figure Skating boots range in price so it is essential to set a budget before shopping. While it’s tempting to opt for the cheapest option available, choosing the right quality pair that suits your needs will be more beneficials in the long run.
How to buy skates for beginners?
If you or your child is at the beginning of your figure skating sports journey or ice skating is a hobby, it is best to set a budget to buy your own ice skating boots rather than renting them at the ice rinks. Owning skates is a wise decision as it allows you to get used to the skates feel and performance which can enhance your skills and confidence over time. Beginner skates are usually called “recreational” or “entry level” ice skates.
Here are some points to consider when buying your first ice skates:
Types: There are 2 types of beginner ice skating boots. Fit to size boots that are made of leather or synthetic material and are bought according to the foot size. Another option is adjustable skates that are advisable for smaller children. These ice skating boots adjust in size and is a perfect cost effective option for growing children.
Price range: As a beginner you do not need the most expensive skates on the market. Beginner skates are generally more affordable than advance level skates making them accessible for those just starting with ice skating. However avoid the cheapest options as they may lack proper support and will not last as long.
Blades: Blades of beginner skates are usually less aggressive and provide good balance between stability and manoeuvrability for learners. They usually come with pre sharpened blades which is very helpful as you don’t need to worry to sharpen them straight away.
Comfort: Comfort is crucial for beginners as you’ll be spending more time getting used to being on the ice ,so it is important to look for boots with good padding and ankle support to provide needed stability and balance.
Proper Fit: When buying skates , try them on with the type of socks you plan to wear while skating. Skating socks should be thin and moisture absorbing providing better fit inside the skates.
Do skates hurt at first?
It is quite common for ice skates to feel uncomfortable or even painful at first, especially for beginners.
- New skates need some time to mold to the shape of your feet so during the first few uses, the boots may feel stiff and cause discomfort. Wear your skates for short periods at first, gradually increasing the time as you become more comfortable.
- Ice skates may create pressure points and can rub against your feet. To avoid, use appropriate socks or gel pads to provide extra cushioning if needed.
- As skates provide significant ankle support for stability, it may feel restrictive initially especially for those not used wearing high top boots.
- Skating itself is a new activity is a new activity for beginners and the feeling of blades may be unfamiliar and seem uncomfortable at first. It takes time for your feet and muscles to adjust to the motion and balance required for skating.
How do I choose my skate size:
Check the sizing chart: Each brand and model of ice skating boots may have slightly different sizing so always refer to the sizing chart to find your appropriate size based on the measurements.
Consider Socks: Always choose the skates wearing the socks you intend to use while skating so you get the right feel.
Try on: Try on the skates by properly lacing them and standing up to see how they feel on your feet
Toe Space: Your toes should have a little room to wiggle but not so much that your foot slides around inside the skates. You should be able to lightly tap the front of the skates with your toes but they shouldn’t be jammed against the toe box.
Heel and Ankle fit: Your heel should feel snug and secure in the back of the skate, and your ankles should be well supported.
How to properly lace ice skates?
Lacing ice skates properly is essential to ensure secure and comfortable fit providing the necessary support for your ankles and feet while skating. Please have a look at the video below for step by step guide.
Remember, a properly laced skates should feel snug and supportive without causing much discomfort or cutting off blood flow. Take time to adjust the laces until you find the prefect fit on your feet.
How to take care of ice skates?
To ensure longevity and performance of your skates it is crucial to take proper measures of care. To prevent issues such as rust, blade damage and deterioration of the boots, here are care tips to consider:
Avoid walking on hard surfaces: Walk only on rubber mats or carpets when wearing skates off ice.
Dry after each use: Wipe off any moisture and air dry the skates after each use.
Store properly: Store them in a cool dry place, avoiding direct sunlight
Protect the blades: Keep blade guards on your skates when skates are not in use to protect the edges
Skating Bag: Always transport and store the skates in breathable skating bags to avoid scratches and dust.
As a beginner always remember that it may take time to get used to the feel of ice skates so be patient and enjoy the learning process in your own ice skates.