Aside from training, figure skates are the most essential aspect of figure skating. Having quality figure skates is vital for success—even for beginners. While it’s important to choose boots and blades to match a skater’s skill level, beginners should avoid settling for cheaper skates. A boot that is too big or too small can be uncomfortable and even lead to injury down the road, and a blade that isn’t built for sustaining high-level jumps and spins can limit a skater’s ability to progress. As a beginner-level skater, opting to choose a cheaper, ill-fitting skate may deter you from pursuing the sport. Let’s take a look at the benefits of investing in high-quality figure skates —regardless of the skater’s skill level.
The Importance of Quality Figure Skates
From beginner to Olympic-level, figure skaters need to have quality figure skates in order to maximize their performance, comfort, and enjoyment on the ice. When you skate with poor-quality figure skates, you’re risking discomfort and injury. This is especially important when you are new to the sport.
There are two components to figure skates: the boot and the blade. Both are vital to the success, comfort, and advancement of a skater. While many beginner skates come with a blade already, advanced skaters are often able to choose their boot and blade separately. Choosing a quality boot and a cheaper blade isn’t going to do you any favors or vise versa.
As a beginner, if you’re skating with cheap skates, it can be increasingly difficult for you to improve your skills. Having a quality boot gives you the support and durability beginners need to succeed. Having a quality blade is also important—you don’t want a blade that dulls quickly, rusts easily, or doesn’t have the technical features corresponding to your skating level.
Figure Skating Boots
At Riedell, we offer a variety of boots for skaters of all levels. We are committed to providing the highest quality figure skating boots on the market, but even the best boots can give a skater problems if they don’t fit properly. A boot that fits just right is the key to success for beginners and experienced skaters alike.
Here are a couple of tips for ensuring your boot fits correctly:
- Always purchase your boots from a reputable, knowledgeable dealer who is able and willing to answer all of your questions.
- Don’t choose your boot size based on your shoe size—all shoe brands and skates fit differently.
- Your boot should have no more than ¼ in of extra length for adults and ⅜ inch for children. To measure, take out the footbed of your boot and place your foot on top while standing. If the ball of your foot is too far forward, your boot is too short, or if your is too far back in the arch of your skate, it’s too long.
- Width is just as important as length—boots that fit too wide or too narrow can cause discomfort, possible injury, or poor performance. To determine proper width, check the lacing pattern while your skates are snuggly laced on your foot. If they are too close, it’s either too long, too wide, or both. If it’s too wide, it’s either too narrow, too short, or both.
- If your boots are a bit too snug, they can be pressed or stretched in those areas—avoid upsizing to avoid discomfort or injuries.
- When your boot fits just right, it should be snug in the heel, arch, and ball of your foot with some toe room for movement and balance.
Benefit from Custom Figure Skates
If you have problematic feet or have some issues with your current skates, one of the best ways to achieve the perfect fit and comfort in your figure skates is to have them custom made. Custom figure skates built to the contour of your foot may help prevent injury, blisters, and improve overall performance and are especially beneficial for athletes wanting to compete in high-level competitions or skaters having problematic feet. However, customized skates aren’t necessary for complete beginners or young children whose feet are still growing—choosing a high-quality beginner boot will be just fine.
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing to purchase custom figure skates—time spent on the ice, foot length and width, skill level, and stiffness of the boot. It’s essential to have your feet properly fitted by an authorized dealer.
High-Quality Figure Skates From Riedell
The high-quality combination of boots and blades is a skater’s best friend. When you find the configuration that works best for you, you’ll immediately feel the difference between those cheap, old skates and your new stock boots, or a customized pair. Don’t wait any longer to skate at your desired level with quality figure skates from Riedell!
With over 75 years dedicated to researching and creating the best figure skating boots possible, we have mastered the craft of designing high-quality boots for skaters of all skill levels. If you want a totally customized pair, we are able to build a boot made specifically for your feet with your exact specifications—from toe room to prescription orthotics. With boots made for you, you’ll feel less discomfort on the ice and reduce your chance of injury. To learn more, contact us or head to one of our authorized dealers today!