On average, around 11 million people in the US will spend the winter months engaging in the sport of ice skating. Even more popular in other northern countries, ice skating is a recreational past time, sport, and athletic competition. While the majority of individuals who love to ice skate will not compete on the Olympic level, there is still a need for quality supplies. Chief among them are ice skating shoes.
A lot goes into a decent pair of ice skate shoes. Knowing what to look for and where to can save you a lot of time in the process. Below we attempt to answer many of the questions you may have about purchasing your next pair of ice skate shoes with our six important points.
Fit Is Important
Simply put, the fit is the most important criteria when you are searching for ice skate shoes. A very cheap pair of ice skates that fit is comparable to the best brand ice skates that are either too loose or too tight. With odd fit, you risk blisters, sores, and increased wear and tear on your feet. You also increase the chance of injury that may take you out of the sport for weeks or months at a time. Carefully measure your feet yourself along with your foot’s width before placing an order. Know that ice skating shoes sometimes use sizing scales that are different than traditional shoes. If nothing else, aim for the most secure fit possible without it squeezing your foot.
Cost & Quality
The more expensive the ice skating shoes, the better they will typically be. The less costly, the more affordable they will be. Because none of us have all the money in the world to outright buy the most expensive option without at least some consideration, know that you get what you pay for. Brands that are renowned for superior quality and design will cost more. At the same time, you will get better material, better quality blades, a more comfortable fit, less chance of injury, and improved control if you go with a more expensive pair of ice skate shoes. For many, it comes down to use. If you plan to use your ice skates frequently, then it is worth investing in your love of the sport with a decent pair of ice skates.
New Vs. Used
Used ice skates can be incredibly affordable but will carry certain risks with them. First, don’t consider getting used ice skate shoes unless you trust the buyer completely or can try them out before purchase. Second, check the ice skate blades to make sure they are still in decent condition and can be sharpened more in the future. There is nothing worse than getting a pair of used ice skates and then losing out on all of your savings by having to buy new blades a week or two later. Also, check to make sure the stitching is still good. Finally, give them a try to see if they can still fit snug around your feet. Typically, it is only wise to get used ice skates when you have some experience on the ice and know what you are looking for.
Blade & Shoe Together or Separate
Ice skates are sold with either the blade and shoe bundled together or sold separately. Do not assume that they will be bundled together and carefully check the description to make sure they are if that is what you are looking for. When sold together, you will get on average pay less. The blades will typically work very well with the skates. By buying the blades and shoes separately, you can mix and match to find the perfect combination for your needs on the ice. For beginners, go with the blade and shoe together from a reputable brand.
Beginner Vs. Intermediate Ice Skate Shoes
Many beginner ice skates are softer and more comfortable than professional ice skates. You may want to consider these because they allow you more time on the ice before you feel uncomfortable in the skates. They also offer more cushion. At the same time, intermediate ice skates are better if you already have some skill and will provide less padding but more control. Ultimately, whatever one you go with will be dependent on your skill level.
Pain Is Normal With New Ice Skate Shoes
An important thing to remember is that pain is normal with new figure skating shoes. Many ice skating shoes require a little bit of time to break them in before they become comfortable. During that time, you risk bruising your feet. While entirely unpleasant, it is not that abnormal and may be something you have to suffer through as you and your ice skates become familiar with one another.
- Fit is the most important thing when it comes to ice skate shoes
- Cost and quality are correlated
- New is a better idea for beginners and used is a good idea if you want to score an inexpensive pair of top quality shoes
- Get blade and shoes together if you are a beginner
- Beginner shoes are also great because they have more padding
- Pain is normal as you break the shoes in