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The Pros & Cons of Low Price Skates

Across the globe, people participate and enjoy the hobby, sport, and competition that is ice skating.  Requiring skill and expertise, people will train for years to get to a level where their movement on the ice looks almost magical.  For the majority of individuals who pick up ice skating, improving their ability on the ice is critical.  More often than not, having the right skates will make all the difference in the world.

Interested in picking up a pair of ice skates?  If this is your first pair, then there are many things you will want to consider.  Below we go into the pros and cons of low price skates to show you why some people pick them up while others steer clear at all costs.  

The Pros of Low Price Skates

Disregarding what is often seen as an elitist attitude towards ice skating brands and value, there are some legitimate reasons to go for low price skates.  First, there is a slight chance that top brands may have sales that bring their prices low.  If this is the case, then you stand to save a lot by taking advantage of the deal.

Another consideration is use.  How often do you plan to ice skate and what is your current skill level at?  Small price skates are hated because they have a reputation of falling apart quickly.  This consideration doesn’t matter if you are going to use them infrequently or don’t have an interest in it beyond a one-off event.  If this is the case, then try on as many different kinds as you can before purchasing and go with the one that provides the greatest level of comfort and support.

You may also want to consider location when picking out low price skates.  For example, say you are going on vacation, and you do not want to travel with your ice skates.  You can buy or rent cheapskates to cover the time you spend skating on vacation and then either sell them back, donate them, or otherwise discard them without losing too much money.  Also, if you have experience with different brands and know what to look for regarding quality, then you may be able to score a pretty decently cheap pair of ice skates that will hold up well enough for the time you need them.

Pros

  • Sometimes top quality skates can be low price skates if they are on sale
  • If you use your skates infrequently or only need them for an event and have no real interest in racing more than cheapskates are an option
  • If you are planning on going on a vacation and skating there, then you can buy cheap ice skates just to use when you are there.

The Cons of Low Price Skates

It is a well known unwritten rule in the ice skating sport that you do not buy ice skates from big box stores.  While some may consider this elitist, there is a ring of truth to it.  Simply put, those ice skates stocked in big box sporting good stores will often be of lower quality.  Lower quality will affect you in some ways.

Longevity:  The less expensive the skates, the less time they can be used before having to be replaced.  Inferior materials are often used because they are cheaper and help to keep costs down.  While perfect for producing cheap skates, they tend to wear down far faster.  Also, the stitching, binding, and blade qualities tend to deteriorate quicker.  A simple rule to follow is that you should not expect cheapskates to last for long.

Comfort:  For those who love ice skating, having skates that are comfortable is important.  With hours spent in the skates, even minor issues regarding sizing can result in pain, blisters, and injuries.  Due in part to the design and in part to the materials used, don’t expect cheap ice skates to be comfortable when used for an extended period.

Performance:  We indirectly addressed performance when talking about longevity and the blades wearing down quicker.  Blades that lose their edge are harder to work with.  Less expensive ice skates will have less grip on the ice and less connection to your foot.  Both will interfere with your ability to navigate the ice with the ease that better quality ice skates would provide.

Cons

  • Small price skates do not last as long and will have to be replaced sooner
  • Comfort can be a big issue with less expensive ice skates as the materials used are often put in because they are inexpensive and not because they are the softest or most supportive
  • The risk of injuries is greater with ice skates that offer a less precise fit
  • Your performance and ability to move skillfully may be impacted by the quality of the ice skates you are using