How to choose ice skates? What to focus on when you are choosing? We will describe basic differences and we will explain, how skates should suit you and what to pay attention to. Most of basic advices concern skates and they reapeat themself. Skating is a sport, at which is leg on unstable chassis and are put high requirements to stability of ankle, maneuverability and total balance. Quality skates have to be the best support. So let´s go for it.
- Children´s skates (with adjustable size)
- Recreational skates with textile shoe (softboot)
- Hockey skates (canadians)
- Figure skates (women´s skates)
How to choose children´s ice skates? If you want to have hockey player at home or figure skater, look at bellow advices, where we focus at these exact types of skates. Now we focus at skates intended for usual recreational skating.
Growing skates or no?
If you are not looking for skates intended for exact sport usage, growing skates are great choice. Today also growing skates are made in good quality. Skates can grow up to 3 sizes (f.e. 26-29, 29-32) but also up to 4 or to 5 sizes (f.e. 29-34, 32-37).
Always of course focus on exact quality. Growing skates you will find from quality brand types up to the cheapest, which are not suitable for children. Here can be sometimes distrust of some customers. The same as other sport equipment is important quality, then with growing skates is no problem and they are good invesment for more seasons. After all we provide also skating courses with www.inlineskola.cz, where you can seee, how important is to give children at least basic quality and don´t underestimate the choice.
How to choose children´s ice skates:
1) Stability and solidness of construction - at children the main important parameter, but where people most save money, because they don´t see the difference by eye. They they choose according to price and colour and this is what producer wants. It is nothing worse than to buy cheap chidlren´s skates with not sufficient reinforced construction of shoe, mostly from PVC. Children will not good hold ankle and then they will not like skating. Just at the beginning child needs maximal support. From originally saved little money you will waste money and the child will hate the sport. After all we know this from our experience. In not good skates, when children can´t control them and then they don´t like skating at all, othewise we love skating.
2) Quality of reinforcement - here is not what to say more. Reinforcement must to be solid and should at least a bit adopt to shape of leg. But unfortunatelly this is not matter of course.
3) Quality lining (insole) - make sure your children will have healthy footwear. Choice of skates is not less important. Child will not be in skates all day as in shoes, but there are put more requirements on foot, because it tries to balance on unstable knife. More quality skates have more natural support of arch and quality lining. In other case you need to overthink or get help from seller what are suitable lining to buy, which we have normally in our offer and you can find them in pharmacies or health needs.
4) Hight of center of gravity - how low against to surface is foot put, has influence to the whole stability and maneuverability. You can see then surprising differencies in skating.
5) Quality of knifes, grind, center - knifes today at more cheap skates should be sufficient. But it is better to focus on minimally stainless steel and let skates good grind. You can also focus on correct centering of knife against shoe, but with this annoyance you will meet relatively rarely.
6) Size of skate and shape of shoe - the good fit of skates wants everybody. Because there are made skates with adjustable sizes, buying of skates about 2 numbers bigger is not needed because of fast growing leg. But we want to make sure, that skates you can tighten mostly in part of instep. Ideal is, when skate is encircles already in part of fingers, then on instep and it needs to fit also in part of ankle. Foot can´t go out of skate. On the contrary little space in front to fingers doesn´t matter (but doesn´t have to be, skates can fit exactly). Also you don´t need to tighten skate to the blood in upper part of ankle around calf (buckle wants it). Tighten yes, but enough, so you can slightly bend knees.
7)Thermal insulation and others - at choosing you can watch also system of tying (lace, buckles, fast tying system, f.e K2 boa). Also thermal insulation or the way how shoe gets bigger can play a role. There parameters are relatively less important and it is not important or go to the details and write all types.
Recreational skates with textile shoe (softboot)
Lately very popular type of skates. Skates are famous with soft comfortable shoe, which is easily tighten. They are comfortable and strongly reinfored. Better models are good thermo isulated and also breathable. Ideal choice for recreational skaters, who prefer comfort and also don´t need skates for hockey, racing or having better figure skating compositions. Skates are made more often with classic knife, so called cradle, which we find at hockey skates, women´s models however have in some cases also figure skating knife with teeth.
Tip of Inline Centrum:
Of course even at theses skates you will find significant differencies in quality. Skates you will find from cheap "chain" types of not good quality up to greatly made brand skates from quality materials. Skates differ mostly in reinforcement of construction, which is the most important for whole stability and maneuverability. Then of course also quality of materials used for padding, thermo isualation and upper of shoe, rigidity of holder (chasis) or quality of knife.
Also here is important to choose for more money better quality. Layman though doesn´t see differencies at the shop, after testing will be smarter and after half an hour of skating will see markant difference. So pay attention at choosing and if you don´t know, consult the choice with us. Pay attention mostly to too soft skelet, the most common problem of cheaper skates, which will give you not sufficient stability. You will not see difference between PVC and hardened composite by eye. Look at quality and breathable of upper and padding, both of them have main influance for comfort, also here producers like to save the money.
+ thermal isolation
+ low weight
+ easy tying
- Low level of protection and stability for active hockey skating or figure skating.
Hockey skates (canadians)
It is not needed to introduce. Traditional skates with shape and construction come from classic hockey skates. They are made in various qualities from the cheapest types intended for recreational sliding, up to hockey types for amateur or proffesional hockey players.
In principle the main emphasis is put to reinforcement of shoe (for case of impact of puk to skate, fall, contact with other hockey player etc...) and good stability and maneuverability. Disadvantage is then mostly lower comfort comparing to skates softboot and long time taking tying.
How to recognise quality skate from cheap:
1) More solid and stiffer shoe - better maneuverability, protection, stability...
2) Reinforced and better shaped tongue - higher comfort and better protection...
3) More durable holder - higher durability, transfer of strength, better stability...
4) More quality knife - higher rigidness, durability, longevity...
5) Better padding - comfort, transfer of strength....
6) Low part of shoe (sole) - transfer of strength, hight of center of gravity...
Upper mentioned you will get mostly thanks to technology of production and choosen materials. At cheapest skates there will be mostly PVC, carbon steel or polyesther. Then at most expensive you will find carbon, glass fiber, hardened cultivated steel, thermoplastic materials etc.
At choosing, focus on upper mentioned points, a lot will say quality of rigidity of shoe itself and quality of padding, compare skates for 1500 kč and skates for 3500 kč in these parameters and you will see, how big difference it can be.
At higher models you can shape skates by heat to the shape of your leg, lets say to bake them. Read how to thermal shaping skates Tempish.
Model rows Bauer:
Strength style of ride (long reflections, wide arcs, high stability)
- natural, anatomical construction
- perfectly encircles foot
- high instep
Frequent style of ride
(dynamic speed, turns, brakes, starts, sudden changes in dirrection)
- bevelled construction in shape of V
- normal shape at heel, wider at fingers
- fast and exact turns
- maximal transfer of energy
Universal (combination of both upper mentioned, control)
- wide, large construction
- deep pocket for heel, high instep
- deeper cut with the newest technologies
How to choose figure skates? Let´s take a look how to choose women´s ice skates. Women´s classic is not need to introduce, higher shoe with lacing on higheel and classic long knife with teeth.
How to recognise quality figure skates:
1) Quality of upper material - PVC has different characteristics than polyurethan or real beef skin. Material influences very much quality of skates.
2) Quality of padding - cheap skates of chain type don´t have padding at all, more is skate more expensive then padding is stronger, more quality and better shaped. Influence on comfort is of course essential.
3) Rigidity of shoe - all quality skates have some level of reinforcement. More expensive skates are more reinforced and more solid. Then you feel more stabile and their skates are better maneuverable. Figure skates need rigid shoe because of often jumps and falls. At choosing focus on difference with growing price.
4) Tongue - quality tongue is good reinfored and pre-shaped. Don´t expect anything like this at cheap skates.
5) Quality of higheel - bottom part of shoe is important for more active figure skaters. You can look at rigidity, weight, shape or width, which has influence for hight of center of gravity. For recreational skating you need to check at least sufficient rigidity and durability.
6) Knife - it would not work without it. It can have different quality of used steel, base is stainless steel with sufficient solidness. More expensive skates have knifes from more solid and cultivated steel, they are more durable, last longer sharpened and have higher rigidity and longevity. Other division of knifes after specific parameters we leave to race figure skaters.
Before the skates were made only from beef skin. However today you will find skates from real beef skin much harder and if yes, it will be more expensive model, where prices starting at 2000 Kč, so for recreational skating is often used PVC or PU (polyurethan). Both materials for recreatinal skating are ok, but pay attention to upper mentioned paramenters, which make total quality of skate.
Between good padded and reinforced shoe and cheap soft figure skate withouth padding is often difference in few houndres, when difference in comfort, stability and maneuverabiity is striking. Finished quality has influence not only for the feeling on skates, but also how you look on skates.
Attention! Just because skate is reinforced, doesn´t mean that is comfortable, mostly it is on the contrary.
Fur and look
Theory is one thing and practise another. Even if you know what to focus on when choosing skates, still 90% of women will choose pretty figure skates after design, colour, price and if they have fur inside :) We respect it. When you add upper mentioned parameterers at choosing, we believe, that you will choose correctly and you will be maximally sutisfied.
Advice at the end
How to choose correct size? Ideal is when skates are just right, if you plan to skate with thicker socks, try skates with them, but it is not necessary to buy skates one size bigger only because of socks. Also take in account lining, if you use or wish to use orthopedic sport lining for better comfort and performance, try with it.
When you put on skates, it is possible that you feel tip in the front. If you bend the knees to skating position, you shouldn´t feel nothing. Why this is? At new skates linings are not soft yet and foot is not put all the way in heel. After few rides linings will shape and foot will move in skate about 1 up 2 mm to heel of skate. So we recommend not to buy too large skates, it is not good for skates then, shortes their longevity and after time your foot can travel from front to back when you can get blisters.
Advice is though general and mostly correct. But it depends then on specific padding, shape of foot etc. In this case you can get advice from us. For children we recommend to buy skates maximal one finger to heel of skater, not larger.
In shops we provide Diagnosis of vault for free