Most sports include equipment without which successful performance would be unattainable. Choosing equipment that fits personal needs and physical characteristics is crucial in order to train and improve as efficiently as possible. When it comes to figure skating, that thing is ice skates. There are numerous brands that make skates with varying features, from recreation-focused to those meant to enhance the most advanced performances, so it is good to know what you need to pay attention to when deciding upon a pair for you.
Sizing and shape
Before going into a skate shop, think about how you buy shoes. Is your foot wider than usual or perhaps your foot turns to the inside when you walk? All of these peculiarities of your body will be of great relevance when choosing your skates; a firm and secure fit is about the most important thing in pursuing figure skating not only in a fun and comfortable way, but also safely. Also, it would be great if you managed to measure the length of your feet very exactly before going into the store – the length of your longer foot will be the cornerstone from which you will start trying on skates. A general rule is that for recreational figure skating you will want to choose skates that are ½ size smaller than your regular shoes; there isn’t supposed to be much room left inside the skate. That being said, do not go too hard on the size reduction because you also have to feel comfortable in your skates.
Another aspect that is evidently worth considering is the type of skating you do. If you are purchasing skates for occasional recreational time on ice, your priorities will differ greatly from those people who wish to buy skates for intensive training sessions and competitions. Stiffness rating is of importance here; if you are buying recreational skates, you don’t want to go over 20 on that feature. These skates will allow to you stop, turn and go forward; they will be relatively easy to manipulate but there will not be much growing space in terms of learning new tricks.
If you take figure skating a little more seriously and practice more often than once a week, you should consider investing into more complex skates. Beginner-oriented skates are suitable for all of those who are just starting their skating career. Their stiffness rating will not go over 30, they will have good manipulation-stability balance and allow to perform simple tricks. A person to receive their first beginner skates will oftentimes be a child; remember that criteria for good child skates differ from those of adult. Children should generally wear skates that are ½ size larger than their shoe because child’s feet’s development should never be interrupted. When it comes to skates for more advanced training sessions and performances, aspects like the width of the blades and the thickness of the shoe itself have to be taken into account. Some coaches advise to purchase blades and shoes separately to truly accommodate each skater’s individual needs. Unfortunately, all intricate and high quality performance-focused products come with a respectively more significant price so consider all of your needs very carefully before investing into proper skates