Ice Skates

Ice Skates

One of the most obvious pieces of equipment needed to skate on ice is ice skates. It would be impossible for figure skaters to glide across the ice as they do without them. Naturally, ice skates that are meant for figure skating have a few distinctions that make them ideal for this particular sport.


What are ice skates used for?

Ice skates are shoes that consist of two parts, a boot and a blade, designed for moving across an ice surface. In the case of figure skates, the blade is more complicated with a toe pick at the front and a longer tail at the back. This more complex blade aids in many of the difficult turns and jumps that are so typical of figure skating. Boots and blades can be purchased separately, but this is usually reserved for the advanced skater who wants a customized skate to best complement their skills.

Ice skates can also be customized in other ways. The way a shoe is laced, how comfortable or stiff it is, and whether it controls moisture or odor can all be determined by the brand and type of shoe that a buyer prefers. This is why it's so important to know what you want and need from your ice skates before purchasing.

Things To Consider

When looking for ice skates, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What size ice skates do you need?
  • How much are you looking to spend on ice skates?
  • How experienced of a figure skater are you?
  • What type of ice skates are you looking for?

What are you looking for in ice skates?

  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Adult-sized
  • Youth-sized
  • Affordability
  • Durability

Types

There are three different types of ice skates, and they are characterized by the skill level of the athlete meant to wear them.

Beginner

Ice Skating Beginner Skates

Beginner ice skates may be a hybrid of both hockey and figure skates. They may combine the hard outer shell of hockey skates with the blade of figure skates. This adds some comfort and protection to the foot for the skater who is just starting out. They often feature an easy lace-up design and are not meant for more advanced skills.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to put on and remove
  • More protective of the foot

Cons:

  • Not much ankle support
  • Not good for tricks
  • Not very durable

Intermediate

Ice Skating Intermediate Skates

Intermediate ice skates are stiffer and, therefore, less comfortable. The level of stiffness determines how much ankle support is provided, which is increasingly important for skaters who are practicing more technical skills. These skates may come with the boot and blade separate to allow the skater to customize the feel and function of their shoe.

Pros:

  • Offer more ankle support
  • Better for learning and practicing tricks
  • May be customizable
  • More durable

Cons:

  • Less comfortable
  • Harder to put on and take off
  • Not ideal for beginners

Advanced

Ice Skating Advanced Skates

The advanced skater will need a shoe that has a high level of stiffness and durability. This shoe is usually made of either leather or synthetic leather, providing a lightweight and more complex design. More often than not, advanced skates have more advanced technology such as moisture-wicking materials and ventilation, making them more expensive than beginner or intermediate ice skates.

Pros:

  • Provides plenty of ankle support
  • Durable
  • Customizable
  • Includes specialized technology to enhance skills

Cons:

  • Not as comfortable
  • Complicated design
  • More expensive than the other types of ice skates

Brands

Of all of the brands that sell ice skates, there are a few that stick out. Keep reading to find out about some of the most popular brands, including Jackson, Riedell, and Edea, as well as the features that distinguish them.

Jackson

Jackson brand ice skates have a large variety for the advanced skater. These skates require that the boot and blade be purchased separately and have a classification system for the level of stiffness. They offer a lot of ankle support, are water-resistant, and use shock-absorbing materials.

Riedell

Riedell has a selection for all levels of ice skaters. The skates can be purchased as a complete skate, with the boot and blade, or separately. They also offer customization on the website. They have a low-cut design, allowing for more mobility in the ankles while still providing protection and comfort in the form of memory foam ankle padding.

Edea

Edea is another great option for anyone looking to buy a new pair of ice skates for figure skating. They offer a wide selection of skates, with different models that focus on sectors of skating like freestyle skating, dance skating, and synchronized skating. Edea also does a great job of explaining which of their models are best suited for different tricks.

FAQ

How much do ice skates cost?

Ice skates can be quite expensive, especially for intermediate and advanced skaters. While there are certainly some pricey options available when it comes to ice skates, you don't have to break the bank to fund your ice skating ambitions. A pair of ice skates can cost anywhere from $30 to upwards of $350. It all depends on the brand and the type of skate. Beginner skates are typically more affordable, while intermediate and advanced skates are more expensive because of their durability and technology.

How do you know what size ice skates you need?

It is imperative that ice skaters get the right size skate for their feet. An ill-fitting skate can result in poor performance and even injury. Ice skates must be snug so that they provide an adequate amount of ankle protection, but they shouldn't be so tight as to cause pain. The best way to ensure that you are buying the right size skates is to check the size chart from the brand you're considering purchasing from. The chart will likely give you instructions for how to measure yourself to achieve the best fit possible in their brand of skates.

How do you clean ice skates?

Cleaning ice skates is synonymous with preserving them, so skaters must take good care of their skates. The boots and blade should always be wiped down with a soft cloth to prevent mildew or rust from taking hold. Depending on what materials make up the skates, you may be able to clean the outside of the boot with soap and water to remove scuffs and stains. If the insoles are removable, it's a good idea to wash those as well and let the whole skate air dry so that moisture and bacteria don't build up.