Pick a pair of ice skates
If you’re planning on regular ice skating, it pays to buy your own skates. It will be cheaper than renting skates every time, it also will be more comfortable. You’ll have your own pair for you only. You can choose skates that will fit you best.
Quality versus price
You have to take a closer look at the quality of skates. It’s not worth it to buy the cheapest ice skates available because they are made of poor quality materials and break easily. They are usually profiled poorly, and this causes abrasions, pain and injuries.
We are not saying that only the most expensive skates are good. You can often find new, good ice skates for a reasonable price. All you need to do is ask around. Ask other skaters, salespeople in sports shops or the one who rents skates at your local skating rink.
Hockey skates are the best choice for beginners. It’s easy to learn to skate in them, because they don’t have toe picks (jagged teeth on the front of the blade), and you need to stroke with the whole blade, which makes movement fast and smooth.
Whether you decide to buy hockey skates or figure skates there’s also the question of the material that the boots and straps are made of. Despite appearances, plastic ice skates, even though they look modern, are usually weaker than leather ones. Leather adjusts to the foot, which provides more comfort and stability during skating.
There are also straps: you can choose between laces and clamps. Clamps seem to be more comfortable because it takes less time to use them, but laces give better stability and the shoes adjusts to the foot much better. In addition, clamps are usually made of plastic and they get damaged more often, which can cause the loosening of the shoe during skating. There’s no problem with laces on the other hand, even if they break you only need to exchange them for new ones.
Wide or narrow foot
Before you try ice skates on you should put on socks that are thicker than your everyday socks. You should also check the length and width of your feet (it can be done by a salesperson in a sports shop). Ice skates are usually made in two versions for wider and narrower feet. This is really important, and you should remember this. If you don’t know whether you have wide or narrow feet, try various ice skates to check which fits you best. It always pay to check out a few pairs and decide which ice skates are best for you.
Remember to maintain your ice skates
- Sharpen blades after every 10 hours of skating. Sharp blades give you better control while skating.
- Don’t walk with your ice skates on concrete; if you have to, use blade guards.
- If you blunt your blades, have them sharpened at once.
- Wipe your blades with a cloth to dry them after skating.
- Don’t keep your blades in blade guards at home. Blade guards are only for protection during transport or walking. If you don’t take them off at home your blades will rust.
- After returning home, take your ice skates out of the bag and let them dry.
- If your shoe loosens during skating, stop and lace it again. Don’t skate in loose skates. You can damage your skates and your feet.