Purchasing Your First Pair of Ice Skates

person's legs wearing ice skates on ice
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There are so many choices in figure skates for the prospective figure skater when purchasing his or her first pair of skates.

Inexpensive figure skates may draw some buyers, but anyone who "knows figure skating" also knows that figure skates must be purchased from stores that deal exclusively with figure skates and figure skating supplies. An “unwritten rule” in the ice skating world that is passed on to those new to the sport is that cheap boots and blade sets that are sold at sporting good stores or department stores are not acceptable.

Entry Level Figure Skates

There are many entry level figure skates available for beginning and recreational skaters. Jackson is one of the most popular brands, but other figure skate companies are producing entry level skates.

In recent years, entry-level skates have been manufactured with a soft and comfortable boot. Leather and vinyl figure skates are also available for beginning ice skaters.

The soft entry level boot is not meant for intermediate or advanced figure skating but is an excellent choice for the recreational skater who wishes to enjoy being on the ice with family and friends.

Boot-Blade Figure Skate Packages

Boot and blade figure skate combination packages are also available for beginning and intermediate level skaters.

When purchasing a boot-blade package, be aware that the boots should be somewhat stiff to give feet and ankles support, but should be flexible enough to break in and feel comfortable.

It is recommended that skaters purchase figure skates from a store that deals exclusively with figure skates. If that is not an option, take the time to learn about the many different kinds of skates that are available for purchase.

Buying Boots and Blades Separately

Buying boots and blades separately is always an option, even for beginning figure skaters.

Until recently, most figure skaters bought boots and blades separately. There are many high-quality boots and blades. Take the time to get familiar with the boots and blades available.

All advanced skaters buy boots and blades separately.

Buying Used Figure Skates

Sometimes good used boots and blades are better than inexpensive, lower-quality new skates. Make sure that the used boot has support. Also, make sure that the blade has some “sharpening life” left.


Higher quality figure skate blades are sharpened less often. They also have better flow on the ice. Don’t skimp on the blades. As a figure skater masters spins and jumps, the quality of the blade will affect spin and jump quality.

Correct Fit

The foot has to fit in the boot. There should be no extra room in the boot, especially in the heel. The boot should "fit like a glove."

Understand that good figure skating boots may hurt at first. Expect a "break-in" period.

Consult a Figure Skating Coach

Figure skating coaches may recommend a certain figure skate for a new ice skater. Take the time to consult your coach before purchasing skates.