How to Purchase and Choose Ice Skates For Figure Skating

Before You Buy Ice Skates

a young woman looking at an ice skate
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This article gives guidance and advice on how to choose the best figure skates to match an ice skater's ability, age, and skating level.

Purchase Skates From Sources That "Know Figure Skating"

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.

Consult a Figure Skating Coach

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

Don't Buy Cheap Skates

Inexpensive figure skates may draw some buyers; however, when it comes to figure skates, you do get what you pay for.

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 just not acceptable.

Used Figure Skates Are Okay

Sometimes good used boots and blades are better than inexpensive, lower-quality new skates. Make sure the boots fit properly. Also, make sure that the used boot has support. The blades need to have some "sharpening life" left. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the used boots or blades.

Figure Skates Must Fit

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

New Boots May Hurt

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

Recommended Figure Skates For Beginning Ice Skaters

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.

Entry level skates and soft boot ice skates are meant only for recreational skating. Soft boot skates are not designed for doing advanced figure skating moves but can be great for a beginning recreational figure skater since there is no breaking in period and the skates are comfortable.

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.

Most Advanced Figure Skaters Buy Boots and Blades Separately

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.

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

How to Choose Blades

Don't skimp on the blades, but purchase blades that correspond to your skating level. As a figure skater masters spins and jumps, the quality of the blade will affect spin and jump quality. Higher quality figure skate blades are sharpened less often. They also have better flow on the ice.

More About Buying Figure Skates