A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Figure Skates: What to Keep in Mind

Skates are a crucial element

Figure skating is a beautiful and graceful sport that requires precision, elegance, and, of course, the right pair of figure skates. Whether you’re a beginner stepping onto the ice for the first time or an experienced skater looking to upgrade your gear, choosing the right figure skates is crucial for your performance and comfort. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the key factors to consider when selecting your next pair of figure skates.
As a side note I will mention that I’m skating currently in Aura Sky200, but I’ve also tried Edea Ice Fly and Riedell Elara and I love all three!

Fit is Everything

Before anything else, the fit of your figure skates should be your top priority. Ill-fitting skates can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even injury. Please don’t buy your skates online, unless you have been in the same model for years and your size hasn’t changed! Visit a specialized figure skating store or get fitted by a professional to ensure your skates are the right size. I know that many of you get recommendations from your coaches, but I always emphasise that the people who actually sell skates work closely with skate companies and can always recommend you the best option. It’s also important to remember that your figure skate size might not be the same as your regular shoe size, as skating boots often require a snug fit to provide the necessary support.

Boot Style and Support

Figure skating boots come in various styles, each offering different levels of support. Beginners may opt for a softer boot that provides more flexibility, making it easier to learn basic moves and gain confidence on the ice. If you’re an adult beginner, it makes sense to choose a slightly harder model, because of more weight that you put on the skate, but definitely not the strongest model. As a beginner your foot must get used to being inside a skate and a hard skate can once again lead to injuries. As you progress and grow, consider transitioning to a stiffer boot that offers increased ankle support, stability, and better control for more advanced manoeuvres.

Blade Consideration

The blade is the foundation of your figure skates, affecting your balance, maneuverability, and overall performance. When selecting a pair of figure skates, pay attention to the blade quality, size, and shape. Most figure skates come with pre-attached blades, but advanced skaters might prefer customizable options. Additionally, blades should be periodically sharpened by a professional to maintain their optimal performance. Depending on how much you skate, you should sharpen your skates once month. I admit the last time I sharpened my skates was a couple months ago, but as an experienced skater, I don’t mind having more dull skates and frankly I rarely happen to go in skate shops and it goes without saying that the only person allowed to sharpen your blades should be a professional.

Skill Level and Intended Use

Your skill level and intended use should guide your skate selection. Make sure to be completely honest about your level of skating and aspirations with the professional guiding your skate selection. If you’re just starting out, you might want to prioritize comfort and ease of use. For intermediate and advanced skaters, features like increased support and blade precision become more important. If you’re pursuing figure skating as a competitive sport, investing in high-quality skates designed for advanced techniques can greatly enhance your performance. Never get skates that are more than 1 size bigger than your foot. Half a size is perfect if your foot is still growing. Skates are made of leather which means they will expand and mold to your feet as you use them. Skates that are too big lead to injuries. If the skate is too big your foot is ill-placed and can create pain in the long run and can evens top your progress on the ice.

Budget Considerations

Figure skates can vary significantly in price, so it’s essential to establish a budget before shopping. While it’s tempting to opt for the most expensive pair, remember that more expensive doesn’t always equate to better. Determine what features are essential for your skill level and prioritize those within your budget.

Try before buying

It’s highly recommended to try on several pairs of figure skates before making a decision. Walk around, flex your ankles, and mimic skating movements to assess comfort and fit. Don’t rush the decision-making process; take your time to find the perfect pair that suits your needs. Skates are an investment and if you’re getting the right pair, they will serve you well and help you improve quicker.

Seek Expert Advice

If you’re new to figure skating or unsure about what features you need, don’t hesitate to seek advice from experienced skaters or professionals. Skating coaches, figure skating clubs, and specialty stores can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your individual needs. If you don’t know any shops around you, ask from other skaters and get in touch with shops. Don’t buy skates just because of peer pressure, take your time to find the right model.

In conclusion, selecting the right pair of figure skates is a vital step in your figure skating journey. Remember to prioritize fit, consider your skill level, and factor in blade quality when making your decision. By carefully evaluating your options and seeking guidance when needed, you’ll be well on your way to gliding gracefully across the ice in a pair of figure skates that truly enhance your performance and enjoyment.

Let’s go skating!