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Thread: I need new skates...

  1. #1

    I need new skates...

    So, next week will be my last Basic Skills class and I've been skating with this old pair of CCM skates that someone gave my mom for a gift a long time ago. She never used them so they were in good condition but they are fairly old and the cheapest brand possible. They are about a half size too big and I knew I would need to buy new skates eventually, and I decided I want to get them before fall. I've had advice from a few people at the rink, but I really have no idea what kind of skates suit me. I have medium width feet with very high arches. I guess I'm not asking people to tell me what skates to buy, but what kind you started out with, and how well did they work for you?

  2. #2


    I skated in Reidells all through my younger career - from waltz jumps to doubles. They have decent selection at decent prices, and good quality. The only downside is that they were always a bit hard to break in (at least compared to my Klingbeils, which is what I have now). I always had Wilson blades, too, and they worked really well.

    Check out

  3. #3

    Re: skates

    My first pair of "real" skates were Jacksons with Wilson blades. I had them when I started doing waltz jumps until I was starting axels. I'd recommend lower end Jacksons or lower end Risports with a Wilson blade.

  4. #4


    another brand you may want to check is GAM. They are a little lower priced than the Reidell's or Jacksons, and are easy to break in. A pair of Gam 50's with an MK blade is good up to double toe, double sal, will run you about 300 canadian (220 US????

  5. #5

    Re: skates

    Jackson is making some nice lower end skates that are heat moldable. In the blades department Ultima makes a nice blade for not a lot of money. I was recently at a boot fitting seminar put on by Jackson and was pretty impressed by how much boot you can get for a relatively low cost. The heat moldable feature is neat; I got to try out a pair and thought it was a good fit. And this comes from someone that thinks her custom Harlicks are the best skates in the world.
    Or you could go Reidell for boots with an MK blade. I think Riedell makes a good mid-priced boot, but a lot of the kids at my rink think they break down too quickly for the money.
    The best advice I could give is to ask your coach's opinion on what would serve you best at this point in your skating.

  6. #6

    Re: skates

    Since you are progessing quickly, find a reputable shop and get them to measure and check you feet. Get advice from your coach, but I doubt you need anything higher level than a Reidell Silver Star, and you can probably go more basic than that. If you go for a separate boot and blade, I highly recommend a Wilson Coronation Ace for the blade. Most importantly, get advice from you coach or from the group of coaches who teach your group lessons. Do NOT let any shop or person talk you into more boot or blade than you need. Good luck!!!

  7. #7

    Re: skates

    I agree with Yazmeen. I started in Celebrity skates, and by the time that I was in Beta, I knew I needed new skates. I got Reidell Silver Stars with the stock blades that they came with...not sure, I think that they were MK's. Those took me through my salchow, and I skated so often that I got SP Teri's after that. Every pair of skates that I have had have been hard to break in (the Teri's are custom even). I think that your best bet is to check out the pro shop and get their advice as well. And I would invest in a pair of Bunga pads.

    The exciting thing is how much you will progress with the new skates...better ankle support, better will be amazing!

  8. #8

    Re: skates

    Well, here's some news: I asked my coach about skates, and she asked if I wanted to try some of the ones that she's selling (4 or 5 pairs, I think - her whole family skates). I tried one pair that was slightly big, then another that was a half size smaller. I skated with them for 25 minutes or so, and it felt fine - the toepicks were much bigger, which was a little frightening, so I didn't try anything fancy, and they felt "different" but not bad at all. They're SP Teri brand - custom boots, with Coronation Ace blades. The way I see it... :

    1. She's selling them for $150 and from the (very little) research I did online it looks like she would've paid 2 or 3 times that much for the boots alone.
    2. The blades are really good, I hear.
    3. As long as they hold up - and the sturdiness of the boots seems pretty good - they'll last me up to doubles, she said (I just finished Basic Skills, passed Adult 3).

    1. I can't see buying someone else's custom-fitted boots. My feet aren't very particular - I have no problem breaking in new shoes, for example, but I do have very high arches. My coach has almost NO arch, but the boots were fitted to her orthodics, so there's a lot of arch support.
    2. I want pretty shiny new white skates and these are sort of dull and nicked up.
    3. The blades are good but they're not new.

    Any advice? I'm really conflicted about this.

  9. #9
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: I need new skates...

    Rachel - I have not bought skates for eons, so take anything and everything I say with a grain of salt.

    I have skated in SP-Teris all my life and have never had problems with breaking in, unusual breaking down, etc. I think the opportunity to get boots AND blades for $150 is simply amazing and almost can't go wrong, UNLESS they really aren't comfortable and don't fit you (which doesn't seem to be what you are saying).

    I understand your concern about buying someone else's customs, but unless she had feet that go backwards or something very strange (you addressed the arch situation), sometimes customs are nothing more than expensive "stock". Yes, something might be a tad shorter or longer, but again, if they feel good on you, they could work.

    Since you are still working on your basic moves, they should get you through what you need and would give you time to determine where you go next.

    I understand wanting the shiny white new skates, but they stay that way till you take your first 3-turn plunge, or kick your own foot doing a waltz jump or just doing a lunge without boot covers and then they aren't pristine any more. You might feel more "freedom" learning things in a not-so-new boot and saving the white shininess for later.

    I guess I feel similarly about the blades. If they still have quite a bit of life in them, and experts feel they are right for you, then why not use them? Again, three or four times out on the ice and your blades are no longer new anyway. I'm currently skating on boots and blades that I bought in 1979 (but only wore a few times before last year). The boots look like something that should be in the Smithsonian, but I land axels and flying camels in them so I'm not complaining.

    I guess the bottom line is whether you feel good in them and whether a third party has looked at them and pronounced them good for you. $150 seems to be a steal, if they are in as good condition as it sounds. If they're not, then it's money wasted.

    Either way, you'll make the right decision.

  10. #10

    New boots

    Rachel -- I look at things a bit differently. As Cindy said, though, you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. I'm rather picky about my skates

    I would never buy a used pair of skates. Only because I think that the skates (whether custom or stock) mold to the feet of the wearer. I use this standard for my son too, BTW. Yes, it is more expensive, however as an adult it is unlikely that you will outgrow your skates any time soon.

    That said, if you think that the used skates can work for you, then go for it. But if you have any concerns, get thee to a good skate fitter and go with new. JMO.

  11. #11
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: New boots

    I think Sk8tr1964 brings up a good point. I agree that they definitely can take on the foot personality of the wearer! It is hard for us to tell at a distance just HOW used these skates are. This is why I suggest some impartial third party to help evaluate.

    I had not taken into consideration the fact that adults don't "grow out of" their skates and really just use them till they break down (you can tell that I havn't bought skates in ages!). I honestly was just thinking of these as a stepping stone to your next "real" pair--maybe something you'd be wearing only a year or two--since you are still very much at the beginning of your learning curve, and it's unlikely that you need anything too advanced just yet.

    I do believe that you can have "too much" skate or blade for your skill level, so you might also take caution against buying something that will serve you through your doubles or triples when you're still learning edges and turns.

    Oh, and keep in mind that the fact that I haven't bought skates in a long time means that I'm not familiar with how the boots have changed. From what I can see, they now seem to favor incredibly rigid, carved-out-of-stone models, and that frightens me to death since I'm due for some new boots and have never had to break in such a rock-hard pair. No wonder everyone is always complaining about their feet/ankels/shins, etc.

  12. #12

    Re: New boots

    I'm not going to add anything terribly useful to this big decision of yours, but if you go for the used boots (which isn't terrible so long as the blade has enough life for some more sharpenings), but if it's shiny new white ones you're after, there's always Sk8 Tape. The wide stuff makes them look quite new and you can always peel it off and redo it when it gets grungy looking.

  13. #13
    Fan of The Incomparable Sonja Henie Glacierskater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Lowell, Arkansas and the skating rink
    Whatever decision you make, take only have one one set of feet, and it is better to spend a little more and have a good fit, than to wing it and mess up your feet. So speaks the girl who is still lacing and relacing with custom SP Teri's...make sure that you deal with a professional, and if you get customs, make sure that the person doing the measuring is experienced.

  14. #14
    In love with the axel!
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Detroit Michigan

    Re: Re: New boots

    Originally posted by Cinderella On Ice
    .....I do believe that you can have "too much" skate or blade for your skill level, so you might also take caution against buying something that will serve you through your doubles or triples when you're still learning edges and turns....

    Cinderella's absolutely correct here. I have heard horror stories from people who bought too much boot - too stiff for them to be able to skate comfortably, toepick too big, etc.

  15. #15
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I'll add to the caution that Cinder and 1964 have given you: I started in used Reidell Silver Stars that felt pretty good at the time, with Coronation Comet blades I added because that's what the pro shop had at the time. When I got my Klingbeil's I found out I was skating in boots half a size too big that were cut to high for me and too narrow in the forefoot!!! There has been a distinct improvement in my skating since I switched boots and blades (to an Ace), primarily in edging, which is of course, the basis of all skating!!!!

    While these boots may feel OK and the price is right, they might not be the best thing for you. Personally, I'd go new, even if they cost more.

    Good Luck!


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