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Thread: WHO makes the best boots and blades in the biz?

  1. #1
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    WHO makes the best boots and blades in the biz?

    Okay, folks; I'm going to buy good skates soon, and I want to hear everyone's experiences with top-range boots...Skatepixie, I'd love to hear more about your gush-worthy Harlicks:D and same goes for others' experiences with Jackson, SP Teri, Riedell, etc. Also, anything negative you think I should know as a prospective buyer about any of the above boots, please be forthcoming with your advice, as you wonderful Lutz Corner folks always are :D

    Cheers!
    Sarah

  2. #2
    Tripping on the Podium
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    The boots I've skated in are:Wifa, Rose, SP-Teri, Harlick, Graf, and Reidel. The first three were so long ago, they've probably changed their designs, so I'll just comment on the last three.

    Harlick: Finalists
    Notorious for being stiff, these boots have often been compared to being "hard as bricks" I've had great success with these boots and have gone through several pairs of them. They are NOT heat moldable and are a bit tough to break in, but with "bunga" pads and not lacing up all the hooks to start, it isn't too bad. I'd recommend these to strong skaters who are tough on their skates and want firm support.

    Graf: Edmonton Special
    These have been my most comfortable, ready to skate in, boots - ever. They are increadibly lightweight, they're heat moldable and have notches at the ankle so you can bend in them. The first time I stepped on the ice I could do all of my elements with ease. They had the perfect amount of support... not so stiff you can't do anything, but still firm enough for landing big jumps. I was thrilled with these for about 2 months. Then they started breaking down. I'm pretty hard on my skates, so maybe that was part of it... but after about the 3rd month I got them rebuilt and started looking for new boots. I also had problems with the top of the boot. They really angle forward and it makes it difficult to point your toes. I ended up with big painful lumps on both my achillies tendons from the boots digging in. Lots of other people I know just love their Grafs and have had no problems in them... I think they were just the wrong boot for me.

    Reidel: Royal
    These are my current boots and I like them quite a lot. They are heat moldable and have notches for easy bending. They broke in easily and have really nice support. I haven't been doing a lot of jumping in them due to an injury so I can't comment on how they hold up for jumping. Also my blade alignment needs fixing so they don't quite feel "right" just yet. These seem to be a happy medium between the Harlicks and the Grafs... they have more support than the Grafs, but aren't so hard to break in. They are also in between on comfort too.

    To sum it up....
    Most importantly, find a brand that fits your foot! If you find the right fit, you'll be happy with your skates. Go for heat-moldable if you can... it makes a big difference - you'd be surprised! Try on as many as you can and walk in them in the store for quite a while... it takes time for you to feel those pressure points, loose places, etc.
    One time I was in desperate need of new boots and I settled for one that was a little too big for me. The sales person didn't have my size and convinced me that I'd be fine in the larger boot. Well I wasn't and I ended up with stress fractures in my foot! If they don't have your size... wait until they order it in, or look at a different skate shop. I know a few skaters who actually buy their boots half a size too small and then get them stretched... then they are sure for a snug fit. I'm considering trying it for my next boots. Be patient in your search! Keep looking and trying until you're sure they fit you perfectly (besides a few pressure points in the ankle or toe area that you can easily get punched out).

    Good luck with your search to find the perfect boot!

    ~Cassie

  3. #3
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    I have used Wifa, Sk , Jackson, riedell !! And over all my favourites are Wifa Diamonds and the Riedell Royal

    I am now coaching and the royals have good support as i still do most elements and dances with my students so I have been impressed with them and as for blades I had always used coronation Ace BUT now with these new skates I have MK professional the rocker was a little different and i still prefer the ace!

    But as Cassie said it is what fits your foot! a good skate fitter should be able to get you into a skate that is for your style of skating and your type of foot as each skaters feet are like fingerprints as each person has different needs and sore spots


    the one blade that has caught my attention is the parabolic blades and if any one has them I would like to know what difference do you feel and what do they feel like on the Ice ??
    good luck!
    Last edited by pick_chick; 05-19-2004 at 11:06 AM.

  4. #4
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    The best boots are the ones that are the best for you. Having said that I have only had SP-Teri's and just recently bought a pair of Graf's.

    The SP-Teri's always killed my feet and when I went to buy a new pair I again tried on SP-Teri's but they hurt my feet! Since I am a older skater I was more concerned with confort so the pro guy suggested Graf's. I really love the Graf's they are very comfortable and I was able to skate in them right away (no break-in time). How they will hold up I will have to see. But all in all I am pleased with them.

  5. #5
    Hell's Librarian
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    Originally posted by dlkksk8fan
    The best boots are the ones that are the best for you...
    This is really true. Each boot manufacturer makes an elite level boot or two, and the one that works for you probably won't be the same as the one that works for me. Our feet and bodies are different! That said, from my research I've learned the following:

    Higher heels: Risport, WIFA
    Higher arches: Harlick, SP-Teri
    Lower arches: Reidell
    Narrower: Harlick (very narrow forefoot!)
    Wider: Klingbeil
    Wider toe boxes: SP-Teri, Jackson, Risport

    Also:

    SP-Teri: Strong boot, wider fit
    Reidell: moderate fit (average width, etc.), good value
    Risport: wide ball area, good value
    Klingbeil: wide fitting, usually custom, stiff boot
    Jackson: historically more of a recreational boot maker

    I own Reidells right now. I plan to look into SP-Teri or Klingbeil next. Perhaps custom, if I can afford them. My coach raves about Harlicks, but she has very narrow feet. She also gets them custom.

  6. #6
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    Heya! Here is some info for ya!

    Where I skate at Sp-Teri seems to be the most popular. Then Harlick and Klingbeil. But here are some other things to help you out!

    SP-Teri-When I tried them on the store they were comfy and not too stiff and not too weak; good fit! Most people I know wear these. If you have weak legs my friend has Super-Teri Ultra Lights and she loves them!

    Risport-These are Italian made boots and these were the first quality boots that I bought. My friend also had a pair and she liked them a lot (I did too!). They are very comfy (and a little heavy, but that might just be me!) but a coach that I know said that I shouldn't wear them because they are not good for advanced jumps. I've heard they are a very good boot for ice dancing and syncro.

    Reidell-I don't know many people who wear these. They are a leading boot manufacturer so I guess they must be ok!

    Jackson-I don't know anyone who has these boots. They have a lot of advertising out right now, but I haven't heard from anyone who's actually worn them.

    Harlick-If you like a stiffer boot then these are for you! I tried these on at the store and I thought they were really stiff and not very comfy. If you have weak legs I wouldn't recommend buying them, they gave my coach stress fractures. But the people who I know who have strong legs like them a lot!

    Klingbeil-A good number of people where I skate at wear these boots (including myself!) They are custom made and they make then according to your needs (strong, medium, etc.) I love them and so does everyone else I know who wears them!

    Wifa-These are good if you have weak legs. My coach had them and she loved them but she said they are not good for advanced moves and jumps.

    Graf-I haven't heard too much about these. I've heard some people say they are really good. But I don't know for sure!

    Blades
    I don't know much about these. I've had the same pair of blades since I first bought quality skates! I wear Mitchel and King blades, and so does my friend, and we like them a lot! I know a few people who wear pattern-99 (huge toe-pick!) and Phantoms. I don't know if they make those anymore but people who I know who've worn them like them a lot!

    Hope I could help!

  7. #7
    Skating Soprano
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    Yall know what Im gonna say, so should I even post this? LOL.

    Id like to counter the strong legs and high arches for Harlick. My legs are the weakest ever, and my feet border on the flattest ever.

    Honestly, the break in period on my Harlicks was a nothing. I have customs similar in stiffness to a High Tester. No pain or anything. In fact, it was the opposite of what I felt in my old Reidells, but yall dont want to hear about *that* again....

  8. #8
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    If you can afford it, custom Klingbeil's are amazing. I have a very narrow heel but a wide forefoot, and they are much better than my old Reidells. The fitting is a memorable experience, too, if you can make it to the factory and "sign the chair!!!"

  9. #9
    Hell's Librarian
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    I think Klingbeils are also very reasonably priced for a custom boot.

  10. #10
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I've been a SP-Teri Deluxe/MK Phantom blade girl for most of my life--been skating for 25 years (I'm almost 29). I've got narrow feet with no arch whatsoever. I've never had any problems with them, nor do I have to wear orthotics or anything.

    I do have a few details on some of the other boots people have mentioned..

    Grafs are made of man-made materials which is what makes them lighter. However, there's no leather which some would feel is what makes a true quality skate. The can also get smelly if your feet really sweat. I know a lot of people who like their Grafs nonetheless.

    Jackson Elite Supreme is an up and coming boot for the high freestyle levels. I know some coaches and FS6/USFSA Intermediate and up skaters who really like them.

    I've heard good things about the new Riedell 1500 HLS.

    Harlick is always a good choice but can take a long time to get a pair ordered. Same goes with Klingbeil.

    One thing about buying new skates...be sure you are measured by someone who knows what they're doing. Don't let the fitter push you into something you don't like or is too big. Like someone else said, certain feet fit better into certain makers more than others. If your skate is too big then it's going to break down faster. Always heat mold before you make your decision on comfort because skates need to fit tight and the heat molding process can make a super tight feeling pair of skates feel just like they are custom made to your feet.

    One other thing...all the boot manufacturers have websites. It's interesting to check them out to see how they market their boots.

    http://harlick.com/
    http://www.grafcanada.com/
    http://www.spteri.com/
    http://www.klingbeilskatingboots.com/
    http://www.riedellskates.com/
    http://www.jacksonultima.com/
    Last edited by Summerkid; 05-21-2004 at 12:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    Thanks sooo much, guys!

    But seriously, keep the great advice coming! I have another question that I don't think requires a separate thread; supposing I can't make the investment and plunk down 600 (or more for Klingbeils???) anytime soon--I'm working on stroking, forward and back, but when I lose my focus on the tedious basics , I can also do an inside edge spiral, a clockwise two-foot spin, and a counterclockwise waltz jump ...anywhoo, I'd basically like to stick with my $100 skates until I can really afford to go all out...by the way, SP-Teris and Klingbeils are neck and neck for first place after reading all your comments. My coach tells me that he breaks new boots in with a hammer, just bashing away at them He was an elite pairs skater who made it to Nats, so I'll take his word for it

    So, basically, my second question to y'all is: how far can I go in terms of mastering moves, basics, elements, etc, before the cheap boots become a serious liability? I probably shouldn't attempt jumps with them, right? Besides waltzes, I imagine?

    Thanks again!
    Sarah

  12. #12
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    lulu,

    It sounds like you are not an overly advanced skater, and if that is the case, I don't think any of the above named skates are truly suitable or necessary. There is such a thing as "too much boot" and they can cause you more pain and agony than anything else. The majority of the boots mentioned are for higher level skaters - at least working on doubles. Your best bet is to go to a reputable skate shop and ask them their opinion. Ask around at your rink to find out where they recommend you shop.

    Also , check into GAM skates. They are relatively new to the market, are an excellent product, and are more reasonably priced. Don't go spending unneccessary amounts of money too -early - there is plenty of time for that, and if you stick with skating, you will soon find that it is very costly.

    Canuck

  13. #13
    On the Ice
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    I agree with canuck GAM's are good beginner skate just the thing i would watch is the lower level boot have plastic soles and i would advise any one who is working on a waltz jump ans over sould have leather wooden soles Gams are also good for the pocket book
    My 8 yr daughter wears them and she loves them they never hurt and she has some strange feet she is in the 035 GAMS

    are you in canada or US/?? I know in BC Canada there are a few shops that sell them


  14. #14
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    Canuck & Pick Chick, what a relief for my pocketbook! I'm going to file this whole thread away so that I can go for good, cheaper skates now, and reread all the expensive, elite boot advice when I decide to go the distance Unfortunately, I don't live in Canada (but I'm workin' on it Someday... ), but maybe I can order them? I live in the NYC area.

    Thanks & take care,

    Sarah

  15. #15
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    Yippee!!! I found my skates!!!!

    I'm going with Gam 50 Celebrite Ladies figure skates, packaged with Gam G2 blades, at the nice skate-buys.com price of $224.95!!!!!! I have a "skatefund" of $175 saved up already, and was debating over whether to spend it on skates or a tennis racquet, because I'm always seduced by the new, incredible racquets that come out onto the market, but after playing the other day, I realized I still loooooove my racquet, and unlike the figure skate market, the tennis racquet "racket" usually consists of getting you to buy the newest, coolest-looking racquet with the most new-fangled technology at $200, only to see it on the market six months later for $125 . Anyway, hooray!!!!:D

    Thanks sooo much, guys!

    Best,
    Sarah

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