Adult Skater in the market for new boots - feeling confused

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
I've heard many people voicing dislike of the higher heel in Jacksons. So I feel compelled to counter with my personal positive experience, and some logical deductions.

When I was still in Riedells, I always found it hard to get off my toe pick for any kind of move. Then I switched to Jackson (moving my same blades over to the new boot) and suddenly found it so much easier to get off my toe picks and skate on the main rocker. My conjecture is that this was because I have fairly tight calves and Achilles tendons, making my foot more plantar flexed when in a relaxed position. The higher heel might help with adjusting for this plantar flexed position.

The bottom line is, each person has different feet and each boot manufacturer is suited to a subset of skaters with that particular type of foot. Just because some skaters complain about the heel height doesn't mean everyone should stay away. Jacksons is still very much in business, so apparently the heel height must suit a sizeable subset of skaters.

Haha, I live in high heels and don't have any complaints in the slightest about Jackson Fusions' heel heights, nor do I feel like I'm tipping forward.
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Haha, I live in high heels and don't have any complaints in the slightest about Jackson Fusions' heel heights, nor do I feel like I'm tipping forward.

Funny story: once, I had worn high heels the whole day and then went straight to the rink in the evening. I was still in the Riedells with the low heel back then. I kept tripping on the toe pick, and even tripped belly first on a forward crossover. Note to self: no going from high heels straight into skates.
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Haha, I live in high heels and don't have any complaints in the slightest about Jackson Fusions' heel heights, nor do I feel like I'm tipping forward.

My 11 year old doesn't live in high heels yet, (pointe shoes soon though) but she's been through 2 pairs of Debut Fusions and is now in a pair of Premieres, never mentioned any problems about heel height or tipping forward. Maybe she just doesn't know anything different.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I said keep an open mind.
Strongly agree here.

OP:

So far you have one limited experience: a low-end Riedell kit was a good fit; and a low-end Jackson kit was a bad fit. Based on this one limited experience, the advice to stick with Riedell and avoid Jackson is not correct; especially since you will be upgrading from a low-end kit to separate intermediate boots and blades.

Boots are shaped on foot forms referred to as lasts. Ideally, you want to pick boots shaped on lasts that closely approximate your feet. There are no standard lasts. Different manufacturers use different lasts. A single manufacturer may also use different lasts for their various models; e.g., one last for boots in low-end kits vs. a different last for intermediate and advanced boots; or even different lasts for separate lines of intermediate and advanced boots (e.g., one last for traditional boots vs. a different last for lightweight boots to compete with Edea). A manufacturer may also change their lasts from time to time for whatever reason, or for no reason. So just because a low-end Riedell kit was a good fit and a low-end Jackson kit was a bad fit does not necessarily ensure that an intermediate Riedell boot will be a good fit and an intermediate Jackson boot will be a bad fit (maybe, but then maybe not). Also, as you progress in skating, the features that you want in a boot will change; and certain features that you like in your current low-end boot may actually be disadvantageous as you progress (e.g., many beginner skaters often find a strong heel lock uncomfortable, and beginner boots often don't have it; but you'll need it as you advance). So, I agree with Sunshine: at this stage in your skating, keep an open mind; consult with fitters, coaches, and other skaters; do your research, and educate yourself (as you are doing) ... don't walk into a shop with the preconceived bias that Riedell is right for you, and Jackson is wrong for you; evaluate them, and others, with a fresh eye.

I bought my first pair of skates decades ago. The boots were Riedells. At that time, they were really the only game in town. Jackson didn't exist, and companies such as Harlicks and SP-Teri were niche brands for advanced skaters. Many things I liked about Riedells, some things (such as the pointed toes) I didn't. Over the years I stayed with them (several models), because various alternatives had their share of flaws as well. And since I wasn't skating a lot, they were adequate. About five years ago, I semi-retired, started skating 5 days/wk, and signed up for private lessons. Time for new skates. My coach recommended that I consider Jacksons, and not automatically buy another pair of Riedells. I ended up with a pair of Jackson Elites. And I was really happy with them. The wider, rounder toebox, in combination with a narrower heel was just what I needed. The extra inside volume also allowed me to insert a corrective footbed, which I couldn't do in the Riedells: I could do without one when I was skating only 1 hr/wk, but not when I increased my ice time (up to 8 hrs/wk now). There were various other features (such as memory foam lining and padded top collar) that I really like. The higher heel pitch on the Jacksons did screw up my backward skating. Took a couple of weeks to adjust, but then I was fine.

As much as I like my current Jackson, though, I'm not sure I will stay with them. They've totally redesigned their advanced boots to compete with Edea. I looked at the new Elite, and didn't like the construction quality. My tech suggested I might want to consider Graf. I'll keep my mind open.
 

Annie122

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Thanks for all your responses. I don't currently have time to respond to everyone in detail, very sorry!

I am going to make an appointment for Monday to get fitted. I just want to be aware of boots that I'm likely to run into (not to have a bias, but instead to have knowledge so I can make an informed decision. I want a boot that is at least manufacture ranked for singles. In a previous job I had to wear steel toe shoes--- and I've had the experience of trying on the whole store more times than I'm willing to admit.

I'm just planning to try on all the things that are available for my level and goals. I'll pick what feels most comfortable. It's an investment in me and that's how I'm viewing it.

I am a little paranoid that they're going to immediately pull kits and insist that's what I need... so I want to have the knowledge to advocate for myself. I'll admit it's probably a bias against adult skaters... and my height probably encourages going to a less stiff boot ( but I'm insistent on following manufacture guidelines for my own sanity and safety)--- I'm tiny, but I store weight deceivingly well

No matter what I choose it will be an adjustment--- but I'll fell better about safety and that is 1000000X worth it.

Thank you for all your feedback, I feel much more competent in making this investment and that is exactly what I was hoping for.

OP. I p didn’t describe her foot type at all.

So, previously I just gave some info and recommended the OP take a lot of time at the fitting to get a feel for the skates, and ask a lot of questions. Which seems like OP will do. And mentioned to be sure to get boots further customized by heat molding. I’m glad it sparked a discussion though.

Annie122, I’m sorry to hear about your ankle. I hope you heal quickly and benefitted from the discussions on the site overall. Is there also a coach to recommend blades? I feel like the Coronation Ace is a great blade to move to as well as any intermediate John Wilson or MK blade. Most other blade makers copy them after all. hoice.

I should compile a spreadsheet after my extensive research! My fellow rink moms have joked about this as well. If I made a flow chart on choosing blades it would first choose the main rocker of 7’ or 8’. Then choose spin rocker profile, and then chose toe pick style. By then you’ve probably narrowed your choice down to maybe one or two from each maker. The final choice would be based on wether you like the new lightweight styles and which manufacturer you can get, or price. Anyone else want to give input to this process? It seemed to narrow things down for my decision to a more manageable few.

Thanks for the kind words! I definitely benefited from the discussion. My ankle is feeling much better. I took a yoga class today with no pain and noticeable swelling :)

I talked to the LTS instructor about blades, but she's pretty inundated with people this session. I feel you on the spreadsheet. When I bought the first pair of skates I did tons of research... and there were excel files :rofl: But I went mainly with the fitters expertise

There's this:- https://skaterslanding.com/pages/blade-comparison-chart

Not all of the blades mentioned there are currently made but it should help with the basics. I still advocate the Coronation Ace.

Thank you, That is a great resource!
 

Annie122

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Trying to make a fitting appointment has been like herding cats :hpull: and all of the proshops are an 45 minutes to an hour and a half away... So dropping by feels like maybe not the best use of time.

I hope to be able to tell you all I have new boots sooner than later

Thanks again for the help!
 

Annie122

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
The good news is I went to the fitter initially mentioned above, and he immediately ruled out the recreational skates mentioned over e-mail. (Strong guess that e-mailed is outsourced to someone who is aware of the store stock, but less aware of manufacturing suggestions)

I tried on Jackson, Graf, and Reidell. I liked the Bronze stars, but the length felt off from where my toe was and the end of the boot. Surprisingly, the Jackson Debuts felt most comfortable in length, width, and and toe room-- so that's what I went with.

I got coronation ace blades mounted

Now onto breaking them in! I'm not a huge fan of the look of the boot, but at the end of the day I'm choosing based on comfort and meeting my needs.

So far the noticeable things are
- Blade is slightly shorter because the boot is slightly shorter
- Support feels 1000X better (Stiff, but I feel much more comfortable than I did being asked to do tricks in my broken down boots)
- Heat molding helped, but I've got a bit of a way to go until they're completely comfortable (expected)
-

I did a lot of swizzles, edges, stroking and am adjusting to the differences. Thanks again for the feedback, I felt a lot more comfortable than the first time I got fitted for skates and more knowledgeable on what's important for my level / experience
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Surprisingly, the Jackson Debuts felt most comfortable in length, width, and and toe room-- so that's what I went with.

I got coronation ace blades mounted

Good combo. Thanks for sharing the good news. Any issues with the higher heel?
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
We're skate/blade twins now! :biggrin: Good luck with them. I sure love mine! They felt like concrete bricks the first few times, but it got better fast.
 

Sunshine247

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
That’s great you finally had a chance to try those on. The fitter sounds like they did a good job putting you in a variety to try. You are also skate and blade twins with my older DD. It’s a popular set up and I hope it’s a good fit.

Don’t forget to have a coach to look at you skate in those blades to see if they need adjustment before putting in the final screws for permanent mounting. And also know that you can have them heat molded up to three times or spot mold a section to tweak the fit.

In our area we have Jackson’s that we have to order in above the basics, and one Edea fitter, or we have to drive 3 hrs. We did the drive for my DD’s debuts. Which is weird since we have at least three active clubs within an hours drive and I’d say nearly 150 intermediate to advanced skaters in the general area.
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
In our area we have Jackson’s that we have to order in above the basics, and one Edea fitter, or we have to drive 3 hrs. We did the drive for my DD’s debuts. Which is weird since we have at least three active clubs within an hours drive and I’d say nearly 150 intermediate to advanced skaters in the general area.

Same here. 6 rinks within 50 miles, 3 major clubs in that radius as well. Most skaters are in Edea, Sp-Teri, or Harlick, very few in Jackson. I think quite a bit of it is a status thing with skaters and parents. Mine is a pure Jackson skater, formerly in Debut/CoroAce, now in Premiere/Gold Seal. Jackson fits her.
 

Annie122

Rinkside
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Good combo. Thanks for sharing the good news. Any issues with the higher heel?

I haven't skated enough to have a strong opinion on the heal yet. The combination of the shorter blade, more arch support and slightly higher heel are definitely an adjustment. I have a lot more speed and comfort going backwards, but forward feels a little gawky ( Drunk baby giraffe like? Just kidding, it's not that bad). I think I'll get used to it as I break them in.

We're skate/blade twins now! :biggrin: Good luck with them. I sure love mine! They felt like concrete bricks the first few times, but it got better fast.
:cool14: Very cool! Glad you found skates that work well :) Hope I'll be in the same boat once they're a little more broken in. So far I'm quite happy with them though

That’s great you finally had a chance to try those on. The fitter sounds like they did a good job putting you in a variety to try. You are also skate and blade twins with my older DD. It’s a popular set up and I hope it’s a good fit.

Don’t forget to have a coach to look at you skate in those blades to see if they need adjustment before putting in the final screws for permanent mounting. And also know that you can have them heat molded up to three times or spot mold a section to tweak the fit.

In our area we have Jackson’s that we have to order in above the basics, and one Edea fitter, or we have to drive 3 hrs. We did the drive for my DD’s debuts. Which is weird since we have at least three active clubs within an hours drive and I’d say nearly 150 intermediate to advanced skaters in the general area.

Yes! I talked to my instructor about them. I feel like my skating has more power and is a bit cleaner with the new blade. The fitter I went to does an outreach program and hauls his sharpening tools and some skates with him to rinks that don't have pro-shops nearby. He's going to be at my rink Wednesday, so if I have issues, he said give him a call and he'll bring the tools he needs. I'm grateful for that. Blade wise I'm going to skate a little more, but my forward outside edge has felt a tad off.

Glad your daughter has comfortable and fitted skates! Hope you made an adventure of the trip! I feel you though, I'm just outside a metropolitan area with ~6 rinks within fifteen minutes to an hour drive... but most of the pro shops are on the other side of the city. Most of the brick and mortar stores have been slowly closing.

The fitter that ventures out once a month usually fills his schedule with sharpening/ boot fittings the day the e-mail goes out. (and he's a kind human who always ends up taking on too many skates within his five hour time frame and stays late finishing up.)

Same here. 6 rinks within 50 miles, 3 major clubs in that radius as well. Most skaters are in Edea, Sp-Teri, or Harlick, very few in Jackson. I think quite a bit of it is a status thing with skaters and parents. Mine is a pure Jackson skater, formerly in Debut/CoroAce, now in Premiere/Gold Seal. Jackson fits her.

Glad your daughter has boots that fit her! All the teens at my rink seem to be in Edeas, but I see some Jackson and Reidell.
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
:cool14: Very cool! Glad you found skates that work well :) Hope I'll be in the same boat once they're a little more broken in. So far I'm quite happy with them though

Good luck! Hopefully yours will work just as well for you! I broke mine in quite quickly due to my intense love of hydroblading and unusual jump entries (which incidentally is what trashed my Freestyles, lol), but it can take a while depending on many circumstances. It can also take some time to get used to the 7 foot rocker.
 
Top