Advice on buying skates online? | Golden Skate

Advice on buying skates online?

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Hi all,

I've been skating in Jackson Competitors for a while now and they've served me well, but I recently realized they might be too big for me. I never questioned the size before and from measuring my feet it seems like I'm in the right size, but I recently read that my heel should be firmly secured which it definitely is not in my current boots and slips up and down.

I am an adult and only doing singles so far (have them all and starting my axel soon hopefully) but my coach is encouraging me to get new boots due to the sizing issue, and I think my heart is set on Edea Ice Flys. I know these are much more advanced than I need, but it's important to me to get vegan skates as my next pair, and it seems like Ice Flys are really the best option for this. The issue is that there are no Edea dealers in my area, and I guess that leaves me with the option of buying them online.

I'm terrified that I'll screw up the sizing if left to my own devices on this, and end up wasting $700. I know Edeas also take smaller blades, which may be another aspect that I could mess up, but I think my local tech could help with that part. Any advice on making sure I get the right size or whether buying boots online is just a big no-no all together? Thanks!
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
The simplest advice I can give you is don't. You will get the size wrong. And Edea's don't fit the vast majority of people.

Vegan or not, Ice Flys will injure you.

I understand morals are important. I'm vegetarian, mostly vegan, myself. However, I think your own non-broken bones are probably a bit more important. Other brands make fully or mostly vegan skates that would be more your level.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
The simplest advice I can give you is don't. You will get the size wrong. And Edea's don't fit the vast majority of people.

Vegan or not, Ice Flys will injure you.

I understand morals are important. I'm vegetarian, mostly vegan, myself. However, I think your own non-broken bones are probably a bit more important. Other brands make fully or mostly vegan skates that would be more your level.
I'm actually surprised to hear this! I know they're way above my level but I know 4 other adults also a similar height and weight to me that love their Ice Flys despite only doing singles/axel. I've also had a lengthy conversation about this via phone with a tech a few hours away from me who recommended them for my needs. I know it is not typical and not even a particularly good use of money for someone who doesn't need them (which the tech also made sure I was aware of) but he said that they're now pretty commonly loved by adult beginners in his area because they have the bodyweight to handle the stiffness without issue.

You say that other brands make fully vegan skates at my level, but I posted a thread about this on Reddit and got a lot of responses saying Ice Flys were the best option unless I wanted to drop thousands of dollars so if you can tell me which ones you're referring to I'd greatly appreciate it!

It's always good to hear other perspectives on the topic but unless I can actually find a more suitable vegan boot I am probably going to stick with the Ice Flys at the recommendation of a reputable technician. If you think ordering online is the issue then that's understandable and I might just have to make the trek to see that technician in person.
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
There's a lot more to correctly fitting boots than just the size/length and even width. There are different toe boxes, split widths, heel heights, back stays, strength/stiffness, tongue wrap, fit and strength, ankle snugness, some are better for higher arches...

As you have realised, you are risking a lot of money and hoping for a miracle, ie that the Ice Fly fit you properly, are comfortable, you like the fit (or lack of) around the ankle and that they don't negatively impact your skating. I have seen too many adults to count who have deeply regretted their obsession with the Ice Fly, many of whom were too embarrassed to admit publicly that they might have been wrong to choose them...

You know that fairly modern adage, "It's impossible to overboot [an adult] in Edea"? Well, it's a fantastic marketing strategy, but it just isn't true.

Please go to a reputable fitter and get fitted properly so that you get the right boots for your feet and your skating. If you are in an area where you really can't physically go to a fitter, then find one that is happy to a proper virtual fitting. In the UK we have a couple of excellent skate shops with fitters who offer a virtual fitting service, involving many, many pictures, measurements, videos and indepth discussion of your feet, skating style, skating level, ambitions and budget. They rarely get it wrong.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
There's a lot more to correctly fitting boots than just the size/length and even width. There are different toe boxes, split widths, heel heights, back stays, strength/stiffness, tongue wrap, fit and strength, ankle snugness, some are better for higher arches...

As you have realised, you are risking a lot of money and hoping for a miracle, ie that the Ice Fly fit you properly, are comfortable, you like the fit (or lack of) around the ankle and that they don't negatively impact your skating. I have seen too many adults to count who have deeply regretted their obsession with the Ice Fly, many of whom were too embarrassed to admit publicly that they might have been wrong to choose them...

You know that fairly modern adage, "It's impossible to overboot [an adult] in Edea"? Well, it's a fantastic marketing strategy, but it just isn't true.

Please go to a reputable fitter and get fitted properly so that you get the right boots for your feet and your skating. If you are in an area where you really can't physically go to a fitter, then find one that is happy to a proper virtual fitting. In the UK we have a couple of excellent skate shops with fitters who offer a virtual fitting service, involving many, many pictures, measurements, videos and indepth discussion of your feet, skating style, skating level, ambitions and budget. They rarely get it wrong.
Appreciate this! I have a virtual appointment with the Skates US fitter, and I have also heard that the boot shape and feel of the Ice Fly is hated by some people, so I am definitely looking to only purchase from somewhere that offers easy returns in case I do hate it. If virtual fittings are an appropriate substitute for in person fittings then I will definitely go that route, but if not then I will find a time make the trek all the way to my closest Edea fitter who is about 4 hours away by car. Unfortunately he does not keep boots in stock, so while he could identify the right size, there still wouldn't be any way I could try on the Ice Flys in person until after I order them from him or an online retailer.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
Appreciate this! I have a virtual appointment with the Skates US fitter, and I have also heard that the boot shape and feel of the Ice Fly is hated by some people, so I am definitely looking to only purchase from somewhere that offers easy returns in case I do hate it. If virtual fittings are an appropriate substitute for in person fittings then I will definitely go that route, but if not then I will find a time make the trek all the way to my closest Edea fitter who is about 4 hours away by car. Unfortunately he does not keep boots in stock, so while he could identify the right size, there still wouldn't be any way I could try on the Ice Flys in person until after I order them from him or an online retailer.
Your foot might not even be right for an edea. And even if it was you are greatly overbooting and can injure yourself, if an edea would be correct, you don't need higher than a chorus. There are other brands like Jackson that do vegan non leather boots.

Please go to a proper pro fitter and have them trace your foot and do correct measurements.

Good luck!
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Your foot might not even be right for an edea. And even if it was you are greatly overbooting and can injure yourself, if an edea would be correct, you don't need higher than a chorus. There are other brands like Jackson that do vegan non leather boots.

Please go to a proper pro fitter and have them trace your foot and do correct measurements.

Good luck!
Unfortunately I'm not going to consider the lower level Edeas because of the leather, but I truly am interested in these Jackson or other brands that people say offer vegan options. My interest in the Ice Fly has nothing to do with their trendiness or image and I really would love to instead get a boot that isn't $700+ but the only totally vegan Jacksons I can find are the Elles which are definitely not suitable for axels and doubles. If you happen to have a specific recommendation I'd really like to look into it further! I know it sounds like I'm putting too much priority on the material it's just a moral boundary that I can't comfortable compromise on.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Jackson Debut has a non leather sole and upper.
Thank you I will look into this! According to the website the Debuts are only a support level 50 and my current Jackson Competitors are a 55, so I'm probably not looking to go down in support based on how I feel in my skates now - ideally I don't want to get new skates just to replace them immediately, but I will do some research on these and see what others say
 

thesu

Spectator
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Jackson Debut has a non leather sole and upper.
I was going to suggest the same. Based on posts on this board, the Debuts feel stiffer than what they're rated. I personally know at least 3 skaters (doing singles) who have fit issues with the Ice Fly. All of Jackson's Fusion line is vegan, and I think you can customize the stiffer boots too.

Jacksons have a wide toe box, while Edeas are narrow. So if you fit Jacksons, you probably won't fit Edea. Like others said, I'd suggest going to a general fitter and they can tell you which brand is for you.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
I was going to suggest the same. Based on posts on this board, the Debuts feel stiffer than what they're rated. I personally know at least 3 skaters (doing singles) who have fit issues with the Ice Fly. All of Jackson's Fusion line is vegan, and I think you can customize the stiffer boots too.

Jacksons have a wide toe box, while Edeas are narrow. So if you fit Jacksons, you probably won't fit Edea. Like others said, I'd suggest going to a general fitter and they can tell you which brand is for you.
Oooh thank you! I'm probably not interested in Debuts since I don't want to go down in stiffness from my current boot but I'm looking up other fusions (particularly the premiere fusion) and they might be exactly what I'm looking for since I'm about to start axel/doubles. I haven't found a reputable site confirming they are non-leather but will probably just take your word for it. That said - I actually think my current toe box is a little too wide so based on what you're saying about the sizing I might actually not want to stick with Jackson. Ugh so frustrating! I don't have a general fitter near me sadly :( my rink pro shop is Jackson only and the Edea dealer closest to me (4 hours away) has both but nothing you can try on in store - you have to pay to have him order them. All the same I really appreciate your input!
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
If you are willing to tell us what area you are in we can suggest a good pro fitter in that area or nearby.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
If you are willing to tell us what area you are in we can suggest a good pro fitter in that area or nearby.
Sure! I live in northern California and my closest rink is the Oakland Ice Center which only has Jacksons. I have spoken to the pro shop in Roseville which is the one I mentioned being about 4 hours away but does not actually have a stock that I can try on. I have also spoken to ProSwizzles in San Jose which is the same circumstance. My coach asked around to all the other coaches if they knew of anyone else, but the consensus was that the skaters in Edeas had all gone to one of these two places and just took a gamble on not trying them on first
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Sure! I live in northern California and my closest rink is the Oakland Ice Center which only has Jacksons. I have spoken to the pro shop in Roseville which is the one I mentioned being about 4 hours away but does not actually have a stock that I can try on. I have also spoken to ProSwizzles in San Jose which is the same circumstance. My coach asked around to all the other coaches if they knew of anyone else, but the consensus was that the skaters in Edeas had all gone to one of these two places and just took a gamble on not trying them on first
I live in San Jose and I'd never heard of ProSwizzles. Looked it up, it's coach Nick. He's a coach at S4A Ice, our home rink. My skater had some group classes with him long ago. I knew lots of skaters used him for sharpening, but I had no idea he opened a shop. Good guy, I would go see him if you really want Edeas.

If you want a proper Jackson fitting you can go to A&G Skate shop in South San Francisco (no web presence, 650-871-1715). George Spiteri is the owner and the former owner of Sp-Teri skates (look them up for his profile). We've bought 3 pairs from him, 1 stock boot (Debut) a Rapid Custom (Premiere) and most recently a full custom Jackson Premiere (in leather, sorry, better fit than microfiber).

The stock Jackson Premiere is a full synthetic boot with a Fusion (plastic) sole. Can't certify 100% vegan, but we had it for 2 years so I'm pretty familiar with it. Stiffer than the Debut, but not much.

FYI, nobody stocks much of anything anymore, that's why it's important to go to a fitter who can measure and get the right size, and after you purchase them can heat mold and punch them to get them properly fitted to your foot. And Edeas are EXTRA challenging to mold and punch and require real expertise to get them done properly.
 
Last edited:

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
This is all SO helpful thank you! I hadn't heard of A&G but I'll reach out to that number. Yeah I'm finding that the stock thing seems to be a real issue, which is frustrating because the main advice I keep getting there's nothing that compares to just trying them all on.

Nick seems to be super knowledgeable in the convos I've had with him! He was one of the people (along with Brett in Roseville) who recommended ice flys for my needs even knowing they are well above my skill level, so I'm inclined to trust him but the people in this thread seem firmly against that so I'm pretty torn at this point. Seems like I may have to do some travelling all over the bay area to check out both brands and make a proper decision
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Appreciate this! I have a virtual appointment with the Skates US fitter, and I have also heard that the boot shape and feel of the Ice Fly is hated by some people, so I am definitely looking to only purchase from somewhere that offers easy returns in case I do hate it. If virtual fittings are an appropriate substitute for in person fittings then I will definitely go that route, but if not then I will find a time make the trek all the way to my closest Edea fitter who is about 4 hours away by car. Unfortunately he does not keep boots in stock, so while he could identify the right size, there still wouldn't be any way I could try on the Ice Flys in person until after I order them from him or an online retailer.
Whilst a virtual appointment is a lot better than just buying online and hoping, it's still not the best option, especially if you're looking at a completely different brand and fit. If you can get fitted in person by a fitter who fits more than one brand, then that's really what you should do.

I briefly tried Edea and felt that they were fine and comfortable until I tried to actually skate in them, at which point, I discovered that I absolutely hated the looseness around the ankle and felt unsafe. This is part of the Edea design, not a fitting problem, and it's something that people who have been used to a traditional fit around the ankle often struggle with. Personally, I didn't find I got used to it, so I purchased another pair of a different brand, in my case Risport. I was lucky in that my Edeas were an unused 'demonstration' pair that I got for free, so I hadn't actually shelled out any money for them; I'd have been mightily disappointed if I'd actually bought them thinking they were the ones for me! The problem only surfaced once I'd tried skating properly in them, rather than just stroking around. I gave them two weeks of training and then sold them on as they really didn't work for me, even though they weren't particularly uncomfortable. If you're absolutely set on Edea, then I would suggest that you try to find a friend with a pair that you can try skating in before you shell out all that money.

As to the Jackson Debut Fusion, I can attest to them being an excellent option for you if you like the Jackson fit/last. I really wouldn't pay any attention to the 55 v 50 rating. You're exactly the level skater that they are aimed at and, frankly, they are really tough boots! I have tried a friend's pair and those babies are not going to break down any time soon, even with a lot of axel practice!
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
This is all SO helpful thank you! I hadn't heard of A&G but I'll reach out to that number. Yeah I'm finding that the stock thing seems to be a real issue, which is frustrating because the main advice I keep getting there's nothing that compares to just trying them all on.

Nick seems to be super knowledgeable in the convos I've had with him! He was one of the people (along with Brett in Roseville) who recommended ice flys for my needs even knowing they are well above my skill level, so I'm inclined to trust him but the people in this thread seem firmly against that so I'm pretty torn at this point. Seems like I may have to do some travelling all over the bay area to check out both brands and make a proper decision
Travel is required. We're actually lucky around here that we have a few options, many have none and have to travel much further for a proper fitting. ALL the pro shops in the rinks are pretty useless, Except for Teri Ann Brown at Ice Oasis in San Mateo. I think she only carries Jackson and Riedell though, but she's a great fitter as well. We also have the custom mfgrs. "locally", Harlick and Avanta, used to be 3 with Sp-Teri until George sold the manufacturing and "retired" HA! he's busier now than ever fitting Sp-Teri, Jackson, Riedell, and the Aura carbon fiber (also vegan) boots. I go up to SSF every 4 weeks for a sharpening since he and his son are the only ones my skater will let touch her blades.

I have to say that at S4A, most of the girls are in Edeas, whether they're properly fitted or not I can't say. It stems partly from when the U.S. Nationals were here a few years ago. Edea brought TONS of boots and made lots of sales. The Nationals will be here again next year, so they'll probably do the same. Too bad you can't wait!

You really can't compare the old Competitor with any of the new Jackson line, they have completely revamped it over the last couple of years. I guarantee you that the new Debut is stiffer than the Competitor you are currently in, regardless of the numbers.

Good luck, I wish I could get mine to have Nick sharpen her blades...that drive is getting pricey with $5/gal gas.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Travel is required. We're actually lucky around here that we have a few options, many have none and have to travel much further for a proper fitting. ALL the pro shops in the rinks are pretty useless, Except for Teri Ann Brown at Ice Oasis in San Mateo. I think she only carries Jackson and Riedell though, but she's a great fitter as well. We also have the custom mfgrs. "locally", Harlick and Avanta, used to be 3 with Sp-Teri until George sold the manufacturing and "retired" HA! he's busier now than ever fitting Sp-Teri, Jackson, Riedell, and the Aura carbon fiber (also vegan) boots. I go up to SSF every 4 weeks for a sharpening since he and his son are the only ones my skater will let touch her blades.

I have to say that at S4A, most of the girls are in Edeas, whether they're properly fitted or not I can't say. It stems partly from when the U.S. Nationals were here a few years ago. Edea brought TONS of boots and made lots of sales. The Nationals will be here again next year, so they'll probably do the same. Too bad you can't wait!

You really can't compare the old Competitor with any of the new Jackson line, they have completely revamped it over the last couple of years. I guarantee you that the new Debut is stiffer than the Competitor you are currently in, regardless of the numbers.

Good luck, I wish I could get mine to have Nick sharpen her blades...that drive is getting pricey with $5/gal gas.
I actually got my blades (Coronation Ace) from Teri Ann! She seemed super knowledgeable so I just reached out to her to ask about a fitting even though getting to San Mateo is a nightmare from where I am. That's interesting to hear about the old vs. new Jacksons. I am still hesitant about Debuts because I plan to start dedicating a lot more time to skating soon and don't want to get boots that I will advance out of anytime soon (the internet says Debuts are only good through axels), but I will see if I can get some advice from Teri Ann on that as well. I do prefer the idea of sticking with Jackson so I can hopefully keep my current blades and spend less money, but part of the reason I was recommended Edea is because of some fit elements that I don't love about my Jacksons (toe box feels roomy and the height of the ankle support feels constricting). Hopefully those can be resolved with a proper fitting.

Based on all the comments in this thread I am definitely going to take everyone's advice and not get skates online, but I think in terms of the actual skate I am more confused now than when I started. Everyone is saying I need to go to a tech as a trustworthy source of info but to not get Ice Flys. I had only even gone into this saying I wanted Ice Flys because of the fact that they were recommended to me by two techs based on their experience with other adult skaters at my level. So now am I to believe that I should be listening to techs as a source of truth except when it come to Ice Flys?? It's all very confusing. That said I really appreciate all of the bay area-specific knowledge you've imparted here and I guess I will try to go to as many techs as I can to get a solution!
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
Honestly, based on what you're telling here about your foot, you should probably be in a Risport RF3(which sounds like the perfect boot for you), but you won't wear them because the soles are leather.
 

SFskater

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Honestly, based on what you're telling here about your foot, you should probably be in a Risport RF3(which sounds like the perfect boot for you), but you won't wear them because the soles are leather.
Yeah based on what I've heard about Risport I would love to try them, but for now I'll just hold out hope that someday in the future they offer something in synthetic materials. I know that my options are limited here if I'm not willing to compromise on leather and have come to terms with this. I'm in one of the most highly concentrated areas for vegetarianism/veganism in the world, so the techs I've spoken to have not been surprised when I bring this up as a requirement and seem to have dealt with it a lot and found solutions that their customers are happy with. I'm going to continue reaching out to various reputable techs in my area to compile as many professional opinions as I can and will try to report back here if I learn anything new!
 
Top