Need Help Buying First Skates

TheVoid

Spectator
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Country
Denmark
Hello

I am looking to buy my first pair of skates and I'm really not sure what to go for.
I have kinda big feet (a euro size 42-42.5), specifically they are very wide. This rules out most brands for me, I know.

I am currently skating in Jackson Artiste, size 43.5 and they are wide enough for me, but a little too long. My feet are approx. 24 cm long, and 25.5 cm around the ball of the foot.

I have done a lot of research and I think I should probably stick with Jackson? Them and Graf appear to be the only companies that cater to skaters with wider feet (unless you can afford to pay for custom skates, which I cannot)

In my country there are no levels of skating skills for adult beginners, so I unfortunately can't say which I am. But some things I am trying to learn at the moment are: waltz jump, one foot spin, more rotations on my two foot spin, one foot turns, backwards crossovers, backwards edges, backwards two foot slalom, backwards one foot glide.

There are no ice skating shops or skate fitters in my country, or anywhere near, so I can't go to a real fitting and ask these questions of a professional. Almost everyone who works at my rink is a hockey coach, so they don't really know anything about figure skates, other than how to maintain them. So I am hoping someone here will be able to help me make a good purchase.

I just have a few questions I can't seem to find answers for anywhere.

I have heard from someone at my rink that your weight might affect how much ankle support you need. I am a bigger person (at a stable weight, won't lose or gain any weight apart from obvious regular weight fluctuations), so should I try to find something with more ankle support than what is usually needed for my level?

I am about average height, 5'10/177 cm tall, does this affect anything?

I think Jackson Freestyle in the wide (D) model might be the best skates I can get? But I'm just not sure. The Elle model looks like it would be more suited for my current level, but it doesn't come in my size. Does anyone who has owned/owns Jackson Freestyles have any input?

The Jackson Artistes, my current rental skates, have a stiffness/ankel support rating of 20/25. The Jackson freestyle has a support rating of 45/49. This seems like a very large leap to make to me, does anyone have any input on this?

And one last general question: Does anyone have any skates they would like to recommend to me?

I know this was a lot of questions, but I'm really at a loss for what to do, since there's no one for me to ask in real life, so any help with any of these questions would be much appreciated.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Jackson, Riedell, Risport. I can give more specifics and details later to help you more.

ETA and update: It's really hard when you can't see a professional fitter. Is there nowhere at all that could do this? I know it's made even harder to travel due to COVID restrictions.

Check out the link that jcskates put at the end of this thread, we all helped them and this might help you as well without rehashing all the details again.

If you need anything super specific due to your own feet, let us know and we'll dish out further info just for you.

Good luck! :)
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
I'm also a bigger skater (5'10'', 200lbs) and also have a reasonably wide foot. I skated in Jacksons for years and they are the only boots I could find that didn't need to be replaced every 6 months. I don't know how much you weigh (and you don't have to say), but even when I was really in shape in my teens (same height ~150lbs) I was wearing skates rated for triples when I was doing my axel and moved up to the highest-rated when I started doubles and I'd break them in in a couple of hours and need new ones in a year, so a level up in stiffness isn't a terrible idea if you want to jump.

I'm sure Ic3Rabbit can give you more useful information because they know way more about skates than me. I mostly bought what the skate fitters told me to.
 

jcskates

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Country
Canada
You and I are kind of in the same boat except for the wide feet. :) I'm working on those skills as well. As adults we can take on more stiffness also as you stated, our height and weight will definitely affect our choices as well (something I have learned from the lovely people in this forum). Remember that stiffness levels vary from brand to brand. Also there are different widths available with other brands that might accommodate wide feet.

I wear Artistes right now, and they aren't as supportive anymore (purchased last september, skate 10+ hours a week prior to the pandemic). I'm about to purchase Risport RF3 pro, after months of contemplating and asking for advice from the people in this forum, coach, and skate techs. Here's a thread that I posted to get answers about overbooting and overblading: https://goldenskate.com/forum/showt...ooting-and-overblading-(is-that-even-a-term-)
 

TheVoid

Spectator
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Country
Denmark
Thank you all very much for your advise.

I read through the other thread and did find it very informative.

I looked into the Risport RF3 Pro and they definitely also look interesting. The information about blades was helpful too, so if I do go for the Risports I'll have an easier time picking out blades for them too.

ETA and update: It's really hard when you can't see a professional fitter. Is there nowhere at all that could do this? I know it's made even harder to travel due to COVID restrictions.
[...]
If you need anything super specific due to your own feet, let us know and we'll dish out further info just for you.
)

Afraid not.
I actually tried to go on a day trip to a neighbouring country last week because they had a physical skate shop (the only ones here are online shops), but all they did was measure the length of my feet and told me that they had nothing available in my size, with no other advise.

The problem is that I don't have a drivers license so I am very limited in how far I can travel, and as you said, COVID restrictions makes it even harder.

One question if you have the time to spare to answer it. The reason I wanted to stay with Jackson is that i read in similar places they are best suited for my foot shape. I have a roman foot (toe next to the big toe is the longest, and the one in the middle is about as long as the big toe, with the two shortest toes tapering out slightly but not a lot), and every source I've found suggests that Jacksons are the best skate for this type of foot.
Do you know anything about that? If so do you know if the Risports would still fit me?
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Thank you all very much for your advise.

I read through the other thread and did find it very informative.

I looked into the Risport RF3 Pro and they definitely also look interesting. The information about blades was helpful too, so if I do go for the Risports I'll have an easier time picking out blades for them too.



Afraid not.
I actually tried to go on a day trip to a neighbouring country last week because they had a physical skate shop (the only ones here are online shops), but all they did was measure the length of my feet and told me that they had nothing available in my size, with no other advise.

The problem is that I don't have a drivers license so I am very limited in how far I can travel, and as you said, COVID restrictions makes it even harder.

One question if you have the time to spare to answer it. The reason I wanted to stay with Jackson is that i read in similar places they are best suited for my foot shape. I have a roman foot (toe next to the big toe is the longest, and the one in the middle is about as long as the big toe, with the two shortest toes tapering out slightly but not a lot), and every source I've found suggests that Jacksons are the best skate for this type of foot.
Do you know anything about that? If so do you know if the Risports would still fit me?

Personally, I have a Roman foot and have had no problems skating in either brand (I have them both for different disciplines rn). But that is me.

I'm just going to warn you about buying skates online without having a proper fitting where they trace and properly measure your foot and more. I know you are unable to do this, I just wanted to point out that anything we tell you here and you decide without that ability will be on you should you get the wrong type or size of boot.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I have heard from someone at my rink that your weight might affect how much ankle support you need. I am a bigger person (at a stable weight, won't lose or gain any weight apart from obvious regular weight fluctuations), so should I try to find something with more ankle support than what is usually needed for my level?

I am about average height, 5'10/177 cm tall, does this affect anything?

I think Jackson Freestyle in the wide (D) model might be the best skates I can get? But I'm just not sure. The Elle model looks like it would be more suited for my current level, but it doesn't come in my size. Does anyone who has owned/owns Jackson Freestyles have any input?

The Jackson Artistes, my current rental skates, have a stiffness/ankel support rating of 20/25. The Jackson freestyle has a support rating of 45/49. This seems like a very large leap to make to me, does anyone have any input on this?

I've skated twice, very briefly, in Jackson Freestyles (old version, not the current one, stiffness level 45 I think?) when I switched skates with two of my skating friends to try out their blades. That was several years ago, and I was already able to do the skills you're currently working on (not to my satisfaction of course, but when is that ever the case ;) but I could kinda, sorta execute them). I was and still am in Jackson skates with a stiffness level of 55 (started out in them as a beginner in figure skating), and I didn't notice a big difference between my boots and the Freestyles. Recently I've also tried on their new Freestyle model (just in the shop, didn't skate in them) and they felt even less supportive than the boots from their old line, despite the same stiffness level.

Considering I'm skinny and also way shorter than you (164 cm), I can't imagine that you won't be able to handle a stiffness level of up to 55 on Jackson's scale.
I'm actually surprised you're able to train in Artistes. I used to skate in severely broken down, recreational pseudo figure skates with no support whatsoever (didn't attempt any figure skating manoeuvers such as edges or one-foot glides in them, though) and at some point switched to real Hockey skates, my first properly 'stiff' skates. Back then I pledged to never go back to anything less stiff than them. :laugh:
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
You and I are kind of in the same boat except for the wide feet. :) I'm working on those skills as well. As adults we can take on more stiffness also as you stated, our height and weight will definitely affect our choices as well (something I have learned from the lovely people in this forum). Remember that stiffness levels vary from brand to brand. Also there are different widths available with other brands that might accommodate wide feet.

I know this well. I've found that Jacksons are the best I've found for my wide feet. I switched to Ridiells about 4 years ago when I switched to dance blades. The skate shop had a discount on a good pair in my size, so I figured I'd give them a go. Even without jumping and only skating about 2 hours a week, I broke them down in about 6 months. Don't mind as much for ice dance though. The extra knee bend I get from having really broken in skates is nice, especially since my rink is super tiny.
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
My first figure skates were Freestyles. Before those, I somehow managed to get up to beginning single jumps in recreational skates without breaking anything. I'm 5'2" and might have weighed 100 pounds with the Freestyles on, but I didn't find them too stiff at all or even uncomfortable. My feet are wide, but slightly smaller in the ball circumference than the length, so you'll probably need customs or semi-customs.

PLEASE see a good fitter even if you have to wait a while.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
My first figure skates were Freestyles. Before those, I somehow managed to get up to beginning single jumps in recreational skates without breaking anything. I'm 5'2" and might have weighed 100 pounds with the Freestyles on, but I didn't find them too stiff at all or even uncomfortable. My feet are wide, but slightly smaller in the ball circumference than the length, so you'll probably need customs or semi-customs.

PLEASE see a good fitter even if you have to wait a while.

They've stated they can't see a proper fitter, so customs or semi-customs are out of the question for them. They don't even know if they'll properly fit in a stock boot unless getting the right fitting as I said earlier in the thread. They are just stuck basically.
 

TheVoid

Spectator
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Country
Denmark
A little update: I contacted one of the online retailers I spoke about and they very kindly allowed me to come to their stock and try on a few different pairs of skates, making the whole process a lot easier, since I'm no longer buying unseen.

They knew a bit about fitting skates too, and advised me, based on skill level and on the fit, to go for the Jackson Freestyle (turns out, I've been skating in skates 2 sizes too big for me :hslap: I suspected they might be a little big, but didn't realise it was that dire until I tried on a pair of skates that actually fit me)

Doing a little bit of digging I've also found a hockey club nearby that offers heat molding of hockey skates, so once I have the skates I'm going to try to contact them and ask if they have any experience with figure skates. I obviously know hockey skates and figure skates are very different, so if they say they have little or no experience I won't risk my brand new skates, and in that case the size 9 Freestyle fit me pretty okay, and I'll just have to break them in the last bit of the way the slow way.

So all in all there is hope for me finding well fitted skates yet. Thanks all for the advise you've offered, it was very helpful

If anyone has the time, I do have one follow up question.

The Freestyle skates come with either the Aspire XP blades or the Mirage blades. I know these blades both have a little bit of a bad rep, but I can't afford to buy a separate pair of blades on top of the skates. So for now I have to pick between those two and then I can buy an upgrade later if I think it is necessary.

It seems to me that the only difference between the two is that the Mirage has a straight pick and the Aspire XP has a cross cut pick.
The Mark IV blades I have now also have a straight pick, so I've never tried cross cut picks before, and I'm just wondering, how different is it to skate on cross cut? Anything I should be aware of when potentially changing to cross cut picks?
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
A little update: I contacted one of the online retailers I spoke about and they very kindly allowed me to come to their stock and try on a few different pairs of skates, making the whole process a lot easier, since I'm no longer buying unseen.

They knew a bit about fitting skates too, and advised me, based on skill level and on the fit, to go for the Jackson Freestyle (turns out, I've been skating in skates 2 sizes too big for me :hslap: I suspected they might be a little big, but didn't realise it was that dire until I tried on a pair of skates that actually fit me)

Doing a little bit of digging I've also found a hockey club nearby that offers heat molding of hockey skates, so once I have the skates I'm going to try to contact them and ask if they have any experience with figure skates. I obviously know hockey skates and figure skates are very different, so if they say they have little or no experience I won't risk my brand new skates, and in that case the size 9 Freestyle fit me pretty okay, and I'll just have to break them in the last bit of the way the slow way.

So all in all there is hope for me finding well fitted skates yet. Thanks all for the advise you've offered, it was very helpful

If anyone has the time, I do have one follow up question.

The Freestyle skates come with either the Aspire XP blades or the Mirage blades. I know these blades both have a little bit of a bad rep, but I can't afford to buy a separate pair of blades on top of the skates. So for now I have to pick between those two and then I can buy an upgrade later if I think it is necessary.

It seems to me that the only difference between the two is that the Mirage has a straight pick and the Aspire XP has a cross cut pick.
The Mark IV blades I have now also have a straight pick, so I've never tried cross cut picks before, and I'm just wondering, how different is it to skate on cross cut? Anything I should be aware of when potentially changing to cross cut picks?

Please don't let hockey people touch your figure skates unless you want them ruined!

Also, straight cut picks allow for deep dig into the ice when you jump and you sacrifice momentum for a bit more height, cross cut picks will grip the ice better (less slippage and skidding on jumps etc). I wear crosscut picks (Pattern 99 blades, but then again I'm doing triple triples).

Good luck! :cool:
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
Good luck! At lower levels, it shouldn't be that big a deal if you can't get heat molding. I didn't manage to get my new Debuts heat molded before all this started, and I haven't noticed any trouble using them other than a longer break-in.
 

TheVoid

Spectator
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Country
Denmark
Not really a question anymore, I'm just super excited and wanted to share this. I got the Jackson Freestyle skates as an early birthday present today. It couldn't be better timing, as my rink reopens tomorrow.

I'm so excited to try them out on the ice :biggrin:
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Personally, I have a Roman foot...

I always learn something new on thse threads. So I looked up Roman foot...and found out that people with this type of foot are "believed to be social butterflies (who) exude charisma. They tend to make great public speakers and confident business people." :rock:
 
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