New brand of skates - "Aura"

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Aura will take over the market?
You need to delimit what you mean by "the market". Since they offer only custom boots, they obviously do not compete with full-line manufacturers such as Riedell and Jackson. And, even assuming you delimit the market to custom boots only, if the boots are in fact made by 3D-printing (which I would still like to see verified), the choice of materials would be limited and may not suit many skaters.

I'm also glad to see technical innovation in the figure skate boot market. But technical innovations per se are not sufficient. A 3D-scan of your foot is a great starting point: certainly has the potential for more accuracy than a few measurements, manual tracings, or even castings. But you still need knowledge of how to do the scans properly [e.g., I would be concerned if scans are taken only with the skater sitting]. And once you have the 3D-scan, how does that translate into actual production of a properly-fitting boot? You don't just make a boot that conforms to the 3D-scan. If there are foot abnormalities of some sort [and how many skaters have perfectly normal feet (assuming such things exist)?], a proper boot needs to correct for those abnormalities. That takes detailed knowledge and experience.
 

skatespin

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
You need to delimit what you mean by "the market". Since they offer only custom boots, they obviously do not compete with full-line manufacturers such as Riedell and Jackson. And, even assuming you delimit the market to custom boots only, if the boots are in fact made by 3D-printing (which I would still like to see verified), the choice of materials would be limited and may not suit many skaters.

I'm also glad to see technical innovation in the figure skate boot market. But technical innovations per se are not sufficient. A 3D-scan of your foot is a great starting point: certainly has the potential for more accuracy than a few measurements, manual tracings, or even castings. But you still need knowledge of how to do the scans properly [e.g., I would be concerned if scans are taken only with the skater sitting]. And once you have the 3D-scan, how does that translate into actual production of a properly-fitting boot? You don't just make a boot that conforms to the 3D-scan. If there are foot abnormalities of some sort [and how many skaters have perfectly normal feet (assuming such things exist)?], a proper boot needs to correct for those abnormalities. That takes detailed knowledge and experience.

The market would be the figure skating boot market, for skaters who are serious about skating (not beginners looking to buy something for $100-$300). Although I assume once this becomes more commonplace, there may be cheaper options available for lower level skates.

Some direct competitors are the Edea Ice Fly which retails for $750 and the Edea Piano for $899. They are not even custom. $950 for Aura, although expensive, is in the same ball park. So I would say if Aura proves to be good they can compete with Jackson and Riedell, just as much as Edea does. Custom Jacksons and Riedells are also in this ball park, custom Harlicks can easily go over $1,000. I assume that many skaters using $500-$800 stock boots may be willing to pay up if the product is that much better (they are already doing it for Edea).

I am personally not concerned about materials, what matters is if the boot fits well, does not cause discomfort, is safe to use, and does not have defects. It is to be assumed that with improving technology alternative types of material may be utilized. If someone swears by their heavy all leather boots, they can stick with them, no one brand is going to take 100% of the market.

About the 3D-printing, I have no idea if that is true, I didn't think that to be the case until someone on this forum posted that. I'll ask when I get the chance. It's a two fold reason why these boots have the potential to fit better. 1) They do a scan and the boots are built with the person's entire foot in mind. They do multiple scans and photos (standing and sitting). They also do a manual measurement as a check. 2) After the boot is made, in the pro-shop they are then heat adjusted to a person's feet. This is not the same as "heat molding" which can be done with almost every boot now. Think of the transformability of ice flys except throughout the whole boot rather than spot heating. Then after that if anything needs to be tweaked spot heating and re-shaping can also be performed.

I am not trying to push the brand, I am trying to give information, since I know that these are relatively new and most people don't know much about them. Also, a lot of people probably don't have access to them yet as only certain pro-shops are authorized to fit them, I believe.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Guys, I actually own and use Aura skates so i think I qualify to give my 2 cents.
I was originally given a discounted pair of auras to test them - and they were good but had issues which the blade fitter pointed out. I went along with them anyways and they were so much better than ice fly’s - lighter weight etc. But due to hook issues and heel issues they broke down quickly. As an apology they sent their finished product with all the kinks fixed, and the blade fitter was impressed and they were much stronger, fixed faults like having fabric on inside of heel etc and now they are perfect.

For those saying the material looks uncomfortable- that’s only the look it is actually way more comfortable than ice fly and Jackson - especially considering the custom fit.

They are much lighter weight, and I’m starting to rotate some triple jumps now with the change - as before my feet moved around in boots etc.

I’m an Aura boy through and through - having the first pair in England I am unable to recommend anything else now.
 

skatespin

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Update:

I tried skating on Auras for the first time today. Here's what I noted so far:

*They are noticeably lighter and I say that as someone who wore Ice Flys.
*When skating on them for the first time it didn't feel all that weird/different like it normally does when changing boot brands. I think this is because Aura is built to be similar to the Ice Fly and they customize the heel height to what you want (which for me was the same height as the Ice Fly).
*They have more stiffness to break in than with an Ice Fly, but much less so than with non-Edea boots. I could do sit spins, although I did feel resistance.
*They have a strange looking crease mechanism on the sides of the boots

I am still breaking them in and adjusting, but I was able to attempt some doubles and they do seem like they will help me rotate better. As for the fit, I need to go back to the pro shop for some adjustments to get them more narrow in certain places. I skated in the Aura insoles, which I think was actually more of a challenge than the new skates themselves. I put my orthotics in once I got home and when I tried the skates on they felt improved. I will update next week, when the kinks are more worked out and I've been able to get a few sessions in.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Update:

I tried skating on Auras for the first time today. Here's what I noted so far:

*They are noticeably lighter and I say that as someone who wore Ice Flys.
*When skating on them for the first time it didn't feel all that weird/different like it normally does when changing boot brands. I think this is because Aura is built to be similar to the Ice Fly and they customize the heel height to what you want (which for me was the same height as the Ice Fly).
*They have more stiffness to break in than with an Ice Fly, but much less so than with non-Edea boots. I could do sit spins, although I did feel resistance.
*They have a strange looking crease mechanism on the sides of the boots

I am still breaking them in and adjusting, but I was able to attempt some doubles and they do seem like they will help me rotate better. As for the fit, I need to go back to the pro shop for some adjustments to get them more narrow in certain places. I skated in the Aura insoles, which I think was actually more of a challenge than the new skates themselves. I put my orthotics in once I got home and when I tried the skates on they felt improved. I will update next week, when the kinks are more worked out and I've been able to get a few sessions in.

Yeah, they have two straps on either side of ankle for better fit and support. It reduces earlier creasing.

They are only as hard as you ask them to make it, you can ask for stronger or weaker depending on what you’re working for.

It will take time to adjust for your first pair - in particular stopping which will be harder due to big weight difference.
If they work out of the box, you should be able to get all jumps back first session, but most people like to space it over 2-3 sessions
Did you get it properly scanned? As you shouldn’t need adjustments if the scanning was done properly - maybe you should inform Aura?

Spins will take a week to get properly broken in for them. If you feel any tongue slipping let me know, as there is a way to fix it if it occurs due to incorrect heat moulding.

Good luck, and welcome to the aura club!
 

Mindoro1972

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
This is such an interesting convo.

So, I was wondering, since Aura is completely made or you feed shape (or so they claim), could it become a problem if you have feet or ankle issues that are kinda protected buy a regular boot ? Let say you have a slightly malformed ankle, would the Aura boot make it insecure buy following your ankle curve instead of protection you for it to be moving badly ?

Not sure if I am clear.... Anyway.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
This is such an interesting convo.

So, I was wondering, since Aura is completely made or you feed shape (or so they claim), could it become a problem if you have feet or ankle issues that are kinda protected buy a regular boot ? Let say you have a slightly malformed ankle, would the Aura boot make it insecure buy following your ankle curve instead of protection you for it to be moving badly ?

Not sure if I am clear.... Anyway.

What I wrote previously applies here:

And once you have the 3D-scan, how does that translate into actual production of a properly-fitting boot? You don't just make a boot that conforms to the 3D-scan. If there are foot abnormalities of some sort [and how many skaters have perfectly normal feet (assuming such things exist)?], a proper boot needs to correct for those abnormalities. That takes detailed knowledge and experience.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
I believe it’s different for every customer. You can request extra room or request certain things to accommodate for your boot. I believe they have people experienced with foot malformations however you’d have to contact Aura and find out. I believe they use a footscan to 3D print a mould of the foot then they build the boot around that. Not certain but that makes logical sense
 

vlaurend

Final Flight
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
<<Emphasis added.>> I guess your tingly spidey senses are on full alert. From the FAQs on the Aura website:

"08 How long will my figure skates last?

As with any skate, defining the lifespan of your boots is subjective to multiple factors, including but not limited to: how many hours per week you skate, how well you take care of your boots, and how heavy of a skater you are. With all factors included, AURA is intended to last the average skater a full season. Some skaters may choose to use more than one pair over the course of a season on account of personal preference and feel."

FYI, this is the same expected life as the Edea Ice Fly. The average young competitive skater may get a year out of a pair of boots, but elite skaters tend to go through at least two pairs of boots per year. A few years ago, I overheard Gracie Gold telling a fellow world class senior lady that she typically goes through 4 pairs of Ice Fly boots per year.
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
BTW, it looks like Nam Nguyen is wearing Aura now. That will certainly give them some "street cred" and visibility in the market. However, as with any boot, really skaters should not buy them just because so-and-so is wearing them. They won't work for everyone but some people will swear by them
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
FYI, this is the same expected life as the Edea Ice Fly. The average young competitive skater may get a year out of a pair of boots, but elite skaters tend to go through at least two pairs of boots per year. A few years ago, I overheard Gracie Gold telling a fellow world class senior lady that she typically goes through 4 pairs of Ice Fly boots per year.

Exactly. I used to go through 3 pairs of boots a year while competing (give or take), usually two pair of free style boots and one pair of dance boots. This highly depended on many factors each year though.
 

skatespin

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Hey everyone, I haven't been back to this thread in a while. I wanted to post a brief update.

I am no longer using Aura's as they totally did not work for me after 7 months of trying to get them to work (this included Aura making me a second pair). I want to go into detail about my experience, because there is a lot to say, but I will do that next week when I have more time. For now, I just wanted to give my advice to anyone who may be considering purchasing Aura boots to be wary of this newer product, it still has a lot of kinks that need to be worked out and Aura does not give refunds. So at $1000+ once you consider sales tax, it's not a risk worth taking. Not to mention the amount of time you will waste on visits to the skate tech for boot adjustments, as well as stalling progress in skating.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Hey everyone, I haven't been back to this thread in a while. I wanted to post a brief update.

I am no longer using Aura's as they totally did not work for me after 7 months of trying to get them to work (this included Aura making me a second pair). I want to go into detail about my experience, because there is a lot to say, but I will do that next week when I have more time. For now, I just wanted to give my advice to anyone who may be considering purchasing Aura boots to be wary of this newer product, it still has a lot of kinks that need to be worked out and Aura does not give refunds. So at $1000+ once you consider sales tax, it's not a risk worth taking. Not to mention the amount of time you will waste on visits to the skate tech for boot adjustments, as well as stalling progress in skating.

I guess they cant work for everybody. They were absolutely brilliant for me, however it depends how tough you like your boots (I require really tough boots as I trash ice flys very quickly).

What level are you skating at? I'd really recommend these boots for either coaches who spend hours a day in boots who need comfort, or multiple triple jumpers who need the strength and lightweight boots.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
I guess they cant work for everybody. They were absolutely brilliant for me, however it depends how tough you like your boots (I require really tough boots as I trash ice flys very quickly).

What level are you skating at? I'd really recommend these boots for either coaches who spend hours a day in boots who need comfort, or multiple triple jumpers who need the strength and lightweight boots.

I'm a former elite now pro with triple triples who wouldn't touch these things. JMHO.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I guess they can't work for everybody. They were absolutely brilliant for me, however it depends how tough you like your boots (I require really tough boots as I trash ice flys very quickly).


So, are you no longer wearing Auras...? If not, why did you switch?
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
I'm a former elite now pro with triple triples who wouldn't touch these things. JMHO.

Fair enough.
My view is that you find boots you like and then stick to them. I like them, you may like other boots. Personally the only other boots that were hard enough were top end Jacksons, which gave me blisters all the time. With these I got my foot scanned, the boots arrived. Blades mounted, a quick heat mould and they are insanely comfortable whilst remaining the strongest skates I have ever used.

However if you like the shape of other boots like edea, then edea will do the job well. If you like heavier boots, Jacksons or risport or graph.
Many of my friends in ice dance like the Harlick boots which I have never tried.
I may have quit skating if it wasnt for Aura. I was going through different boots every two three months, having problems with every pair I've tried. These last me a season with almost no issues, especially now the new design has prevented the tongue slip (only criticism with the older design)

- - - Updated - - -

So, are you no longer wearing Auras...? If not, why did you switch?

I'm still in them and enjoying them. I meant to use are*. Just got my new pair mounted today and enjoy the responsiveness.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Well, that is good news. :) I'm (currently) a Graf girl, although planning on checking out Harlicks if they have a stand at Worlds in March. (Purely because I have a hankering for pink suede boots with my company logo inlaid in purple. Yes. I'm that shallow... :biggrin: ) Nice to know that ice dancers like them.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Well, that is good news. :) I'm (currently) a Graf girl, although planning on checking out Harlicks if they have a stand at Worlds in March. (Purely because I have a hankering for pink suede boots with my company logo inlaid in purple. Yes. I'm that shallow... :biggrin: ) Nice to know that ice dancers like them.

Yeah. I do ice dance as well to help increase my PCS in figure skating, so going to do some solo junior free dance competitions at some point. Harlicks are absolutely great from an ice dance perspective. I have not met A figure skater who uses them.

I really liked graph back when I used them. However they were heavy, meaning I couldn't snap the last quarter revolution for jumps, and it was a painful fight to keep the camel spin high enough. Out of all the non custom manufacturers, graf were definitely my personal favourites though as they were built like tanks. I've heard they can sometimes be hit and miss, but I had no issues with graf
 
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