Replacing OLD Reidell Royal boots? | Golden Skate

Replacing OLD Reidell Royal boots?

Alleycat

Spectator
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
I am a 43 yr old adult who returned to ice skating this year. I currently skate about 4-5 hours per week, and I intend to start skating 6-8 hours as soon as my schedule opens up.

I am currently using my very old (30+ years old) Reidell Royal boots. If I remember correctly, these were the stiffest Reidell boots offered at the time. The boots always causes my arch pain in one foot, even as a kid. Sometimes I can tolerate the arch pain, but other times it is really painful.

I’m on the hunt for new boots and would love recommendations for boots to consider that may be similar to my old skates (I know it’s difficult to make a recommendation because feet are so different). I always had Reidell boots and liked how my boots fit until this last pair of skates. I am only doing single jumps, but I am quite heavy now and have always preferred very stiff boots. I also broke down my skates quickly as a kid. I tried on a couple of pairs of Jackson skates and didn’t like them (they felt too wide even though they were sized correctly). The fitter also told me she didn’t think I would like Jackson skates, but she didn’t specify why. I don’t think I would like Edea skates—I like my skates stiff and tied very tightly. I think the looser top would make me feel very unstable as an adult. It seems like Reidell skates aren’t very popular now—are they no longer as good as other brands?

What boots do you recommend I look at? I would like to invest in quality skates that feel good and fit well. Thanks in advance!
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
Hello and welcome!
I can't tell you for sure, but I do remember the skates you had. I would still give Jackson a chance, Risport, Graf and why not Riedell now? They're still good skates. I will say you need a stiffer boot due to change in weight and that you are an adult. Your feet also probably widened somewhat and changed with age.
Please go see a proper fitter and have them measure and trace your feet and make suggestions. If you let us know what area you are in we can suggest fitters.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Country
United-States
* I was in your shoes (er ... boots) at the end of 2014. I had skated in Riedell Royals for many, many moons (several pairs); I bought my last pair in the late 1990’s, so about the same vintage as yours.

* Boot designs have changed a lot over the last thirty years; take a fresh look at what’s available. By all means go to a competent fitter; have your feet measured and traced; get recommendations from the fitter as to which brands and models would be most suitable for your feet and weight and skating level (repeating Ic3's advice).

* Riedell is not as popular as they once were. But I think that’s mainly because there are a lot more competing manufacturers these days. Riedell now has a far more extensive lineup than they did back in the good ‘ol days, ranging from low-end mass-market kits to high-end niche competitive gear. But the same can be said of other companies (e.g., Jackson). You shouldn't dismiss Riedell perfunctorily. And you shouldn't stick with it by default either (e.g., some other brand might now be better suited for you).

* In regard to high-end competitive gear (your area of interest), Riedell still has descendants of their traditional models, as well as new Edea-like models. The closest lineal descendant of the Royal is probably the Aria, their stiffest traditional leather boot. The lowest model you should consider is the Silver Star. Previously, there was a model in between, the Gold Star. Several years ago, the Gold Star was discontinued as a stock model, but was available on special order. COVID has messed up supply chains for most boot manufacturers; so I don’t know whether the Gold Star is still available at all. You can contact Riedell at https://www.ice.riedellskates.com/contact-us/. Ask for Dan Riegelman. He’s very responsive, and can guide you to the best choice in a Riedell boot, including which current model would be the closest match in stiffness to the Royal.

* When I switched at the end of 2014, I went with what was then called the Jackson Elite Suede (I’m a guy; it was a men’s model only; Jackson has different models for men and women). It is a good fit for me because I have a narrow heel relative to my ball. Advanced Jackson models come stock split width; heel one width narrower than the ball. I also liked the rounder toe on the Jackson. You mentioned that Jackson felt too wide on you; but advanced Jackson (as well as other brands) models come in multiple widths. Jackson may or may not be right for you, but don't rule them out just because the one you tried on felt too wide.

It has a Jackson stiffness rating of 80. It is a good match to the Royal stiffness. So in a Jackson, you should look at boots with a stiffness of around 80. One problem with Jackson is their lineup (and model names) seems to change every year or two. Looking at their latest website, the newest comparable models in traditional leather are (men’s) Supreme 5362 (stiffness 85) and (women’s) Supreme 5300 (stiffness 75). If you’re a woman and want higher stiffness, check whether you can special order a higher stiffness. I don’t know how much difference there is in practical terms between an 80 and an 85 or between a 75 and an 80. Assuming that Jackson is a suitable fit for you, of course.

* Key differences you should be prepared for when changing from a Royal to a current generation boot.

- Current boots will typically be lower cut than the Royal; i.e., the top of the boot will not extend as far up above the ankle.

- Current boots will typically have more inside padding. Thus, initially a squishier feeling than the Royal. Some people like extra padding, some people don’t. I do.

- Current boots will typically have a flex notch cut away at the ankle. Makes break-in a lot easier. Reduces ankle creasing (common with older generation Riedells).

- Current boots will typically have rolled/padded collars at the top of the boots. Virtually eliminates bloody calf above the ankles during break-in (common with older generation Riedells). Yeah!

- Current boots will typically have a flat fixed insole with a removable footbed. The older generation Riedells (including the Royal) had an arch support built into the fixed insole. Great if the arch support suited your feet; not so great if it didn’t ... it’s extremely difficult to fit a corrective footbed or orthotic over an existing arch support. Current boots (Jackson and other brands for sure, not sure about Riedell ... you should check) typically have a flat fixed insole with a removable footbed. The removable footbed can either be a simple flat liner or can include some sort of arch support and heel cup. If it doesn’t suit your feet, you can simply take it out, and replace it with a corrective footbed or orthotic of your own. You mentioned having arch pain in one foot, so this might be an important feature for you.

- Many (not all) current boots are now heat moldable to various degrees. A lot more effective than previous boot adjustments.

* Plenty of other changes as well. Mostly for the better. But the greater variety available nowadays makes choosing the right pair a lot more confusing than in the past. Happy Hunting! Good Luck!
 
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TQB

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
I was in your boots (ha!) about a year and a half ago - 36 year old Royals. At that point, Riedell was hopelessly backordered. I wound up getting Edea Chorus because my tech could get them fast. I was... unimpressed, but they were OK enough to help me identify what I liked and didn't like as an adult with an extra 25 lbs, and with 30+ years of tech advances available to me. So many options, and they really are dependant on your foot shape and what you like in terms of fit/feel. E.g., everyone will or should tell you that Edea's fit loose in the ankle, which is huge change for most and not a thing everyone is going to like. For me, I was able to get used to the fit, but I ultimately realized I wanted a stiffer boot, so I upgraded to Ice Fly after about a year - and i love them. BUT, I have long, narrow, pointy feet. Edea's fit me straight out of the box with no adjustment other than an R-Fit insole for my high arches.

So, two alternatives: Best one, go somewhere that you can try on many different brands and styles, with a good skate tech. This was not available to me in winter 2021, so I did the best I could. Eventually, when things opened again, I took the time to drive a couple of hours to a highly recommended skate shop in another state (we don't have any locally, just a guy who used to have a shop and is now just a distributor).

If that's not possible, try and at least get professionally measured, and get something that is rated for your skill level that you can get without waiting months. The difference is going to be so dramatic that it will take a few months on the ice just for that to wear off. In the meantime, dig into the research on different brands. Look at your feet. Are they wide? High arch? Once you've adjusted to the new skates, think about what they don't do for you. Heels slip? Pitching forward? Tox box too snug? There are endless reviews and descriptions about different brands and what they are well suited for. For me, i was WRENCHING the laces on my choruses to get the support i needed, to the point i cut my fingers. I replaced my laces 3x in one year, which is a lot for someone who only skates 2, maybe 3 times a week. It wasn't that i couldn't get them tight enough, it was that the boot wasn't supportive enough for ME. I emphasize "me" because this is intensely personal and I hesitate to even mention the skates that I have now because, despite the fact that I love them, i think they are oversold and overrated. Don't let someone tell you that you "must" have Ice Flys. You MIGHT like them. But despite the Edea PR machine, I can name just as many skaters who hate them as love them. I actually thought I wasn't going to stick with Edea, but trying the skates on changed my mind.

Also, many adults find they prefer skating in boots rated far above their level. I'm never doing triples but that's what my skates are for. I think a boot this stiff would be torment for a kid at my level (adult bronze) and I shake my head when i see them wearing them, which is always. The bottom line is, it's hard to reassess what kind of skater you are as an adult, and what you need out of your boots (and blades! I can't even speak to blades - i kept the Coronation Aces from my Chorus but I'm not sure I love them all that much). Equipment is a big deal as an adult - you need to protect your body. I want to still be skating in another 35 years, so I'm fanatical about this.
 

Alleycat

Spectator
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Hello and welcome!
I can't tell you for sure, but I do remember the skates you had. I would still give Jackson a chance, Risport, Graf and why not Riedell now? They're still good skates. I will say you need a stiffer boot due to change in weight and that you are an adult. Your feet also probably widened somewhat and changed with age.
Please go see a proper fitter and have them measure and trace your feet and make suggestions. If you let us know what area you are in we can suggest fitters.
I’m in South Carolina, so there aren’t many options in my immediate vicinity that I’m aware of. I would be willing to travel throughout the Southeast to get fitted. Thanks for your help!
 

Alleycat

Spectator
Joined
Aug 1, 2022
I was in your boots (ha!) about a year and a half ago - 36 year old Royals. At that point, Riedell was hopelessly backordered. I wound up getting Edea Chorus because my tech could get them fast. I was... unimpressed, but they were OK enough to help me identify what I liked and didn't like as an adult with an extra 25 lbs, and with 30+ years of tech advances available to me. So many options, and they really are dependant on your foot shape and what you like in terms of fit/feel. E.g., everyone will or should tell you that Edea's fit loose in the ankle, which is huge change for most and not a thing everyone is going to like. For me, I was able to get used to the fit, but I ultimately realized I wanted a stiffer boot, so I upgraded to Ice Fly after about a year - and i love them. BUT, I have long, narrow, pointy feet. Edea's fit me straight out of the box with no adjustment other than an R-Fit insole for my high arches.

So, two alternatives: Best one, go somewhere that you can try on many different brands and styles, with a good skate tech. This was not available to me in winter 2021, so I did the best I could. Eventually, when things opened again, I took the time to drive a couple of hours to a highly recommended skate shop in another state (we don't have any locally, just a guy who used to have a shop and is now just a distributor).

If that's not possible, try and at least get professionally measured, and get something that is rated for your skill level that you can get without waiting months. The difference is going to be so dramatic that it will take a few months on the ice just for that to wear off. In the meantime, dig into the research on different brands. Look at your feet. Are they wide? High arch? Once you've adjusted to the new skates, think about what they don't do for you. Heels slip? Pitching forward? Tox box too snug? There are endless reviews and descriptions about different brands and what they are well suited for. For me, i was WRENCHING the laces on my choruses to get the support i needed, to the point i cut my fingers. I replaced my laces 3x in one year, which is a lot for someone who only skates 2, maybe 3 times a week. It wasn't that i couldn't get them tight enough, it was that the boot wasn't supportive enough for ME. I emphasize "me" because this is intensely personal and I hesitate to even mention the skates that I have now because, despite the fact that I love them, i think they are oversold and overrated. Don't let someone tell you that you "must" have Ice Flys. You MIGHT like them. But despite the Edea PR machine, I can name just as many skaters who hate them as love them. I actually thought I wasn't going to stick with Edea, but trying the skates on changed my mind.

Also, many adults find they prefer skating in boots rated far above their level. I'm never doing triples but that's what my skates are for. I think a boot this stiff would be torment for a kid at my level (adult bronze) and I shake my head when i see them wearing them, which is always. The bottom line is, it's hard to reassess what kind of skater you are as an adult, and what you need out of your boots (and blades! I can't even speak to blades - i kept the Coronation Aces from my Chorus but I'm not sure I love them all that much). Equipment is a big deal as an adult - you need to protect your body. I want to still be skating in another 35 years, so I'm fanatical about this.
Thank you for your input. I agree that equipment and protecting my joints and overall health is important. I’m sure improper boots are much less forgiving now than when I was a kid! I had also thought about getting a new pair of boots now as a temporary measure to give me some immediate while I research and find the perfect pair for my needs, so I’m glad to know my idea to get a temporary pair of skates isn’t totally crazy. :)
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
I’m in South Carolina, so there aren’t many options in my immediate vicinity that I’m aware of. I would be willing to travel throughout the Southeast to get fitted. Thanks for your help!
Probably your best bet down there would be Kinzies Closet in Martinez GA. They have all brands and expert fitters.
 
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