Returning Skater needs boot advice

Myblade

Rinkside
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Hi all,

I'm getting back into skating after a 5 year break, and need to purchase new skates. When I quit, I was a 13-year old who was working on double toe jumps in the old model Jackson Freestyle skates.

I'm 5'4" and 125lbs, and I am thinking between getting the Jackson Premieres vs the Elites. Jacksons fit me very well and I loved my old skates so I'm hoping to stick with the brand. I know they came out with a new line, and some people have been saying that they have a lot more paddling than the old line. I had my freestyles heat-molded, but they had no extra padding that I knew of. I rather like boots on the stiff side (due to ballet giving me strong ankles!) but I am scared of over-booting.

Assuming I lost all my skills, I'll be working back up to double toe on my own before I look for a coach. Would it be too much to relearn skills in Jackson Elites? They're rated for double jumps but I don't think I'll be getting back to double jumps for a while yet. Because of coronavirus, I haven't been able to visit the pro shops near me to ask the fitter these questions. When I do get the chance to go, I will definitely ask for their opinion, but I wanted to get prior feedback because there's some Ebay listings of Jackson Elites/Premieres that fall just within my price range (they're brand new but I think from the old line; is there a big difference between the new and old ones?).

PS I'm a senior headed to college next fall so I'm hoping to get a pair of skates that can last longer. If I get the Elites over the Premieres, does anyone have an estimate on how long they'll last? I'll probably be skating 3-4 days a week, and I plan on pairing the boots with coronation ace blades.

Thanks everyone in advance! :)
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Hi all,

I'm getting back into skating after a 5 year break, and need to purchase new skates. When I quit, I was a 13-year old who was working on double toe jumps in the old model Jackson Freestyle skates.

I'm 5'4" and 125lbs, and I am thinking between getting the Jackson Premieres vs the Elites. Jacksons fit me very well and I loved my old skates so I'm hoping to stick with the brand. I know they came out with a new line, and some people have been saying that they have a lot more paddling than the old line. I had my freestyles heat-molded, but they had no extra padding that I knew of. I rather like boots on the stiff side (due to ballet giving me strong ankles!) but I am scared of over-booting.

Assuming I lost all my skills, I'll be working back up to double toe on my own before I look for a coach. Would it be too much to relearn skills in Jackson Elites? They're rated for double jumps but I don't think I'll be getting back to double jumps for a while yet. Because of coronavirus, I haven't been able to visit the pro shops near me to ask the fitter these questions. When I do get the chance to go, I will definitely ask for their opinion, but I wanted to get prior feedback because there's some Ebay listings of Jackson Elites/Premieres that fall just within my price range (they're brand new but I think from the old line; is there a big difference between the new and old ones?).

PS I'm a senior headed to college next fall so I'm hoping to get a pair of skates that can last longer. If I get the Elites over the Premieres, does anyone have an estimate on how long they'll last? I'll probably be skating 3-4 days a week, and I plan on pairing the boots with coronation ace blades.

Thanks everyone in advance! :)
Hi, regardless of your preference to stiffer (because skating boots are a different kind of stiffness compared to ballet pointe shoes, and the fact that you haven't skated in 5 years), I wouldn't put you in much higher than the Premiere Fusion 2800, which is rated 65. You don't have a 2A yet, nor do you seem close at this point, so those should hold you at your height/weight/level, esp with not having doubles back yet. If you don't like the new style of boot/or later on you could go into the Elite 5200 or 5300, but I still don't think that necessary at all right now and you would run a higher risk of overbooting injury. Do NOT buy them off of Ebay used or not properly fit for your foot. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do it right, go to a professional figure skating tech/fitter for this.
CA blades should be fine to pair them with.

Last but not least, do not try to relearn everything without a coach, you very highly risk injuring yourself (or relearning skills improperly).

So, to summarize: Premiere Fusion 2800, CA blade is fine, get a proper coach/don't relearn on your own, have your boots fit by a professional figure skate tech.

Good luck!
 
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Myblade

Rinkside
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Hi, regardless of your preference to stiffer (because skating boots are a different kind of stiffness compared to ballet pointe shoes, and the fact that you haven't skated in 5 years), I wouldn't put you in much higher than the Premiere Fusion 2800, which is rated 65. You don't have a 2A yet, nor do you seem close at this point, so those should hold you at your height/weight/level, esp with not having doubles back yet. If you don't like the new style of boot/or later on you could go into the Elite 5200 or 5300, but I still don't think that necessary at all right now and you would run a higher risk of overbooting injury. Do NOT buy them off of Ebay used or not properly fit for your foot. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do it right, go to a professional figure skating tech/fitter for this.
CA blades should be fine to pair them with.

Last but not least, do not try to relearn everything without a coach, you very highly risk injuring yourself (or relearning skills improperly).

So, to summarize: Premiere Fusion 2800, CA blade is fine, get a proper coach/don't relearn on your own, have your boots fit by a professional figure skate tech.

Good luck!
Thank you for your advice! I am planning on going to a professional fitter to try on boots to find my size and model, but I wanted to see if I could later get the same boot online for cheaper. I was thinking that by then I would already know how the skate fits, so buying it somewhere else would not be that big of a deal. (new, of course)

My pro shop does blade mounting and heat-molding for an additional fee, so would it still be a huge no-no for me to buy boots elsewhere after getting fitted? There's like a good $200 difference, and I am a student paying out-of-pocket so I am interested in the less expensive option.
 

Sibelius

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
I am planning on going to a professional fitter to try on boots to find my size and model, but I wanted to see if I could later get the same boot online for cheaper.
Oh, please don't do that. The fitter is spending their time ( = $$$) to fit you and then you buying online to save a bit is really bad form. You won't really save much, and some (most) will not charge separately for the heat molding, blade mounting and first sharpening if you buy the boots and blades from them. And, as far as Jackson, if you need a special size, (my skater is a C/A width) they can order a "semi custom" for a nominal ($50) additional charge.

That said, the Premiere is very stiff, but should be ok for you at your size. My skater is 12 and small and has been in them for over a year with no sign of breakdown. They are beaten and chewed up, but not broken down. Our fitter ( a former custom boot maker ) insists they are too stiff for her, but her previous boot (Jackson Debut) didn't give her enough confidence in her doubles, so we went stiffer, and she has had no issues through 2Lz. Unfortunately for her the padding is not where her ankle bone sits so she gets some pain, which she says is no big deal. We are talking about next boots and will probably move to another maker even though Jackson has fit her well since she started. There are other options out there that should provide better padding for her ankle bone, hopefully without going the custom route, but we are prepared for that if necessary.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Oh, please don't do that. The fitter is spending their time ( = $$$) to fit you and then you buying online to save a bit is really bad form. You won't really save much, and some (most) will not charge separately for the heat molding, blade mounting and first sharpening if you buy the boots and blades from them. And, as far as Jackson, if you need a special size, (my skater is a C/A width) they can order a "semi custom" for a nominal ($50) additional charge.

That said, the Premiere is very stiff, but should be ok for you at your size. My skater is 12 and small and has been in them for over a year with no sign of breakdown. They are beaten and chewed up, but not broken down. Our fitter ( a former custom boot maker ) insists they are too stiff for her, but her previous boot (Jackson Debut) didn't give her enough confidence in her doubles, so we went stiffer, and she has had no issues through 2Lz. Unfortunately for her the padding is not where her ankle bone sits so she gets some pain, which she says is no big deal. We are talking about next boots and will probably move to another maker even though Jackson has fit her well since she started. There are other options out there that should provide better padding for her ankle bone, hopefully without going the custom route, but we are prepared for that if necessary.
With OP's size and the fact that they are an adult, they would be better off with Premier than Elite, the latter is way stiffer.
 

MCsAngel2

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Country
Scotland
Be aware that the Freestyles you used to skate on were part of Jackson's full kit/skate line (where the blade is included and comes assembled), the Premieres are part of the 2000 line, and the Elite is part of the 5000 line (2000 and 5000 lines the boots are sold separately). The 2000/5000 boots are made on a different last from the lower level skates, so I would not *automatically* assume they'll feel the same. What I have read is that lower level boots (from all makers, not just Jackson) tend to have more room for the sole and can be more comfortable because of that.

So you definitely need to try your new boots on in person, if possible. If Jackson is still right for you (I like the stiffness too), I think Premiere sounds great. Since Jackson has the ease of ordering if you need more than one size difference in split width, you'll need a competent tech that can measure you as well as place that order.

I have to agree with everyone else who said to do this with a professional fitter. Wonky things happen to feet as we age, and adult skaters really need to be more particular about getting a good fit. But please don't take someone's time and expertise and then not order from them.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Thank you for your advice! I am planning on going to a professional fitter to try on boots to find my size and model, but I wanted to see if I could later get the same boot online for cheaper. I was thinking that by then I would already know how the skate fits, so buying it somewhere else would not be that big of a deal. (new, of course)

My pro shop does blade mounting and heat-molding for an additional fee, so would it still be a huge no-no for me to buy boots elsewhere after getting fitted? There's like a good $200 difference, and I am a student paying out-of-pocket so I am interested in the less expensive option.
Five Reasons Why You Should Not Do This. [Assumes you are dealing with a competent pro shop; not all are.]

(1) Ethics.
Buying skates at a pro shop is not like buying pre-packaged skates at Walmart or a sporting goods store that has skate kits stacked on a shelf. The tech is extending you the benefit of his expertise, and spending a good chunk of time fitting you properly. He is a professional. You are a student now. Perhaps someday you will become a professional. How would you like it if you acted in good faith, and then were screwed over by a potential customer or client? There are some pro shops that have gotten savvy. They charge an up-front fitting fee. If you purchase from them, the fee is waived. Under this scenario, it’s OK to purchase online after being fitted, if you so choose (but of course you won’t save as much money).

(2) Self-Interest. Pro shops need to make a profit in order to survive. If enough potential customers abuse them in the manner that you intend to, they would go out of business. Then who would you turn to for service?

(3) Total Cost. Compare the total cost [cost of fitting (if any), cost of boots and blades, cost of heat moulding (if applicable), cost of blade mounting, cost of sharpening, and cost of adjustments]. Pro shop policies differ. Some do charge for services, even if you buy from them. Others don’t. At the pro shop I go to, if I buy the boots and blades from them, they include fitting, heat moulding, blade mounting, and the first sharpening. Furthermore, additional heat mouldings and blade adjustments are included as well. If you compare the total cost, you may find out that you are not saving much (or actually paying more) by buying online.

(4) Special Order. For higher-end boots in adult sizes [especially for men (I don't know whether you're a man or a woman)], many pro shops I’m familiar with will not have in-store stock, other than the display model. Unless you’re lucky, or go to a large pro shop, you might not be able to actually try on the model you want in a variety of sizes. Furthermore, higher-end boots typically come in multiple widths, and semi-custom toe-heel width combos are available. There are just way too many boots to stock. Often the tech will take careful measurements and tracings of your feet, and send them to the manufacturer. The manufacturer will then send the shop what they think is the best fit. This is not a service that you will get online, obviously.

(5) End-To-End Service. You also need to consider what happens if/when something goes wrong. If you buy online, there usually is a set period during which you can return defective boots and blades. After the initial return period, boots and blades are covered by their respective warranties. If there is a defect, you need to deal with the manufacturer or manufacturer’s service representative. If you buy from a pro shop, however, if there’s a problem, they will take care of any returns or exchanges for you. Even after the warranty expires, often a pro shop can intervene on your behalf, if there clearly is a defect (and the manufacturer's rep is far more likely to take the word of an established pro that he does regular business with than the word of a random individual purchaser).
 
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NanaPat

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Country
Canada
I might add that if you go into a shop for service (blade mounting, sharpening, heat molding, etc) with skates you bought online, they may very well ask you where you got the skates. Unless their prices are set and posted, they may charge you more than usual for those services if they know you used their fitters time and expertise, then didn't buy from them.

I once bought a replacement Rogers cell phone online from the Rogers site. I had trouble installing the SIM card, and took it into the local Rogers store for assistance. They helped me, but they also asked me where I got the phone. That may be because there is a demand for phones of that type, and they don't stock them in the store, or it may be because the clerk didn't want to provide (free) service for a grey-market phone.

In any event, you may be asked "where did you buy these skates?" The most comfortable answer to that is "here!"
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I might add that if you go into a shop for service (blade mounting, sharpening, heat molding, etc) with skates you bought online, they may very well ask you where you got the skates. Unless their prices are set and posted, they may charge you more than usual for those services if they know you used their fitters time and expertise, then didn't buy from them.
Gee, that brings back memories. In my area, there used to be a well-respected pro shop with an extensive posted price list for various services. Price depended on where you got the boots and blades:

Our boots, our blades: Price A
Our boots, your blades: Price B
Your boots, our blades: Price C
Your boots, your blades: Price D
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Thank you for your advice! I am planning on going to a professional fitter to try on boots to find my size and model, but I wanted to see if I could later get the same boot online for cheaper. I was thinking that by then I would already know how the skate fits, so buying it somewhere else would not be that big of a deal. (new, of course)

My pro shop does blade mounting and heat-molding for an additional fee, so would it still be a huge no-no for me to buy boots elsewhere after getting fitted? There's like a good $200 difference, and I am a student paying out-of-pocket so I am interested in the less expensive option.
In the retail trade, this is called "showrooming". Not only is it incredibly rude and morally wrong to take up a professional's time for this when you have no intention of actually buying from them and therefore paying for their services, it's a practice that has caused so many good stores to go out of business. Please don't do it. A good boot fitters and skate techs are few and far between these days and we desperately need them. They have to live, too. Once they've been forced out of business, we'll all be worse off. There are no skating stores at all for hundreds of miles where I live and it's cost me a small fortune trying to find boots that fit and suit me as I've had to buy online and take my chances.
 

skatingbeast

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Country
United-States
I rather like boots on the stiff side (due to ballet giving me strong ankles!) but I am scared of over-booting.
Ankle strength from ballet is very different than skating. The number one exercise ballet dancers due for ankle strength is releves which is a very different motion than the bending we do in skating. Ballet gives you incredibly strong and flexible feet which I wouldn't necessarily say helps skating.
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
Thank you for your advice! I am planning on going to a professional fitter to try on boots to find my size and model, but I wanted to see if I could later get the same boot online for cheaper. I was thinking that by then I would already know how the skate fits, so buying it somewhere else would not be that big of a deal. (new, of course)

My pro shop does blade mounting and heat-molding for an additional fee, so would it still be a huge no-no for me to buy boots elsewhere after getting fitted? There's like a good $200 difference, and I am a student paying out-of-pocket so I am interested in the less expensive option.
By the time you pay for your blade to be mounted to the boots you bought online, you might as well have just bought the boots from the fitter. The sticker price usually includes mounting etc. It's also a pretty poopy thing to do. If you're concerned about price you can always ask them if they can price match.
 

sashavis

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Country
United-States
It's also just way easier to do everything from a pro shop. Your skate tech can order the exact size, mount everything, make adjustments and often has direct lines of communication to their retailers and can help you fix problems easily. Plus, if you have to go to them to get your blades mounted to your boots anyways, why not just purchase directly through them? Skate prices are fairly consistent across retailers (for example, Edea Ice Flies cost $750 at pretty every skate retailer you'd look at, and so on) unless you are buying your skates secondhand. If you go to a fitter and they find a boot for you, buy the boot from that fitter. It's much easier that way, and much more ethical.
 
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