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Author Topic: Choosing figure skates  (Read 582 times)

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Offline Jeté

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Choosing figure skates
« on: September 25, 2017, 12:02:24 AM »
Hey guys, new here but lurk often.
I need help with choosing new skates. The ones I have right now are Jackson Mystique. I am on level FS2(Crossfoot spin, salchow etc) and I skate 2 hrs each week. I have quite a narrow foot and both my feet pronate. I live in Australia and the choices are very limited.

PS. Any answers will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

Online nicklaszlo

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 04:20:22 AM »
In my experience living in both countries, the choices are the same in Australia as in the United States.  No matter what you need to order boots and get them shipped to you from the factory. 

Maybe if you mention your nearest city we can suggest an expert boot fitter?  I have met fitters who sell Risport, Jackson, and Edea, but I don't know if they are experts. 

Risports are good for narrow heels, I cannot say how they are if the forefoot is narrow too as I've never had narrow forefeet. 

Do the Jacksons fit well?

Offline Jeté

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 04:46:49 AM »
Thanks for your reply, the Jackson skate are ok except for the fact that my right heel lifts up and my left doesn’t. However, I think the skates are a bit wide.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 12:38:12 PM »
The Mystique is the lowest-level recreational skate in the Jackson line.  The Classique is a better-made skate with more support, but the blade is iffy. 

Up from that, most fitters are recommending the Jackson Elle or Elite / Riedell Edge or Motion boots over the Freestyle and Competitors.  I asked a fitter why and the answer was that the Freestyle/Competitor boots are only available with a stock blade, the boots are being made overseas and there's a quality/fitting concern.

You say the right boot heel is loose but the skates fit well.  The Classique/Artiste/Mystique boots use a different "last" (fitting model) than the higher-level skates, so you won't get the same fit in the other Jackson skating boots.  You'd probably do well to order a more-narrow width (if you're in a regular width now) and get the heel punched out for your left foot.
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Offline tstop4me

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 12:51:14 PM »
The Mystique is the lowest-level recreational skate in the Jackson line.  The Classique is a better-made skate with more support, but the blade is iffy. 

Up from that, most fitters are recommending the Jackson Edge or Motion boots over the Freestyle and Competitors. I asked a fitter why and the answer was that the Freestyle/Competitor boots are only available with a stock blade, the boots are being made overseas and there's a quality/fitting concern.

You say the right boot heel is loose but the skates fit well.  The Classique/Artiste/Mystique boots use a different "last" (fitting model) than the higher-level skates, so you won't get the same fit in the other Jackson skating boots.  You'd probably do well to order a more-narrow width (if you're in a regular width now) and get the heel punched out for your left foot.

<<Emphasis added>>


Do you mean the Riedell (not Jackson) Edge and Motion?

Online Sibelius

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 01:50:43 PM »
My 9 year old skates in the Jackson Elle's, comparably priced to the Classiques, but with brass studs (she broke the hooks on her Artistes) LCL sole, and heat moldable.  It's a better boot, blade is a question.  We had them stretched last week and are getting ready to step up.  I'm curious about a side by side comparison of how the Riedell models fit, vs. the next level up Jacksons, i.e., Freestyle and Competitor.  Was thinking about the Debut as a boot only option, but both her fitter and Jackson said it would be too much for her right now.  She's little and isn't even making a dent in the Elle's 6 months later.  She's FS5, singles, no Axel yet, coach says not much stiffer than Elle or Freestyle.  Anyone give me a good same/different guide to Riedell/Jackson at this level?  I called and Jackson doesn't offer boot only for the Freestyle or Competitor anymore.  We'd like boot only to get a better blade without plugging and redrilling.  Her fitter has her own ideas which we trust pretty much, but we'd have to order and pay shipping and restocking for anything we didn't buy.  That will add up to a reasonable cost, might as well get the SP-Teri or Harlick at that point.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 01:53:24 PM »
Quote
Do you mean the Riedell (not Jackson) Edge and Motion
Yes, I lost a whole section of the sentence.  Hate this keyboard.  Revised post.
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Offline tstop4me

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 03:54:32 PM »
The Mystique is the lowest-level recreational skate in the Jackson line.  The Classique is a better-made skate with more support, but the blade is iffy. 

Up from that, most fitters are recommending the Jackson Elle or Elite / Riedell Edge or Motion boots over the Freestyle and Competitors.  I asked a fitter why and the answer was that the Freestyle/Competitor boots are only available with a stock blade, the boots are being made overseas and there's a quality/fitting concern.

<<Emphasis added>>

I'm not picking on your posts.   ;) But your revision has me further confused.  The Elite is Jackson's top competitive model (sold boot only) [the top model has recently been relabelled as Supreme, previously there were two model numbers under the Elite label];  but the Elle is a recreational model (sold as a kit only with Mirage blade), one model down from the Freestyle.  So why would fitters recommend the Elle, but not the Freestyle and Competitor?  Is the Elle made in Canada and does it have better quality and fit than the Freestyle and Competitor?  Do they like the Mirage blade better than the Aspire blade (bundled with Freestyle) and Aspire XP blade (bundled with Competitor)? 

Offline skatemom189

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 07:58:19 PM »
Jackson's tend to fit wide, and the lower level boots come with poor quality blades attached.  Since a narrower boot would probably fit you better, I recommend you get either a Risport Electra Light or Risport RF3, and pair either with a Wilson Coronation Ace blade.  Both fit similarly, and the boot choice is how much stiffness you need.  If your current boots broke down badly once you started jumping, I think you should go with the RF3.  If they're not too badly broken down, get the Electras.
Good luck with your choice.

Offline Jeté

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 02:09:28 AM »
Thanks for all your answers, they are really helping. Here is a little description of my foot type in case ya need it.
I have low arches not flat. I have tapered toes and a narrow width.

So just to make it clear it’s Riedell/Risports?
What about GAM skates, they’re pretty cheap and don’t break my budget. Riedell seems good but is quite expensive.
Risports I don’t really know because I never really thought about it. I thought Risports were made for more advanced ppl. What about Edeas, they seem good? Are they good for pronators because I have difficulty in getting onto outside edge

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 06:45:44 AM »
Thanks for all your answers, they are really helping. Here is a little description of my foot type in case ya need it.
I have low arches not flat. I have tapered toes and a narrow width.

So just to make it clear it’s Riedell/Risports?
What about GAM skates, they’re pretty cheap and don’t break my budget. Riedell seems good but is quite expensive.
Risports I don’t really know because I never really thought about it. I thought Risports were made for more advanced ppl. What about Edeas, they seem good? Are they good for pronators because I have difficulty in getting onto outside edge
I have fallen arches and strong pronation.  My advice is not to count on a particular make of boot to compensate for pronation.  Make sure your boot has a removable insole (footbed) and that the non-removable insole is flat.  Replace the stock removable insole with an insert that compensates for your pronation; such inserts can be over-the-counter, do-it-yourself, or prescription orthotic.  Talk to your fitter to make sure the boot can accommodate an insert.  Depending on your degree of pronation, you may also need to play with the blade alignment or shim the blade (either separately or in combination).

Offline skatemom189

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 08:35:57 PM »
All the brands make boots for all levels.  I think they would fit you well, are higher quality than Reidels at the lower stiffness levels, don't have low quality blades attached, and should be readily available to you in Australia since they are so popular throughout Asia.

You really should try on different brands before you decide though.

Offline Jeté

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 02:32:17 AM »
Skatermom189, when you say "I think they would fit you well, are higher quality than Riedell at lower stiffness levels," what do you mean?
Has anyone had any experience with Riedells? please let me know.
Also, are Edeas any good?

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 03:16:16 AM »
Skatermom189, when you say "I think they would fit you well, are higher quality than Riedell at lower stiffness levels," what do you mean?
Has anyone had any experience with Riedells? please let me know.
Also, are Edeas any good?

I have moderately narrow feet with tapered toes, normal arch. I wear Riedell Silver Star 355s which are a discontinued model that has a moderate stiffness. I am on my second pair. My first pair were an A width but I ultimately decided that they were a bit too long for me. I went with a half size down on a B/A width with the newer ones and am happier with the fit, though I did have to have a couple of spots on my right boot punched out. I have loved both of my Riedells, I have never worn another brand, so I cannot speak to that. I have a couple of friends that wear Reidells, and others that wear Jacksons, Edeas, Harlicks and even Klingbeils. Some folks have switched brands over the years, others are very loyal to one brand. I am currently loyal to Riedell unless I start to have fit issues.  I am an "if it isn't broke, why fix it?" kind of person.

Offline Jeté

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 03:56:22 AM »
Thanks, Ethereal ice, your experience has helped a lot. Now I'm leaning toward the Riedell side. I'm just wondering how can you tell if your skates have broken down?(I've used mine for almost 2 yrs now) Also do any of you use a boot and blade combination and when should you do it?
Thanks!

Offline Loops

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 01:08:27 PM »
I wore Riedells, and now Risports.  They have very similar lasts- narrow all the way through from heel to toe.  As far as quality goes, I don't see much of a difference but I am in higher-end boots, so that may change things.

As far as boot blade combinations.  You should work with your skate tech to get a boot that fits you well, the brand doesn't matter so much, as all the major brands make good boots.  It's the last that's important, and you really need to put your foot in to start getting an idea of which brand will work best for you.  The stiffness you can decide based on your technique and how you're wearing your old boots. It is important to note though that at least with Jackson, it seems the last changes as you move up the range, and they seem to modify them constantly, which is annoying. As far as blades go, discuss this with your coach. 

I live in France, and skate shops are few and far between- I have to go halfway across the country.  Some brands are not available (like Riedells).  So I feel your pain with limited choices... hopefully you have a skate shop somewhere close.  It is really so important to actually try the boots on.  I would go to whatever lengths you need to get to a shop.  Call in advance and see if (and when!) they can have stock for you to try on (this is what I did, and will do again when I have to get new boots).

Good luck!

Offline skatemom189

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 01:15:09 PM »
Yes, Edeas are good. For the right foot shape.  My daughter had feet shaped like yours and our skate tech says he would never put her in them because they would not fit correctly.  Our shop stocks the full Reidell line, the full Jackson line, selected Edeas, Harlicks, Risports, and SPTeris.  You should e looking at lower level boots, because you are not ready to move into stiff boots.  You have been wearing Jackson's lowest model recommended for beginner skating lessons, a stiffness level 10.  The lower level Reidells (say those up through stiffness 50) are not made to the same standard as their intermediate and advanced models.  Most are not heat moldable.  Many have plastic soles, as do your current boots.  The fit, finish, and materials are simply lacking. Jackson's, once you get away from the models with plastic soles, are higher quality, as are Risports.  They are less clunky, lighter weight, better padded, and are clearly a "nicer" boot.  Their soles are very thin and synthetic so they don't require monthly waterproofing to prevent rot, like leather soles do.  High-level Reidells are very nice (our main coach wears custom Reidells that he travels to the factory to be fitted for; they are great) but you are not ready for stiff boots if you are wearing Mystiques.

My daughter is age 7, 50 lbs and wears Risports of stiffness 30 with Coronation Ace blades.  We were told the time to move to separate blades is at the beginning single jumps.  That way there is enough toepick to learn jumps correctly and enough spin rocker to learn to spin correctly.  My daughter is landing axles and learning double salchow and double toeloop, and will move up to stiffness 40 when she outgrows her current pair.  The Ace is a great blade for beginning/intermediate freestyle, and we have been very happy with it.  Since you are a teen or adult I think getting boots of Risport stiffness 45 would be good for your level (or Reidell 50-55, their scale is a bit different).  So that puts you in a Risport Electra or Reidell Stride or Edge.  Since you probate you want boots without plastic soles so the blades can be mounted to help.compensate for that. 

Now you need to go to a shop and try these models on and see how they feel.

Offline Jeté

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2017, 01:15:11 AM »
Thanks skatemom189 now I know someone who actually have the same foot type as me! That really helps. Does having a seperate blade make you spin better or help you? Now I think I’ve made up my mind. It’s either going to be Risport Electra with John Wilson coronation ace/ Riedell Stride with the Eclipse Volant. But I think it might be the risports because they’re just cheaper and there aren’t any Riedell dealers in the state I live (NSW) except Sydney Skateshop which only sells several models! Now I just need opinions on both of them to be sure I’ve made the right choice.
Once again, THANKS EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS

Offline Loops

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 04:33:39 AM »
I know that price is a factor.  But please make sure that the boots fit you.  A brand/model that is cheaper, but doesn't fit will can cause pain, injuries, impede progress and other things that can't be quantified with a dollar figure.  I have friends who've never been properly fitted, and order their boots over the internet. Because they're "comfortable" are fine with them.  But I can see from the way they've broken them in that they are too big, in width and  sometimes length. As a result, they have problems progressing, simply because their feet are flopping around in there and they can't control their skates very well. A skate tech can help you get into something that will fit YOUR foot (Don't be so sure that you and your friend have exactly the same foot btw). S/he can also modify the boot if need be.  Say you find a model that is tight in the ball, but perfect in the heel.  They can punch those bad boys out for you.  Heels can't really be squeezed though (it doesn't last very long), so you need to prioritize the fit in the heel.

Boot stiffness is a function of your size (weight), level, and your personal skating technique, and is something you should discuss with your tech. You can test in the shop-stand on both feet, heels down and bend your knees.  You'll know if a boot is too stiff right away- if you can't get your knees to your toes you need to move to a lower model.  If you can bend your knees easily, and flex the boot, you probably should move up. I've had some on that I've worried about creasing in the store!  With luck your tech will have a shop in a rink where they can see you skate.  My US tech has moved into such a location, and it's great- by watching me skate, he fixed problems with blade alignment that I didn't even realise I had. It's also good to develop a relationship with a tech (I'm nothing special as a skater, but have been going to the same guy for ever...and make it a special point to get my skates to him when I'm stateside). He works magic for me that others just cant.

As far as blades, separate is better if you're skating seriously, for exactly the reasons skatemom189 mentioned above. Also they will have profile with a spin rocker designed for higher level spins. Different blades have different profiles, and unfortunately the only way to find what you like is trial and error.  You're at a point though where I doubt subtle changes will matter much, so go with what your coach says. CorAce is a great blade as are MK Professionals, I skated in both for years- got well into my doubles in Professionals.  My tech likes the Ultima line because the quality control is much better than Mk/Wilson.  You won't have to worry about warped blades (which are rare, but do happen).  I'm now skating on some by Ultima and they're fine.  I'd buy them again.  The Eclipse aren't available here so Ive not even seen them.  I have heard good things on this forum though.  I resisted mentioning models before, because I really think this is something you should discuss with your coach.  Your equipment is super important.  Skates are the only thing you really need to skate, so you should really prioritize them.

Get thee to the shop in SYD and try those riedells and risports on before you commit.  You might be very surprised when you put them on. If you're lucky they'll have the Risports too so you can compare directly.  Do call before you go so they can tell you what stock is available (and maybe try to get some in for you!). I have to drive 14 hours to a shop with a knowledgable tech, or go to my guy in the US, but it is totally worth it. Make an overnight vacay out of it if you can (There must be something else in SYD you'd like to do!).

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 07:15:09 PM »
Thanks skatemom189 now I know someone who actually have the same foot type as me! That really helps. Does having a seperate blade make you spin better or help you? Now I think I’ve made up my mind. It’s either going to be Risport Electra with John Wilson coronation ace/ Riedell Stride with the Eclipse Volant. But I think it might be the risports because they’re just cheaper and there aren’t any Riedell dealers in the state I live (NSW) except Sydney Skateshop which only sells several models! Now I just need opinions on both of them to be sure I’ve made the right choice.
Once again, THANKS EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS

If a shop is advertising one model, they will be able to order all the models.

If you want Risports, go to Skater's Network.  They will get you the lowest price because (I guess) all the other skate shops in Australia have to buy from them.

Offline Jeté

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2017, 04:57:55 PM »
Nicklaszlo, I’ve checked skatersnetwork but they don’t have risport Electra. But I have seen risport excellence. They have the same stiffness rating and look exactly the same. Can anyone tell me the difference?
Now I just have to go The Sydney skateshop to get myself fitted! Yay! This will be my bday pressie.

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2017, 06:21:53 PM »
Nicklaszlo, I’ve checked skatersnetwork but they don’t have risport Electra. But I have seen risport excellence. They have the same stiffness rating and look exactly the same. Can anyone tell me the difference?
Now I just have to go The Sydney skateshop to get myself fitted! Yay! This will be my bday pressie.

Where are you getting this information?  My understanding (I am not certain) is that Skaters Network is the distributor for Australia.  If the factory makes it, they will import it. Their website is out of date.

I think Risport renamed or redesigned some of their products in the last year.  The RF2s I ordered about 8 months ago are no longer advertised by Risport. 

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Choosing figure skates
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2017, 06:32:41 PM »
Thanks, Ethereal ice, your experience has helped a lot. Now I'm leaning toward the Riedell side. I'm just wondering how can you tell if your skates have broken down?(I've used mine for almost 2 yrs now) Also do any of you use a boot and blade combination and when should you do it?
Thanks!

If your skates have moderate to deep creasing that exists or extends around the ankle region that is a sign that they are not supporting your foot good in that area. My original Silver Stars started to break down prematurely and I believe that them being a bit too long for me was a big contributer. During the break in process I started to notice a crease extending out to my ankle and I did a few things to try and rectify it, namely increasing the size of my ankle area with Bunga pads and switching my lacing pattern to the Edea method that is supposed to provide more even pressure. The creases kind of stabilized, did not get any worse for a long time. But I have really struggled with outside edges, and I think it was made worse by my boots not being supportive enough on the outside.

Life works in mysterious ways...a couple of months ago I was helping a friend who was new to skating measure her feet and decide on boots. I happened to check the info on the Riedell site and made the realization that my feet were probably in boots about a half size too long. They never moved around that I could feel because they were quite snug, in fact, to me they felt fantastic. Snug on the sides but I could move my first couple of toes. When I read the description of a "proper fitting" Riedell, it said that they are designed to have your toes come right to the end, just a smidgen of movement in the big toe. It advised that if you wanted more movement,  you could try going half a size up but you would risk premature break down. Ah hah! Not less than a week later I found a pair a half size smaller for a good price and purchased them.

The fit on my new boots is different for sure, but in a good way. And I am basically through the break in process with no creasing at all on the sides, totally different experience