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Author Topic: Help with getting new boots?  (Read 1314 times)

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Offline sparkle.skater

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Help with getting new boots?
« on: October 09, 2011, 01:18:23 PM »
Hello! I am new and have never used a skating forum before. I have a question and need some help, I'm hoping this is the right place to post my question. And that someone can offer their feedback....

I'm Hard on almost every single pair of boots I get, the only brand that sometimes takes a year of holding up are the stiff jackson's. Since I break em so quick, do 3.5 hours 5 days a week, and am struggling for every penny, I just can't ever afford new boots, I can barely afford used ones....

Because of my issue I only get used boots, that are, really in a near new condition as they're not really broken in, then I customize them. I get free heat molds and punches at  a few local specialty places, and I have a few secret tricks that......well I won't share just yet Wink at least not until I become friends with some of you!  ;) Over the years I've become somewhat of a pro at customizing my own boots, I can put up with just about anything as long as it fits and I've broken it to the stiffness I like.

I'm about to buy a super deal from a girl who's selling grafs. Edmonton's 7.5 M with like new Gold seals. She's selling 2 pairs of the same size edmonton's and one pair of gold seals.

Oh, important to add, I'm a dancer but need one boot for freeskate to pass the test to qualify me for coaching, (I live in Canada, I don't know how it goes in other countries....)

I've heard from too many people that even though grafs are great, they are very low quality and heels coming off has been a major issue for many people, though they all admit the easy break-in was nice.

And I read on a UK skating forum that the round toe boxes have been giving people black toe issues!!!!! :o

All these stories scare me, but they all said that as long as you change boots every few months, you shouldn't have problems. Although I don't see what difference that would make for the toe problems....


So my question is: if I buy these from this lady, and since I'm buying 2, I will just start with the other pair in 6 months, should I still stay away since they have each been used for a full season, or should I go for this amazing deal? (that I actually can afford! 2 pairs of boots and 1 pair of new blades for the price of one pair of used boots!  :D)

For me, when it comes to money, it's not a choice of whether or not to go with cheaper. It's either buy what you can afford or don't skate for a year, so I can't invest in top of the line new skates or in customs. I have to make do with whatever's available and use it, as long as it's safe. And so far it has really worked out for most of the year's I've been training, (I have been tricked into ill-fitting boots by misleading fitters once or twice  >:( )

Heels coming off is NOT safe.

From the picture this young lady sent me, and from speaking with her, even though she has been skating in senior 2 hrs a day 5days a week for 2 years, the boots have virtually NO WEAR on them, none. Just some black spots we all get from falling and such.

So it's either she's lying to me about her skill level, or she never bends her knees!
She sounded really honest on the phone though...

So, do you think it would be safe to take these? Also, I've heard from zillions of people that if you have  a problem with your grafs, they'll send you a replacement boot. The pairs I'm getting are a year old, well one is 2 years old, (but only been skated on for one season)

Do you think that if I'll have a problem they'll still replace? Even though these are not the most current model?

I really hope I can get some feedback, please help me! I can actually sort of afford these!  :D

Thank you!  :)

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Help with getting new boots?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 02:44:55 PM »
Okay, a couple of things ... first, if you're Canadian, have you checked out the Skating Boutique in Toronto: they have excellent deals in used skates, and they will fit you properly.  Plus, they're honest and expert in what they do.

Secondly, if you're after Canadian coaching qualifications ... For Canskate coaching qualifications you simply need 3 of the prelim tests (Free, Skills, Dance), and one Junior Bronze test.  If you are a dancer, and based on the hours you skate, I would assume that you have at least a Junior Bronze dance test; the skills test should be easy for you, and you can certainly do that one in a dance boot.  The Prelim FS test wouldn't need much in the way of a boot, so, you should be okay with something fairly basic, as the elements are not that much of a challenge.  Are you going for the Primary Starskate coach qualifications, then? That's just the Junior Bronze tests ... and you again don't need much of a boot for that one ... and you certainly don't need a Gold Seal blade at that freeskate level.  If the goal is to save you money on a boot that you're just using to get thru low-level tests, maybe a lower level boot and blade combo would be better (hard to say as we don't know what price you're paying for these ones).

I would doubt Graf would replace the boots, BTW, as you are not the original owner and do not have the sales receipt.  Usually, that's a warranty requirement.


Offline kiwiskater

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Re: Help with getting new boots?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 12:16:33 AM »
I've heard from too many people that even though grafs are great, they are very low quality and heels coming off has been a major issue for many people, though they all admit the easy break-in was nice.

Well while I'm not an expert and don't skate as intensively (last year I skated about 3-4h week, this year I'm down to 1-2) I have owned a pair of grafs for a year now with no issues with the boot. We've been looking for a pair for my brother this year & we haven't heard of a thing to suggest there is any quality issues, we don't get many brands out our way - mainly Riedell, Graf & Risport so I would have expected that had the issue been so widespread that our shop/coaches would have heard about it and warned people away/not stocked them...

I'm a bit paranoid about keeping my boots nice so when I get to needing a new boot I can get a good resale value & I can tell you that mine have a few nicks and a crease where the laces pass over the tongue of the boot - I find it hard to believe that this lady essentially has mint condition skates if she really skates that much at a high level, I know many people don't seem to care for their boots but I've seen skaters of higher levels than me who have really toasted their boots... But again I'm no expert and I have only been skating for about 1-1.5 years

Offline sarahspins

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Re: Help with getting new boots?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 10:31:57 AM »
I've heard from too many people that even though grafs are great, they are very low quality and heels coming off has been a major issue for many people, though they all admit the easy break-in was nice.

And I read on a UK skating forum that the round toe boxes have been giving people black toe issues!!!!! :o

I think both of these have to do more with the skater than the boots - don't take care of your skates and they're obviously going to experience more problems than someone who carefully dries them after every skate.  I've seen soles rotting/coming apart in every major brand.. it truly strikes me more as a maintenance issue than a quality issue.

The toe thing, I think is more of a fit issue, and I would presume that you'd KNOW there is a problem before it actually got that bad.  I think too many skaters "tough it out" after buying a new pair of boots that don't fit perfectly, which causes more problems down the line.  I did it and had to have ankle surgery as a result.

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Help with getting new boots?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 10:37:34 AM »
Actually, we had a member experience the heel-coming-off problem several years ago.  It was a manufacturing defect where the heels weren't attached strongly enough and the stress of toe-jumps and landings were causing the problem.  It wasn't a "poor maintenance" problem - the owner was diligent about waterproofing and care, which is why the problem was found early.

(Just FYI: this was the resolution for one member: http://skating.zachariahs.com/skatingforums-onice/www.skatingforums.com/archive/index.php/t-18715.html )

I've only heard of this problem with Grafs back when that topic was active.  Haven't heard anything about Grafs since then, so I would assume newer skates wouldn't be an issue.  If the skates are really old, I'd take a pass on the boots.  They could be dried out, which would cause issues like this, too.
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