You are viewing as a Guest.

Welcome to skatingforums - over 10 years of figure skating discussions for skaters, coaches, judges and parents!

Please register to be able to access all features of this message board.

Author Topic: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades  (Read 1037 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline fivetansic

  • Wearing Rental Skates
  • *
  • Joined: Mar 2017
  • Posts: 4
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Gender: Female
Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« on: March 26, 2017, 03:20:14 AM »
Hi guys,

I have been relying on this forum a lot when deciding what skates to get and have learnt a lot about the technical side of boots and blades while going through the many many threads. As such, I thought it would only be appropriate if I give back by giving my insights to the Riedell 255's, which barely have any threads (the last I checked was 2, very briefly!) on it, with hopes that it could be useful to another skater who may stumble upon this lovely forum like I did.  :)

Disclaimer: This is going to be a really long read as I would go into detail my experience with my previous boot, my considerations, and my thought process! I hope being this detailed would help others consider what is important to them when buying a new boot, so if you are here just for the review, scroll down!!

First things first - I am in my late teens, come from a tiny country in Asia and I started skating in September 2015, so its been barely more than a year. I am currently trying to get my loop and sit spin, and can do decent salchows and toe loop, though not perfect. I *should* be able to do my scratch, but after changing boots, I seem to have lost it and is in the midst of getting it back. When I have school, I would skate only once a week, for about two hours, but have been skating a lot more now that I am having my holidays, say up to even three times a week.

My first pair of boots were Edea's Motivo, which on hindsight, could have been a not-so-good decision. I decided on getting Edea simply because our only pro shop carries Jacksons and Edeas, (as well as WIFA, but that's really unpopular), and as a newcomer to the sport with totally no one to turn to, I thought to play it safe and get my boots from the shop instead. As a small shop run by two old coaches themselves, they were also not very properly stocked and didn't have Edeas in my size, so I tried Jacksons and WIFA, but didn't like how tight it was at my toes (I have a wider width). They told me to come back again in a week or two, where there was a new shipment of Edeas on its way. They said to call me when its here, but eventually I walked in on my own to check and she seemed to have completely forgotten about me. Looking back, I also realised they did not take into consideration my potential for future development, and only recommended me boots for my current level of skating back then, which were basic crossovers and stroking. I had no break-in period with this boot, and it was very comfortable  and sufficient for beginners. Eventually, in a year, I managed to land my waltz, learnt my salchow and transited into a one-foot spin all on the very basic boot, which was completely broken down and provided absolutely no support when I was practicing my salchows. My foot was also slipping around in the boot and I had to consistently retie my laces as it came lose with almost every jump. That was when I knew, I had to change my boot.

I wanted to take into consideration my pace of learning when shopping around for a boot, but eventually was advised against it as the moves from this point on takes much longer than the basic moves that I learnt pretty quickly. As a coach said to me - 3 months to learn, 3 months to perfect. Also, landing a doubles is practically unheard of as an adult learner (I know its very much the norm in the western countries!) here in my country, and the only ones attempting to land doubles are mainly those in the national team. I also did not want to spend another sum of money after a year again when it breaks down and really wanted to pay that extra now so that it can last longer. And so, taking into consideration all of these factors, including my age and weight, I wanted to get a skate that is mainly used for singles, but could accommodate doubles for that extra stiffness that I may need as an adult learner.

I considered getting Edeas again since I know my size and could order it online to save on the possible markup should I get from the shop again. However, Edea's line of boots are very clear in its distinction - a boot for the singles, doubles, triples and then the Pianos. There was no in between and it did not help that the girls at my rink almost always boot one up from their level, so there are plenty of girls doing their singles wearing the Chorus instead of the Overture and so I had no feedback on the Overture. I did not consider Jacksons because they always gave me the impression that they are really slim in nature and would fit girls with slimmer feet, similar to Risports (though I am aware that they do have multiple width options), but nah. So I looked up Riedell instead, and they have a much wider range of boots than Edea! The 255 Motion immediately caught my eye because it was the highest level boot in its instructional series, yet recommended mainly for singles to doubles. It also had a rigidity of 70, similar to the Chorus (though I understand that the rigidity index is not standardised throughout the industry?), but nevertheless it fit the criteria well! I also saw not much a difference between the the 223 Stride, 229 Edge and the 255 Motion, besides the fact that it got stiffer in increments of 10. It also helped that I met another girl around my age who just got the 255 Motion as well, as an upgrade to her beginner skates, and she only had good things to say about the boot.   ;D

As I had no idea what my size was in Riedell, I did not want to risk getting a bad fit online and had to get it via a coach, who was the only Riedell dealer in my country. I told her I was looking to get the 255 Motion, and asked what's the difference between the 255 Motion and the 910 Flair, and if it was worth the couple of extra bucks to get the 910 Flair instead. For the record, Riedell states 910 Flair to have the same rigidity index of 70, recommended for single and double jumps, but is part of the crossover series, but never said it was crossover to what.  88) I barely managed to gather that it was meant for dance as well, but really had no more information. She said that it wasn't worth it as she deemed the 910 Flair as simply a more "lightweight" model to the 255 Motion, and recommended that I stick with the 255 Motion. I also asked her about upgrading my blade into Eclipse's Volant, which really pushed the price up, and she recommended I stick with the Astra blade as it is more than enough for my level. With that, she measured my size against Riedell's feet measuring equipment, as well as my width while asking if I had any issues with my old boot. I did tell her I think I am of a wider width and the toes feel really cramped in the old one, though still bearable. She went ahead with ordering a medium width for me at the end of the day. Take note that up till this point, I had never slid my foot into any Riedell boot, simply making decisions based on information I could find online.

Edit: Never knew there was a character limit of 10,000 characters! The actual review in the next post below!

Offline fivetansic

  • Wearing Rental Skates
  • *
  • Joined: Mar 2017
  • Posts: 4
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 03:20:48 AM »
Continuing from the top...

Eventually when the boots came, they were so stiff I could barely put them on for more than 5 minutes before they starting numbing up in the boot. I honestly wondered if it was too small for me, but I trust her measurements to be correct as she made me stand and put pressure on the measuring foot as well. I decided to press on anyway, consistently walking them around the house with my blade guards on, trying the many different ways I could DIY myself at home, including using my too-hot hair dryer to heat up the insides before slipping my foot in, tying a canned drink inside the boots and leaving them inside overnight. The first few times I skated in them was so absolutely painful, I had to take them out after 15 minutes of just forward gliding and crossovers. Currently, they still hurt, but I could go on with my practice without taking them out entirely, but still requiring breaks as they go numb in my boot. When they aren't, they are actually quite comfortable and I really appreciate the higher toe box, which means my toes are no longer cramped and could wriggle around for a bit. The width is still slightly off, as I could still feel my feet being slightly squished in the boot, but I think a large width may be too big for me. The padding is sufficient, hugging my feet and ankles tight enough, yet not to the extent of being uncomfortable. The stiffness also gave me the support and confidence to land my jumps again without worrying that it may fly off during landing, and the pain is becoming more bearable. The pain currently is centered around my arch area, which I believe it the main culprit for me not being able to do my scratch spin properly once again. I believe the break-in period should be over soon, but coming from a boot that had no break-in period, it was tough for me! I honestly do think its the right boot for me, and should last me throughout all my single jumps, if I could get them fast enough before it completely wears down.

Now about the blades - the Eclipse Astra blades comes attached with the boot, and feels completely different from the Ultima Mark IV blades that was with the Edea Motivo. I felt that it had a lot more traction than the Mark IV, and perhaps to some psychological extent, it felt as though it was thicker as it did not glide as smoothly through the ice as the Mark IV. It was also much flatter than the Mark IV, a comment I had chanced upon as well, and it was difficult to spin (thereby losing my scratch) and find my sweet spot once again. My ultra peeve with it was how easily it RUSTED. On its first use, the blade showed black spots across the length of it, which I initially thought was dirt, but it was embedded right into it and I couldn't wipe it off. The other girl who was using it before me also had this problem, as hers had rusted pretty much throughout the entire length of it. Its insane, and this is even with proper care, such as wearing blade guards once off the ice, wiping it down with a microfiber towel, and I usually let it sit to reach room temperature and wipe away the condensation before keeping them into my soakers. It didn't help that the Astra blades are not even featured in their blade line, so I had no technical information on what the blades were made of. I knew in time to come I will change the blades away to the John Wilson Coronation Ace, which was the dream blade that I wished I could get.

By a stroke of luck, I had the opportunity to be gifted a pair of John Wilson blades not long after, and chose the Pattern 99 blades (the traditional type, not revolution). The main reason was because my coach herself recommended the Pattern 99 to me as she had skated on Pattern 99's when she was at my level, and since I wasn't paying the money, I thought I could also go one blade up from the Coronation Ace. I read reviews in the forum that the Pattern 99 is comparable to the Gold Seals, though the Gold Seals is the known top-of-the-line blade, but had a higher stanchion that may not be suitable for everyone. I also don't think I would need to replace my blades anytime soon in the near future, since I don't skate often enough and don't do harsh enough moves on the blade to wear it down, so I had no worries about the having to fork out the money to get the Pattern 99 once again.

When I went to a well-known skate tech among all the skaters and coaches here in my country to get the blades replaced, and possibly the only one, the first thing he asked me when he saw me was what brand were my boots even before I could get settled. I said Riedell, and he told me I was very lucky. He said that he has been seeing multiple skaters on Edeas coming back to him repeatedly to fix their blade alignment, and its hard for him when Edea's soles are synthetic, and many complained about how their boots broke down really quickly in general. In contrary to the benefits of using synthetic leather, he said that synthetic leather can never be as good as real leather, and cannot last as long. He asked me why did I make the switch, and I told him honestly that I wasn't aware of all these issues, and picked Riedell only because they had a boot that was in between singles and doubles. When I returned to collect my skates, he handed back the Eclipse blades and the screws that came with it, and I was so surprised to see that the screws had already rusted! Most importantly, ALL of the screws had already rusted, save for the tip that is well-embedded into the boot. My biggest takeaway from him? Edea boots break in fast, but also break down fast.

So in conclusion - Riedell 255 Motion boots are great for adult learners who are learning their single jumps, and want a boot that is slightly stiffer so it can last longer, but skip the Eclipse blades and get better quality blades instead. I really think Riedell is doing a great disservice to its boots by attaching the Astra blade to it with no information on it available online, and I am pretty sure those getting 223, 229 and 255's are working on their single jumps, and should be at least on the Eclipse Cosmos or Volant.

On another note - I found Riedell's website the most informative and helpful of all the brands. The find your boot and blade charts were very useful in determining what was necessary for myself.

If you have any further questions, do feel free to leave a post and I will check back time to time to see where I can help.  ;)
 
P.S.: Anyone have tips to help me find back my scratch spin while combating the pain in my arch? :(

Phew, finally done! :)

Online Jf12

  • Beware the Bars of Death!
  • *
  • Joined: Jun 2015
  • Posts: 55
  • Total GOE: 1
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 06:40:43 AM »
Great review!  If money is not a consideration, I don't think as an adult it's possible to over-blade, unlike boots.  I also wish I switched to a high end blade sooner.   To avoid rusting on the screws, make sure to dry the plate too when you take them off.  Also, it's not common for adults to land doubles in any country.  Other countries may have a lot more skaters and coaches which makes it more likely to see some, but it is still very rare.  Enjoy your new boots!

Online tstop4me

  • Ice is the Vice
  • ***
  • Joined: Oct 2015
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 489
  • Total GOE: 136
  • Conserve Angular Momentum
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 07:29:05 AM »
Often the screws that come with even pricey blades these days are pretty junky.  If you want to avoid rusty screws entirely, swap out the screws supplied by the blade manufacturer and use stainless steel screws.  This advice does not apply to Edea boots that require custom Edea screws. 

But, even with stainless steel screws,  it's still a good idea to dry the boot and blade thoroughly to avoid wet rot of the sole and heel.  Also, I've found that many skaters (including advanced skaters and coaches) never check the tightness of their screws.  Loose screws are a hazard in themselves, but they also allow more water to penetrate into the screw holes.

Offline Loops

  • Flooping To The Beat
  • ****
  • Joined: Oct 2013
  • Location: France
  • Posts: 1,149
  • Total GOE: 99
  • Gender: Female
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 08:18:28 AM »
Wow, nice review!

If the skates still hurt, can you have them heat molded?  Or if they're not heat moldable, have them stretched in the places that hurt?  If they're not heat moldable any old cobbler should be able to stretch them.  The heat molding needs to be done at the shop.

Oh, and late teens isn't that old! Many adult skaters start much older than you.  Doubles should be attainable if you work hard enough.

Good luck with the progress!

Offline DressmakingMomma

  • Defrosting Da Toes
  • **
  • Joined: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 222
  • Total GOE: 17
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 08:48:37 AM »
If you are having arch pain, then try placing different types of support materials underneath of your insole until it feels comfortable. I take my daughter to the rink with scissors, double sided tape, different thicknesses and types of foam, a few drugstore arch support products, thin layers of cork and some sand paper. We cut and try different combinations of materials under her arch and heel areas until they feel comfortable. We sometimes have to repeat this process once in a while, which I think is due to materials compressing or her boots softening. We go to a public skate session because it costs less money and she doesn't plan on practicing, we just take her boots on an off and test different combinations. It is amazing how tiny differences feel vastly different to her feet and balance.

Offline icepixie

  • Prerotation Society
  • **
  • Joined: Jun 2013
  • Location: Tennessee, USA
  • Posts: 160
  • Total GOE: 11
  • Gender: Female
    • My skating entries at Dreamwidth
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 11:18:05 AM »
Agreed with DressmakingMomma.  If your arches hurt, you most likely need some kind of arch support, be it layers of foam, a pre-made support like this, or something else.  It's a process, but makes such a difference when you get the right support.

If that doesn't solve the problem, it's possible the boots are also too shallow for your instep.  I found that to be the case with my Riedell 229's.  You can alleviate it somewhat with different lacing like this (I don't lace across on the third and fourth eyelets from the top in my current Jacksons).

Online tstop4me

  • Ice is the Vice
  • ***
  • Joined: Oct 2015
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 489
  • Total GOE: 136
  • Conserve Angular Momentum
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2017, 04:22:36 PM »
So in conclusion - Riedell 255 Motion boots are great for adult learners who are learning their single jumps, and want a boot that is slightly stiffer so it can last longer, but skip the Eclipse blades and get better quality blades instead. I really think Riedell is doing a great disservice to its boots by attaching the Astra blade to it with no information on it available online, and I am pretty sure those getting 223, 229 and 255's are working on their single jumps, and should be at least on the Eclipse Cosmos or Volant.

By the way, the Riedell website states that there are three options for purchasing the 255 boots:  (1) boots alone, (2) boots pre-mounted with Astra, or (3) boots pre-mounted with Cosmos.  Looks like your dealer stocked only boots pre-mounted with Astra and steered you that way.

Offline Loops

  • Flooping To The Beat
  • ****
  • Joined: Oct 2013
  • Location: France
  • Posts: 1,149
  • Total GOE: 99
  • Gender: Female
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 04:24:58 PM »
If that doesn't solve the problem, it's possible the boots are also too shallow for your instep.  I found that to be the case with my Riedell 229's.  You can alleviate it somewhat with different lacing like this (I don't lace across on the third and fourth eyelets from the top in my current Jacksons).

I agree with this too ^. I also lace my skates using this technique and some others...my skates are too narrow across the ball of my foot. The running community has some good lacing solutions, don't be afraid to play around with them. You might find something that works. Just remember your skates do need to be tight for the two eyelets under the hook, then I do a surgeons knot to keep the laces tight before I lace up the hooks.

Good.luck, and welcome to the forums!!!
 Being tight there keeps your heel in place.

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,735
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 03:27:22 PM »
For a lot of us, boots and blades have been a learning experience. :)

FWIIW, many people advocate Jackson and Harlick for wide toes. Mine are too wide for stock Riedell boots.

And remember in the future that you can order seperate width sizing for heel, midfoot and toes. But you have what you have for now.

If you need to stretch your toebox more, ask your pro shop if they can do it. If not, you can do it yourself with a ball-and-ring pliers. Either way, the toebox won't stretch much.

BTW, not all Eclipse and Ultima blades are junky. Astra is a fairly low end model.

Yes, you should always wipe your blades, mounting plate and screws dry after skating, and before you put them in the blade guards. If you can, store them in the open, not in the blade guards. If rust is a major problem because you (or your pro shop) keep your boots in a high humidity environment, you could also oil them between uses.

For more rust resistance, don't just pick stainless steel screws - pick marine grade stainless steel screws, though they cost more. OTOH, if you don't take proper care of your blades, any steel, even marine grade stainless steel, will rust. Pattern 99 blades rust fairly easily too, because they are made of high carbon steel, which is not rust-resistant - so take good care.


Online tstop4me

  • Ice is the Vice
  • ***
  • Joined: Oct 2015
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 489
  • Total GOE: 136
  • Conserve Angular Momentum
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 04:18:17 PM »
For more rust resistance, don't just pick stainless steel screws - pick marine grade stainless steel screws, though they cost more. OTOH, if you don't take proper care of your blades, any steel, even marine grade stainless steel, will rust. Pattern 99 blades rust fairly easily too, because they are made of high carbon steel, which is not rust-resistant - so take good care.

Marine grade stainless steel is used for enhanced rust resistance in salt water environments, which you typically don't encounter at an ice rink (unless someone has an exposed rink by the ocean?)  Your run-of-the-mill stainless steel screws are typically designated "18-8" or "Type 304" stainless steel.  For kicks once, when I was trying out a new low-cost supplier, I immersed some Type 304 stainless steel screws in tap water for two weeks.  No rusting or scaling or pitting at all.  If you handle your skates such that "18-8" or "Type 304" stainless steel screws rust, your boots and blades will probably be in pretty bad shape overall, not just the screws ... rusty screws will be the least of your problems.

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,735
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 01:01:25 PM »
I've had stainless steel screws rust on skates, despite careful drying - though I used those skates and screws for many years.

I conclude that some "stainless" steels are not very rust-proof.

I don't think complete immersion in still tap water is the fastest rust producer. Not much disolved oxygen, or other corrosive disolved chemicals.

Admittedly, the most rust-resistant marine grade steel alloys, like 316, aren't very strong. And admittedly, Ultima Matrix and some Paramount blade runners have just been made of 440C, which is not a marine grade stainless. (Some of the cheaper ones are made of 430...) My Matrix I blades don't rust much if I take proper care...

So maybe I waste a little money buying marine grade stainless screws - but I hate dealing with rust - which can easily spread if it touches other things made of steel.  But maybe you are right, and it is overkill.

Offline fivetansic

  • Wearing Rental Skates
  • *
  • Joined: Mar 2017
  • Posts: 4
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 02:24:39 AM »
Great review!  If money is not a consideration, I don't think as an adult it's possible to over-blade, unlike boots.  I also wish I switched to a high end blade sooner.   To avoid rusting on the screws, make sure to dry the plate too when you take them off.  Also, it's not common for adults to land doubles in any country.  Other countries may have a lot more skaters and coaches which makes it more likely to see some, but it is still very rare.  Enjoy your new boots!

Often the screws that come with even pricey blades these days are pretty junky.  If you want to avoid rusty screws entirely, swap out the screws supplied by the blade manufacturer and use stainless steel screws.  This advice does not apply to Edea boots that require custom Edea screws. 

But, even with stainless steel screws,  it's still a good idea to dry the boot and blade thoroughly to avoid wet rot of the sole and heel.  Also, I've found that many skaters (including advanced skaters and coaches) never check the tightness of their screws.  Loose screws are a hazard in themselves, but they also allow more water to penetrate into the screw holes.

Yes I definitely wipe the entire plate as well before keeping them in soakers. Basically every exposed part of the blade that I can wipe. I am just shocked by how quickly it rusted - on the first use! That gives a glimpse into its longevity, really. I am also trying to convince the other girl on the Motions to change her Astra blades away if possible.

Wow, nice review!

If the skates still hurt, can you have them heat molded?  Or if they're not heat moldable, have them stretched in the places that hurt?  If they're not heat moldable any old cobbler should be able to stretch them.  The heat molding needs to be done at the shop.

Oh, and late teens isn't that old! Many adult skaters start much older than you.  Doubles should be attainable if you work hard enough.

Good luck with the progress!

Sadly we don't have an oven at the rink or at the only pro shop I mentioned. I try to compensate it with a hair dryer, though I am sure its effect is nothing like the oven, but better than nothing.  :(

If you are having arch pain, then try placing different types of support materials underneath of your insole until it feels comfortable. I take my daughter to the rink with scissors, double sided tape, different thicknesses and types of foam, a few drugstore arch support products, thin layers of cork and some sand paper. We cut and try different combinations of materials under her arch and heel areas until they feel comfortable. We sometimes have to repeat this process once in a while, which I think is due to materials compressing or her boots softening. We go to a public skate session because it costs less money and she doesn't plan on practicing, we just take her boots on an off and test different combinations. It is amazing how tiny differences feel vastly different to her feet and balance.
Agreed with DressmakingMomma.  If your arches hurt, you most likely need some kind of arch support, be it layers of foam, a pre-made support like this, or something else.  It's a process, but makes such a difference when you get the right support.

If that doesn't solve the problem, it's possible the boots are also too shallow for your instep.  I found that to be the case with my Riedell 229's.  You can alleviate it somewhat with different lacing like this (I don't lace across on the third and fourth eyelets from the top in my current Jacksons).

Will definitely try these! I think its the instep problem as I do have a higher arch. I tried replacing the soles with the sports soles, but what happened was that while it was a good fit at the arch, it made the toes too tight instead, so I guess I will still have to tinker around with it.

By the way, the Riedell website states that there are three options for purchasing the 255 boots:  (1) boots alone, (2) boots pre-mounted with Astra, or (3) boots pre-mounted with Cosmos.  Looks like your dealer stocked only boots pre-mounted with Astra and steered you that way.

I doubt so, as my dealer is a coach who orders from Riedell the necessary. I did ask if I should upgrade to the Cosmos after she advised against the Volant, but she said there's really not much of a difference between Astra and Cosmos. If I knew had could get the Pattern 99 at the end of the day, I would definitely have gotten just the boot alone.

Offline fivetansic

  • Wearing Rental Skates
  • *
  • Joined: Mar 2017
  • Posts: 4
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 02:34:00 AM »
I agree with this too ^. I also lace my skates using this technique and some others...my skates are too narrow across the ball of my foot. The running community has some good lacing solutions, don't be afraid to play around with them. You might find something that works. Just remember your skates do need to be tight for the two eyelets under the hook, then I do a surgeons knot to keep the laces tight before I lace up the hooks.

Good.luck, and welcome to the forums!!!
 Being tight there keeps your heel in place.

Will definitely play with the lacing! Never knew lacing could affect my skating and I will see how it goes!

For a lot of us, boots and blades have been a learning experience. :)

FWIIW, many people advocate Jackson and Harlick for wide toes. Mine are too wide for stock Riedell boots.

And remember in the future that you can order seperate width sizing for heel, midfoot and toes. But you have what you have for now.

If you need to stretch your toebox more, ask your pro shop if they can do it. If not, you can do it yourself with a ball-and-ring pliers. Either way, the toebox won't stretch much.

BTW, not all Eclipse and Ultima blades are junky. Astra is a fairly low end model.

Yes, you should always wipe your blades, mounting plate and screws dry after skating, and before you put them in the blade guards. If you can, store them in the open, not in the blade guards. If rust is a major problem because you (or your pro shop) keep your boots in a high humidity environment, you could also oil them between uses.

For more rust resistance, don't just pick stainless steel screws - pick marine grade stainless steel screws, though they cost more. OTOH, if you don't take proper care of your blades, any steel, even marine grade stainless steel, will rust. Pattern 99 blades rust fairly easily too, because they are made of high carbon steel, which is not rust-resistant - so take good care.



Didn't know Jacksons are for wide feet! I always thought they are for narrow feet. I just think there isn't enough feedback on Eclipse blades, even though it has been out there for awhile now. The Astra is indeed a lower-end, which is my gripe as in the other brands, the stock blade improves with each boot. What irks me the most is how there is simply no information on the Astra, making it such a myster. The skate tech used the screws John Wilson provided, hopefully that would last!

I've had stainless steel screws rust on skates, despite careful drying - though I used those skates and screws for many years.

I conclude that some "stainless" steels are not very rust-proof.

I don't think complete immersion in still tap water is the fastest rust producer. Not much disolved oxygen, or other corrosive disolved chemicals.

Admittedly, the most rust-resistant marine grade steel alloys, like 316, aren't very strong. And admittedly, Ultima Matrix and some Paramount blade runners have just been made of 440C, which is not a marine grade stainless. (Some of the cheaper ones are made of 430...) My Matrix I blades don't rust much if I take proper care...

So maybe I waste a little money buying marine grade stainless screws - but I hate dealing with rust - which can easily spread if it touches other things made of steel.  But maybe you are right, and it is overkill.

Marine grade screws! I don't think I need to go that far haha. I am happy with how it is now and I am thankful to have at least a very knowledgeable and patient skate tech. He did mention that the screws that came the stock blade are probably of lower quality when I expressed my shock at the rust, but told me its not something to worry about as long as the screws are embedded well and holds the blade in place.

Offline DressmakingMomma

  • Defrosting Da Toes
  • **
  • Joined: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 222
  • Total GOE: 17
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 07:12:20 AM »
If you want to do something quick to build up a higher arch without taking up too much room in the skate, a well known skate tech in our area gave me this trick. Buy the pads meant for ladies high heel shoes under the ball of the foot, sometimes called petals. You can buy them at a drug store inexpensively or in department stores that sell women's shoes. They are thinner than the ones made specifically for arch support and wider. You stick it under your current insole, but position it so that a bit more than half of it sits under your arch and the other part rolls up the side of the skate on the instep area. That particular way of placing the pad worked really well for our daughter.

Offline dlbritton

  • Being Punched out by Boots
  • ****
  • Joined: Aug 2013
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Posts: 884
  • Total GOE: 16
  • Gender: Male
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 10:42:55 AM »
I currently skate on Riedell 255 Motion (2014/15 model) mens 8 1/2 wide with Coronation Ace blades. I ordered the boots and blades separately.

I originally had a pair of 255Ts (2013 model) with Eclipse Aspire XP blades. I prefer the Coronation Ace blade, especially for spins. However my previous 255s were a 9 wide, which were too long. I always felt the rocker was too far forward to balance on it properly. Supposedly the newer boot is stiffer and lighter than the old boot. I feel like the new boot is less stiff than the old boot.

I have not had mine heat molded but am considering it. They seem to fit okay but I assume heat molding won't hurt the current fit and may improve it slightly.

The arch support has been adequate which is surprising as I have always had to have custom orthotics for my ski boots, and when I tried figure skating many years in the past I always gave up because my arches hurt so much after just 15 minutes that I had to stop skating. When I first started taking lessons I used an old ski orthotic that did fit inside the skate until I bought my own skates.

The shop at my rink stocks Jacksons, but the fitter said I would need at least a 9 1/2 Jackson to get the proper width. My foot is somewhat strange in that I have to wear 10 wide street shoes, but my ski boots and skates are 8 1/2 equivalents. From my own research comparing Jackson and Riedell boots it appears that Riedells are slightly wider than Jacksons for a given length, at least in the "wide" boots".

Working on USFSA pre-bronze MITF, PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor, PSIA Childrens Specialist 1.

Offline Ethereal Ice

  • Prerotation Society
  • **
  • Joined: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 163
  • Total GOE: 13
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 06:27:47 PM »
I was going to say,  regarding the rusting,  that perhaps this would be a good candidate for oiling the blades after drying, as I believe I read from Query in a previous thread.  I use mineral oil on mine (I keep a cloth soaked in the stuff in a plastic baggie at home and I oil if I am not planning to use my skates for a few days,  like over the weekend for exampIe. I also oil after sharpenings, and I use oil to help my honing stone if I find any small nicks that need smoothing. Cannot remember if I read it here or somewhere else to use oil with the honing stone, it really does seem to make it more effective.

Anyway, I use a double soaker method on mine to prevent rust and sole rot, wide puffy soakers immediately after skating/drying to pull remaining moisture from the blades, mounts, and soles. Then when I get home I switch to blade-only soakers and leave my skates tipped up so the soles get plenty of dry time. If I had any trouble with rusting, I would add a nice layer of oil when I got home as well. Our skates (I care for my husband's Harlicks as well, after we get home) are pretty much always open to air unless they are being transported. It is not difficult, I just leave the bags open, sometimes I may turn them this way and that to make sure everything gets good air exposure. But it really makes a difference,  we have no soft soles, no rust, no smelly skates. I know a few people who care for their skates at the rink but never open their bag or suitcase after they get home...so much moisture hangs out well after you leave the rink, bleh.

Reading this whole thread reminds me of how many new adult skaters I see trying jumps in low level boots. Not to stereotype,  but they are often young adults who seem to progress quickly, their bodies are in good shape and they are so fearless to try things!  But I really do worry sometimes, the lower end skates are just not designed for repeated jumping, I would hate to see an injury. I hope more folks will really research the level of boot they are buying, thanks for the informative thread!

Offline Backtotheice

  • Beware the Bars of Death!
  • *
  • Joined: May 2016
  • Posts: 49
  • Total GOE: 22
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2017, 11:31:44 AM »
I love my 255 Motion skates and Eclipse Aurora blades. I hope to go up to Phantoms in the next year or so, but we'll see.
I was having arch pain too. I changed to skating barefoot, and had my skates baked and fitted again, and the arch pain went away.
There are some posts somewhere about how to bake skates at home. I would do this with great caution, but I think it is doable.

Offline lillian641

  • Rink Rat
  • *
  • Joined: Oct 2016
  • Posts: 8
  • Total GOE: 0
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2017, 03:05:16 PM »
I also have the 255 motion, 7 wide, that I got this past year. I actually needed less arch support for my feet to be comfortable, I actually switched out the insole for a flat felt one. Taking out the insoles made my feet more comfortably immediately. The original insoles made my arches cramp after only about 20-30 minutes of skating. I tried several insoles we had around the house, but the felt from my old skates was most comfortable. I did also have them heat molded & several areas stretched.

Offline tothepointe

  • Beware the Bars of Death!
  • *
  • Joined: Oct 2016
  • Posts: 48
  • Total GOE: 0
Re: Review of Riedell 255 Motion and Eclipse Astra Blades
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2017, 05:26:33 PM »
I'm a lower level than you but I skate on Eclispe Astra's which were premounted onto my Riedell 910 Flairs. I've not had any issue with them rusting and for me they were a step up from my previous blade. They are a lower level blade now discontinued which is why there is no info available on them. But they probably weren't the appropriate blade for your level.

I live CA so essentially a desert so they might prevent rusting.

I think where I get them sharpened makes more of a difference since I have access to one of the country's top skate techs.