Bestsellers: Figure Skates
What makes figure skating special?
Even to the uninitiated, figure skating is such a cool sport. But we need to make a few things clear before we talk about particular products and brands. Especially how these link to the notion of ice skating.
We all know that ice skating is a general term, wherein these certain variations exist like Ice hockey, figure skating, and speed skating (which is essentially racing with ice skates).
So in simple words, Figure skating is a kind of ice skating. So is Ice hockey. But what makes the former so special?
After all, you may ask, are they that different since both are done on ice with almost the same looking skates?
For starters, Figure Skating is infinitely harder than Ice hockey. It needs way more strength, physically and mentally, to perform figure skating pirouettes and jumps. Years and years of practice with determination to perfect your stance and motions.
Don’t get me wrong, ice hockey is amazing and a great sport. Even the regular, non-ice version of roller hockey is amazing. Entertaining, exhilarating, and great use of your time. But is it as precise and elegant as its figure counterpart? I don’t think so.
Which Figure Skates Are Best For You?
Below, I have everything neatly curated to help you choose precisely which figure skates are right for you as per your budget/use case.
Buying Guide For Figure Skates (October, 2020)
There are certain things that set the figure skates apart. Let’s see what they are.
If we compare them with the hockey boots, we get to see the differences more clearly. Let’s talk about the stiffness of the boot for example.
These are the distinct features of a figure skates
Figure skates have soft, flexible boots that allow various kinds of contortions. Hockey skates have harder boots for better power transfer.
Figure skates have a not-so-very lightweight design overall. Since they often come with leather inside-out they are slightly heavier than regular ice skates and hockey skates.
Figure skates have flatter, longer blades which allow them to be more stable and carve lines easily. The more affordable blades often need sharpening for optimum performance. Hockey skates, in contrast, have curled up blades for speed and agility.
Figure skates have toe picks in the front portion of the blade. These are what the top figure skaters use to effortlessly do pirouettes and jumps by essentially planting the picks into the ice. Hockey skates have nothing of this sort in their blades.
Figure skates have (very noticeable) heels and are the most distinct feature that sets them apart, visually. This raised position of the heel allows the skater to transfer most of the weight to the ball of the foot. Hockey skates, unsurprisingly, do not come with heels.
Look for these things in your figure skates!
The best figure skates out there all have a common set of characteristics. They allow the skater to perform at peak efficiency with maximum control and precision. Let us look at what they are.
Flexibility: The best figure skates for intermediate skaters usually have a not-so-stiff boot since it allows freedom in movement for various contortions. Some skates do come with stiff boots that provide a great deal of ankle support.
Material: Premium ones come fitted with leather boots. They, in time, mould to your feet which provides an overall excellent fit and function. Affordable options include ballistic nylon, moulded plastic, and so on.
Price: These ice skates boots can be built to perfection which can last a whole decade whereas the ones made with less love tend to last only a few years at best. I’d suggest you invest above $200 to get the most comfortable ice skates that will last. If you’re looking for recreational activity for summer only, go look for the ones with a $100 price tag.
The requirement of Skill: If you’re just starting out, the best figure skates in the market might not be your ideal pick. Sure, you’ll progress efficiently with a great blade and comfortable boots. But there are certain nuances with these that only the experts may enjoy. So shop according to your skill level.
Fit & comfort: By far the most important factor. Ask any pro figure skater and he/she will tell you that it is all about the fit and comfort. The best figure skate brands also make their products around this concept.
To perform the jumps and figures, the first thing you need is a pair of boots that perfectly fit your feet. The better the fit, the better you’ll learn & perform.
What are the popular figure skates brands?
Now before listing out our top picks in the products category, let me give you a quick rundown on the best ice skate brands in the market today.
Riedell Skates: It is a well-known ice skate brand that offers one of the most sophisticated line of figure skates in the market. This company makes skates of all kinds such as recreational, quads skates, etc. But the figure skates lineup is called Riedell Ice and boasts an array of quality blades at reasonable prices.
Jackson Ultima: Another popular figure skates brands, known mainly for being one of the global leaders of figure skates and especially, the boots. They manufacture the blades and boots separately as well as sell pre-assembled complete skates. Their lineup often features innovative design and great material choices.
Lake Placid: Out of all the ice skating brands out there, Lake Placid stands out for being one of the few ice skates brands that have consistently made excellent ice skates. This company is a part of the RollerDerby family of brands and specializes only in ice skates. 50 years of manufacturing and fine-tuning is pretty evident in their products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jackson Ultima Competitor DJ2470 should be your pick if you’re looking for the best figure skates for women in the market. They are extremely comfortable to wear and comes with longlasting blades for utmost precision on the ice.
Fit and comfort should be your first priority since you’ll be spending countless hours in them to hone your skills. Then comes the quality of the materials used and skill level for which it is intended.
They manufacture one of the best fitting comfortable boots in the market. Accompanying blades are also often of high quality but require often sharpening. A good entry point to this brand would be the Finesse 180 High Top model, affordable yet of sturdy construction.
They come fitted with long blades with a pick on the front, this form factor adds to the overall stability which is inarguably an upside. The downside is the heel which figure skates have - they shift the body weight forward on the balls of the feet.
The Model Robin from Botas is an excellent place to start. They use high-quality waterproof synthetic material for their skates, which also aids in lowering the production costs.
Anywhere over a $100 is a good place to start, especially if you’re a beginner. As you advance you’d want high-quality boots and premium blades that will cost about $300 and up.
If the question is regarding the duration of the blade being sharp enough for properly skating over ice, it is around 30 hours (of continuous use). Normally, figure skaters sharpen their blade 3-5 weeks.
Short answer: Definitely! As you advance your way up, you’ll be needing better and better skates to match your growing requirements. Even when you start, it is a great idea to invest $300 and up in premium skates so they last longer and provide you a better experience overall.
Riedell Skates & Jackson Ultima manufacture some of the best figure skates in the market right now. They provide excellent customer satisfaction while ensuring high standards across all products.