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11-10-2010, 11:01 PM
  #6
blokeyhighlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
Bauer, Easton, Rbk, Graf and CCM all make good skates, but for the most part they're all best suited to specific types of feet, and you won't know which brand fits your feet best until you try a bunch of skates on. Even entry level skates are (for the most part) pretty good nowadays, but if you can afford a more mid-level/intermediate skate they're excellent. Top end skates are way too pricey IMO, waste of money for the vast, vast majority of skaters. By far the most important thing about any skate is how well it fits your foot, go to a good shop with helpful employees and try one TONNES of skates. DO NOT buy online, fit is WAY too important to ever buy any skate without trying it on, no matter how good the deal seems (also, the really really good deals are often for defective skates, you'll see the old CCM U+ Pros at like 70% off in all sorts of online shops, but these skates are known to be defective, the outer shell falls apart very quickly, this has been fixed in the newer model though).

In terms of fit you will want them to be VERY snug, tightly fitting your foot all around, but without pressure points/excessive squeeze. Length-wise your toes should just barely "feather" the ends when standing straight, but when you get your knees back in a hockey stance your toes shouldn't touch at all. Width wise the skate should feel snug, not roomy but not really squeezing either, all skates will, at the very least, come in a normal and wide model for every size, some brands/skates come in more than 2 widths. Another important point is how well your ankle is secured, with the skate tightly tied you should not be able to lift your heel at all off the footbed no matter how hard you try. Make sure to get your skates baked once you find a pair you like, all shops should offer a free bake and free sharpen.
Man, I'm going to be new to the game (played roller as a kid) and this is the part I struggle with the most. It's so tempting for me to buy the 08 CCM U+ Pros for $200 or a couple year old Mission skate for $200 (I used Mission inline-skates when I played roller).

I just have a hard time believing I'm going to find a good pair of skates for $200 at a small local skate shop which probably has worse prices than the chains (Dick's, Sport's Authority, etc).

But, since everyone keeps harping on this point I might have to try seeing if I can find anything I like at the local skate shop (if I can ever get there when I'm in town AND it's open - it's only open 3 days a week for very few hours).

Maybe when I go visit my parents who live near DC I'll go to Kettler and try that shop.

Is it realistic to find a half-decent pair of skates for $200 at a pro-shop? Keep in mind that even though I'll be new to ice I used to play travel inline and also used to aggressive inline skate so I should be able to utilize the benefits of a better skate quicker than most newbies.

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