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07-14-2011, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
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By far, and I mean BY FAR the most important thing with skates (in terms of both performance and comfort) is the fit. How do they fit you? The key aspects of fit include:

1) Right length (ideally your toes should be just barely feathering the toe caps when you stand up straight, but pulling just away from them once you get into a skating stance with knees and ankles bent)
2) Right width around your mid/forefoot (a nice snug feel around your foot in general, but not to the extent that it's causing you pain. Snug, not squeezing)
3) Great ankle lock (your ankle/heel should be totally locked in place with the skates done up, you shouldn't be able to lift your ankle off the footbed at all)
4) Right depth (with the skate unlaced the sides of the skates, by the eyelets, should roughly follow the contours of your foot, your feet should be bulging out or hiding deep in the skate)
5) Virtually no negative space in general (the only exception is around the toe box, some skates are intentionally roomy around your toes, others are tight around the toes, it's a personal preference thing, your Easton S7 skates have a toebox on the tighter side)
6) Minimal pain when skating, even for extended periods of time (3rd party footbeds can be key here, stock footbeds on essentially all skates are cheap garbage. Also many skates will hurt somewhat at first, but after a break-in period of 10-15 skates or so they should be feeling fairly comfortable/pain free if the fit is truly good)

As you move up to more expensive skates the advantages include lighter weight, stiffer skates, better steel, higher quality materials/more durable construction, and to a certain extent better comfort (often better foams/liners, and sometimes more anatomical foot shapes), but especially when you're a newer skater these things aren't going to transform your skating, they're more minor improvements. S7s are decent skates, if they fit you well I'd personally stick with them for now. However, if they fit you poorly then you'll notice serious improvements in both your skating and your general comfort level on the ice with new skates that fit you properly.

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