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So I am looking to get a new pair of skates.

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11-09-2010, 09:13 PM
  #1
OFD
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So I am looking to get a new pair of skates.

It's been 15 years since I last put on a pair, I figured it was time to get on the ice again. I am not sure how much has changed since then, but if anyone can give me some recommendations on what is a good pair (or brand) would be helpful.

Thanks!

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11-09-2010, 10:33 PM
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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.


Last edited by ponder: 11-09-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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11-10-2010, 11:14 AM
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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.
All great advice above. Listen to this guy.

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11-10-2010, 05:48 PM
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Agree with what the above posters said. All of the name brands are good, its just a matter of finding what brand fits your feet the best.
I used like Bauer skates, but I found that Bauer doesnt make a skate that is wide enough for my feet, so I bought a pair of CCMs and couldnt be happier with them.

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11-10-2010, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for the advice, better than I expected
I have long narrow feet, I hear GRAFS are good for that. I also looked at some that have pumps which does seem helpful

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11-10-2010, 11:01 PM
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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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11-10-2010, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OFD View Post
Thanks for the advice, better than I expected
I have long narrow feet, I hear GRAFS are good for that. I also looked at some that have pumps which does seem helpful
Grafs don't really have a specific foot type as much as the other brands, they cater to a lot of different foot shapes. If you have really narrow feet, Grafs could be a good choice for sure, I think a lot of Grafs will be available in a narrow width (C width?), which can be hard or impossible to find with a lot of other companies. However, most Grafs tend to be quite expensive, they don't make much in the way of cheap/entry level skates, and they're heavier than skates from other brands at the same price (though I really don't think weight is a huge deal as long as the skates are reasonably light). Plenty of guys swear by them though.

The pump skates you tried are probably Rbks, they tend to fit wider, as do CCMs. Bauer Supreme's fit a bit wide too, Bauer Vapors a bit narrower, so Vapors could be worth trying on too, the Vapor X40 is a very popular skate that tonnes of guys seem to love. I think the Easton Stealth line tends to fit narrow feet too.

I could easily be wrong about a bunch of the above info, hopefully someone who actually works at a shop can clarify/verify! Mostly though, you can read posts about skate fit till your eyes bleed, but there's no substitute for just trying on a tonne of skates in a shop and seeing what ACTUALLY fits your foot best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blokeyhighlander View Post
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.
Nothing wrong with chains IMO, as long as they carry a wide variety of skates and have helpful employees. Everyone always tells you to shop with the little guy, but I've had plenty of experiences with douchey, unhelpful employees at small shops, and knowledgeable, super nice/helpful employees at big chains. The main things is to go to a place that has a wide variety of skates and a knowledgeable employee who will spend the time finding the right skate for you. No matter what the shop is, if you're getting bad service from an impatient employee, leave and go elsewhere. Finding the right skate takes time.

As for the price, if it's a good skate it probably won't be THAT much cheaper online, especially when you take into account that you'll have to pay a shop to bake it, sharpen it and if necessary punch it out, whereas that's generally all free if you buy at a shop. The skates on crazy discounts online (like those 08 CCM U+s) normally have serious problems with them, thats why they're so heavily on sale. Who cares if those skates originally retailed for $600 and are now $200, with those CCMs for example the outers bubble up, delaminate and fall apart quickly, it's a skate that should not be sold to anyone anyways. Most skates are only about $50 cheaper online than in a shop, and that's about what you'll pay for baking/sharpening/punching anyways. For other gear though, sticks especially, nothing wrong with ordering online.

And yeah, there are plenty of decent skates in the $200-300 range, just make sure it fits well. Honestly, a $250 skate that fits you well will be much, much better than a $600 skate that fits poorly! More expensive skates will be lighter, stiffer (not a good thing for new skaters actually), more protective (in terms of blocking shots), and generally will have nicer liners, but honestly there is nothing wrong at all with $200-300 skates for the vast majority of skaters.



Edit: I just checked the Dick's Sporting Goods website, most of their skates are the same price as online or within about $30, they have a decent selection online at least, seems like a fine option and worth checking out.


Last edited by ponder: 11-10-2010 at 11:32 PM.
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11-22-2010, 11:48 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
Grafs don't really have a specific foot type as much as the other brands, they cater to a lot of different foot shapes. If you have really narrow feet, Grafs could be a good choice for sure, I think a lot of Grafs will be available in a narrow width (C width?), which can be hard or impossible to find with a lot of other companies. However, most Grafs tend to be quite expensive, they don't make much in the way of cheap/entry level skates, and they're heavier than skates from other brands at the same price (though I really don't think weight is a huge deal as long as the skates are reasonably light). Plenty of guys swear by them though.

The pump skates you tried are probably Rbks, they tend to fit wider, as do CCMs. Bauer Supreme's fit a bit wide too, Bauer Vapors a bit narrower, so Vapors could be worth trying on too, the Vapor X40 is a very popular skate that tonnes of guys seem to love. I think the Easton Stealth line tends to fit narrow feet too.

I could easily be wrong about a bunch of the above info, hopefully someone who actually works at a shop can clarify/verify! Mostly though, you can read posts about skate fit till your eyes bleed, but there's no substitute for just trying on a tonne of skates in a shop and seeing what ACTUALLY fits your foot best.


Nothing wrong with chains IMO, as long as they carry a wide variety of skates and have helpful employees. Everyone always tells you to shop with the little guy, but I've had plenty of experiences with douchey, unhelpful employees at small shops, and knowledgeable, super nice/helpful employees at big chains. The main things is to go to a place that has a wide variety of skates and a knowledgeable employee who will spend the time finding the right skate for you. No matter what the shop is, if you're getting bad service from an impatient employee, leave and go elsewhere. Finding the right skate takes time.

As for the price, if it's a good skate it probably won't be THAT much cheaper online, especially when you take into account that you'll have to pay a shop to bake it, sharpen it and if necessary punch it out, whereas that's generally all free if you buy at a shop. The skates on crazy discounts online (like those 08 CCM U+s) normally have serious problems with them, thats why they're so heavily on sale. Who cares if those skates originally retailed for $600 and are now $200, with those CCMs for example the outers bubble up, delaminate and fall apart quickly, it's a skate that should not be sold to anyone anyways. Most skates are only about $50 cheaper online than in a shop, and that's about what you'll pay for baking/sharpening/punching anyways. For other gear though, sticks especially, nothing wrong with ordering online.

And yeah, there are plenty of decent skates in the $200-300 range, just make sure it fits well. Honestly, a $250 skate that fits you well will be much, much better than a $600 skate that fits poorly! More expensive skates will be lighter, stiffer (not a good thing for new skaters actually), more protective (in terms of blocking shots), and generally will have nicer liners, but honestly there is nothing wrong at all with $200-300 skates for the vast majority of skaters.



Edit: I just checked the Dick's Sporting Goods website, most of their skates are the same price as online or within about $30, they have a decent selection online at least, seems like a fine option and worth checking out.
Thanks.

I checked out both the local Dick's and Pro Shop and neither sold skates. I'll be near Hockey Monkey's new shop in a few weeks so if I have time I'll stop by there. Of course, I'll have to look into taking ice skates back on a flight home - doubt I'll be able to carry them on.

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11-22-2010, 11:54 AM
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I have personally worn Graf's for about 6 years up until recently. I found out about a discount on MLX skates on another forum and decided to give them a try. It's still pricey, I'm not sure how much you want to spend or how much you skates, but I love these skates.

http://mlxskates.com/

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11-22-2010, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by blokeyhighlander View Post
Thanks.

I checked out both the local Dick's and Pro Shop and neither sold skates. I'll be near Hockey Monkey's new shop in a few weeks so if I have time I'll stop by there. Of course, I'll have to look into taking ice skates back on a flight home - doubt I'll be able to carry them on.
Not sure where in VA you are, but Laurel Ice Gardens in Laurel MD has a decent selection of skates and staff that really know how to fit them properly. They also have equipment for stretching and punching skates if needed.

I bought a pair of Reebok 6K's there for $199. Considering the sharpening and baking is free, and you do not pay for shipping this was a far better price than anything online. I am sure it is not a skate that NHL'ers are wearing, but sure seems like a nice skate to me.

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11-24-2010, 01:36 PM
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If you can wait to buy some new skates til March, Skatequest in Reston usually does their clearance sales around then. I got a pair of one75's this past march for $179. The Reebok skates were on sale at the same time for 50% off as well.

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11-27-2010, 10:30 AM
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Not sure where in VA you are, but Laurel Ice Gardens in Laurel MD has a decent selection of skates and staff that really know how to fit them properly. They also have equipment for stretching and punching skates if needed.

I bought a pair of Reebok 6K's there for $199. Considering the sharpening and baking is free, and you do not pay for shipping this was a far better price than anything online. I am sure it is not a skate that NHL'ers are wearing, but sure seems like a nice skate to me.
Thanks, I'm actually not in VA anymore for the most part so I wouldn't be able to get to any of the shops up in the DC area. I've been looking at the 6k's and they are on my radar. I have a narrow ankle but a slightly wide forefoot so I am hoping to be able to try on skates at some point before January.

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11-27-2010, 12:31 PM
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Thanks, I'm actually not in VA anymore for the most part so I wouldn't be able to get to any of the shops up in the DC area. I've been looking at the 6k's and they are on my radar. I have a narrow ankle but a slightly wide forefoot so I am hoping to be able to try on skates at some point before January.
Narrow ankle and wide forefoot? The Easton Stealth series (all of them) or older Synergy series skates are for you :p

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11-29-2010, 03:57 PM
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Narrow ankle and wide forefoot? The Easton Stealth series (all of them) or older Synergy series skates are for you :p
Thanks, I did some more research and it looked like the Stealth's were for me. I found 2010 S9s for $128 shipped with a good return policy so we'll see how those work out.

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