Today we will go through the most common mistakes which customers do when choosing the skates. All errors mentioned below are very common. Therefore we decided that it would be useful to explain them and give you some recommendations.
1. I will rather go for skates one size bigger/ they will extend
Correct size is very important!
Too small skate could cause sores, pressure marks, blisters or feet pain. In such skate you are not able to skate for long time and you definitely cannot enjoy skating.
On the other hand, skate that is too big or too wide doesn´t provide enough support, particulary on the edges of wheel and during energy transfer. Skater then doesn´t have sufficient support and tends to balance it somehow. Also the skating style is rather pigeon-toed. It is impossible to do aproper rebound or slide in such skates, skating is in this case more bother than fun. This bad habit is often seen on cycle tracks. Attempt to save some mean leads to situation, that customer buy too soft and insufficient firm boot which doesn´t provide good support and skating style is significantly affected by it.
How to choose the correct size?
First of all, it is necessary to realize that you can find it out only in skating posture when you have skates tighten well. Which means in standing position with slightly bended knees - this is very important. Many customers assess the size while sitting down when the skate is not tied. Therefore the foot is not in proper position in the skate and it can hurt although it would fit after proper tightening. Customers very often buy skates in size that is too big for them.
Tied skate should surround the instep well - once you lean a bit on the outer side of wheels, the skate should provide goot support. You should feel the support mainly in outer side of heel (because there is the most amount of transfered energy). In ideal case you can lean comfortably on whole outer part of foot.
Position of heel and ankle - the heel should not significantly move to the sides or lift. This is provided by good choice of shape of the skate, but primarily by good paddig in area of ankles which secure the heel, surround the ankle and therefore offer perfect position. Ankle should never hurt, it is the most common area of discomfort and cause of sores. We recommend to try the skates in shop for 5 minutes at least. We know, that skates that is slightly tight around the ankle after first try can fit perfectly after couple of minutes.
Toes - toes should definitely not be bended. Perfect is either little touch of tips or slight distance in front of toes (depends on certain type of skate). This is important even ifall requirements mentioned above are meet.
Common thing connected with fitness skates is that the boot touches the toes from above. In case the boot is made of soft textile and skates fits well (you feel only slight contact), the skate usually adapt after some time. But of course it depends on certain material - textile is more adaptable thatn PU leather imitation etc.
Calf/shin - calf often hurts in skate boot, especially for women. It is because women have calf a bit lower than men. Lady skates are surprisingly wider than mens. If your leg significantly hurts in this area or you can´t lock the upper buckle properly, it is necessary to choose another type of skates. Again - keep in mind to try skates in skating position with bend knees. You are certainly not able to make your choice properly without that :)
Upper buckle/flex - Another common mistake is too tightened upper buckle. Here it depends on skating style. Generally, the faster you want to skate, the longer slide you want and therefore the less effort, the softer the flex is needed (forwards). The reason is simple - posture (you bend your knees more and shoulders are a bit forwards). Skating is done with bended knees in general. Therefore soft forward flex (=easy movement of the calf towards the tip) is useful! If the upper buckle is too tight it makes you stand too straight or can cause shin sores.
2. High ABEC number means good quality
Big mistake which is, fortunately not so often as it used to be. If you want high-quality skates, don´t follow the bearings labeling. Firstly, it is not proof that bearings are of quality. Secondly, other factors are more imporant for comfortable sating.
Choice of bearing is single topic, further information can be found in article how to choose skates. Usually, you will think about bearings when it comes to buying spare parts, not to new pair of skates. The basic is to know that ABEC is technical standard for bearings and doesn´t imply level of quality. Oposite opion is very common, even today. Especially producers of cheap and low-quality bearings take advantage of it and mark their bearings with ABEC just to attract customer. Of course, chaper skates usually have really bad bearings even when their are marked with good ABEC accuracy.
3. These are comfortable like carpet slippers - take them!
Skates should definitely fits well and shloudn´t be too tight or pinch somewhere. Hardness of the boot is single and very important topic. Also it is probably the most underestimated factor that have significant effect on skating. It is important to realize that you don´t buy snickers for walk, but sports equipment on which we stay, transfer the energy and do rebounds. Therefore it is crucial to have proper support and corresponding level of hardness. Generally it can be said that the harder the boot the more sporty is its purpose. But be careful! Even total beginner needs support even more, because his sens for balance is not developed yet. Too soft boot is common with cheaper skates and unfortunately, trap for beginners or inexperienced skaters.
4. I will buy something cheaper for start and will see how it will go
This statemen is partly understendable. Unfortunately, cheap and poor-quality skates are often the last that customers buys. The reason is simple - skating on this cheap and low-quality skates it not very entertaining. Actually, in such skates it is sometimes not possible to skate at all. We don´t imply that you need to buy expensive skates, but good wheels, bearings, frame and boot cost something and don´t expect something special for couple of hundreds.
Producers of cheap skates count on that from amateur´s point of view cheap and expensive skates look similar and after reading captions it is still not clear if the components are fine. Anyway, the rule is that ABEC 7 bearings will be different with cheap and expensive skates - quality, lifespan and revolving. The same rule applies for wheels. ´´80mm and 82A´´ doesn´t say anything, nor ´´aluminum frame´´ does (cheap model will probably have less solid frame). Quality of boot is recognisable when it comes to comfort and support.
To sum up, cheap skates can be very uncomfortable, wheels can slip or stick too much (=slow). Whole skate bumps up and down and affects negatively skating. On regular use, single components wear down very quickly. Spare parts are often more expensive than new cheap skates. From our experience we can say that skating in poor-quality skates is not entertaining and often discourage people from learing it. Good starting type of skates will help you learn the basics and improve skating technique.
5. The brand is well-known..
To be honest, in most cases it indeed is true that reputable producers sell fine skates and the other way round. But there are exceptions! Some big world producers offer (besides their original products that are presented in catalogues and official websites) skates, that cannot be found in catalogue. These skates are generally called SMU and they are usually made in order to cut the price while still maintaining the brand name or as a specific product for certain store. Suck skates can differ from original models in colour, name or they can be made of low-quality components and materials in order to provide low price.
It´s not coincidence that cheaper price means lower quality. Still - it is product of reputable producer of in-line skates. Companies such as K2, Rollerblade, Fila or Tempish does this. Even in our store can be sometimes found SMU models, but we always choose models which ratio of price to output is interesting. But majority of our skates are from original colletions.
In case that you want to get original quality and comfort, make sure, that the product is in official catalogue or producers website. Or you can of course consult it with us.
Simmary? Although producers such as K2, Rollerblade or Fila sell hig-quality skates, they also offer less quality types which can be second rate when compared to skates in the same category from other producers. It always depends on certain type. If you are not sure about your choice, we are familiar of all types and collections of skates and we are here to help you.