Ahhh… new skates day. Is there anything better? Perhaps the reason why new skates day is so good is because the search process can be long and difficult! Here are some tips for buying new skates whether it’s your first time, or you own 10 pairs.
1. Decide what you want to use these skates for
You can buy skates for so many purposes. The first question to ask yourself is how many pairs of skates you have in your arsenal. If this is your first pair, or you are looking to purchase skates that will be your only pair, you may want to consider a pair that is versatile for all types of use. If you are looking to fill a void in your arsenal, then consider what type of skate will fill the void.
Also, you should think about what type of skating you like to do. If you are a speed demon, and all you like is to train and race, then a marathon-style skate may be best for you. In general, manufacturers have categories such as speed/marathon, city/commuting, fitness/general, quad skates/roller skates, aggressive/skatepark.
2. Determine your budget. It is helpful to narrow your search if you have a price range–a maximum you are willing to spend, and a minimum too! You get what you pay for, and it’s smart to think of the low-end limit as well.
3. Try on as many pairs of skates as you can that are within your search criteria. This can be a challenge for many, as the selection of skates at brick-and-mortar stores can be limited depending on where you live. Make every effort to visit a physical retailer, because every skate boot fits differently and to compare different options in real-time is very useful!
Another option to try on many different skates at once is to spend time at the NorthShore Inline Marathon Race Expo, where there are plenty of vendors who have skates available for trial and purchase!
4. Go for comfort. If you have narrowed down your choices smartly, then it should come down to pure comfort and your gut feel. What pair can you envision having strapped to your feet for hours on end?
5. Go skate! Many retailers do offer exchanges or refunds, so consider “breaking in” your skates in a way that allows for an exchange if need be. For instance, stay out of the rain, stay off of dirty trails, and treat your new skates very nicely until you are sure that they work for you. Give them a fair shake, and also focus on comfort. Address any hot-spots right away. Above all, enjoy your new skates!