How to choose skates

Buy your own skates for different reasons: some people are tired of using rental skates - they are not very comfortable or often do not have the right size, someone chooses them for professional sports, and someone just has the opportunity to skate in their own backyard. How to choose skates to skate with pleasure?

Types of skates
The first criterion for choosing skates is their type or purpose. There are notable differences between the different types of skates. The main types of skates are:

figure skates;
hockey;
walking or fitness skates;
for skating sports.
Figure skates have a classic shaped boot with a high lacing, which securely fixes the ankle joint, which is important when performing jumps. A distinctive feature of figure skates is the presence of teeth in the front part of the blade to perform the elements of figure skating. Rear part of the blade is slightly elongated for stability. Insulator in the shoes of such skates is not.

Hockey skates must fully protect the hockey player's feet from being hit with a puck, stick and other injuries, so they are made rigid. The high shoe is connected to the blade with a special plastic attachment called a cup. The blade is shorter than in figure skates, and more rounded. Most often, the boots of such skates do not have an insulator. A separate type - goalie skates with an elongated blade and a boot with enhanced protection.

Walking or fitness skates also have a rigid high boot, but are more comfortable and the presence of insulation or a removable inner boot, as in roller skates. Tricks and shaped elements they can not perform, except for the simplest, but you can skate at the rink for fun.

Skates for skating have an elongated thin blade and a special design with hinges and springs. In this case the blade is removable and attached to the movable joint only in the front part of the shoe and in the heel area is lowered to the locking device on the blade. This makes it possible to achieve high speed and easier cornering. This design is called a clap or clappe because of the clapping sound produced when you push, and first appeared at the Nagano Olympics in 1998, previously the heel was locked in place. The shoe is low, leaving the ankle and Achilles tendon movements free.

These skates are divided into sprint and stayer skates. In the first case, the springs are stiffer, reinforcing the push, in the second case - softer, providing a smoother movement.

Criteria for selecting skates
Size
Skates are bought in size. When buying skates is better to try them on to make sure they are comfortable. The fingers should touch the inner surface of the sock lightly, not rest against it, and the heel should not dangle.

For children you can buy sliding skates or regular size, but in any case not larger - this is not only uncomfortable, but also has a negative impact on the foot, ligaments and tendons of a growing child.

Ice hockey skates have their own size grid, so it is better to study it on the manufacturer's website before buying. Also, hockey boots are selected by the width of the foot and come in standard (D or R), narrow (C or N) and wide (W or E). In this case, the size differs from the standard size by 0.6 cm.

Blade
The shape of the blade of skates differs depending on their purpose, but they have one thing in common: the strength of the steel from which they are made.

simple stainless steel is found in children's skates, especially with double blades - due to the addition of chromium it is softer, but resistant to corrosion;
alloyed steel with additions of chromium, nickel, manganese, making it harder than stainless steel;
carbon steel and high-carbon steel have carbon in different ratios. The more carbon, the harder the steel.
Blades must be sharpened periodically to maintain the proper sharpening angle and proper contact with ice. This can be done in sports stores, rental shops, and service stations. How often it should be done depends on the quality of steel and previous sharpening, skating style, frequency of training and weight of the owner of skates.

It is believed that good metal for the blades should be matte. After each skating or training session, you should wipe the blades dry and put cloth or rubber covers on them.