This is a very important part of what we do at Bike Universe, and very important to anyone buying skates, particularly to parents paying for ice time and coaching. Boot fitting knowledge only comes with years of experience. It is worth calling down to see how busy it is at the store. Our heat moulding and fitting process can take up to an hour, so make sure to give yourself an hour before we close. It is important to bring the same socks/leggings that you would be skating in. Ideally, the skater should be in a thin sock with little to no seam. Some skaters go barefoot. A thinner sock allows for more of a connection to the boot and therefore the blade, allowing for more accurate and protected landings. Always bring your old pair, as the old boot is very indicative of the skater’s strength and helps in determining if it is an appropriate boot or if they need to move up.
Having a properly fitting boot is imperative. Too small of a boot, and there will be pressure on different parts of the foot. To large of a boot creates a number of issues. Arch support in the wrong spot; room in the boot, which increases the possibility of blisters and ankle injuries; disconnection from the boot and blade, reducing performance and inhibiting progress. A skate should be tight fitting but not be causing pressure on the foot. The skater should be able to flex the boot, but should not be folding it over completely. If a skater cannot bend/work a boot, it is not the right boot. To put it into perspective, stand on a short stool and jump off without bending your ankles and then land without bending your ankles. Now picture this on skates. Technology for skates has advanced considerably over the years. Most brands incorporate a cutout in the ankle area. This cutout is to allow for a crease to form in the boot, allowing for the ankle to bend forward. This is accomplished while still having a large amount of support to protect against side-to-side movement. If the skater is not creasing the boot, the boot is too strong.
When booting, we take a number of things into consideration: Number of hours on the ice per week, weight of the skater, level of jump they are working on, what their old boot looks like, shape of their foot, and the type of skating -ie freestyle/dance/can. All of this helps to determine the appropriate boot and blade combination.
With a purchase, your first sharpen is free. We punch for free up to four months from the time of purchase. Punching is not an expensive or time-consuming process. If a skate seems like it could feel better, chances are we can make it feel better. Don’t suffer through anything. If you ever have questions or concerns, always stop by or give us a ring.