The most important part of selecting a skate is the fit. You may think that
durability and looks are right up there, but if the skate doesn't fit properly
you won't use it. Skates come in all shapes and sizes. Some are thin and have
nothing more than a sock-like liner. Others see the value in comfortable liners
and insert memory foam liners in their skates. Before you even put the skates
on, you should look at the liner and feel all around it to see how good it is.
There should be a little extra padding at the toe for those frequent crunches,
and they may also offer custom inserts to better fit your foot. Regardless,
skates should be thick and sturdy.
Basic Rules on looking for good quality comfortable inline skates
There are some basic
rules that ensure whether a skate is a good fit or not. Of course the first
is to know your foot size which can be determined during your Rollerblading Brisbane lesson. Your EUROPEAN (EUR) shoe size is a very handy measurement to know so check your favourite pair of runners / gym shoes before your lesson. If you are measuring your foot firstly do so whilst seated so that the length,
arch and width may be measured. You should then stand up and take note of any
changes. If there are significant changes, this could mean that you tend to
pronate and may need a custom insole. You should also measure both feet since
it is quite common to have one foot slightly larger. If so, you should probably get the larger
size so that both are comfortable in the skate. Getting some lessons can save you the hassle of buying the wrong skates since good skate schools can always supply skates and Rollerblading Brisbane may be able to sell you a pair of ex-rental skates to save you time and money. We can also recommend to you inline skate shops in Brisbane that stock quality equipment..
Womens Recreational / Fitness Inline Skates
Women have a different
foot shape than men that tends to have thinner heels, higher insteps, higher arch, and
lower forefoot. A woman's forefoot often tends to spread a little more than
a man's when weighted, and this should be taken into account. Also important
is the cuff of the skate. Rollerblading Brisbane has a number of pairs of inline skates (and rollerskates) available for lessons so make sure you know what your EURO shoe size is by either checking your sizing on our sizing chart or checking inside your favourite runners / gym shoes for the EUR size. If you are taking up inline skating in order to boost your fitness it is recommended that you get a lesson in the type of skates that you considering buying because you'll need to ensure the inline skates are comfortable otherwise you will be less inclined to use them.
Liner Types and socks
Liner types are also pretty important. Lace up liners tend to offer greater support and better fitting
than normal stitched liners. Most inline skate liners can be removed for washing. Use 'odour eaters' to keep your liners and feet healthy! If you get blisters we recommend that you refrain from popping them! Instead you may wish to consider using hydrocolloidal pads such as the Compeed ones after washing and drying the affected area. Use socks with a sufficient length ie avoid low cut ankle socks.
Narrow feet are a
different story. The easiest way to deal with them is to add pads in along the
liner. Underneath, on the sides, wherever you can to make a good fit. And of
course as in the wide foot scenario, you don't want to buy a narrower but shorter
boot. Don't trade one uncomfortable aspect for another.
General looseness of skates
If the skate length is fine, but the feel is just a bit loose, try lifting the
foot by use of pads.
Back and forth looseness: If the skate is of a good fit, but tends to
move back and forth, try adding a tongue pad in. This helps push the foot back
and is good for solving problems like this.
Sensitive instep: Adding a pad in the tongue away from the sensitive
spot tends to help relieve pressure.
Skates too wide: If it is just a little too wide, put a pad along
the outside of the liner. If it is way too lose, put a pad both along the inside
Loose heel: A customised heel cushion could be helpful. You should
place the pad inside the liner.
Pronation and supination: A heel wedge will help with support
and stance in both cases. If it is a severe case, custom-fitted insoles may
After you know what
type of fit you are seeking, the next obvious question is which type of skate...
so knowing what type/s of skating you want to do is essential.
Recreational / fitness inline skates tend to be lighter and have bigger / softer wheels. They can be further
divided into soft-boot or hard boot skates. All good recreational skates feature
a heel brake which can be easily replaced.
Slalom / Freeride inline skates tend to be tighter than recreational skates and allow the rider to do tricks between cones. The brake is removed and skaters require a higher level of skill stopping. (Ask your instructor for more details).
Aggressive inline skates have smaller flattened wheels, a soul space
and H-block designed for grinding and launching off ramps. They're built for
strength. Their lower centre of gravity makes aggressive skates better for use
in a skate park or on the city streets. For junior skaters, some manufacturers
have combined the benefits of having an aggressive skate with a heel brake.
The heel brake may be removed once the child is competent in using turns to
control their speed and when having a brake may get in the way (e.g. on a half-pipe).
(see Australian Rollerblading
/ Inline Skating Online Magazine (aka Rollerblading.com.au) for more information on Aggressive Inline
Skating). Rollerblading Brisbane offers aggressive inline skating introductory lessons to proficient recreational skaters. Ask your instructor for more details.
Speed skates are usually very light and have 4 or 5 wheels. Having 5 wheels
makes the skate faster but also slightly harder to turn.
The trend has definitely been towards lower numbers of wheel setups and wheel diameters as high as 125mm! Ask your instructor for more details. We love speed skating! Just make sure you learn how to stop on rollerblades very well first! We would not recommend using speed skates for our lessons unless you have specifically requested (i.e. let your instructor know) about this.
Hockey skates are designed to allow skaters to turn faster often incorporating
'rockering' of the wheels and a detachable heel brake. Hockey skaters will often remove the heel brake from their skates so that it does not get in their way performing cross-over turns and hockey stops. We do not recommend that you use hockey skates for our beginner & intermediate level lessons because it is more cost effective as well as safer to use a fitted heel brake going down hills and our lessons encourage the use of heel brakes for safety reasons.
Skate Parts - wheels and bearings
Skate parts are also
an essential part of a purchase. Make sure that the bearings are sturdy (ABEC-1
to ABEC-5), and the skate has some sort of metal rockering spacers. Metal bearing
spacers are also extremely important for speed and stability. Don't go spending
too much extra money on wheels. By the time you need to purchase new wheels, you will know
how you skate and can get wheels that best suit your needs. Softer wheels wear down faster.
Remember to regularly turn over your wheels to ensure even wear. Your instructor can advise you on this.