Figure skating has a long-lasting and beautiful history. Whether it was used as a form of transportation or as recreation, it has always been a graceful way of gliding across frozen lakes or ponds.
In modern skating, newer and more lightweight materials are used, refining the experience for new and experienced skaters alike.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already an accomplished skater, buying a pair of skates that are perfect for you is not an easy task. In this guide, we’re going to show you some of the top figure skates on the market currently. Also, you’ll learn the different parts of the skates and how they relate to your purchase.
Top 5 Figure Skates
Riedell 625 Soar
These skates are ready to make you comfortable as you begin your skating journey! Although they will need to be broken in, the hand-made lining on the inside will safeguard your feet. Also, foam quarter padding gives you the extra comfort needed to continue skating all day long!
The sleek design of the boots makes them a good purchase for men or women. They’re available in different colors to appeal to both genders.
To make caring for skates even simpler, Riedell has included PVC soles in these skates.
- Available in men’s and women’s sizes
- All day comfort
- Good for beginners or recreational skaters
- Excellent ankle support
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Must be sharpened upon purchase
- Durability may be an issue for aggressive skaters
- Material is synthetic leather instead of genuine
- Not recommended for advanced skaters
Riedell Model 110 Opal
This is another great option from a brand that is trusted with excellence in the field of figure skates. These women’s skates are perfect for that moment when you decide that rental skates just don’t cut it anymore.
If you like traditional styling and highly value comfort while skating, then these figure skates may be your perfect match. Comfort and performance work together in harmony for these boots, featuring padded lining, chrome-plated blades, and easy to maintain soles.
The Riedell 110 Opal skates are sturdy and durable for a beginner to intermediate level. They provide excellent ankle support to ensure no injuries on the rink.
- Simple maintenance and cleaning
- Traditional styling with modern materials
- Best for beginner or intermediate skaters
- Built for comfort
- Somewhat rough interior at the top of the boot
- Not meant for professional skaters
Men’s Elite Softec ST7002
It’s time to get the men back out onto the ice! These men’s figure skates are built for comfort and performance. The laces are complimented by a Velcro strap that ensures the best amount of support within the boot and around the ankle.
The foam padded lining of the boot leads to the best amount of comfort, while also providing the extra warmth you’ll need on the rink. The blade that comes attached is the Ultima Mark II, giving you the ease and performance that you need in a professional blade.
Beyond the mechanics, these skates feature an intelligent and streamlined design that will get you looks on the ice rink.
- Warmth and comfort are built into the plush foam lining
- Excellent support
- First rate comfort for intermediate or beginning skaters
- Attractive styling
- Made to be more of a recreational skate
Bladerunner Ladies Aurora
Ladies, get ready for fashion forward design that still glides with great performance. If you’re looking for a skate that is built in a traditional style but with a modern flair, then these women’s skates are a great option for you!
Preserve your femininity on the ice rink, but don’t lose that fantastic performance! These skates are built for stability and support, ensuring that you can maintain your reputation as a skater. To keep your feet warm, these boots feature a faux fur lining that also adds to their style!
With double density padding made from foam, you’ll find that comfort is built into these figure skates. You’ll be able to perform your best without feeling much pain. They’re perfect for different skill levels, from beginners to advanced skaters.
- Foam padding for good ankle support
- Durable design
- Faux fur lining for extra warmth
- Stylish exterior
- Chrome plated carbon steel runner
- Made of synthetic leather instead of genuine
- Blades will need to be sharpened more frequently than with other skates
Riedell 615 Soar for Children
The whole family can enjoy time on the ice rink together, or you can let the kids have their fun while you relax on the sidelines. Either way, these children’s figure skates are a great option for young ones on the rink!
These boots have built in quarter padding and a quilted lining that make them easier on your children’s feet. They’ll be able to enjoy comfort while skating, whether it’s for a short or long period of time. The laces come with a Velcro strap that ensures easy and secure fastening.
Both boys and girls will enjoy these figure skates due to their comfort and durability. Also, to appeal to the tastes of both genders, these skates are available in different colors.
These skates are perfect for tots who are learning their way on the ice.
- Comfortable foam lining for children
- Easy and secure fastening
- Good ankle support
- Made for beginners
- Must be sharpened before use
Buying Guide for Figure Skates
When you’re looking for your perfect pair of skates, it’s important to know not only what to buy, but how to ensure that you’re getting the best quality. That’s why we’ve produced a buying guide. Here, we’ll lead you through the basics aspects of figure skates, and how those aspects relate to your perfect purchase.
The boot itself is a very important part of the skate, as its features will ultimately lead to your comfort and stability on the ice. Let’s discuss different features of the boots and how they may affect your decision.
Often, synthetic leather is used in less expensive figure skates, and typically it provides less ankle support. That being said, modern models usually include extra padding, which makes them more comfortable.
Genuine leather boots are usually more professional, and thus more expensive. They provide solid support for your ankles, thus allowing you to perform different figures with better stability. However, they tend to be less comfortable to wear.
Whichever type of boot that you buy, they will need to be broken in. If you’re focused on a more professional boot, these will likely be stiffer and will thus be harder to break in.
Support and Stiffness
When trying to find a boot that fits your needs, ensure that the ankle support is good for you. It should be snug all the way around. As mentioned above, higher quality skates will be stiffer, thus offering more support for those who wish to do figures and jumps.
If you are just beginning, it is not recommended to buy skates that are very stiff. Doing so will make it harder for you to learn, and will cause more pain than it’s worth. Stick with beginner’s skates to start, and if you feel you need to upgrade, you can always do so in the future.
The way that the blades are designed is highly dependent on the type of figure skating that you plan on doing. For example, dancing skates tend to have short-tailed blades, while freestyle figure skates come with blades that are longer. It’s up to you to decide what type of figure skating you will do, and thus which blades will fit your needs.
If your toe pick is too large, it will result in more difficult skating. Thus, check how many picks your blades have. A normal number of picks would be 3 or 4. However, for freestyle skating, you may find that more intense picks will be useful.
Fitting the Blades
In professional skates, the blades are screwed directly onto the boot so that skaters can adjust the fit as needed. When the blades are correctly centered to the body of the boot, it results in easy and natural skating across the ice. Your feet will be upright, not falling inward or outward.
It is not uncommon for blades to come unsharpened. Thus, it’s imperative that you sharpen them before taking them out on the ice. A professional sharpener who is familiar with figure skating should do this work, and it will cost you from $10 to $20. Sharpen them regularly to maintain good performance.
Figure skates show the quality of the build by the extra features they have. If a boot is of lesser quality, it probably won’t include the items mentioned in the list below. If you’re looking for an intermediate to advance figure skate, then these features are important to ensure comfort and safety on the ice. Check to see if your boots have these features to ensure good quality.
If you’re looking for an advanced skate, then it should come with heel counters. These will give you the extra support needed within the heel of the boot. If you’re planning on doing jumps or spins, make sure to check for this.
We mentioned the importance of ankle support within the boot above. Reinforcements within the sides of the boot give extra ankle support. These should be found in intermediate to advanced boots.
A good figure skate is both comfortable and solid. Quarter padding within the boot gives you both of these essential features. They might not be found in less expensive boots.
Looking at some of the top brands in the world of figure skating, there are three that especially stand out.
This company was actually founded Don Jackson, a man who dedicated his life to figure skating. Thus, the product is built by skaters, for skaters. The company was founded in 1966 and has grown to one of the most renowned sellers of figure skates in the world.
Today, Jackson continues to make skates on the basis of advice from skaters themselves. Thus, the product that they produce brings satisfaction to the end user.
After over 70 years in the business, Riedell knows what they’re talking about. They help figure skaters find skates that they love and that keep them stable and comfortable on the ice. The founder, Paul Riedell, has a place in both the ice skating and roller skating Hall of Fame and created this company as a way to build the perfect skate for all different types of skaters.
They produce skates that are comfortable, but still great for high performance. They give you the edge that you need to beat the competition, or just to enjoy a recreational day around the rink.
This family-run business is now owned by Paul Riedell’s grandchildren who continue to carry on his legacy.
Buying Custom Figure Skates
Beginning to intermediate skaters will be quite happy with the quality and durability of a well-made skate. However, when is it reasonable to purchase a custom figure skate?
An adult at a professional level of figure skating may consider buying a figure skate that is custom fitted to their foot. Also, anyone who faces issues such as a wide ball, a thin heel, or other odd foot combinations may want to consider purchasing custom figure skates.
Choosing the best figure skates for your particular needs and wants will result in money well spent and potentially years of enjoyment. Depending on your level of skill or the type of figure skating that you want to do, your choice of skate may differ. The options above give you an idea of some of the best skates available, but remember that not every skate will fit every foot. Find the combination of features and design that works for you, and purchase your perfect figure skates!