My current pair of skates is about 8 or 9 years old. At the time, I drove 2 hours to a small pro shop to get my feet fitted, and I was so excited to have something that actually supported my ankles and wasn’t a beginner boot. As the years went by, I would often look down and notice an oddity – the skates looked huge on me. In addition, I often felt like I was tripping on myself. I brushed it off and blamed it on my bad skating technique or lack of confidence, and my coach agreed.
Flash forward to two weeks ago. I asked my other skating friends how much room they had in their skating boots, and nearly all of them said that they had no extra room. Their feet fit snugly in their boots, so they wondered why I would ask such a question. I told them that I felt like I had an inch of room beyond my toes and that I could easily bend my toes downward and probably even fit a golf ball inside.
<Cue gasps and mouths dropping>
I told this to my coach, and she was just as surprised as I was with this discovery. We looked at my blade, and it was the correct length for the boots. But because my boots were already big on me, the blades were too long for my feet. She asked me what size boots I wore, and I told her that my Jacksons were size 7.5. My coach was also wearing size 7.5 boots, but her (street) shoe size is half a size bigger than mine. Uh-oh. How on earth did I skate for so long with incorrectly sized equipment?!
Obviously, I needed to make an appointment to get properly fitted. I called a different pro shop that was located 2 hours away and made the time to go up there for a fitting. I pretty much did this on a whim and was not at all expecting to buy new equipment anytime soon (especially since I just replaced my blades this spring).
After 5 hours (!) of trying on different boots and discussing new blades, I finally decided on a pair of Edea Ice Fly boots with MK Professional blades. And get this – my new blades are a full 3/4″ shorter than my old pair. And my new boots? They are a 1.5 sizes smaller than what I was wearing previously. Check out this comparison:
|Left: Old skates (Jackson Competitor/Coronation Ace); Right: New skates (Edea Ice Fly/MK Professional)|
My new equipment will take a while to get used to, so it might be a while before I start feeling comfortable on the ice. It’s going to be so weird to be skating in a boot that actually fits my feet correctly!