Advantages of a Skate Fitting
The advantages of purchasing skates in person from Houston Skate & Sports Orthotics Center versus online:
1. Professional evaluation and fitting.
The importance of a professional evaluation and fitting cannot be overemphasized. Ice skates are different then shoe purchases where you basically try on a few pair until you find one that feels the best. When you’re wearing shoes and keeping your feet flat on the ground, the slight bodily imperfections (pronation, muscle tightness, bowlegged, leg length discrepancy, etc.) are concealed from others as well as yourself. Ever notice how different people will wear out the bottom of their shoes in different places? That’s because everyone’s feet and body are unique. There are distinct stress levels and demands placed on the various parts of an individual’s feet depending on how that person was built. It’s not always noticeable when your wear flat soled shoes on a flat surface.
However, when you are wearing skates, you are elevated a few inches off the floor on a blade 1/8” wide and are expected to stand up straight, skate, balance, jump, spin, and perform other skating maneuvers successfully. Any imperfections in the skater’s technique, strength, or body are going to become much more obvious than they would otherwise. Now, those stress levels and the places where your shoes wear out become significant to the future success of a skater and an improperly fit skate will also contribute to a lack of skating success, lack of confidence and early breakdown of the boot.
With a professional skate evaluation, foot shape, body structure, bodily imperfections and current skating ability can be evaluated where the fitter takes into consideration many important factors such as the length and width of the foot, the height of the arch, as well as any pronation (rolling in) or supination (rolling out) issues . They will also evaluate the legs and hips by inspecting the knees and determine if the hips turn in or out to ascertain the most appropriate style skate and size for that individual skater. Several different skates can be tried on to ensure all areas of correct fit and function are reached. The result is the most appropriate product and fit to assist the skater on the ice.
2. Free heat molding and comfort adjustments.
Depending on the skater and the figure skate ultimately chosen, some skates may need to be heat molded in order to help with the break-in period and to allow the fitter to adjust any uncomfortable areas of the skate with a spot punch system specifically designed for skates. Comfort adjustments may also be performed to make the skater more comfortable. This enables the skater to immediately feel more at ease on the ice in their skates and immediately take advantage of their new skates.
3. Complimentary blade sharpening on your new pair of skates.
Blades come from the factory in a relatively dull condition and each level of skating requires a different degree of sharpening. We’ll sharpen your blades with the degree of sharpness appropriate for your skating level to get you started on the “right foot.”
4. Dynamic alignment to ensure blade placement is correct.
Not everyone can stand up straight on a pair of skates – even if it is the best fit possible. One reason for this is the slight bodily imperfections mentioned above. So, since you can’t necessarily ‘fix’ the body, you can make modifications to the blade mounting/alignment that in many cases can counteract to one degree or another what the body is doing. This will make skating for that person much easier than it would otherwise be.
Prefer to buy a pair of skates online instead? Why? When you purchase your skates online, what do get in addition to your skates – a sizing chart and a 15-20% restocking fee? You can’t try anything on; you have no idea whether the skate actually fits or not, and you still need to pay for all the other items we provide for free (which, by the way, makes your skates ineligible for return as far as the online vendor is concerned.) Instead, come by and see us or, if that's simply not possible, contact us. We've developed a process that's proven successful for fitting skates as far away as the other side of the world.