Step 2: Get Equipment in Order

The skates I have been using for the last 20 years are Riedell Silver Star boots with MK Competition blades. Those blades are low end stainless steal blades that actually came off of a pair of my sister’s skates from the 1970s, they  don’t exist anymore. When the skate pro shop guy looked at them over the weekend, he was laughing at how old they were and how they came in third-inch sizes instead of fourth-inch sizes like they have for the best couple of decades. He was a skate blade nerd who was trying to look up these blades in old books, so it was funny. I kept telling him they were from the 70s. Seriously. The 70s! At some point in the last couple of years, I was at a rink and lost my skate covers and thus threw them in my bag with the skate guards on, leading to them getting some rust on them. There is also the problem that they are too long for my boots and have a weird mount because of that. Its not like I didn’t use them for years like that, but they drove my skating coach nuts back in the day because she always wanted my feet to be closer together for crossovers, mohawks, etc. and when I tried, the back tail would clank.

Here are the bottom of my skates where (I don’t know how well you can see) that my blades have some rust and are in desperate need of sharpening.


The skate pro shop guy did a pretty good job of sharpening them up so all the rust is gone now, but even he laughed at my weird mount set up.

After sharpening, they are shiny again, bur still too long, with mismatched and missing screws.

So, then we talked about new blades, and I had my eye on MK dance blades, but they are pricy, so he showed me some Riedell Eclipse blades that are high carbon steel (holds edges longer and less rust-prone) and much less expensive than the MK blades. Of course, we could then get a shorter blade to fit and fix the mounting.

And THEN, since in the end he is a salesman trying to sell me shit I don’t need, he started talking me out of my boots. (don’t worry, except for the sharpening, I have purchased nothing…yet.) My boots are not broken down and although they do have a few bumps and scrapes, they are in decent condition. The insides are a little scraped up, but not too bad. The issue is this: When I was skating a lot in these boots, (like nearly every day for several hours) I did develop a very nasty case of plantar fasciitis. It was painful. We tried different custom inserts and things, but they still hurt severely for the first 30 minutes that I wear them. I also busted some ligaments in my knees once, and although that is likely because of several falls and not the boots, it did drive home to me the fact that walking is very important to me, and when I can’t do it, I become much, MUCH more disabled.

Current state of my boots, in pretty good shape, but would new boots protect from injury? (Notice also I bought new skate covers. No more rust for me.)

I have not been fitted for boots in 20 years. I guess my feet could have changed in that time. Also, I no longer feel like I need this type of big cement boots that are capable of quad jumps. Quad jumps are not in my future.

Elite level ice dance is also not in my future, but ain’t these nice? The inside looks so comfy. (Edea Dance Boots)

So, we talked about dance blades and boots. I’m a little scared to get new blades that are shorter and have a more severe rocker. Will I have to learn to skate all over again? And, could I get a less rigid boot and still have a safe and comfortable boot that would help prevent injury? And could I do this without spending a fortune? The truth is, I don’t need skates that cost a grand. I am going to be doing at most, dance patterns and waltz jumps and things TOPS. Can I get a comfortable set for a reasonable price? I paid about $300-something for these silver stars 20 years ago. They are worth about $700 new in 2018, believe it or not. I paid nothing for the blade.

If you buy a good blade that fits your boot, it can last through several pairs of boots. Really, it can last your lifetime if you take care of it.  I’m thinking of getting the eclipse blade (low $200s) and then seeing if there is a cheap boot out there that still is very comfortable (looking at edea?) OR, I could buy the blade with these boots. OR I could do nothing now that I have nicely sharpened shiny blades again.

All this and I haven’t even skated yet. I feel a bit like some middle aged man with a midlife crisis that buys an overpriced sports car to relive his youth. But at least my skates will be a lot cheaper than a sports car no matter what I do.

My main goal is to skate comfortably without injury to help improve my mental and physical health. So, trying to keep it in those parameters and not just go off the deep geeky end.




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