Buying Roller Skates

Mac’s has always offered skates for rent. That way even the most casual of skaters can always find a pair if they want to take a spin around the rink. But we know that not everyone who skates at Mac’s is that casual, and if you love skating so much that you skate every chance you get then you should consider investing in a pair of your own.

Your own skates will seem expensive at first because you’re dropping a lot of money all at once, but if you really love skating and have been doing it often then think about how much of your money you’ve spent renting skates you can’t keep. Isn’t it better to have your own that fit your feet just right? And if you have your own it means you can skate not only at Mac’s, but any time you want!

Choose Your Skating Discipline

Artistic figure skating has clothing and routines that are similarly elaborate as those in ice skating.If you know which skating discipline you’d like to practice, you’ll want to do research on it, find out who manufactures skates for it, and read reviews to find out if those skates seem like they’ll be good for you as well. Just remember that specialized skates are probably going to cost a little more than a typical pair of nonspecialized skates.

If you don’t know which discipline you’re interested in, you can check our post on roller skating disciplines and see if there’s one you like. If you aren’t interested in any discipline and would just prefer to “free skate” at a rink or in your neighborhood, you should be able to find suitable skates at a sports outlet or online retail store.

When You Should Shop for Roller Skates

Roller skate shopping isn’t too far removed from shoe shopping. So if you’re going to buy your own set of roller skates, the best time to go shopping for them is after you’ve been walking around for a while, when your feet have swollen a bit. Your feet do swell when you walk, even when you haven’t hurt them; in most cases this is normal and nothing to worry about.

So if you can, shop for skates after you’ve already been on your feet for hours. This way they’ll still fit comfortably after you’ve been skating for a long time. And if you’re not too steady on your feet, bring someone along to help you.

How You Should Shop for Roller Skates

First, do your research on the retailer and find out what you can and can’t do with skates you try on.  For example, a sports retailer that you can visit in person may permit you to try the skates on, but for safety reasons may not want you to skate along the aisles; meanwhile, an online retailer may be fine with you skating as long as you do so only in your home where the skates aren’t likely to be damaged (and if you do return the skates damaged, they won’t refund your money). So always know what a retailer’s restrictions are before trying on or ordering a pair of skates.

Trying On Skates While Sitting

Buying roller skates doesn't have to be complicated, but there are some things to know before you start.Keep in mind that most of us have one foot that’s a little bigger than the other. Also for most of us, it’s not obvious which one is bigger. Commonly, though, it’s our dominant foot (the foot you push off of when you first start to walk). So when you’re trying on skates, choose your skate size according to what’s comfortable for whichever of your feet is bigger. Don’t assume that a little bit of a pinch  anywhere on your foot will get better—it probably won’t.

If you’re sitting on a bench, check beneath it once the skates are on your feet and see if there’s room to roll the skates back. If so, move carefully to the edge of the bench and roll the skates back under it as though you were in a slight crouching position. Try as many skating positions as you can while seated and notice any discomfort.

Trying On Skates While Standing

If you don’t feel any pain while you’re sitting, it’s time to try standing in the skates. Hopefully you were able to sit on a bench while you put the skates on, so standing won’t be too difficult. But if you have to get up from the floor, we’ve talked about how get up while wearing skates in a previous post. This is the time to have someone with you so that they  can help steady you. Even if you’re a good skater, the skates aren’t yours yet, so you don’t want to fall and damage them.

If you’re in a sports store and the retailer allows you to skate, skate slowly in an open area and stay away from other store patrons. You don’t need to go fast to get an understanding of how the skates will feel on your feet, so always be responsible and courteous toward others. Try a variety of skating positions. Pay attention to how your feet feel as you skate, and if anything pinches or squeezes, don’t put up with it—find another pair.

The Exception to the Rule

Lace bite is a condition characterized by pain and sometimes swelling, rashes, or blisters.In most cases, if a pair of skates cause you discomfort while sitting you’re likely to feel it while standing as well, which means that particular pair of skates isn’t right for you. Issues like lace bite (see image at right) can be a sign that your chosen skates aren’t right for you. However, because of skate design it’s possible that you may feel discomfort when you sit down, but not when you stand up.

If that’s the case and if you really like the skates otherwise, consider that you’re more likely to be standing up than sitting down while you’re wearing them. You may decide that purchasing them is worth the risk. Just realize that once you start rolling with them, you won’t be able to return them.

If You Got It, Flaunt It!

Once you’ve chosen your skates and made your purchase, come by Mac’s and show off your awesome new wheels. Mac’s doesn’t charge for skate rental if you bring your own skates, so you can enjoy a small discount every time you skate with us!

Just keep in mind that you do need to maintain your roller skates, but rest assured that Mac’s has you covered there, too, with some advice on roller skate care and inline skate care.