Types of ice skates?

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Ice skates come in different types for different purposes. Figure skates have a small heel and hollow-bottomed steel blades with notched spikes for executing moves. Recreational skates lack padding and support, while speed skates have longer flat blades. Hockey skates have a tilted boot and curved blades for omni-directional movement and require durability and superior comfort. Prices vary depending on quality.

Figure skating is probably the most popular ice skating sport. Its turns, jumps and other stunts require special ice skates. Figure skates consist of boots with a small heel and hollow-bottomed steel blades that extend about an inch beyond the back of the boot. Their curved fronts are notched with spikes that allow the skater to execute certain moves. Beginner skaters may have a cheaper skate with a vinyl boot, but pros have leather boots, often custom-made, even with custom blades. Their skates can run into the hundreds of dollars.

Recreational ice skates look like figure skates, but aren’t as well built, lacking much of the padding or support that a professional skater would require. These are the choice of people who skate simply for pleasure on the rink or outdoors. Children’s ice skates are similar to adult skates. Some have hard plastic boots that help support your child’s ankle and some even have double blades for added balance. Recreational skates cost around $40 and up, depending on quality.

Speed ​​skates are completely different from figure or leisure ice skates. They are designed to optimize fast, forward motion, rather than the omnidirectional motion provided by figure skates. Speed ​​skate blades are much longer than the boot, usually about 16 or 17 inches. They are also flat which helps in forward skating. A new innovation in speed ice skates is the “slap blade,” a skate blade that comes off the heel while the skater is running, presumably aiding in forward momentum. Boots can be made of lightweight leather or another strong yet flexible material that allows the foot to move in a natural running position.

Hockey skates are another variation in the world of ice skates. Hockey skates have a boot that tilts the foot forward and looks more like an athletic shoe. The blades are approximately the same length as the boot and are curved front and back to allow omni-directional movement of the skater. Hockey skates need to be very durable and able to withstand hits from other players’ hockey sticks, pucks, and skates. Because they’re used in a sport that requires quick movement in all directions, the boots are cushioned and designed like the best running shoes. Hockey players are usually on ice skates for extended periods in competition, unlike speed and figure skaters, and must have boots with superior comfort and support.

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