The right skate for you
The skates in our store are organized into categories that represent common purposes for how our customers use their skates. The descriptions below explain our ideas behind the way the skates are grouped on our website and will help guide you to find the right skate for you!
Between our retail locations, our online store and the skating experience of all our employees, we have extensive hands on experience in helping people find the perfect skate for their individual purpose. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Sizing is a very important part of choosing the right skate. A properly sized skate will increase control, comfort and performance. Please watch our "How to measure your skate size" video below to ensure a proper fit. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us!
First off, "Recreational" can sometimes be used synonymously with "low end" or "entry level" when referencing inline skates. That is not the case here, our Recreational Skates represent more versatility and general purpose usability than the quality of the skate. This type of skate reflects the everyday spirit of inline skating. Take your skates on trails, commute to and from work, explore the city, or really make the most of your imagination.
As a general rule of thumb, smaller wheels offer superior control and maneuverability, whereas bigger wheels offer greater top-end speed and distance with every stride. Soft-boot skates are a more lightweight option, well suited to experienced casual skaters, since the majority of the boot is made from flexible fabric. Hard-boot skates are primarily constructed from plastic and/or carbon fibre, which makes these skates more supportive, responsive, and durable than their soft- boot counterpart. We like to recommend hard-boot skates for most skaters because they offer the most support and control, which in turn brings about superior performance. We do not recommend soft-boot skates for beginners or skaters over 150 lbs because of their minimal support..
This collection offers a very unique inline skating experience. Using your creativity, these skates will allow you to interact with your environment in a completely new way. Whether you want to ride the smooth concrete waves at the skatepark or grind down a gritty street rail, these skates have what it takes to get any job done. These skates are also known as aggressive inline skates and are available in a variety of different boot styles and wheels set ups.
For a traditional skating experience, we recommend a hard plastic boot with a higher cuff and a removable liner. These skates have a good general fit, and a lot of ankle support. Making them a great choice for beginners, as they make the learning process easier and safer.
For the more experienced skaters, the carbon fibre boot seems to be the most popular choice. Making use of the most advanced technology available to aggressive skaters, these skates offer a closer fit with individual shell sizes. These boots are light, supportive, durable, and extremely responsive. Allowing you to take your skills to the next level.
The two most common wheel set ups for either boot are “Flat” or “Anti Rocker”. Anti Rocker set ups come with small plastic wheels in the center of each skate, making grinding on rails or ledges easier. Whereas the Flat set up, comes with all 8 urethane wheels in the same size, making the skate faster, more maneuverable, easier to control, and offers a better shock absorption. We highly recommend the flat setup, especially to beginners, as it provides a better all around experience of skating.
Weather you choose to ride Flat or Anti Rocker, you can always change your set up and experience something new. If you choose an Anti-Rocker set up for grinds, you can buy an extra set of 4 urethane wheels and bearings, switch with the plastic wheels in the center, and enjoy the smooth skating feel. Or if you get a Flat set up, you can buy a set of Plastic Anti Rocker wheels, replace them with your center urethane wheels and enjoy grinding with ease.
The inline skates falling within the Speed category combine a minimal, lightweight boot with a relatively large wheel-base in order to maximize speed and efficiency. Larger diameter wheels, typically ranging from 90mm to 110mm, are able to better carry momentum over a greater distance. Lower-profile cuffs minimalize ankle support, enhancing articulation and flex and allowing for a lower and more aerodynamic stride technique. These skates are designed around creating a skating experience that allows you to maximize the distance travelled with each stride with minimal loss of energy. As such, these skates are neither maneuverable nor particularly supportive, making them an unsuitable option for beginners. Moreover, the larger wheels place the skater higher from the ground, further reducing stability, which requires greater ankle strength and balance.
Remember whats best for you might not necessarily be whats best for another skater. With that in mind take into account your skill and needs as a skater carefully before finalizing any decision on skates of this style.
Freestyle slalom skating is the practice of skating through cones, often while performing intricate maneuvers while traversing the line of cones or speeding through the cones on one foot. These skates generally use a very supportive shell and a smaller wheel / shorter frame base to maximize control and maneuverability. Elements of dance and artistic expression are often involved, and these skates can be used to incorporate those elements into your skating outside the cones!
Many slalom skaters will "rocker" their wheels, putting smaller wheels in the front and back to decrease the surface area of the wheels touching the ground which increases maneuverability and allows the skates to pivot more easily. Traditionally, this will involve decreasing the size of the 1st and 4th position wheels by 4mm. Rockered Frames will have this effect built into the frame, so changing wheel size is not necessary.
Measuring Your Foot
Leon Basin, owner of Shop Task, tells you how to measure your skate size.
Trying Skates On
How Skates Should Fit
When skates are new out of the box, a good fitting skate should generally be more snug than what you might find comfortable in other types of casual footwear. Having a tight fitting skate improves the support provided by the boot to keep you stable over the frame, allows for better energy transfer when putting power into your strides and for the skate to be controlled more naturally by the movements of your foot/leg. A tighter fitting skate can also improve the long term comfort of your skate by properly holding the foot in place, which prevent blisters and overall foot fatigue when skating.
Trying Them On
When trying skates on your toes should be up at the end of the skate, a bit of pressure is OK, but you generally do not want your toes crunched up and curled. Your foot should be held securely throughout the skate and should not come up when you lift your heel or slide significantly when shifting from edge to edge.
Breaking Them In
As you use your skates the padding will expand to give you more room for comfort. The padding will expand throughout and your heel will sink back into the heel pocket which will pull your toes back from the front. Skates generally expand about a half to a full size.
Generally, skates become fully broken in within 5-10 outings.
5 Tips For Trying On
1. Loosen the laces thoroughly before putting your foot in for the first time. Make sure your tightening mechanisms are properly aligned and tightened well. We usually recommend tightening your skates with the laces first, then mid-strap, then top buckle. The mid strap, (if your skates have one) whether velcro or a ratcheting mechanism, can be especially effective in pulling your toes back from the front of the boot into the heel pocket. Good laces can make a big difference in skates that do not have a mid strap.
2. Put the skates on, tighten fully and let your foot sit in them for a while. Even if they are tighter than what you initially find comfortable, keep an open mind! Leave them on for 5-10 minutes (if they are particularly uncomfortable then as long as you can stand), then take them off, give your foot a break for a few minutes then put the skates back on. The second time you put them on the padding will have expanded a bit and your foot will be a bit more used to the fit.
3. If the skates feel a bit tight, especially width wise, you can try removing the insole at the bottom of the liner. This will remove some volume from the skates initially and can give you a bit of an idea of what the skate will feel like once some of the padding has broken in.
You can skate them without the insole until the rest of the liner breaks in then re-introduce the insole or you can replace with a lower volume, more supportive insole like the Superfeet Hockey Comfort or the Carbon Pro.
4. Wear thin socks! Thin, tight fitting socks that are tall enough to reach over the top of the skates usually work best. Our favorite are the Lorpen Coolmax Liner.
5. Make sure your nails are cut. Sounds silly but with a more precise fit something like this can make a difference!
Feel free to contact us with any questions when trying your skates on!