We get lots of questions on skate fitting so we thought a handy blog would help explain.
"Should go up one or two sizes?"
Well the answer is zero sizes, for the most part you want to stick with your own size skate, unless it requires a UK-USA conversion, then your USA size is one up from your UK size, eg. UK5 = US6.
When it comes to individual brands there are some that come up quite big for their sizes so we always recommend going one size down. Brands that are affected by this include
- Rio Roller
- Some Rookie models
Some brands are more accurate if you use their EU sizing, including
If you aren't sure please do drop us a message & we can advise.
"But wait won't that be too small?"
No, they should fit perfectly! Skates should be tight fitting to begin with, this allows for the stretching that happens as part of the breaking in process. You want them to fit perfectly for the long term not just when you first buy them. Otherwise they'll end up too big & need replacing before very long.
When you buy shoes you have a little room at the ends of the shoes to allow your foot to roll as you walk, when you skate your foot doesn't roll it remains flat so needs a tight fitting skate to hold it in place, skates that are too loose, or end up too loose after they've been broken in, will lead to heel slipping, foot problems & pain, oh so much pain! All of which will hamper your skating & learning new tricks & skills.
"Erm that doesn't sound right, won't it hurt if they're tight?"
Not so much, think like breaking in new Doc Martens, tho not as bad, they may pinch a little bit at first but there are ways to speed up the breaking in process. Try wearing two pairs of thinner socks or one pair of thick socks, they'll heat up as you skate & encourage the to stretch more. By wearing two pairs of thinner socks the socks will rub against each other & not your foot enabling your feet to stay blister free.
You an also use the hairdryer method, this is traditionally meant for heat moulding skates, but we haven't met a skate yet that the hairdryer doesn't work with, as you're essentially just speeding up the sweat process.
"Ok smarty pants, but what about growing feet?"
With growing feet obviously you want to get your moneys worth out of them so depending on the brand just go one size bigger. In brands that are already big for size (Rio Roller) stick with the same UK shoe size rather than going down a size. Any more than one size bigger is bad for developing feet as the toes will end up clawing at the soles which can lead to foot problems. You can always put some thick memeory foam insoles in them to help take up the extra room until their feet finally fill them. You also find that when their toes finally do reach the ends that the skates will stretch further as their feet sweat so you'll get more use out of them than you would first think.
"How do I do this 'hairdryer method' you speak of?"
Its really simple, you put the nozzle of a hairdryer in the opening of the skates, then heat them up on a warm/hot setting for 2/3 minutes. Then put your foot inside & tie them up tightly, then get wiggling those toes! Moving about, lunging, bending up & down, have a bit of a boogie & generally anything that encourages the material to give a bit.
"Ok so what am I looking for when I try skates on?"
OK so when you try skates on you should feel the ends of the boots with your toes, your heels should also be firmly in place & there shouldn't be any room either end, a good way to check is to stand in 'rock star stance' or as if you are doing lunges & see if there is any room to fit a finger down the back of the heel *hint- there shouldn't be, if there is you may want to go smaller, if no then they are likely a good fit for you. Skates should feel snug/tight but what you want to avoid is your toes being bent out of their natural resting position as this can lead to foot deformities in some cases. Remember skates should fit like socks, NOT shoes!
"Cool I think I'm ready to skate!"
Remember all brands fit differently so its good to try on lots of different skates to find your perfect fitting pair, but equally skates will end up moulded to your feet either with time or with these handy tips so they won't always feel stiff & new.
Happy skating & stay safe!