Speed skates used to feature long, sharp runners that were fixed to a low-top boot. The more recent development of clap skates, however, has rendered the the fixed skate obsolete, although many amateurs still wear traditional skates. Clap skates (or slap skates) feature front hinged blades that allow the skater to fully extend their ankle, increasing range of movement and transfer of energy, as well as the amount of time the blade remains in contact with the ice. All of these advances combine to form a much faster, more efficient skate.
When buying speed skates, remember:
Trained staff are highly recommended to ensure a proper skate fit.
Boot width is critical. If too wide, the foot will slide around inside the shoe. If the boot is too narrow, injury is likely.
- If a professional fitter’s services can not be utilized, a good rule of thumb is to start sizing with your street shoe size.