Today, one of us (Peter, a budding skater) will show you how to put on inline skates so you can do it correctly each time. Inline skates are a kind of special shoes, which is why absolutely new skaters may wonder if they’re wearing them correctly.
Related: How to get up on rollerblades
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Also read: Beginner Rollerblading Tips
Before we get started, let’s get something out of the way. Grab a 4mm Allen Wrench and tighten any loose nuts and screws. New skates may come with loose parts, and the last thing you want is a wheel coming off when you’re skating. It’s happened to me before, and all I can say is that it’s no fun.
Also read: How to climb hills on rollerblades
Well-fitting rollerblades increase your safety and comfort. And inline Skates fit the way normal Shoes do. So, you’re supposed to order skates in the same size you order your everyday shoes. However, not all skates and skate types fit exactly the same way. Some brands have slightly different sizing charts and you want to read or watch reviews to learn if sizing up or down would give you a better fit. And inline hockey skates fit differently than other skate types, 1-1.5 sizes smaller than normal shoes.
Inline skates initially feel a bit tight, tighter than they are after you break them in. They’re supposed to have a snug fit. They shouldn’t be so tight that circulation to your toes gets cut off. Nor should they be so loose that they stop being boots and become boats.
Your foot shouldn’t slip around too much. If the foot moves around too much, power transfer decreases, and the overall efficiency of every stroke plummets.
Let’s now dive into how you actually put on inline skates.
Sit on a bench or other elevated place. Then place the right skate beside the right foot and the left skate beside the left foot for easy access when you’re ready to wear them.
Loosen the laces a bit and get the tongue out to create room for your foot. Put the forefoot into the boot and push it all the way in.
Image 1: Loosen the laces: skatingmagic.com
Image 2: pull the tongue out: Image belongs to skatingamgic.com
You may want to use the straps on the back of the skate for leverage. BTW the straps on the back are there to help you wear your skates. But you can also use them to carry them.
If your toes are pressing hard against the front of the skate, your skate is too small for you and you should return it for the next size up.
Your toes shouldn’t be squeezed, and there should be adequate wiggle room for them. The large toe should barely touch the front of the boot.
You may want to tap the heel of the skate on the ground to get the heel exactly where it’s supposed to be and lock it in.
Skater tapping heel on the ground after putting on skates. Image source: skatingmagic.com
Tie the laces up before you fasten the ankle strap and top buckle. Use your favorite method to tie your skates and pull the laces tight, starting from the bottom going up.
What if you have a wide forefoot? If you have a wide forefoot, leave the lacing around the bottom of the boot untied and work the laces from the ankle up.
I have k2 skates that fit pretty narrow, but when I loosen the laces around the toes, I can use the skate for sometime before it becomes too uncomfortable for me.
Fit tip: If your skates are sorta narrow like mine, try to loosen the laces around the bottom. Image credit: skatingmagic.com
Most soft boot inline skates come with velcro fasteners while most hard boots have a plastic strap around the ankle and another one at the top. Fasten these straps after tying the laces.
Close the buckle at the top of the boot and you’re good to go. The buckles on low quality inline skates tend to snap when you least expect it and many don’t stay in place.
Look at this skate. The top strap broke, a friend repaired it for me, but then it broke again. I don’t use it anymore. But you sure can repair broken straps by replacing them with those from old skates.
Final images: how your inline skates look once you’re done putting them on: Image credit: skatingmagic.com
Some skates have the BOA closure system instead of laces and buckles. If this is the type you have, turn the fit adjustment dial around the top of the boot to the fit you want. Some high-end BOA-equipped skates allow for micro adjustability so you can dial in the perfect fit.
Now that you’re done putting on your rollerblades, it’s time to get up and skate. And if you don’t already know how to get up on inline skates, here’s an article we recently wrote to help our fans out. And here’s a video published on the skating magic Youtube on how to do that.