ASK MR. EDGE

March 2010

Mr. Edge is a qualified skate technician with years and years of experience. He can answer your questions on boots, blades and foot problems related to your equipment. Questions will be answered in SKATING magazine and later posted on the web site.



As everyone knows, nearly every industry in the world has fallen on hard economic times, and figure skating is no exception. There has been little innovation in technology and design this past year by most boot and blade manufacturers.

Nonetheless, here's a look at what these companies have in store for 2010.

SP-Teri
SP-Teri has made minor changes to its boots. It now offers an extensive array of personal designs for the sides of its boots.

SP-Teri's Zero Gravity boot is still one of its best-selling models; I recommend it for those skating up to the intermediate level. Keep in mind that at that level of skating, any skater weighing more than 75 pounds might find this particular model breaking down sooner rather than later.

Harlick
Harlick, like SP-Teri, has no new models but has made minor changes to its existing inventory. In particular, Harlick has taken out some of the support in its Competitor model. To get the same support as before, you'll need to order the Competitor Plus model. Harlick has also increased its offering of personal designs for the outside of its boots.

If you haven't heard, the Harlick X-line boot is capable of fitting a much broader, rounded foot at the ball area and beyond to the tips of the toes. Combined with its offering of a split last (wider in the front and narrower in the heel), all Harlick models now fit a broader range of feet. If you do not want to spend the money for a custom boot, Harlick offers custom options for an additional charge on any of its stock boots. Prices vary depending on the boot model and options selected. Expect to spend $600-$675 for a special makeup on adult sizes; junior sizing is less. This option can be as much as $100-$150 less than a custom boot, depending on the options selected.

Klingbeil
The Klingbeil lightweight design is one of the finest lightweight boots on the market. The company has no new boot designs.

Edea
Edea has the lightest skating boot on the market. Combined with a lightweight Paramount or Matrix 2 blade, Edea boot models offer the ultimate in lightweight design. Unfortunately, Edea boots only come in one width. If you happen to need a boot with split sizing or some other major customization, the Edea boot may not work for you.

I tried on a pair at last year's regional competition in Chicago and must admit that it felt different but comfortable. For those with the proper shape foot, the Edea may be a good choice.

Riedell
Last year, Riedell made extensive changes to its entire boot line. This year, only minor changes have been made to its boots and no new models are offered.

These minor changes include:
  • New, more comfortable linings to its 255TS and 910LS model boots
  • Higher toe box design that increases toe clearance
  • New back seam that provides greater heel support while enhancing comfort
  • New tongue pad stitch design to allow for greater fit and comfort along the instep

Graf
Graf has made no changes to its boots.

Jackson Ultima
Jackson has made some changes to its boot and blade line; let's first take a look at its boots.

The 2500 Premiere is a new ladies model. At last, somebody has taken my advice!

This model features:
  • Slightly lower-cut back for greater flexibility when pointing toes
  • Roll-top collar for added comfort at the top of the boot, where it wraps around leg
  • Softer, more flexible upper making it easier to bend in the boot
  • Split sizing and a more heavily padded inside for added comfort and better fit around ankle and heel
  • A microfiber contoured tongue with soft memory foam padding, making it more comfortable along the instep
  • Availability as a special makeup, which allows for an even greater fit

This boot is much easier to break in.

The 3405 Coaches model is similar to the 2500 Premiere but is a bit more comfortable and warmer. This model features:
  • Exceptionally soft roll-top collar to reduce leg irritation
  • Fully padded Thinsulate breathable lining to provide warmth
  • Orthopedic foam padding for greater comfort
  • The right amount of strength to demonstrate skills
This boot model would also be a great choice for an adult skater looking for a good fit with extra comfort.

With the exception of the Freestyle model, the men's lineup matches the ladies models in style and comfort.

In its entry level freestyle lineup, the Classique model now comes with the Mirage blade instead of the Mark IV, making it more affordable.

There have also been changes to the Jackson Ultima lineup of blades, starting with the new Matrix 2:

The Jackson Ultima lineup of blades features several toe pick and radius designs comparable to the Wilson Gold Seal, Pattern 99 and Super Dance models.

Comparing them to the MK lineup, you have the Gold Star, Phantom and Vision.

The Matrix lightweight Legacy model is on a par with the Wilson Coronation Ace and MK Professional models, although the toe pick designs are slightly different. They come in light pink, light blue and chrome.

Rounding out its lineup of new blades is its Aspire XP, which is similar to the MK Double Star and the Aspire. It's also comparable to the Wilson Majestic and Jubilee.

What I like about these blades are the prices. They are affordable and, by far, the best buy for the money when considering performance.

Wilson and MK
Nothing new to report except that the prices of both lines have come down. If you're still looking for quality and reliability, look no further.

Paramount
Being the first and still world leader in lightweight design and enhanced performance, Paramount Skates now offer:
  • Toe pick design and rocker radius similar to the Wilson Gold Seal and MK Phantom. CNC computer technology allows for a more accurate and consistent profiling (rocker radius) of the blades, making spins, take-offs and landings easier.
  • Both 420 and 440 stainless steel runners, which are more resistant to nicks, dulling and especially breakage, making them ideal for long hours of practice, even under the most strenuous conditions.
  • Two new lightweight intermediate designs, which are comparable to the Wilson Coronation Ace and MK Professional in both their toe picks and profiling. These models are also made of the same lightweight, one-piece aluminum design as the others, along with the enhanced profiling features.
Lastly, I'm in the process of preparing something fun and exciting for adult skaters, skating parents, grandparents, coaches and judges. Stay tuned for further information.

See you next time,

Mr. Edge

Mr. Edge and all related elements are property of Arena Sports & Consulting Services, Inc. ©2014. Send your questions to Mr. Edge via mail (Ask Mr. Edge, SKATING magazine, 20 First Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906); FAX (719) 635-9548 or e-mail them online.

The opinions of Mr. Edge are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Figure Skating or SKATING magazine. Remember, if you have problems with your feet, check with a doctor the problem may very well be with your boot, but it could be more serious. Check with your local pro shop for more information about boots and blades.