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Sell me some skates!

Bryan's picture

My girlfriend used to play ice hockey and now wants to learn inline. Based on her previous skating and a few other things, I don’t think she needs to start at the “bottom” end of the spectrum, and could probably handle a high-cut almost-speed boot like a Race Machine or similar. But for now, she needs anything at all. What have any of you got to loan or sell that would fit a girl who wears EU 40 running shoes?

(And for those keeping score at home, seeing me skate didn’t inspire her to move to inline. But after watching Blake skate, now she wants to learn.)


roadskater's picture

Good Ways to Go for Used or Low-Cost Skates


Depending on needs and budget, I've seen some acceptable pure beginner skates at Target under the Schwinn brand, for those who will be beginners for a while.

The next option might be Sports Authority, but the big box stores don't carry skates like they used to. Their selection will be better quality beginner fitness skates with wheels up to 84mm mostly. While there try on the brands and mark down the sizes for each brand.

Some have seen good skates at thrift shops of the local sort, maybe even at the franchise brand used sporting goods stores, but since computerization I tend to think you won't really find bargain prices at these places. Maybe you will but I think the odds of that are lower than before, just as the odds of finding a bargain Martin HD-28 are much lower at these places.

What has worked for me well in the past is to consider eBay as a way to "rent" skates long enough to try them. This is more true if you are bidding on an auction, because theoretically there's another valid bidder who wants the skates for a dollar or a few less that you. So you can try the skates and if they're obviously wrong for you, put them up for auction again soon without too much loss, most likely. Also, even for buy it now fixed price items, many sellers offer a return privilege if you return the skates in the condition purchased. Just make sure to get a seller with 100 or so transactions and at least 20 or so as a seller, with 98% or better feedback, or something along those lines. Ask for more photos and make sure you know what you are buying, asking all you questions BEFORE YOU BID OR BUY.

eBay has a lot fewer individuals cleaning closets listings and a lot more sellers who do large volume, so be aware of that. I guess the individuals may have gone over to craigslist and such. But eBay has a feedback system that works for buyers at least (sellers are less happy with changes to that) and it also has search tools that will send you an email when your specific search gets a new entry. This helps you get more from your time spent refining a search phrase.

Right now K2 Radical and K2 Radical Pro seem like good options for someone who already can skate some, who wants to make a long-term investment in fitness skates that will last and perform well in many circumstances, with bigger wheels to help get over road imprefections.

Having said all that, one of our park buddies found a very nice set of Bont midheight leather boots in great shape with a decent 5x84 capable frame for an OK price. This was at a local thrift shop, not any kind of chain.

Hope this helps.

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