Personal Inline & Ice Skate reviews

Comparison of inline skates you can walk in

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Hypno

These skates made in Italy were the first skate and walk ones I got. The wheels detach from the boots quite easily and it's then possible to walk in the boots.

The boots are stiff and provide excellent support if you tie the laces tightly - but walking more than short distances isn't recommended due to the stiffness. Loosening the laces may just cause chafing / rubbing on your ankles.

My normal shoe size is UK9 but these UK8.5 / EU42.5 boots fit me snugly with sufficient toe room.

The 82mm Hyper X360 wheels I added are resilient and give quite a smooth ride. I wore out one set of 8 wheels after numerous 5 mile commutes.


Powerslide

Walking longer distances is easier with these skates from Germany because instead of boots, the included trainers fit into the shell.

The size 9UK / EU43 is smaller than you might expect, one size up from regular shoes may be advisable.

The hinged ankle cuff gives good sideways support while allowing forward bending. The large 90mm wheels are faster over poor surfaces but the harder material means some vibration.

At the time of writing (7/7/2009) The Powerslide Phuzion Blade & Walk skates have only been tried out once at Silverknowes and Cramond promenade. The Hypno skates were bought on Ebay and aren't manufactured any more by the Italian company Fila. Kate's Skates who supplied the Powerslide skates still have some Hypno skates. This type of inline skate that you can walk in is particularly useful in hilly Edinburgh. Sometimes you've just got to walk because it's too steep or there are other hazards. Having worn down and resurfaced the heel brake on my Hypno skates over and over again, I've already taken the precaution of skinning the Powerslide brake with some rubber shoe repair material. My first test of the patched heel brake on 9/7/2009 failed because the contact adhesive failed to stick to the block which is of a more slippery material - which probably wears well but, as the manual says, should only be used for slowing down. Other heel brakes I've tried have been more of a more rubbery texture. I've re-patched the heel brake with shoe-repair rubber attached (hopefully) more securely this time.

With their larger and slightly harder 90mm wheels these skates are ideal for speed on good and not-so-good surfaces but they're less controllable than the Hypno skates with either 82mm wheels or the original 76mm ones. I may continue to use the Hypno ones if there's tricky hills to descend.

Update 5th August 2009: I have now changed the wheels to the same Hyper X360 type that are on the Hypno skates. They are still blue and bouncy but 90mm in diameter. This gives me about the smoothest skate available without going to extremes with pneumatic tyres. The brake has now become quite worn after descending the steep ramp from Marine Drive to Silverknowes promenade and one or two other hills and seems reasonably effective at slowing me down. Click the thumbnail above right or here for the full picture.


Ice Skates

Hockey Skates / Recreational Skates with hockey blades

These are fairly typical hockey skates. A tendon guard sticks up at the back to protect your Achilles tendon. The lacing is conventional with the exception of a 'reflex bar' to give some leverage when pulling the laces very tight, essential for good ankle support.
Nike men's recreational skates are essentially hockey skates with a speed-lacing system and no tendon guard. The laces are a closed loop with a spring loaded lace stopper (slides along the laces) and grey lace hooks just below an ankle strap with a lever and toothed belt. This makes it easy to get your boots really tight. I broke one gray lace hook but glued it back on with a two-part plastic-weld adhesive. So far in March 2010 it's staying stuck...
The problem with ankle support is that whilst it's essential to stop your ankles flopping sideways, it's necessary to allow your ankle to bend forward. These Powerslide recreational skates feature the same hinged cuff as their inline skates. This has worked well so far for me on tarmac. My current ice skates (Nike) are the best I've used but the tongue does tend to form into a V shape after bending ankles forward. I'll report on these ones when they arrive from Germany. (detailed report here)
Included as an example of a recreational skate I would have probably have bought if it had been available in the UK. Roces is an Italian company but if you search for their products in the UK you'll most likely find children's skates.
These K2 skates look good too. What a shame that you can't get them in the UK.
I have had to order these from Germany. Proline's page still gives you the info - in English. I'm fitting them to my Nike boots and will probably update this page later. (Nov 2010)

More detailed information on the Recreational Ice Skates page
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