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Quad Roller Skating Forum Discussions about quad roller skates and any other quad skating discussions that do not seem appropriate for one of our other forums.

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Old April 10th, 2019, 04:09 AM   #1
mcrdba
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Default Are skate boots better than shoes?

Is there anything about skate boots in general that make them inherently superior to a quality shoe? I watched the How It's Made video on skates and was surprised to see it's just a simple boot.
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Old April 10th, 2019, 04:32 AM   #2
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In a word, yes. Though some do well with a dress shoe, or a tennis shoe.

What you don't see is that the sole of a skate boot is pretty stiff. And this is good for skating. A GOOD boot, particularly a true speed boot is built to take the stress and strain of skating hard.

The kings of the stiff sole, are fiberglass or carbon fiber soled boots, like the Bont. These boot soles are so stiff, that they can be used with a nylon plate, and actually make the plate stiffer. A nylon plate on a regular leather, or plastic soled boot can actually flex, despite the relatively stiff skate boot sole. This is why a metal plate is considered a step up from nylon, no flex, and of course a light metal plate is a step up from a heavier metal plate.
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Old April 10th, 2019, 04:42 AM   #3
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Is it the relative stiffness of the sole that makes a dress shoe work well as a skate (ignoring comfort)?
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Old April 10th, 2019, 06:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrdba View Post
Is it the relative stiffness of the sole that makes a dress shoe work well as a skate (ignoring comfort)?
You pretty much could not, or would not want, to walk in a skate boot. That is how stiff they are. Folks who use a dress shoe are skating a style of skating that is not as taxing on the shoe. A dress shoe would not likely make a good speed boot. But for a less stressful kind of skating, it can, and does work.
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Old April 10th, 2019, 06:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrdba View Post
Is it the relative stiffness of the sole that makes a dress shoe work well as a skate (ignoring comfort)?
A stiff sole is only one part of what makes a skate boot. Most non-athletic footwear isn't designed for lateral forces. They are designed for the compression of walking. As a side note, apparently some athletic footwear has an issue in the lateral force department: Zion Williamson's injury from rare shoe failure puts spotlight on Nike. The forces can be significant.

Skate boots are designed with counters to keep the lateral forces in check. These stiff pieces strengthen the sides so they don't move over the edge of the sole over time. The more modern fiberglass and carbon fiber footbeds of better boots form a fairly complete cup around your foot. Boots constructed like this stay stable in size for years since the foot isn't pushing against a stretchable material like leather.

In short, if you want novelty or to make a fashion statement then using a non-skate specific shoe/boot is fine. OTOH if you want performance get a shoe designed for the sport. That is pretty much true across athletic endeavors.

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Old Yesterday, 04:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrdba View Post
Is there anything about skate boots in general that make them inherently superior to a quality shoe?
I am voting with the "YES" crowd here. Although I have experience skating in sneakers and hiking style boots on quads (sneakers) and inline skates (hiking boots) and my feet did just fine even over distances of 20 miles and rink time up to 3 hours.

Now that I am regularly skating marathons or skate sessions up to 50km (even 50 miles on rare occasions) I have a much better appreciation for fine boots designed for skating.

IMO (and with MY feet)...up to 15 mile sessions you may be happy with almost anything. Over 15 miles, get a skate boot.

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