Getting the right skate size is as important to ensure comfort and support as it is to learn the skill correctly. So, I tried to dig deep and figure out what size should I purchase when buying my first pair of skates. And then the question popped up! Are roller skates sizes the same as shoe sizes? Let’s find out!
So, is it appropriate to purchase the skates that fit my standard shoe size? For starters, yes, but the same does not hold when you approach higher levels of perfection in skating. Ideally, the sizing system for regular shoes and skates does not match.
Your shoe size can help in deciding on your skate size if measured correctly. Although, the most popular shoe brands make skates that fit a standard size; skate sizes may vary from one brand to another or nationwide. Regular shoes require greater flexibility to allow free foot movement. For this reason, they can be longer than skates. To figure out the right shoe size for your skates, you must measure the foot length in millimeters and compare it with the inner length of your shoe. This way, your shoe size can give a rough estimate of your boot size. However, do not forget to reference the seller’s size chart before making a purchase.
Your skate size may be influenced by various other factors like the structure of your foot. An exact measured foot length up to the longest toe may fit correctly on a normal foot structure. However, a wide foot may require one size larger. Here are some sizing tips to help you pick the correct skate size.
General Sizing Guide
Skaters often prefer to pick a standard shoe size for skates. However, many factors come into play when selecting the right skate size. When you pick a pair of roller skates, you must check them for where they touch your toes. The size may work fine in case your toes barely touch the front of the skates.
Remember, you should not have more than a pencil width area behind the heel when you kick your toes forward towards the front of the boots. Any additional space more than that indicates that the skates are too big and may cause comfort or support issues later on. On the contrary, if you feel that your toes are curled, go for one size large.
For another check; put on the skates and get into a skating position. If you find your toes coming off the front of your skates, you may need to pick a different size. Roller skates may take some time adapting to your specific foot shape and completely breaking in to provide great performance and comfortable fit.
Further, most roller skate brands offer standard width sizes. However, certain high-end skate models provide narrow, medium, and wide width skates. Compare the size chart with your exact foot length and width while making the purchase decision.
Skate Sizes for Different Type of Skates
As you already know, you may require different types of skates according to your skill level. Here are some tips to help you purchase the correct skate size at varying levels of experience:
- Speed Skates – These skates are available as low cut boots in men’s sizes. For this reason, ladies must select one size down when ordering speed skates unless they have a size of 4 or below. For example, a girl with a shoe size of 7 may require a pair of speed skates of size 6 in black or white. Men can pick a size similar to their shoe size.
However, the condition may vary for specific brands that have smaller skate size for abundant padding. In that case, the padding may snug your feet if you purchase a pair according to the shoe size. Men should order one size large for such brands. Ladies can order according to their shoe size for a size 5 or below. Size 6 or above may require one size small.
Again, for a half size, get a pair one size large to ensure a better fit. For example, a shoe size of 7.5 will require a skate size of 8. You can adjust and fit the additional space by wearing a pair of thick socks and tightly lacing them up.
- Artistic/ Recreational Skates – These are high top boots. Black ones usually come in men’s sizes while the white ones in women’s sizes. These skates are true to your shoe size. You can also order skates in half sizes in this category. However, it is advisable to pick one size large to ensure a better fit. For example, go for size eight if your shoe size is 7.5. You can wear thick socks and lace up the boots to adjust additional spacing.
Ladies can order white boots in their shoe size. For black boots, ladies must pick one size small for a shoe size of 5 or above. For example, get a size six if your shoe size is 7.
- Children Skates – Purchase these skates according to the shoe size of your kid. The smallest juvenile or toddler skates start at size j8 to j13. For size 1, the size scale is similar to the standard adult shoe size. For example, a child’s size 4 is the same as adult skate size 4. In this manner, age and shoe size are clearly not related in children. However, it is advisable to purchase one size large for children as they are growing up. You can adjust the extra spacing with a pair or two of thick socks.
- Inline Skates – These skates are sized for men. Ladies can order one size small for size 5 or above. You can confirm your size by visiting the nearest department store and giving a try on a pair of inline skates or men’s shoes.
Roller skates are sports equipment for which correct size is essential. However, different skate types and foot structure must be considered to guarantee a perfect fit. Also, check for differences in the US and UK size charts. Some brands offer expandable children skates to adapt to varying sizes. These are not adjustable according to the expanding foot size but also economical in terms of expenses.
Further, speed skates are designed for high performance, and the size chart may not please every skater. Some skaters prefer a tight fit than others. So, you can determine your exact size with reference to the available sizes.
As a general rule, most skaters prefer the skates to be 3-4mm longer than the previous pair. This size provides some space for your feet to comfortably grow in length in case the boots are tight. Add 1-2 mm more to keep your boots super tight. However, your toes may get scrunched and touch the end in this situation.
How can I measure my correct boot size? To identify the correct boot size, place a measuring tape on a flat surface beside a wall. Stand on the tape by setting your foot against the wall. Measure your foot size from your heel to the longest toe in millimeters. Compare your measurement with a MM scale on a size chart of your preferable skate boot brand.
How can I compare my shoe size to the size chart for skate boots? Measure your shoe size. Compare it with the size chart as follows:
For a shoe size of 253 mm, add 4mm and order 6.5. Similarly, for 273 mm, again add 4mm and order a size 9.
Double-check the sizes for different brands on a brand-specific chart.
How does my foot structure affect the size of my roller skates? If you have a normal foot structure, which is neither too wide nor too narrow, you can pick roller skates size according to your exact foot length. However, a wide foot may require one size larger for a comfortable fit.
For example, for a normal foot structure and foot length of 251 mm, you can go for a standard size seven as per the available size chart.
In case your foot size lies somewhere between two skate sizes, you should always pick the next bigger size. Taking the next available size for a wide foot ensures more comfort and better support. You can adjust the additional space by tightly buckling up and wearing layers of skate socks. A smaller size, on the other hand, may lead to discomfort and squashed toes.