Speed skates are hard, and stiff and if they are made on a poorly shaped last, or have inadequate padding, they have the ability to permanently damage your kids feet for life which is something that none of us want. The fact is that most manufacturers use an off the shelf last designed for shoes and not skates. At Bont, we have been making kids inline speed skates for longer than anyone and we use a last that is comfortable, with high quality memory foam padding that won’t squash down and we have sufficient support so that your child’s ankles are supported. We also use high end materials such as hardened nuts and bolts and 7075 series axles even on our kids skates.
There are cheaper skates out there, but some of kids skates that we see on the market lack support, have no room for growth and look nothing like a child’s foot. The last thing you want is your kid complaining about painful feet so they don’t want to skate any more or worse, permanently damaging their feet.
Room For Growth
Kids feet grow quickly and speed skates are not cheap. With shoes, you can just buy one or two sizes larger than what they need and they will grow into them. With skates, that leaves your child with sloppy ankles which can cause blisters and they won’t have enough support to keep the skates upright. Our solution is an option that we provide on all skates which is called ‘Room for Growth’. Say your child fits into a size 3 perfectly. When you specify room for growth we take the size 3 last and add 2cm (0.8in) to the toe area only. This keeps the ankles snug yet allows room for their feet to grow into.
What wheel size should you order for your child? Larger wheels and longer frames are like using bigger gears on a bike. If you want to keep the frame for a long time, you may want to order a frame that fits 90mm wheels, but order it with 80mm wheels. Then when the 80mm wheels wear out you can upgrade them to 84mm and then to 90mm as your child grows. 3x100mm and 3x110mm are quite common at the moment. If you are thinking about entering your child into races, many national skating bodies have wheel regulations for children so please check before buying a new skate setup. Some countries limit the wheels to 80mm in diameter, some say no more than 3 wheels where as others limit the price of the wheels so if you buy an expensive wheel, you may not be able to use it.
Smallest size: Alpha size1/33; Cheetah: size9/27
Here is what we offer for kids skates:
Alpha Jr. Available in pink or blue, it has both hard and soft padding for comfort, it has a high cuff with lots of support, and high quality wheels and bearings. It is heat moldable.
Cheetah and Jet. The Cheetah is made of fiberglass and the Jet is made of carbon/fiberglass. Both are made with epoxy resin and both are heat moldable. The Jet is more heat moldable and slightly stiffer than the Cheetah.
One last important thing to remember is that Bont skates have great resale value so once your kids have outgrown them, they can easily be resold.