Can't Find Skates In Tonya Harding's Hometown... WTF?
February 21, 2010 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Where the heck can a grown-up buy figure skates in Portland, OR?

I want to take up figure skating and am keen to buy my first pair of skates soon. I've gone to the Lloyd Center ice rink pro shop and they only sell skates in kids' sizes. When I asked the folks manning the rental desk where to buy skates in adult sizes in town, they gave me the name and number of some chick who is supposedly the "skate lady" and has, like, MAD CONNECTIONS. What is this, 1970? I don't want to call some random woman-- I just want a pair of damned figure skates! I know I can buy them online, but that seems ill-advised given that I'm not sure what size would fit best.

Google has been no help and to add to the difficulty, I am car free; a journey to the 'burbs isn't in the cards. I know there are a lot of Portlanders on MeFi-- can anyone lend their expertise to get this would-be skating dork up and running?
posted by hollisimo to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
The demand for adult men's figure skates in a retail setting is probably very, very low. Just statistically, there are probably very few adult males who aren't already trained figure skaters that buy, rather than rent, figure skates. The serious adult male figures skaters in your city probably don't number very many, and they probably special order theirs. When I was a kid, all the serious figure skaters bought their skates from special catalogs, not from a brick and mortar store. I would call the skate lady and see what she says. I think if anyone knew where you could buy some other than through a catalog or online, it would be her.
posted by ishotjr at 6:28 PM on February 21, 2010

guess i didn't mention initially, i'm a girl, FWIW.
posted by hollisimo at 6:32 PM on February 21, 2010

Dick's Sporting Goods in Tigard seems to have them.
posted by Acacia at 6:33 PM on February 21, 2010

Call the skate lady if you want quality skates and blades.

If you really don't want to, you could try contacting the Portland Ice Skating Club. There may be skate stores in your area they could point you to.

In my experience, the skates at places like Dick's are for casual skaters, are made with plastic (as opposed to leather and wood), and are too thin to really support your feet and ankles. They're probably much cheaper than quality skates, which actually might be helpful while you figure out if you actually like the sport.
posted by sallybrown at 6:55 PM on February 21, 2010

Yeah, you don't want to buy them online until you've had a chance to try on a pair.

I'm not in Portland, nor have I ever been there, but what about contacting one of Portland's figure skating clubs and asking where the coaches get their skates? They should definitely be able to recommend some designated skating gear shops in the area with a wider selection of merchandise than a rink's pro shop.

(Once you get your skates, start wearing them around the house for a couple hours each night. New skates can hurt, and this will break them in much faster so they'll be more comfortable once you get on the ice. And have fun!)
posted by anderjen at 7:05 PM on February 21, 2010

Play It Again sports is my connection for ice skates.
posted by fshgrl at 10:08 PM on February 21, 2010

What fshgrl said. I got brand new Reidells there.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:22 PM on February 21, 2010

US Outdoor Store, maybe.
posted by docpops at 7:14 PM on February 22, 2010

Had my first lesson tonight and Skate Lady was there, holding court in her own corner of the pro shop. She took my measurements and suggested the Jackson Competitor boot. Guess Riedells in my price range aren't actually leather and that makes them prone to breaking down quickly.

After one lesson I can sense the new obsession budding in me. It was so, so fun and rewarding to master the cute pre-alpha moves.

Thanks for your help, skating MeFites!
posted by hollisimo at 9:52 PM on February 22, 2010

Yay for you, and happy skating!
posted by sallybrown at 5:59 PM on February 23, 2010

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