How Should My Roller Skates Fit?

by Caroline Millicent on June 22, 2020

Your roller skates shouldn't fit like your shoes probably do.

Roller skates are different than shoes for walking or running because we push forward leading with our toes in a gliding motion to stride. They are also a lot heavier than normal shoes, which means that if you have space in front of your toes or behind your heels, your foot will move back and forth in the boot creating an enormous amount of friction thus giving you blisters. It might also make it very hard to control the skate. If wheel placement is off and not falling underneath the ball of your foot or directly under your heel, this could actually be dangerous to use. A skate that is too big or too small additionally could lead to the creation of foot injuries or problems with your feet while rolling.

Generally speaking, the golden rule for proper skate fit no matter the brand or kind of skate is as snug as possible without being painful or uncomfortable, with the ability to still wiggle the toes up and down. Skates stretch A LOT, we promise! Once they do stretch they will fit you like a glass slipper and be personalized to your individual foot shape.

Attributes of a CORRECT skate fit that sometimes make folks skeptical but are NORMAL OR GOOD for Roller Skates are:

  • Light pinching or very slight pressure on the sides of the foot/boot. This is simply associated with the width of your foot being a little wider than the shape of the bottom of the boot and may mean the fabric needs some time to stretch and mold to the specific shape of your foot. For suede, this means 4-6+ uses. For leather this could mean 1-3 months. For Vinyl or Synthetic fabric this could be 1-3+ months (this of course depends on duration of each use for each material. Try to use your skates for at least 1-1.5+ hours when breaking them in.)
  • Lack of room to generally push the foot forward or backwards. We want your foot to fill the skate boot but still feel like it can extend comfortably in the boot without cramping, pain or discomfort. The ability to wiggle the toes tells us that the length is perfect. 
  • Feeling like your toes slightly touch the end. Sensing the end of the boot akin to a slight kiss of pressure that is extremely minimal. That is fine, just as long as it does not feel like your toes are about to bend or are experiencing discomfort.

Attributes of an INCORRECT skate fit that we do not recommend are:

  • General pain or discomfort. We want your skates to be wearable and fun to use. 
  • Bent toes or the inability to wiggle the toes. This means that they are too small for you. There is not enough room in the toe of the skate boot for your foot to sit comfortably. While they do stretch and change shape width/contour wise, they will not grow longer. It's important that we get this correct right away before we visibly use or change the condition of our skates from new to used, and pay attention to exchange policy time constraints in case we need to make a size exchange.
  • Space in front of the toes or behind the heel. This means that they are too big for you. If you can lift your heel up while standing (make sure the laces are on the hooks of your roller skate boot/that the boot is adequately tightened around your foot properly before determining!) or if you can clearly slide or push your whole foot forward or backward in the boot, it is the wrong fit and will ultimately cause aforementioned problems while you skate/after the boot has been used or worn. 
  • While skates are not supposed to hurt at first, the initial snugness of the boot in a correct fit should be an unfamiliar feeling for most new skaters, unless they are familiar with wearing other kinds of leather shoes. 

So simply put, snug as a bug!