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Taking Care of Your Skates

Figure skates are a major investment in your sport. Keep them in great shape and you'll enjoy them for the entire season, or longer if you've finished growing!

There are three important parts to the skate you must take care of:

  1. blades
  2. boot
  3. laces

Keep reading to find out more.


  1. Skates should be sharpened after approximately 20 hours of skating or at least once every 2 months
  2. Skates should be sharpened by a recognized figure skate sharpener. Do not take them to a place with an 'automatic sharpening' machine. They will not cut the right type of edges for figure skating. The blade is a much different shape than a hockey blade.
  3. For new skaters, the type of sharpening that should be done is called a combination sharpening.  This type of sharpening is acceptable for all disciplines of skating.
  4. Once a skater has a chosen discipline, there are specialized sharpenings (freeskate, dance etc. that you may want to consider)
  5. Please note that you should always sharpen your skates one week before any competition, ice show or test day.
  6. Plastic skate guards should always be used when you are walking on your skates off the ice surface.
  7. Plastic skate guards should never be left on your skates for extended periods of time.  Moisture collected in the grooves of the guards will cause your blades to rust and this will ruin your sharpening.
  8. Always store your skates with cloth blade covers to help prevent your blades from rusting, chipping or damaging your skate bag and its contents.
  9. Screw loose? Check your blades routinely to make sure the screws are tight.  It is a good idea to keep a screwdriver in your skate bag at all times.  As the type of screw varies with different skates, make sure you have the right screwdriver for your particular skates.


  1. To prevent the lining of the boot from wearing down, always loosen the laces sufficiently so that you don’t need to force your foot out of the boot.
  2. Always thoroughly dry your blades and boots with a cloth or chamois after each skate.
  3. Boots must dry properly after each use. Storing them in a locker or zippered skating bag will not allow the skates to dry properly and will cause the boot to become mouldy and/or break down very quickly. Let your skates air dry at room temperature outside of their skating bag.
  4. Dampness from sweaty feet can cause the insole to become very damp. Loosen off the laces and gently pull out the insoles and let them dry. This prevents the insoles from getting mouldy and/or sticking to the inside of the boot.


Laces sound pretty insignificant, but a lace that breaks at an inopportune time can cause an awful lot of grief, and possibly can cause injury. Treat them with respect, and replace them when they start to wear or to lose "threads", or when the little plastic thingies ("aglets") come off the ends.

Always keep a few spare pairs of laces in your skating bag.


Adapted from Figure Skating: What Every Parent Needs To Know, compliments of Skate Canada

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