Figure skates are a type of skating boots with blades, preferred in figure skating. The skaters are required to put on the boots equipped with blades in the bottom and perform their artistic piece. The skates are either pre-joined with the blades or are available in separate pieces, and the skaters are required to connect them. The sole purpose of any skate is to provide a right balance and reduce the friction on the ice surface. An excellent pair of skates should control the pace and provide all-round motion.
Figure skates have three essential parts - boot, blade and laces. Usually, they are custom made for professional and elite players for the perfect fit. A little padding is added to the boot for easy jumps, spin and better performance.
Blade - The blades are made from tempered carbon steel, coated with chrome materials and are composed of the following components -
Boots - The boots were traditionally made of leather but now made from synthetic material or in combinations as these are lighter in weight than leather variants. The boots are usually heat and shock-resistant. They are typically heightened up to the ankle to provide adequate support and maximum flexibility to perform stunts. In official events and tournaments, typically men wear black boots whereas women go for white boots. The boots are traditionally sewn over the foot pedals and toe seams and the top of the boots are aided with foam padding. The excess edges are trimmed to provide a smooth and uniform surface.
Skate guards - The skate guards cover the blades and make them durable. It prevents the blades from excessive wear and tear and avoids rusting of the blades. The soaker is known as the premium quality of skate guard which is basically a terry cloth guard that absorbs excess moisture and prevents rusting. Other common types of guards are also available in the market that are manufactured from hard plastic and other durable materials and sometimes can be decorated as per the desire of the owner.
The figure skates were introduced in the 19th century in response to the increasing popularity of the sport. The early skate boots were made by hand from leather. These boots were not much durable and usually disrupted or tore down while attaching them with the blades. In modern times, the boots are more durable and are made up to the ankle. The boots are made from heat resistant synthetic material and provide an excellent fit. In recent times, the blades are aided with skate guards to protect them from quick wear and tear. The guards not only increase the shelf life but also contribute to the reduction of the friction that occurred while skating on the ice surface.
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