What’s the Time? When you measure matters. Feet can swell up to a size between morning and evening for most people. If you measure in the morning, and like most of us, practice in the evening, you’re a.m. measurement is likely to put you in skates that are too small.
Wear Socks: Unless you skate barefoot, you don’t want to measure bare feet. If you like a particular type of socks or combination of socks and tights, measure your feet while wearing them.
Get Up, Stand Up: Feet spread when you put your weight on them, so stand to measure – unless you plan to skate sitting down.
Length and Width: Both matter, so measure both.
And most people aren’t symmetrical – so it is best to measure both feet, as well. Size to your largest foot.
For length, make sure you’re measuring from the back of your heel to the furthest forward part of your foot (maybe your big toe, maybe your next toe). I think the easiest way to do that is to back a foot up to the wall, stand on a piece of paper, then draw a line where the longest toe hits. Make sure the pen is perpendicular to the paper.
General fitting advice
Skate sizes are generally equivalent to U.S. Men’s shoe sizes,though there are variations (just like there are in shoes).Skate sizes run about a size to a size and half different than U.S. female shoe sizes. But there are variations in the fit of each skate model and shoe sizes aren’t a reliable way to choose. Fit is in the eye of the beholder, but most skaters prefer NEW skates to be snug as possible without compressing their toes. Your toes are compressed if they feel squished together, or if you can feel the knuckles of your toes bent and pressing on the top panel of the boot. I like my skates to fit a tiny bit longer than my feet (my toes do touch), with the skate’s front axle under the center of the ball of my foot (so the pivot point for quick lateral turns is in the same physical spot on my feet and my skate trucks). I can almost always spot a skater in overly large skates because they usually develop a very distinctive stride (not unlike a person running in clown shoes) to compensate for their skate axle (and the skate’s pivot point) being in an awkward, not ideal place. Too-tight skates hurt and can injure the small bones in your feet (sometimes permanently) – and too loose skates can mean your foot slides around inside the skate, leading to blisters,callouses and pain. Really well-fitting skates may take time to break-in comfortably. But after the break-in period, well-fitting skates do NOT give you blisters or callouses. It can be difficult to get a perfect fit off the shelf for some people. We recommend that you try on teammates’ skates if you can’t get fitted in person. There is no substitute for trying on skates.
General Length: Sure Grip and Riedell are the most common manufacturers of derby skates and they use a different size chart.Sure Grip skates are longer, about a quarter of an inch at skate size 7, more for bigger sizes. Make sure you’re checking the appropriate size chart. Unfortunately, we can’t give you reliable info about the fit of the Antik skates yet, because at the time of writing, only the prototypes were available for fitting. Production skates often fit differently than prototypes.
Width: Every skate model is a bit different, including different models from the same manufacturer.
• Rookie / Recreational (Chinese-Manufactured) Skates• RW Outlaws and Sure Grip Boxers are vinyl and run a bit narrow (B)
• Riedell R3s and Diablos are the same vinyl boot design and fit, narrow to medium (B/C)
• Riedell Rogue / Phantom and Vixen are forgiving leather mediums (C)
• Sure Grip Rebels are also leather, medium to wide (C/D)
• Sure Grip XL series skates run a little wider than Rebels (C/D)
• Rock GT-50s are vinyl and just wider than medium (D)
• Rock Flames are also vinyl and very wide (E)
• American-Manufactured leather stock Riedell Boots
• The 125, 195, 395, 595, 695 and 1065 boots are built “C” width (on the “248” last), though design features may make some of them “feel” wider or narrower. The 1065 boot (before the owner heat-molds the fit) feels the narrowest and runs longer than the Riedell size chart indicates.
• 395, 811, 911 and 951 boots are made on the “395” last,which features a “D” toebox.
• 126 (She Devil), 265 (Vandal, Wicked) and 965 (Minx) boots are built on a “split” last, with a “D” toebox and “B”heel (which Riedell has determined is ideal for many women). The 965 boot has a rounded toe that has almost universally made people comfortable in a half size smaller than they would in typical lace-to-toe speed boots (like 125 or 265). If you’re ordering a She Devil, make sure you ask which boot it comes with because they were made with 125s for a couple years; newer models are made with the 126, which is the wider boot.
• WIDE WIDTH / ASYMMETRICAL FEET
• Customs American-made Riedell and Antik boots can be custom made in narrow “B”, or wide “D” or “E” width if you canbring yourself to wait an average 3-5 weeks plus transit time and don’t mind paying customization fees. You can also get two different sized skates for a customization charge, as well. Custom skates are made to orderand you have more than just size choices, of course.
• Stretching Leather boots can be *stretched* wider by the factory for a fee (usually up to 1/2 inch), or you can take them to a local shoe repair shop to have them stretched. We recommend you skate in them at least once before you get them stretched so that you can have them stretched in the right places (the spots where your feet hurt, that is).This process takes a day or more and is usually more successful when done *slowly* so that the leather stretches without stressing sewn or glued seems. Stretching works best on higher end boots, because higher-grade leather is softer and more pliable. It is typically NOT successful on vinyl or cheap (coated) leather,such as that found on most of the recreational skate models. Stretching does not usually make skates longer,though if you just need a bit of wiggle room for one toe,most shoe repair shops (and awesome skate shops) have a pop-out tool that can often help.
Hopefully this information helps you start to narrow down the choices about what skate is right for you. A good fit can mean you don’t have to think about your skates at all; they become anextension of your body, so all your attention can be on the game.
(from: I VA N NA S . PA N K IN’ , S A N D I E G O D E R B Y D O L L S - Spring 2011 Fiveon fivemag.com)