It would be nice to walk into a pro-shop that had every make, model, and size of boot in stock, but to carry a complete inventory would cost tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention that the inventory would become old and outdated long before it could all be sold.
Often times a skater may end up having to drive for hours to find someone knowledgeable enough to fit or sharpen skates.
When deciding on which new boots to purchase the following should be taken into consideration:
General shape of foot: narrow, medium, wide, extra wide
Thickness of foot: relatively flat or dense and solid
Narrow, medium, or wide heels and ankles
Pronation or supination of feet
Flat, medium, or high arches
Are the skates for dance, freestyle, recreational, or synchro skating
A common mistake made when fitting boots is to order a boot longer in length to accommodate a wider foot. This practice has gone on for decades and plays a key role in creating bad skating habits. Simply put, the longer the boot, the longer the blade requirement. Wearing a much longer boot and blade than is necessary results in the skater losing or never knowing where their center point of balance is, making it difficult to do just about anything with grace and accuracy on the ice. i.e., edge control, spins, take off and landings of jumps.
Not only do longer boots lead to poor skating technique, they can also cause:
Heel slippage resulting in blisters
Inadequate ankle support for hi-test jumps
The need for the next pair of boots to be much stronger due to premature breakdown of the previous ones and the feeling that the previous pair wasn’t strong enough
Problems that can arise from using overly supportive boots:
Inability to bend at the ankle and knee joints
Development of ankle bursas or cysts
Unexplained sudden knee, hip, or back pain
No matter where or who you buy your skates from, be sure that they have the experience and knowledge it takes to keep you skating healthy and to the best of your ability.
Info courtesy of The Sports Doctor; Robert A Weil DPM