That having been said, I have seen some crazy things. Mostly crazy skates. Some of the things people step on the ice with amaze me, and the things people strap on their kids feet is even more amazing.
Let's start off with my words on skates: Skates are how you and the ice communicate, it's the foundation of your relationship. And like any relationship, it's built on trust. If you don't trust your skates, you won't do well.
Rentals are just fine if you tool around once or twice a year. I've seen people do spins and jumps in Rentals. These people deserve medals.
Sports Store Skates
I started off in a pair kinda like these. Not a lot of ankle support, and my toes swam in the front. Again, just fine if you tool around every so often. However, these skates are not great for lessons or skating in frequently. I see these skates on a few kids once a week, and they are breaking down at an incredibly fast rate. These kids, their ankles get lower every week and I cringe every time one of them jumps. Word to the Wise: If you are seeing deep creases in the boots of your kid's skates, they are in the wrong skates. If you're doing skating lessons, get the most out of those lessons and invest in some actual skates.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
I have no idea what these are. Not quite hockey skates, not figure skates, but some kind of mutant demon skate that seems to exist only to frustrate small children. Some of them even come with some little pick on the front. Why is this? On a skate like this, it's like an engineered trip hazard. The copy on the ad says they are adjustable, but how adjustable can they be? And waterproof? Well, yeah, they are all hard plastic. Naturally they are waterproof. These seem heavy, you can hear kids clunking around in these. And their legs do not bend. It's like the skate locked their ankle into place and their knees just followed suit. The worst part is that you can see the longing look in the eyes of the girls stuck in these things as they watch the figure skaters in the center. I hate these things.
There was a huge jump in the appearance of these hellish things right after Christmas. Suddenly every tot in the neighborhood had a pair and was out on Public Ice, trotting three steps and falling forwards. Or trying to push forward and falling flat. Or Jumping on double runners and taking out the hapless passerby on their way down. This is my unbridled opinion on Double Runners: Dangerous. As. Hell.
The whole idea of an ice skate is that motion holds you up, not just sheer balance. The whole idea of "balancing" on a Double Runner is stupid because it's wrong. And in reality, if you consider Inside and Outside edges, all skates are actually double runners. So, parents thinking of starting their kids off in Double Runners, let me state here that it's the Double Runnered kids who fall more frequently and harder than kids in actual skates. This includes toddlers. These things are a menace.
There was some poor tot out in a set of these some weekend, being pushed along by his frantic dad. They were falling off every three seconds and I was tailing close behind to pick up whatever this is when it finally came off the kid's shoe. I don't know what these are but the website says it is a BOB skate. Maybe that's an acronym for Breaking One's Bones.
Soft Booted Skates
Riedell makes these, and they are pretty decent skates. Stitch started off in a pair and they served him well up through Beta. I've seen adults do great in these, also up to Beta. I saw an adult skater doing catchfoot spirals in these at some point. My problem with these is that they don't seem to allow a lot of ankle bend. I've never worn them so I don't know. But these seem like a great option for recreational skating.
Yeah, I've seen these out on Public. I ignore a lot of things. Note the useless toepick, because Barbie apparently hates small children.