Total Hockey: Virtual Skate Fitting
The great thing about shopping online is that you can always find what you want. But what happens when you’re not sure what you want? What happens when you find so many options that it’s more baffling than beneficial. That’s how shopping for ice skates online can be—visit TotalHockey.net and you’ll find 97 different ice skates from 7 brands. The information overload is enough to make you head for your car keys.
Anyway, why would you even contemplate buying an item online that requires perfect fit for comfort? Convenience. No driving to the store, which may be 30 minutes away or more. No try-ons with staff who may or may not be helpful. No trip to another store when the skate you want turns out to be out of stock. When I heard through the grapevine that Total Hockey offers virtual skate fitters—customer service personnel specifically trained to help you select skates via phone or chat—we had to try it.
Select skates in the time it takes to drive to the store…
My 13-year-old son and I had 30 minutes before a practice one day, so we made the call on speaker phone in front of the computer. My son asked for “a pump skate” he was interested in. Our skate fitter helped us immediately find the skates, and then started asking and answering questions:
- How old are you?
- How many hours a week do you skate?
- What model skates do you have now?
- What size are you wearing now?
- How do your current skates fit?
- What is your interest in these particular skates?
After confirming that the skates we were interested in were ideal, we started in with our questions:
- What is the difference between this year’s model and last year’s?
- Are these good for narrow feet?
- How will these help with his ankle problems?
- What is the life of these skates, given how many hours he skates?
- Will he outgrow them before they wear out?
- Can you take off the lace lock?
- Can you get another color?
- How is the blade?
- What if we need to return them?
- Why these skates? What makes them so special?
Our knowledgeable skate expert answered all our questions, with no hesitation, no matter how obscure. He helped us place the order for these skates, with assurances that we can just call UPS to pick them back up at your house if they don’t work.
Then on to my 8-year-old. We described his boxy feet, his aggressive skating, his current shoe and skate size—and, of course, our price range for a rapidly growing kid. Our virtual skate fitter helped select the perfect skate and size for him as well, a bargain at under $100.
But do they fit…
The order process was painless and took less time than driving to store. But the big test of the virtual skate fitting occurred when the skates arrived. Do they fit? From what we could tell, yes. But for the purposes of this story, we took them to a brick-and-mortar store to check. (Plus, we still needed heat molding and the all-important first sharpening.)
The fitter at the store confirmed that my 13-year-old’s skate choice was ideal, especially for his specific ankle issues. In fact, the employee even mentioned that the skate was “far and away the most comfortable skate he’d ever worn.” My 8-year-old’s skates turned out to fit perfectly as well. And it wasn’t a waste of time buying online and then heading to a store for molding—because the junior skate, a brand-new model, wasn’t in yet and the youth skate was out of stock.
Give it a try…
Total Hockey’s virtual skate fitters are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time, at 866-929-6699. Or, visit TotalHockey.net and click Chat in the lower-left corner. The product specialists can help with all your hockey needs—sticks, pads, helmets, etc.—and answer all your questions.