Sunday, February 28, 2010
Harlick Skating Boots
Harlick Skating Boots was founded in 1935 when customer footwear maker Louis Harlick established a shop in San Francisco. They made ice and roller skating shoes and soon gained a reputation. Today most skate boots are made outside the US which keeps the price down but prevents custom products. Harlick Skating Boots continue to meet that demand with about 60% of their output custom made. Making skating boots starts with tracings and measurements of the skaters’ feet and ankles as well as a battery of questions used to perfect the fit. Customers unable to make a personal visit to Harlick can send their measurements, accompanied with photos or molds. There is even a company representative who makes rounds to various stores to catch trade. Custom fit boots can run upwards of $800 US (not including specialised blades) and take several months to complete. Competitors and professional skaters have traditionally worn white, tan or black boots, but now skaters prefer individual touches. Many have their lucky numbers (i.e. 13), initials, or personal logos embossed onto their boots. Boots now come in a wide array of colours and exotic finishes. The more flamboyant prints and styles tend to be requested by coaches and not the skaters. Some individuals prefer higher heels on their boots to give them height whilst others add embellishments such as hooks on one boot to help their partner’s grab when lifting. The average life of skating boots can be as short as six months depending on the wear and tear. Harlick Skating Boots have supplied the entire United States figure skating team at Vancouver Olympic Games with skating boots.