Paul Riedell and his wife Sophie founded Riedell Shoes Inc. in Red Wing, Minnesota more than 70 years ago with one goal in mind – to produce and offer only the finest quality skates available in the market. As time has gone by, Riedell Shoes has continued to re-invent its product lines and hire only the most skilled and professional employees in the hope of achieving the very same perfection that inspired Paul Riedell when he set out to change the skating world forever. In the world of roller skating, Riedell Skates has no equal. For the truly demanding skater, Riedell offers the finest quality skating boot available with a comfort level to match. Riedell also offers complete color customization on most of their roller skating boots so you can own a pair of skates that match your personality.
What’s the difference between one model and the next one?
Rollerskate boots can be defined based on a couple of important specs. For one, the stiffness of the boot and the material that is used are very important. For example, the 120 boot is made of leather on the outside but has an inside of synthetic fabric. The 220, 297, 172 and 336 models are entirely made of the finest leather. It may take a while to break in a full leather boot, but after a while it will fit your foot like a glove. The 297 and 336 model especially may require more time to break in. Another big factor is the last of the skate boot. For example, the 220 boot has quite a narrow front compared to the 120 boot so not every foot will fit in this model. The amount of ankle support is variable as well. The 172 has relatively soft and flexible leather around the ankle where as the 297 is extremely supportive.
What about the different plates?
We wrote a separate page about this, please read it here:
What makes a skate perfect for dancing?
In general, the lighter the skate, the nicer your roll. When you have lightweight skates, the pressure on your joints will be less and your dance moves will be effortless. Stiffness of the boot is also a factor but this highly depends on your preference. Some skaters love the feeling of support around the ankles, while other skaters don’t like that because it limits them in their freedom of movement. This is why we recommend to fit a boot before you buy it so that you know what suits you best.
What do I do to keep my skates in excellent condition?
Not much really… Unless you happen to skate through a puddle of water or mud, then it might be time to take care of your bearings and give them a drop of oil. One thing we do recommend is to make sure your skates get enough air after a night of dancing. An occasional polish of the leather may also be a good idea.
Why do these Riedell skates cost a fortune??
Riedell uses the finest materials like hand-picked leather and this is not cheap. Also, except for the 111 and 120 models, all skates are handmade in the USA instead of being mass-produced in other countries with low wages. As for the plate, to keep the weight of the plate down, Riedell/Powerdyne uses advanced techniques and materials and this also has a price. BUT… because of the high quality of the skate, it can last you for years and years so you certainly get good value for money.
Why should I spend money on new skates, my old ones are still perfectly fine?
In the Netherlands, people weren't used to spending money on their skates. After all, it’s the moves that count, not the skates. And this is true! But we think that when you love dancing on rollerskates so much and spend so many hours skating, your feet deserve an excellent skate. Somehow it is more common for other sports to spend money on gear, what to think of the price of a road bike (€ 500 – 2000) or the fee for your average sports club (300 – 600 per year). Why not spend decent money on the thing you love the most? Besides, once you have the new skates, you can use them for many years. And if you have trouble getting the money together, how about getting new boots first for example, and then start saving for a new plate later..
What wheels do I need for dancing on skates?
This depends on your personal style and preference, but also on the surface. Wheels vary in hardness, compound, width and height. In general, the smaller the wheel the more freedom of movement. The bigger the wheel the more speed you can generate. Harder wheels are good for smooth indoor surfaces, soft wheels are good for skating outside. Some people want grippy wheels for cool moves, other people like smooth and soft wheels for sliding and turning. We provide several test wheels so let us know if you like to try out a new type.
How does the Riedell color lab option work?
We have a separate page on this subject, you can read it here.
Why the name Ginger Skates?
We were inspired by the movie ‘Shall We Dance’ (1937). In this movie Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers demonstrate the feeling of dancing on rollerskates. The ease of their moves and the joy that they express was very appealing to us and we decided to honor them by naming our shop Ginger Skates. The fact that our daughter had ginger hair when she was born was a fun detail that made us certain that Ginger Skates was the right name!
What are the opening hours of the shop?
Technically we are not a shop.. we work from home, by appointment only. Get your boot fitting scheduled here.
Do you have all the models in stock?
We are working hard to have boots of all models and sizes in stock but we aren't there yet. The ones we do have are boot-only so you will not be able to skate on them but it will give you the chance to feel if this is your kind of boot and if the size is right. In some cases we won't be able to let you try your size, we may have to order it for you.
How long till I get my skates?
This depends on availability in the European warehouse of Riedell. If your skates are available there, we can get them in Amsterdam in approximately 1 to 2 weeks. If the skates have to come from the USA, delivery time to Ginger Skates will take about 6 to 10 weeks. In any case, it is very rare that you come to our home shop for a fitting and leave with the pair you want. We almost always need to order for you.
Why did you start this service?
Quite a few excellent skate shops are based in the Netherlands. But we missed a specialized shop with the opportunity to try out high-end Riedell rhythm skates. Of course, online ordering sounds like a solution but because the Riedell skates have different lasts it’s very important to be able to do a proper fitting (and avoid sky-high duty fares when buying directly from the States). It’s our mission to provide the Dutch (and European) rhythm dance scene with the opportunity to try and buy their dream skates based on expert advice and inside knowledge of skates and rhythm skating.
Do you also mount plates to boots that weren’t purchased at Ginger Skates?
When you buy a complete Riedell set, mounting the plate is included in the price. If you bought either the plates or the boots from Ginger Skates, the fee is €25,-. We are very sorry but we are currently not able to offer mounting service only. For this you can contact our friend Chris Frank who's an expert at mounting skates. You can reach him at: 0031641504434.
I’d love to learn to dance on skates, where do I go?
There are several good teachers in the Netherlands. We are partners with Es Quint Foundation in The Hague. They offer an extensive program of rhythm rollerskate training sessions for all levels. They also organize regular international trainingsweekends that we highly recommend. For more info check: Es Quint. If you want to learn the basics of skating in Amsterdam you can check: Skate Heroes