For the Learn To Skate program speed skates are not mandatory, you can also use figure skates, or hockey skates. Speed Skates are designed and built for efficiency, power and speed. The most obvious difference of a speed skate is the length of the blade. The amount of rocker (curve in the blade) is much less than other skates. This allows more blade to make contact with the ice. Blades are extremely sharp and are bent in at an arc that mirrors the direction of the turn in order to grip the ice around turns. Also, the blades are placed off-center to the left so that the boot does not touch the ice when the skater leans into the turn. The blades are also adjustable for different skill levels. The blades are flat and only 1/3 of the width of a hockey skate. Many boots are also heat mouldable to fit a skaters ankle and provide better comfort.