They were made from leg bones of large animals such as cows or horses, and had holes bored through them. Leather straps were laced through the holes to tie the skates onto the skater’s foot. Comfort and speed weren’t a concern.
The Dutch started using wooden platform skates with flat iron bottom runners. Skaters attached the blade to their shoe with a leather strap. Similar to skiing, they used a pole to help propel their body over the ice.
Around the 14th century, the Dutch added a narrow, metal, double-edged blade. This made poles a thing of the past, as skaters could now push and glide with their feet.
As 26 horrifyingly awesome figure skating fashions from the ’80s, as well as The worst fashion crimes in NHL history illustrate - there have been a few blips on the fashion-side of skating. Fortunately, most artists and illustrators have been inspired by tasteful side of things - or that appears to be the case from what I've seen.
Like many of these artists, I have found myself attracted to the fashionably correct side of skating (with a little bit of color discordance thrown in - just for kicks). I especially love the colorful fluffy hats and dresses worn by many skaters, along with the matching skates that complete the ensemble. This week's illustration tries to capture some of that. As reference, you can also see the work of other artists on my Pinterest skating illustration board.
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