Updated: May 4
I was ready to really dislike the beach bunny skates. They remind me of Doc Marten shoes that take aaaages to break in, so you would sooner wear the shoes that are a bit to small, because they are still more comfortable. However, to my surprise, I do really like them!
I have the Periwinkle beach bunny skates in the same size as my Lolly skates - US8. I actually quite like how petite my feet look in them! This is down to the styling, as the lace holes run close to the rounded toe. As with all skates I have ever owned, I added my own extra innersole for padding. Initially, I was concerned that my thick Skatersocks would be a problem as I could feel a line of stitching causing discomfort on my toes, but I adjusted the socks and it was fine.
I was really struck by how well supported my ankle felt in these skates. I didn't lace the boot right to the top, so I was able to have more ankle mobility, and it was great. I added Luminous purple wheels and removed the toe stops, and these have been my set up of choice for roller dance. The stock glitter wheels that come with the beach bunny skates were just a tiny bit too soft for me, but the small diameter and width of them does make me feel fairly agile.
I have been wearing them a couple of times a week for about 6 weeks now. I have mostly skated indoors on flat floors in them, but I have taken them to the skate park and also outside.
I didn't change the wheels or set up at the skate park, and they felt fine. Once you progress beyond a beginner though, I don't know how well these skates would hold up to repeated falling. The vinyl upper does mark when you fall. Having said that, the suede of Lolly skates also scuffs and marks. The beach bunny skate does come with a toe guard in the same colour of vinyl as the boot, so you can overcome the toe scuff issue fairly easily.
The only thing I did not enjoy was outdoor skating, and I chose a fairly flat, smooth road. I really love outdoor skating - Moxi outdoor wheels just bounce over everything - however, my feet felt heavy and ankles immobile.
These are vinyl skates, so a non-animal derived material. That makes them a great choice for those who are vegan or want a non-leather skate. I love that the colours of the beach bunny skate are based on a California sunset too - such a cute little story! Also amazing that the lining of these skates was designed by @bambibloodlust aka Katie Baird, who now designs for Moxi.
I also know a few artistic skaters who are delighted with their beach bunny skates, and prefer them over Lolly skates. If you are used to a stiff figure skating boot, these would feel like a dream.
Verdict: These are a great priced skate, with some lovely style features. They are comfortable although do require a little break in time. In my opinion, these skates would suit someone who is used to an artistic or figure skate boot, which is much firmer. The best thing to do if possible is to try on different skates. We have regular pop-up shops in Leeds so you can do exactly this.
Photograph by Apertunes photography