I recently replaced a pair of very old, used figure skates with some inexpensive Bauer hockey skates because I heard those were better and I had the opportunity to go out on a skating "ribbon" while visiting friends.
I can normally skate on a rink in a slightly wobbly way but without falling unless a child falls in front of me or something. In the new skates, I got out on the ice and instantly felt much less in control. I only fell a few times on the more difficult "ribbon" but the afternoon ended for me with a hard wipeout onto my knees and wrist--I'm not even sure how it happened.
Skating lessons may not be practical for me where I live now and I'm trying to sort out what is different about the new skates. They don't cinch tight over the toes so I think I have less awareness of how the blade is oriented in line with my foot. Without the toe pick, I think the blade starts further back on my foot so that my wipeout may have been caused by my bringing my foot down too perpendicularly and tripping myself. Also, I think these skates may be much, much better sharpened than my old clunkers, since we got them at a real hockey shop.
My knees are still smarting and purple a week later and I don't want to start chickening out so I'd appreciate any advice on what to be aware of or look for next time I'm out.