The first skates were made of animal bone. Bone skates were still in use on Finnish coastal areas in the 18th century. Metal blades were first adopted in the early 17th century in the Netherlands, where skating was a common means of travel on frozen canals.
The self-made wooden skates with metal blades in the collections of the Sports Museum were used at Malax on the western coast of Finland at the end of the 18th century. The skate was attached to the shoe with leather straps through the three holes seen on the side. The blade is fitted to a slot at the bottom and attached by nail and wooden wedge.