skates-ice-hockey-old-ddr-skid

Ice hockey is an incredibly fun sport that is growing in popularity!  There are well over half a million people playing ice hockey in the USA and that number is increasing quickly.

If you are interested in playing ice hockey for the first time or you want to improve your performance, you will need a pair of high-quality pair ice hockey skates.  Unfortunately, choosing the best ice hockey skates can be tricky, because there are so many models available and so many factors to consider.

This guide will simplify the process of choosing the best ice hockey skates by offering some useful tips.  We’ll also showcase the 5 best hockey skates on the market.  Let’s check them out.

Ice hockey skate basics

ice-hockey-goalie-goal-sport-team

image by pexels

Before we provide you with some tips for buying Ice hockey skates, let’s take a quick look at the components they contain:

The boot
This boot is the part of the ice hockey skate where you place your foot.  Manufacturers are constantly updating the kinds of materials used in the boot, to make skates lighter, safer, and more comfortable.  Most boots are now made from advanced synthetic materials that perform well and are very durable.

The boot of an ice hockey skate is a bit more complex than a normal shoe.   It contains the following parts:

  • Outsole
    This is the hard surface on the bottom of the boot.
  • Upper
    The top part of the boot.  Traditionally, the upper would be made from stitched leather, but most modern-day skates use advanced synthetic materials.  Synthetic materials tend to be lighter and are quite durable.
  • Toe cap
    The forward section of the upper is called the toe cap.  This is made from a hard material to protect the players toes during collisions or falls.
  • Heel cup
    As the name suggests, the heel cup wraps around the heel.  It is harder than the upper and offers additional protection for your heels.
  • Ankle padding and support
    Ice hockey skates have a lot of ankle protection.  That includes thick padding around and above the ankle.
  • Protective tongue
    Ice hockey skates have a tongue like a normal pair of shoes.  The main difference is that the tongue in a pair of hockey skates is much thicker.

The holder
This section connects the boot to the runner.  Most ice hockey skates will have a thick plastic holder, but some may use metal.

The runner
This is the blade of the ice hockey skate that makes contact with the ice.  High-quality ice hockey skates usually have runners that can be detached from the holder.  This allows you to replace or sharpen the runner very easily.  Cheaper pairs have a runner that is permanently attached to the boot.

How to purchase the right size ice hockey skate

hockey game

image by pixabay

It is important to find a pair of ice hickey skates that you find comfortable. You will enjoy your time on the ice, be faster, and have much more stability.  Here are some tips for purchasing the right size pair of hockey skates:

Consider your foot type
When fitting ice hockey shoes, the length and width of your feet are both important factors.  If you have very narrow or wide feet, you will need to find a special pair of skates that is narrower or wider.  Fortunately, finding the right pair of skates is easy thanks to ice hockey skate manufacturers labelling their skates well.  Most manufacturers use the following labels:

  • C or N is a narrow fit
  • D or R is a regular fit
  • E or W is a wide fit
  • EE is an extra wide fit

If you are unsure about which kind of foot you have, compare it to your team mates and ask them what kind of shoe they wear.  You could also try on a standard tennis shoe from a manufacturer like Nike or Adidas.  If the shoe fits well, you have normal feet.  If it is too tight, you have wide feet and if it is too loose, you have narrow feet.

Others factors that impact the sizing of your ice hockey skates include the width of your ankles, forefoot, and heels.  You will need to find a pair of ice skates that are snug around these parts of your foot to maximise your effectiveness in the game.  Most manufacturers provide details on how each boot fits the different parts of a player’s foot.  For example:

  • The Bauer Vapor has a regular fit heel, mid-foot and toe box.
  • The Bauer supreme has a snug heel and mid-foot with a slightly wide toe box.
  • Reebok ice skates tend to have a regular fit heel and mid-foot with a wider toe box
  • The Easton Stealth has a regular width heel with a slightly narrow mid-foot and toe box.
  • The CMM Tacks has a snug heel, mid-foot, and toe box
  • Ribcor has a narrow heel with regular mid-foot and toe box.

Take your time and choose a skate with the fit that is appropriate for your unique feet!

Tips for choosing the best ice hockey skates

Here are a few other tips to help you find the best pair of ice hockey skates!

Consider your position and playing style

The position you play on rink and your preferred playing style can determine which type of skate fit works best.  If you are an aggressive player that is always chasing the puck and constantly moving, you would do best with skates that are super lightweight and responsive.  They should have a very rigid and flat foot plate to maximize power transfer.  If you are a player who is more defensive and strategic, you can use skates that offer a bit more protection for your feet.  If you are playing as a goalie, you will need a pair of ice hockey skates that are very durable and protect your feet well.

Consider the price of your skates
If you are a beginner to the game or on a tight budget, look at skates in the $50 to $100 price range.  Skates in this price range are affordable, but durable enough to give you many seasons of great performance.  If you are a keen player, look at skates in the $100 to $300 range.  They will use sturdier materials, have excellent durability and really improve your performance on the rink.  Players who participate in competitive games can spend much more on their ice skates — usually in the $300 to $1,000 range!

Consider the materials the skates are made from
Most modern ice hockey skates are made from synthetic materials, because they are so lightweight and durable.  The most common materials used to make ice skates include molded plastics, leather, synthetic leather, and ballistic nylon.

Basic plastic ice skates are fine for casual players, but they do not offer the same level of mobility as other types of skates.  More expensive skates will use advanced polymers with microfiber sections.  Leather does work well, but it is heavier than most synthetic materials.  Think about both the performance of the skate and its durability when looking at its materials.

Five of the best ice hockey skates

Here are five of the best ice hockey skates on the market.  They are well made, affordable, and guaranteed to give you years of use.

Bauer Supreme 170 Ice Skates

American Athletic Shoe Co.Women’s American Soft Boot hockey Skate ,...
  • Style may vary
  • Soft boot hockey skate for non-competitive ice hockey and recreation
  • Thick foam padding for warmth and comfort

Bauer is a well-known brand for ice skates, and their Supreme line doesn’t disappoint. Engineered for power and efficiency, the skates incorporate many of Bauer’s proven technologies. The result? A high value skate engineered to help players reach their full potential.

The Supreme 170 ice skates feature the Tuuk Lightspeed Edge Holder, allowing players to switch the Bauer Tuuk EDGE Super Stainless runners on the fly. At the same time, the skates feature the Form Fit tongue, a 48 oz, 2-piece felt design. They boast a high density metatarsal guard for comfort and protection, while the Hydrophobic Grip liner is lightweight and dries quickly.

The skates are made from quality materials and they are as powerful as they are comfortable. If you’re looking to bring your game to the next level, the Bauer skates are a solid investment.

CCM 9060 Tacks Ice Hockey Skates

CCM 9060 Tacks Ice Hockey Skates (10.0 D)
  • SpeedBlade 4.0 holder with SpeedRib technology for geometric stability
  • Removable stainless steel SpeedBlade runners for convenience and durability
  • MetaFrame technology for an improved anatomical fit

Another popular brand as far as hockey skates are concerned, CCM constantly excels when it comes to both design and functionality. This model sports the SpeedBlade 4.0 holder with SpeedRib technology for geometric stability and comes with removable stainless steel SpeedBlade runners for convenience and durability.

At the same time, players will be delighted with just how comfortable the skates are and how perfectly they fit. That’s thanks to the brand’s MetaFrame technology that gurantees an improved anatomical fit and the Brushed Microfiber liner that ensures a soft, dry fit. The skates also feature Anatomical Response footbed for vented comfort.

Recommended for professional players willing to invest in their equipment for maximum performance, CCM skates are hard to surpass when it comes to quality and durability. Give them a try and you’ll experience elite level protection and super comfort without sacrificing power or speed.

American Athletic Shoe Men’s Ice Force Hockey Skates

American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate, 8, Black
  • Perfect skates for beginner skaters to intermediate skaters
  • Indoor and Outdoor skates, good for pond hockey
  • Light weight sidewall injection mold giving the skate a custom fit right out of the box

This is a very affordable pair of skates that is perfect for someone who occasionally has a casual game with friends.  Despite being under the $100 mark, they are well made and will survive in rough conditions.

The multilayered boot construction helps to provide these skates with excellent durability. The synthetic materials used to form the boot are put together surprisingly well, delivering excellent performance despite being a budget ice skate.  They have a nylon holder with Performance Edge carbon steel runner.  They are a great choice for someone new to the game!

Jackson Ultima Softec Sport Ice Skate

Jackson Ultima Softec Sport ST6102 Black Mens Ice Skates, Size 9
  • Jackson Ultima Ice Skates with Hockey Blades, ST6100 for Women, ST6101 for Girls, ST6102 for Men, ST6107 for Boys
  • Thinsulate lined upper and tongue with cushy foam padding for maximum comfort and warmth, Modern look offering reduced...
  • Durable nylon upper with color coordinated trim

On the affordable side, these skates from Jackson Ultima are the perfect pick for players who appreciate comfort above all else. Stylish and lightweight, the skates come with plenty of features designed to help you put your best foot forward in the rink.

The skates come with Thinsulate® lined upper and tongue with cushy foam padding for maximum warmth. Additionally, they boast a durable nylon upper with color coordinated trim and a leisure blade with stainless steel runner. As a result, the skates are dapper, powerful, and very comfy. They also fit perfectly as long as you follow the size chart to the letter.

The only downside is that you’ll need a couple of days to truly break them in, but given the affordable price that’s a pretty minor problem. The Jackson Ultima skates come in numerous sizes and are available for men and women, as well as for kids.

Riedell Skates - 625 Soar

Riedell Skates - 625 Soar - Recreational Soft Beginner Figure Ice...
  • STAYS COMFORTABLE FOR ENDLESS USE - These modern ice skates have a comfortable design and a simple lacing system to keep...
  • GIVES YOU GREAT SUPPORT - This ice skate set offer light support to keep you stable on the ice while allowing for...
  • DESIGNED TO KEEP YOU SAFE & YOUR FEET DRY - These beginner men's ice skates have with safety in mind by adding extra...

A solid choice for amateur players, the Riedell Skates are designed with beginners in mind, which makes them much more affordable than some of the other skates featured on this list. That being said, they still deliver when it comes to quality, so you can’t go wrong with giving them a try when you’re just starting out.

The skates have a comfortable design and a simple lacing system which makes them easy to put on and take off. Not to mention the foam-backed velvet lining - they fit and feels great. The skates also have a split tongue design and durable maintenance-free uppers to provide support and add comfort.

Designed to keep you safe, the Riedell skates come in a variety of sizes and are available for men and women. If you’re a casual skater looking to boost performance, these skates will come in handy for sure.

Thanks for reading our guide to the best ice hockey skates.  Make sure you check out our best boxing shoes as well.

Featured image pixabay