Buying the Best Ice Hockey Skates
Did your child make the team? Well, that means one thing; they are super excited to skate on ice while you are freaking out about their safety. Even though the market is full of ice hockey skates, it's hard to determine which skates are the best.
Even though this confusion looms, one thing remains clear; you have to give your child your support. This also applies if your spouse is joining the national hockey team. Your blessings and the best gear is all they require.
So, where do you buy the best ice hockey skates from? How sure are you that you can trust the sports store down the street or an online store like Amazon?
Though confusing, we often recommend that you start shopping with looking through reviews and asking for recommendations. Of course, Amazon comes highly recommended because of the credibility of their services and products.
Even so, you cannot pick any ice hockey skates you come across online, you have to undertake due diligence and determine if the skates are ideal.
But, even before we look at the features of the best ice hockey skates, we have to define these hockey skates and why you need them.
In the simplest words, ice skates are boots that have blades attached to the base. The blades propel a player across a sheet of ice. They are worn in ice rinks. Ice hockey skates have a boot made of molded plastic, ballistic nylon, and leather.
Ice hockey skates come in different sizes, styles, and widths. Regarding sizes, manufacturers do not use normal shoe sizing. The sizing for ice hockey skates is about a size and a half smaller.
Why should a beginner, intermediate, or a pro ice hockey player get the right skates?
- The right skates will protect your foot and ankle from injury and pain when playing. This is because a wrong feature or the lack of one protective feature exposes your foot to danger. The right/ best skates have excellent designs to protect your foot and ankle from any form of injury.
- The best ice hockey skates enhance your performance on the ice rink. If they are light and have excellent runners for stability, strength, and speed, your performance will soar.
- The right skates will also help you learn the ropes of the game in no time. Learning the skills and the tricks needed to make you the best player lies in the skates. The wrong skates will impact your game significantly, but the right ones will let you graduate from learner to a pro within a short time.
5 Best Ice Hockey Skates Reviews 2018
Excellent for runners
Reliable & very durable
1. Bauer Vapor X500 Junior Ice Hockey Skates - excellent for runners
So, your child made the cut to join the hockey team. Amid all your fears, support them by getting them all the right gear. Yes, hockey gives you and the rest of us the chills but, it is a fun game. Besides the knee pads and the head mask, you’ve got to get the right ice hockey skates.
The Bauer Vapor X500 Junior Ice Hockey Skates, 1.5 D are suitable ice skates for an intermediate hockey player. As he or she hones the skills needed for the game, these skates will help them master the tricks faster.
The runners of this Vapor X500 skates have Tuuk Super stainless steel and a Tuuk Lightspeed Edge blade holders giving the player a right balance between speed and strength.
The Tuuk super stainless steel has a high-grade aluminum construction that reduces the weight of the player. In addition to that, if you are looking to bake your skates, these ice skates are the best you could get. They feature a tech-mesh nylon quarter package that has a thermoformed X-rib pattern.
Your intermediate player will also enjoy the lightweight of this skates that results from the clear injected TPU outsole. This outsole also adds your speed on the ring. These skates weight 3.1 pounds.
- It is comfortable thanks to the ankle pads and the TPU outsole.
- They remain fresh even after a strenuous game thanks to the hydrophobic microfiber lining material.
- Excellent for runners.
- They are lightweights and encourage swift movements.
- Available in small.
- Unsuitable for seasoned hockey players.
2. Bauer Vapor X400 Senior Ice Hockey Skates - reliable & very durable
These senior hockey ice skates are ideal for beginners. This is because they provide an efficient option that is comfortable and makes for a high level of performance on the ice.
The high performance also results from the use of high-grade aluminum in design. The high-grade aluminum reduces a player’s weight making for quick moves.
In case you are looking to bake your skates, then these ice skates are your best bet. They feature a tech nylon quarter package that has a thermoformed X-rib pattern.
For excellent alignment, support, energy transfer, and overall comfort, these skates have a Molded comfort EVA footbed. The skates also have an anatomical two-piece felt tongue with a metatarsal guard. That is not all; the anaform foam ankle pads give a sufficient amount of support. For light-weightedness and quick movements, these ice skates have an injected clear TPU outsole.
- Perfect sizing (skates’ sizes are one or two sizes smaller than your shoe size)
- Reliable and very durable
- They are comfortable thanks to the Molded comfort EVA footbed.
- They don’t cause pain
- None so far.
3. CCM JetSpeed 280 Junior Ice Hockey Skates - comfortable
If you are looking for juniors hockey skates designed for comfort, support, and durability get these CCM JetSpeed 280 Ice Hockey Skates. These skates have an action form composite black quarter. The reinforced outer core is a fully heated thermos-formable.
Injection of the outsole with print makes for torsion resistance while the footbed is perfect for an anatomical response. Its design offers support, and comfort while making the skates last long.
For lace bite protection, you have the felt tongue. This tongue has a thick felt tongue base with multilayers which also enhance comfort.
The ankle padding is that of multi-density memory foam – lightweight memory foam pads affording extra protection and comfort to a player’s ankle.
The holder is a SpeedBlade 4.0 which increases a player’s attack angle by giving off greater strides as well as cornering. For the runner, these skates come with SpeedBlade Stainless Steel which provides that long lasting edge for extended performance.
The skates weigh 5 pounds.
- They are durable.
- They are comfortable – padded ankles and lace bite protection.
- The padding, footbed and the outsole offer excellent support enhancing the performance of the skates.
4. Bauer Vapor X500 Youth Ice Hockey Skates - affordable
Not only are these hockey skates for youth affordable, but they are also high-performance skating equipment. If you are an intermediate player looking to improve your game, then you may want to opt for these Bauer Vapor X500 Ice Skates.
The runner has a Tuuk Super Stainless steel and a Tuuk Lightspeed Edge blade holder helping you strike the right balance between speed and strength. This is the result of Tuuk’s stainless steel construction with high-grade aluminum which lowers your weight when playing.
In case you are looking to bake your skates, you’ll like these skates with their tech-mesh nylon quarter package that features a thermoformed X-rib pattern. The upper features a hydrophobic microfiber lining material for comfort and extra support.
You’ll also like the Bauer patented integrated anatomical ankle and heel support. For additional ankle support, these skates have an anaform foam ankle pads. The skates also feature a hydrophobic microfiber liner that keeps sweat away preventing bacterial formation while keeping your skates fresher for longer.
For speed when playing, these youth ice hockey skates feature a clear injected TPU outsole that lowers the weight of the skates. They weigh 4 pounds.
- Lightweight thanks to TPU injection.
- They are comfortable thanks to the extra padding and the hydrophobic microfiber that keeps sweat and bacteria out.
- The skates are durable and of a high-quality design.
- They runners offer an excellent balance of speed and strength.
- They are perfect for kids
- They are affordable.
- None at the moment.
5. Bauer Vapor X500 Senior Ice Hockey Skates - high-performance skates
These 10.0D hockey skates are the ideal hockey ice skates for adults. They have Tuuk Lightspeed Edge blade holders and Tuuk Super Stainless steel runners perfectly designed to boost performance and the strength of the skates.
The high performance of these ice skates further results from use of high-grade aluminum which reduces the weight of the runners.
The anaform foam ankle pads provide extra support to the ankles while the injected TPU outsole lowers your weight and increases your skating speed.
- High-performance skates.
- They are comfortable.
- Runners make for excellent strength and a boost to performance.
- Molded EVA footbed for excellent energy transfer and alignment of feet.
- Injected TPU outsole increases skating speeds and lowers your weight.
- They are expensive.
How to choose the best ice hockey skates
Construction of the ice hockey skates
The hockey skates have three parts – the boot, the runner, and the holder. The boot is where you put your feet, the holder connects the runner to the boot, and the runner is the steel blade at the bottom.
Runners and holders
It is preferable to buy hockey skates with separate holders and runners. These are easily replaceable – you can replace the steel blades without having to replace the whole skate. Usually, frequent use wears off the steel blades, and these blades will call for frequent sharpening. Therefore, separate ones are the best. Sadly, the low-end skates have the runners and the holders as one.
Runners are easily replaceable though.
These are important parts of skates. Brands look for ways of making the boot lighter and more maneuverable. Some of the materials that make for these features include texalium glass, carbon composite, thermo-formable foam, and anti-microbial hydrophobic linings. These materials make for the overall weight of the boots, protection, comfort, and durability.
As you check out the boot, take a look at the following critical parts:
- The liner: this is the material/ padding inside the boot. It provides a comfortable fit.
- The heel support: this will cup around your heel protecting and securing your foot in the boot.
- Ankle padding: it is above the liner in the boot. It is made of foam and offers support for your ankles.
- Footbed: it’s the padding on the inside of the boot, at the bottom part.
- Tongue: this covers the top of your boot.
- Quarter package: this is the boot shell. It is the part that holds all the padding and the support inside the boot. It should be flexible and able to offer support.
- Outsole: this is the hard underside of the skates. The holder attaches to the outsole.
Get the right size
First, identify your foot type – are your feet wide, long, narrow, or extra wide?
- C/N – Narrow fit
- D/R – Regular fit
- E/W – Wide fit
- EE – Extra Wide Fit
The size of the ice hockey skates is the most important feature to look at. Otherwise, you won’t be able to play. Hockey skates are usually 1-2 sizes lower than your shoe size. However, this varies with manufacturers.
As you look for the right size of skates, you should also look at the fitting. The fitting depends on the skate size, the depth/arch, the width of the skates, your skating ability, style, your playing level, and your weight. You should also take a look at the instep, the heel fit, the midfoot fit, and the toe box fit.
Clearly, these are a lot of elements to keep in mind when fitting the skates. So, we’ll simplify the process. To test, use the following techniques:
- Pencil test
Put on your skates but don’t tie them then pull the tongue out. Take a pen or a pencil and place it across the eyelets, about three eyelets down. If the pen lies flat without rocking back and forth, the skates have the right depth. On the other hand, the skates are too shallow if the pen hits your foot without touching both eyelets.
- Finger test
This test ensures that you have the right size of skates and that the skates have the right ankle fit. Lace the skates tightly then lean forward and bend your knees. Reach back to the back of the skates – if you can slide more than two fingers between your heel and the skates, the heel and the skate’s fit isn’t suitable for you. One finger gap is okay for kids. Note that if the skates are too loose you will deal with blisters and foot pain and these will impair your ability to skate.
Position your toes touch your skates
The toe brush test
Do your toes lie on the skates? Stand up straight in your laced skates. In this position, your toes should only brush the toe cap inside the skates. In the athletic stance (leaning forward), your heel should lock in place more, and your toes shouldn’t rub the toe cap.
This is another feature to look up for when fitting skates. Some skates have loose, and others have stiff fits. Skates with more rigid fit are suitable for experienced and heavier players. The stiff skates provide more ankle support and enhance energy transfer. Unfortunately, stiffness affects mobility. As a new player, opt for less stiff skates. You’ll break into these skates faster.
To determine the stiffness of the skates, give then a squeeze then hold the skate below the tendon guard and squeeze the sides. If they fold, they are too weak for hockey. Get the ones with good resistance.
For skates to fit your feet better, they require baking. As long as you get high-end skates, you can bake then because their design is suitable for heat molding for perfect fitting. If it’s your first time, get a professional to bake them.
Baking involves heating the skates in a special oven then you wear them and gently lace the skates and wear them for about 10 minutes when seated. The skates will cool and take the form of your feet. This way, your feet get accustomed to the skates, and you feel comfortable every time you wear them.
Pain and discomfort after wearing the ice hockey skates
The first time you wear the skates, even after baking, you can expect a level of discomfort. You may get a blister or feel some pain. Once you break into the skates fully, the pain should disappear. If the pain persists, then the fit is wrong. You may have to get customized insoles especially when you have extra wide ankles.
How much should you spend on ice hockey skates? This depends on your age but, as an adult, you should get skates going for at least $150. Anything going for less than this isn’t advisable. Well, unless you get good ones on offer. Expensive skates are often the best. If buying from a local store, the high-end skates that have been in the store for over a year will fetch a good price. Note that your personal style will also affect the price of the skates.
- Cheap skates, less than $100 are ideal for casual use.
- Average priced skates $150-$400 are perfect for recreational players
- High-end skates going for $400-$800 are ideal for professional and competitive players.
- For kids, don’t go for the most expensive skates because they will outgrow them in no time.
Replacement of the skate blades
How often will the skate blades require replacement?
A pro’s skate blades require frequent replacement of the steel. However, if you play a few times a week, the blades may only require replacement every few years. Be careful not to wear skates whose steel blades have been sharpened too many times and are getting down to the plastic. These are dangerous.
Are you or your child an aggressive player or a reserves player? Playing style affects the fit and the skates’ style.
Buying the right ice hockey skates, though challenging, is easy when you have all the right features to consider in mind (or in an online source). Once you determine your playing style, the shape and size of your foot, playing level, or the fit, and the construction of the skates, you’ll be ready to hit the rink.
The best ice hockey skates enhance your performance, protect your feet and also last long. Getting such skates will elevate your game and make you even better at it. You will also have a lower risk of breaking your ankle when you have the best skates.
Having considered all these qualities and features of the best ice hockey skates, we choose the Bauer Vapor X500 Junior Ice Hockey Skates, 1.5 D. These are excellent junior ice hockey skates ideal for intermediate players. They have a lightweight anaform fit foam ankle padding for support, protection, and comfort.
They also come with the Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder and a Tuuk Super Stainless Steel runner. They are also thermos-formable. These features make them ideal for hockey. The features also make these skates durable and comfortable. The high-grade aluminum construction reduces the weight of the skates making them ideal for speed and strength.
What’s your take?