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The simple fact of the matter is that you can’t play ice hockey without ice skates. In fact, without ice skates, the referees wouldn’t even let you enter the rink during an organized game. Ice skates are a necessity in the sport of hockey. Are you on the search for the best ice hockey skates? Wondering how to pick the right pair? If so, you’re reading the right article.
Below, we’re not only going to tell you how to choose the right pair of hockey skates, but we’re also going to provide you with a compilation of the Top 10 skates on the market today. Ready? Let’s glide on in.
Things to Consider When Buying Hockey Skates
When buying hockey skates, there are a number of considerations that you’ll need to make. These considerations will have a direct effect on the style and type of skates that you end up purchasing. They are as follows.
First, you’ll want to consider your particular skill level.
- If you’re fairly new to the game and still learning the intricacies of skating, you’re advised to buy a skate with some flexibility.
- On the other hand, if you’ve been playing for a long time, you should go with a stiffer skate.
Style of Skating
Another consideration you’ll want to make is your skating style. If you’re an agile skater who likes to stop and turn corners on a dime, you would be better suited with a more snug and narrow skate. If you’re a power skater who takes large strides, you would be better suited with a skate that is deep and wide.
While some skates are carefully constructed and built to last through the rough and tumble of organized hockey games, other skates are manufactured quickly on an assembly line and should really not be used for anything other than solo practice. Make sure that the skates you buy possess the construction qualityneeded to accommodate you and your reason for buying them.
In the sport of hockey, skate padding is hugely important. After all, you’re playing a high-speed, high-impact sport involving sharp blades. You need to make sure that the padding on your skates is sufficient enough to prevent said blades from harming your feet.
Most hockey skate boots are made out of hard synthetic polymers. These polymers are equipped to provide rigidity to the boot, making it nearly impenetrable to the boot.
Whether you’re hockey skates or knee braces, you need to consider their cost. While some hockey skates are available for as low as $50, other hockey skates run at up to $300.
If you’re a beginner, you can make do with something on the lower end of the price spectrum. If you’ve been playing for a while, and you’re deeply entrenched in organized games, you’re going to want something a little more expensive.
Regardless of your skill level, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. If you see a pair of skates for $35, they’re probably not going to provide anything in the way of quality.
Finding the Right Fit
One of the most important things to focus on when buying hockey skates is the way in which they fit you. In most cases, hockey skates will be sized 1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than tennis or basketball shoes. This is because they need to fit more snugly than conventional shoes.
If you can, you should try your skates on in-person before purchasing them. When doing so, you should utilize the following sizing methods. Make sure to wear your hockey socks while trying them on.
- Toe Touch Method– Another thing you’ll want to check for when trying on skates is whether or not your toes are touching their toe caps. While you don’t want your toes to be smashed by the toe caps, you do want them to be making light contact with them.
- Pencil Method– To perform the pencil method, start by putting on the skate. Then, without lacing it up, pull the skate’s tongue out. Once the tongue is out, take a pencil and place it between the tongue and the skate boot. The pencil should sit it around the 3rd or 4th lace-hole. If it remains in place snugly, then the skate fits adequately.
- Finger Method– The finger method involves putting the skate on, leaving it unlaced, and pushing the heel forward. After you’ve done this, try to place a finger in the back of the boot. If you are able to touch any more than once finger down to the bottom of the boot, it’s too big.
Top 10 Best Hockey Skates on the Market
The skates below are picked to suit a wide variety of players. Whereas some skates are better suited for beginners, other skates are better suited for experienced players. Without further ado, these are the best ice hockey skates currently available.
Best Ice Hockey Skates for Adults
A high-end skate designed for competitive players, the Bauer Vapor X400s possess top-notch construction quality. Featuring rigid and durable outer shells, they not only hold up to physical impact, but they also provide a great deal of support.
If you’re looking for a pair of fast, tough, and agile hockey skates, this pair from Bauer is the one you seek. While it’s a little expensive, its safety capabilities and overall performance make it well worth its while.
Best Pro Hockey Skates
Another high-end pair of hockey skates is the Botas Largo 571 PROs. These hockey skates are constructed with only the most durable of materials, allowing them to thrive through years of use and abuse.
Exceedingly comfortable and extremely supportive, they’re a great option for all competitive hockey players. Note, however, that they come at a fairly high price.
Best Hockey Skates for the Money
While not quite on the level of the Botas skates reviewed above, the Botas Draft 281s are still very effective skates. Highly padded and made out of hard-shell synthetic polymers, they offer top-notch durability and support.
Possessing carbon steel blades, they remain sharp through years of regular use. If you’re just now getting into competitive hockey, this is a pair of skates that you need to consider.
These competitive skates from Graf are some of the best hockey skates on the market today. Constructed out of durable and rigid synthetic materials, they not only provide excellent foot support but superb protection as well.
Available in a range of sizes, they cover both kids and adults. Made for competitive play, they will hold up over years and years of use. Note, though, that they are a little expensive.
Best Hockey Skates for Forwards
CCM is one of the premier manufacturer’s of hockey equipment, and arguably their best pair of hockey skates is the SK360J. These skates provide everything that a competitive hockey player could ever need.
Not only are they made out of a rigid and durable synthetic material, but they also possess sharp, tough, and agile blades. If you’re looking for a pair of skates that will provide you with control and speed, this pair will serve you well.
Best Hockey Skates for Beginners
One of the best hockey skates for beginners is the Bauer NS Skate. Available for a very reasonable price, this skate provides enough in the ways of support and protection to accommodate competitive play.
Constructed with hard shell synthetic polymers, it does a terrific job of staving off physical impact, and of keeping your foot locked snugly in place.
A solid mid-range pair of hockey skates is this pair from Jackson. The Ultima Softecs provides excellent rigidity and protection for skates at their price point.
Available in a wide range of sizes, these skates are appropriate for players of all ages and skill levels. However, if you’re playing top-level competitive hockey, you’re advised to opt for something a little more expensive.
Best Value Hockey Skates
The American Ice Force 2.0s are on about the same level as the Jackson skates reviewed above. They’re a solid option for those just breaking into competitive hockey but are not the ideal option for experienced competitive players.
However, if you’re looking for a fairly effective skate at a reasonable price, this one will accommodate you.
Best Junior Hockey Skates
There are plenty of great junior skates on the market today, but arguably the best youth hockey skates are these ones from Bauer. Available for a reasonable price, they provide a great deal in the ways of protection and support.
Equipped for competitive play, they’re designed for both speed and agility. Regardless of your child’s skill level, these skates will allow him or her to be an effective skater.
Best Hockey Skates for Practice
Looking for a solid pair of skates at a budget price? If so, you might consider this pair from American Athletic. Designed primarily for beginners, they’re not ideal for competitive play but will suffice for practicing purposes.
While these skates are not quite as rigid as the absolute best hockey skates, they still offer enough in the way of support to keep you comfortable. In essence, this is a solid pair of starter skates.