Whizzing by on ice skates can be something that most ice hockey enthusiasts dream about – gracefully swerving and dodging your opponent, while skating your way to victory.
But this style of playing can be pretty unattainable if you don’t have the correct gear. Your foot size, the shape of your foot, to your own preferences and comfort level can really change the type of ice skates you should have.
Researching the best hockey skates for beginners can be a tricky affair, and many facts as well as the sheer number of ice skates can make any mind boggle, which is why we, at Hockey Pursuits, have researched and reviewed the best ice skates for beginners, so that even if you know nothing of the game, you will start off on the right foot.
Here are some tips that we can share so that you even if you are a beginner, you won’t look like one. Just know why you are buying them – are you looking to get into competitive playing or recreational?
5 Things to Look for In Ice Hockey Skates for Beginners
When it comes to looking for the best ice skates for beginners, it can be easy to look at the price and assume that the best value would work when you are just getting started. But the reality is that if you do not get the right skates to begin with, you will have a hard time building your skills on the ice. You need to consider several factors before committing to a pair of skates, including sizing, comfort, style, protection, and even the width of your feet. Here’s why these features are important when buying hockey skates.
The most important feature that you have to consider when you start your search for the best hockey skates is the size. If your skates do not fit, then they are never going to be comfortable. If your skates are too loose, your feet will slip around inside, making you vulnerable to injury and blisters. If they are too tight, you will wind up with throbbing, aching feet. You need to be sure of your size first.
Once you are sure that the size is right for your hockey skates, you should look at the different levels of comfort that are available. The padding of the skates can act as both a piece of comfort and a first line of protection. Your skates should have a comfortable footbed that cradles your foot as well as adequate padding on your ankle and the tongue of the boot. Comfortable skates should also have venting for breathability.
Not all hockey skates will work for every type of play. There are skates that work well for competitive hockey or recreational hockey. Or, in some cases, you might want a pair of hockey skates just for fun. No matter what type of hockey you will be playing, you will have to be sure that the style of your skates suits it, whether it is high performance or standard recreation
The level of protection you need will vary depending on how you skate and the type of hockey you are playing. High performance skates are going to have a higher level of protection to brace players from impact that can often happen in a competitive game. Recreational players might not need quite as much protection because they are less likely to be injured. There is no such thing as too much protection, however, so you should consider getting as much as you can
Your Type of Foot
Just as you have found with street shoes, the width of your foot can change the fit of your shoe. The same applies to hockey skates. If you have a narrow foot, you will need a narrow fit. If you have wide feet, you should get wide boots. If the width is not right, the fit will not be right and you will find you have less control on the ice than you would with the right width.
5 Best Ice Hockey Skates For Beginners 2018
1. Bauer Supreme S150
2. CCM Tacks 4092
3. Bauer Vapor X300
4. Bauer Nexus N7000
5. Bauer Women's Flow
1. Bauer Supreme S150
Best Hockey Skates For Beginners
If you are looking for a pair of hockey skates and are just getting into hockey or are a part-time skater, you should get the Bauer Supreme S150. Not only are they the best hockey skates for beginners, but the Bauer brand is a leader in the world of hockey skates. Bauer knows how to create skates that are well-made, reliable, and comfortable, all of which you will find with the S150.
The Supreme S150 was specifically designed as a performance skate that does not have all of the bells and whistles that you will find with other performance skates. As a result, you will get a great skate at a great price. Like most of the Bauer hockey skates, the S150 has the TuukLightSpeed Pro blade holder and a Tuuk stainless steel runner. The Tuuk system adds extra height to the skate and is angled to ensure the highest performance.
Skaters will also find that the Supreme S150 skates are extremely comfortable after they have been baked or broken in. Baking skates is literally what it sounds like, heating up the skates in an oven in order to soften them enough to mold around your feet. You can read more on that in another one of our posts.
With the memory foam ankle pads and the two-piece tongue, the most vulnerable places on your feet and ankles will have extra protection while still keeping your feet cushioned and happy once the skates have been properly broken in.
2. CCM Tacks 4092
Our second place pick for the best hockey skates for beginners is the CCM Tacks 4092. CCM, like Bauer, is an industry leader in the world of hockey skates and gear. The 4092 are created from a PowerForm Composite quarter with a two-tone brushed microfiber liner. Because of the composite construction, the 4092 skates are incredibly lightweight, which can help you speed up more on the ice.
One of the coolest features that you will find with the CCM Tacks 4092 is the anatomical response footbed. This means that the foot of the boot will respond to and adapt to the shape of your insole as well as how you step, giving you an individualized fit for the utmost comfort. The tongue is the CCM standard, which is a 7mm felt with lace-bite protection. This will keep the top of your foot as happy as it is protected.
Ultimately, when CCM designed the Tacks 4092, they created a skate for beginners that was immediately comfortable and functional, limiting any break-in time that would normally be needed.
After all, how can you get a handle on a new sport if your feet hurt? Thankfully, the 4092 are made to reduce the amount of negative space within the boot. The negative space is where there would be gaps between the foot and the boot, which can lead to several problems, including ankle injury, difficulty controlling the skates, or blisters. The snug fit might be tight on some skaters, but overall it should be comfortable right out of the gate.
3 .Bauer Vapor X300
Another hit from the Bauer Vapor line, the Bauer Vapor X300 is a great choice for beginning hockey players. While the X300 is still a part of the Vapor line, it does veer in a slightly different direction as far as the fit goes. Where the standard fit is wider in the toebox and narrower in the heel, the X300 is less snug, giving a little extra room for wider feet.
The X300 is designed to be extra comfortable and flexible, allowing extra mobility on the ice while still giving the needed fit. They do require a little more break in time than other Vapor line hockey skates, but do not let that deter you from getting them. Once they are broken in, the skates are incredibly comfortable.
The interior of the skate is made up of a micro fiber lining that is both water wicking and moldable around the foot. The ankle padding is made up of Anaform foam ankle pads, ensuring the pads will form to fit around the ankles and stay in place. With the thermoadjustable upper, feet will not get as hot as they can in other skates as well, preventing blisters.
Like most of the Bauer hockey skates, the X300 has the TuukLightSpeed Pro blade holder and a Tuuk stainless steel runner. The Tuuk system adds extra height to the skate and is angled to ensure the highest performance. Ultimately, the X300 is meant to make skaters go faster for longer, really improving cornering and overall performance on the ice.
4. Bauer Nexus N7000
The cost of skates can often be a big deterrent from purchasing quality skates. This is where the Bauer Nexus N7000 comes in. Not only do the N7000s come at an affordable price, but they are also still made by Bauer, one of the leaders of the hockey skate industry. The reason the price is lower than many other well-known skate brands is because the Nexus N7000 are a great choice for beginning players, but not a great choice for the higher level levels. If you are just getting into hockey, the N7000 will help you get started.
While the other two comfortable hockey skates that are listed in this guide can work for regular width feet, the N7000 brings extra room within the boot, adding comfort for those who prefer or need more room. Along with the extra room, the N7000 have a heel lock to ensure your foot stays where it needs to be within the boot.
The N7000 also has a hydrophobic microliner to help keep the moisture off of your skin while letting your skates dry quickly when you are done playing. The liner plus the Form Fit footbed means that your feet will be dry and cozy within the boots, allowing you to keep your focus on the game rather than your skates. All skates do have a break-in period and the N7000 are no exception. Once the skates have been broken in, however, you should be set to go for a long time in a pair of comfortable hockey skates.
5. Bauer Women’s Flow
Best Ice Skates For Beginners - Women's Choice
With its brushed nylon liner and foam inserts, the Bauer Women’s Flow Recreational skates are designed to give you a comfortable fit on the ice. Generally speaking, however, they do have a longer break-in period than many other skates which could deter some players from buying them. If you can wear them long enough to break them in, however, they should have a comfortable fit on the ice.
The outer body of the skate is nylon as well and comes in a lighter gray color rather than the standard black hockey skate, really helping them stand out as women’s skates rather than men’s skates. The effect works and they are great looking skates.
The tongue on the Women’s Flow is anatomical and made out of felt. The felt gives an added layer of protection for the top of the foot, but also creates a barrier between the laces and your foot to prevent lace-bite.
Performance-wise the Women’s Flow are an excellent choice. They are made to be able to handle corners while traveling at a high speed, giving you the flexibility to turn as quickly as you need to. These skates can either work for beginning hockey players or will work for figure skating as well. They are not high performance skates, however, so keep in mind your goal for using them before you buy them.
Unfortunately, most hockey skates are designed to suit men’s feet, so having a pair of skates that are meant for women’s feet is amazing. The fact that it is Bauer making them only increases their overall reliability and quality.
Best Beginner Ice Skates for Men vs Women
The fit of ice skates is going to be different between men and women. Women naturally have smaller and narrower feet than men do. With some brands, like Bauer, there is a heel lock and a narrow fit around the ankle which can work for both men and women. Other brands, however, can have a wider toebox that might not get small enough when the skate is sized down to fit a woman’s feet. Ideally, it would be better for women to get skates designed with women in mind for the optimal fit as well as the highest degree of comfort.
Ice Hockey Skates for Regular Skating
For skaters who are not interested in playing hockey, but who would just prefer to ice skate without the game, hockey skates are still a popular choice. Hockey skates tend to be lower than figure skates and have a thicker blade that makes balancing on the blades easier than balancing on figure skates. For beginning skaters, hockey skates are a great way to get a sense of how to move on the ice and how to balance well.
Figure skates also have a toe pick, which you run the risk of tripping over when you are first learning. The toe pick helps you stop if you are falling forward, however, so whether you would want it depends a lot on how you skate. You also would not need the same degree of protection if you are just skating than you would if you are playing hockey, so keep that in mind when shopping for skates.
From our thorough research, we have found that the best hockey skates for beginners are the Bauer Supreme S150. Not only are they made with Bauer’s trusted craftsmanship, but they are easy on a budget and great quality. For players who have had more trouble with their feet in street shoes, a better choice might be the CCM Tacks 4092 which are reported to be more comfortable to begin with, limiting any break-in period.
If you are trying to figure out which are the best skates for you, you have to take into consideration what you are going to use the hockey skates for as well as your own needs for the ultimate comfort. While there are many quality beginning skates on the market, not every skate is going to work for you. It is important to find the right fit, design, and performance level in order to meet your specific needs. Then you can get on the ice and have some fun.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.