Best Hockey Skates (2021) – Beginner To Pro Ice Hockey Skates

Buying ice hockey skates should not be a complicated task, but it can be quite challenging.

Since every player is unique with preference, style of skating, sizing, and needed performance level, looking at hockey skates goes well beyond trying to find the best hockey skates possible.

Whether you need more stability or you are looking for the best speed, there are skates out there for you. Some players also need more cushion and protection on the ice than other players.

Taking into consideration everything from skates sizes and foot type to construction and performance level, we have broken down the best hockey skates on the market, to help you find the perfect pair to suit your needs.

Every pair of skates will have its pros and cons and there is not one perfect skate that works for everyone.

This is why it is important to read through all of the important features of these hockey skates and find the perfect skates for you.

New Bauer Performance Fit System Explained 

Bauer Performance Skate Fit

In 2020, Bauer announced that they were changing the way that their skates fit, moving to a new performance fit system.

The change affects how players are able to choose their skates. Instead of relying on width and fit, you can now buy Bauer skates based on your skating needs.

The Nexus line has been removed, because it really had not been keeping up with the other lines with technology advancements.

The two remaining lines are the Vapor and Supreme. The Vapor line is made for skaters looking for more speed. The Supreme line is better for skaters who want to optimize their range of motion.

How To Size Your Senior Ice Hockey Skates 

It is important to get the sizing right for your hockey skates in order to have the best control on the ice.

A common misconception is that the size of your skates should be the same as the size of your shoes

While the sizing can vary depending on the brand of boots, you can assume that your senior hockey skates will be about 1 to 2 sizes smaller than your street shoe size. Keep this in mind when you are looking at boots, but you will ultimately need to use a size chart and measure your feet to guarantee that your boots will fit.

10 Best Hockey Skates (2021)


Skill Level



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1. Bauer Supreme 3S Pro

Editor's Choice


832 grams


2. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro

High Performance


860 grams


3. Bauer Vapor X2.7

Budget Friendly


810 grams


4. CCM JetSpeed FT470


862 grams


5. CCM Super Tacks AS3

High Performance


921 grams


6. Bauer Supreme 3S

For Wide Feet


805 grams


7. TRUE TF9 Skates

Most Comfortable


904 grams


8. Bauer Vapor X2.9

For Beginners


890 grams


9. CCM Ribcor 80K


865 grams


10. CCM JetSpeed FT2


866 grams


1. Bauer Supreme 3S Pro Hockey Skates

Best Hockey Skates (Editor's Choice)

Our recommendation for the best hockey skates is the Bauer Supreme 3S Pro. Since these are part of Bauer’s new fit system, the Supreme 3S Pro skates go up to a FIT3.

A FIT3 is wide width with a high volume, but you can get narrower widths and volumes as well, ensuring that you will get the perfect fit for skates made for your performance needs.

Bauer Supreme 3S Pro Hockey Skates


Let’s start with the design of the Supreme 3S Pro. These skates have a power cut, which is there to increase the wrap for optimal foot stability. That will increase your stride efficiency and reduce the typical fatigue you get from skating. The footbed is a Lock Fit, which will help keep your foot right where it should be.

The skates themselves will provide a high level of comfort, which is enhanced by the Reflex tendon Guard, the Reflex tongue, and Standard Facing.

These design elements will not only increase the comfort, but also your performance through the use of an increased forward flex. You will get a lot more power as a result.


The Supreme 3S is thermoformable, so it can be heated to make it a more customized fit without having to go through a period of break-in time.

The skate blade holder is a Lightspeed Pulse TI Edge. The skate also has the Tuuk LS Pulse premium grade steel for the blade. This is made with a mirror finish to enhance your gliding ability.

The Power Profile feature that comes with it will help you maintain your speed and a powerful stride. The Power Profile is a 4-zoned radii, which is also called a quad profile, helping with four different movements.

The four zones include a zone for acceleration, a zone for transitioning, a speed zone, and a stability zone, all working together to give you a lot of power and control on the ice.

These skates have an 80 flex rating as well, which is really nice for more elite skaters who have a lot of experience, because they are stiff with a high level of stability, which more inexperienced players would have a hard time with. The skates themselves are incredibly lightweight, so they should be easy to wear for long periods of time without causing any unnecessary fatigue to your legs.

  • 3D Lasted Curv Composite
  • Thermoformable
  • Power cut
  • 80 flex rating
  • Premium grade steel
  • We didn’t find any!

2. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Ice Hockey Skates

High Performance

The best high performance hockey skates are the Bauer Vapor 2X. Just as reliable as other Bauer skates, the Vapor 2X are made for elite players who are on the ice at least four to five times a week and really need to play their best every time.

Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Hockey Skates


The design of the Vapor 2X skates includes Aeor Foam Pro padding for improved comfort as well as a low-profile design, which will enhance the overall fit of the skates. This is ideal for players who have a low-volume foot and will otherwise be too snug for comfort.

One of the best design elements of the Vapor 2X skates is the Dynaflex system. This is an asymmetrical toe cap that is in place to help reduce the overall volume of the skate.

It will improve the push-off as well as strides. You will also find that the Dynaflex system has an asymmetrical taper for increased medial support as well as better agility and quickness.


The Vapor 2X’s features include the Lock-Fit Pro liner, which will increase your stability within the boot and ensure that your foot will not be slipping all around inside of the boot as well. This prevents blisters and gives you more power in your stride.

Lock-Fit is great for the most aggressive players who need the power without energy loss. Having your feet locked into your boots makes them more of an extension of your legs, rather than a separate piece of equipment. You will get more power and control this way.

Another feature that you will find with the Vapor 2X is the Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder, which is a trigger-release system that will allow you to change out your blades as quickly as possible. The Tuuk blades themselves are stainless steel so they should be durable and not rust. The Tuuk system is one of the most-used systems of the NHL due to its quality and durability.

  • Lock-Fit Pro liner
  • Aero Foam Pro padding
  • Dynaflex system
  • Low-profile design
  • Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder
  • Low-profile design can be too tight for players with wide feet

3. Bauer Vapor X2.7 Ice Hockey Skates

Budget Friendly

If you are looking for budget friendly hockey skates, we suggest taking a look at the Bauer Vapor X2.7.

Even though these skates might not have all of the features that you will get from a higher end model, they are still made with Bauer’s high level of quality and expertise.

Bauer Vapor X2.7 Hockey Skates


Looking at the design for the Vapor X2.7, the skates come with a memory foam padding for more support in the bottom of the skates. The nice thing about it is they have combined the memory foam with microfiber, which is unusual, but effective.

Normally, memory foam runs the risk of absorbing moisture, but through this technology, your feet will be able to stay both dry and comfortable.

These skates do not have the new Bauer fit system, but they do offer the standard width as well as EE widths, so you should be able to wear these, regardless of the size of your feet.

This does mean that they do not accommodate high volume feet, if that was a concern for you. They are designed through Bauer’s ComfortFlex system, which uses certain techniques to give you an overall improved feel.


Even for a budget friendly skate, there are a lot of great features to look at. The skates use the Bauer TuukLightspeed Edge Holder. This is nice, because it provides you with a little extra height and stability on the ice, giving you an edge over the competition. There is also a trigger system, which will allow you to swap out the blades without any trouble.

The skates have a two-piece, 40 ounce tongue. This includes an injected metatarsal guard for even better protection against lace bite. It will noticeable increase your level of comfort as well, all while improving your agility out in the rink.

The skates themselves are made from a 3D polycarb quarter package. This will help keep the skates lightweight and easy to wear and to carry. They are also durable, so they should be able to take quite a few hits before breaking down. This construction will also give you a nice fit through the heel while securing your foot within the skate, all while keeping your feet comfortable.

  • TuukLightspeed Edge Holder
  • Memory foam liner
  • 3D Polycarb quarter
  • Low-profile
  • 2-piece Metatarsal guard
  • They do not accommodate skaters with high volume feet

4. CCM Jetspeed FT470 Ice Hockey Skates

If you are still looking for a budget friendly pair of hockey skates, we suggest the CCM Jetspeed FT470. These are better for players who only play a couple times a month, but still want a reliable level of performance.

CCM JetSpeed FT470 Skates


The FT470 skates have a low-profile fit, so they will work for players with low-volume dimensions. Otherwise, they will feel a bit snug. The Rocketframe composite that they are made with is considered a high-level material. It also helps with the weight of the skates.

Additionally, the design of these skates includes Metaframe technology, which is in place to hold the shape of the skate as well as to improve the overall fit of the skate.

This is crucial since the skates are not thermoformable and will not have the same level of molding you would get from a thermoformable skate. They are not as stiff as the higher end skates, which is good, because now you can break them in.


The FT470 skates have the CCM SpeedBlade XS holder, which is a fast blade-release system. This makes it easy to swap out the blades on the go, keeping you from being benched due to a dull or broken blade. The SpeedBlade XS runner is a stainless steel edge that has a long life.

You will also find that these skates have an HD microfiber liner, which will help wick water away from your feet from within the boot. The microfiber is made with Durazone abrasion protection. The liner is also sturdy and has a high resistance to wear and tear.

Also for more comfort, there are Smoot Contour pads all around the collar of the boot as well as symmetrical multi-density foam around the ankle. This will help increase the overall comfort of the skates.

Finally, these skates also have an anatomical response footbed, which will give you better support within the boot. With more support, you will have more power in your skating.

If your son is just starting to get into hockey, a pair of brand new CCM JetSpeed FT470 is a great hockey gift idea!

  • Rocketframe composite
  • SpeedBlade XS holder
  • Contour pads
  • Memory form
  • HD micro-fiber
  • These are not high-end hockey skates for professional players

5. CCM Super Tacks AS3 Pro Hockey Skates

Another great pair of high-end hockey skates are the CCM Super Tacks AS3 Pro. This line of CCM’s is made to improve your overall performance and will not disappoint you out on the ice.

CCM Super Tacks AS3 Hockey Skates


Taking a look at its design, the Super Tacks AS3 Pro has a revolutionary one-piece MonoFrame book. The MonoFrame is a one-piece carbon composite that will help with energy transfer and fit. It really is engineered for pure speed and performance.

The composite itself wraps underneath the boot, ensuring that there is no energy lost while you are skating.

Another design feature of these skates is that the boots have a custom feel that comes from the XS Tongue.

The tongue is there for both comfort and protection, but perhaps the nicest design feature of these skates is the fact that you can change out the tongue. If you would like a tongue with more or less padding, you only need to swap it out. T


Looking at its performance features, you will get the CCM DuraZone abrasion pads. The pads will extend the life of the liner, which is especially nice if you happen to wear your shin guards under the tongue. There is also a Total Dri-Pro liner that will wick any water away from your feet, helping to keep them dry and blister-free.

Something that is different with this model of skate is the OrtholiteUltraLitefootbed. This is a streamlined approach to the footbed, which helps to keep the skates as light as possible.

The moisture is also released out of the bottom of the boot, so there is no water pooling anywhere, ensuring that your feet will stay dry. Wet feet are miserable to try to skate with, but you also want a skate that will be able to dry-out in between your practices or games.

The last feature that we will look at with these skates is the positive-lock mechanism called the Xchange System. This will secure the blade to the holder, but also makes it simple to change out your blades. The blades themselves are XS1 Black blades, made with oxide-treated steel for better edging.

  • One-piece carbon composite MonoFrame
  • Anatomical formfitting support
  • Speedblade XS blade holder
  • DuraZone Abrasion Protection
  • Total Dri Pro Liner
  • The black oxide on the blades will come off

6. Bauer Supreme 3S Ice Hockey Skates

For Wide Feet

Our choice for the perfect hockey skates for wide feet are the Bauer Supreme 3S. While we reviewed the Pro version earlier, there are some notable differences between the two.

Bauer Supreme 3S Hockey Skates


The Supreme 3S skates are designed with Motion Flex, which is a fiber composite boot. This will allow players who are learning the sport the ability to move their knees over the toes with added support.

Since this position is incredibly important if you hope to play well, having the extra movement will really help with your flexibility out on the ice.

Additionally, the design also offers a power cut. This will provide you with an increased wrap for better stability. The more stability that you get from the skates, the more powerful you will be on the ice. The skates themselves are very comfortable, combining the stiffness in the lower portion of the skate, but staying lightweight.

Looking at its sizing, the Supreme 3S skates do go up to FIT3, which is both width with and high volume, ensuring there is plenty of room for your feet, if that is the kind of wide feet you have. There are also FIT1 and FIT2, so really go with what will fit your feet comfortably.


Moving onto its features, the Bauer Supreme 3S skates come with Bauer’s Power Profile known as a 4-zoned radii. This is called the Quad profile and it means that the blade’s shape has 4 set zones, so there will be different results depending on where you are placing the pressure and force while skating. This will help with speed, control, and turning.

The first zone is for acceleration, the second is for transitions, the third is for speed, and the fourth zone is for stability.

These skates also have a high grade LS+ stainless steel blade that will increase your overall height on the skates while helping you maintain your stride out on the ice. It is really nice for balancing as well, if you are just getting the feel of skating.

Since these skates have a flex rating of 70, you know that they are made for less experienced players who need a little more give to their skates than an elite player would, so keep that in mind if you are an advanced player looking for something new.

  • 4-Zoned Radii
  • Motion Flex
  • Fiber composite boot
  • 48 ounce Felt Tongue
  • Flex Rating of 70
  • Difficult to mold

7. TRUE TF9 Ice Hockey Skates

Most Comfortable Hockey Skates

If you are looking more for an ultra-lightweight kind of hockey skate, check out the True TF9.

These skates are made for comfort, keeping them both light and easy to wear for long games or practices. They really have a best-in-class fit, since they have a lot of features that make them more customized to your feet.

TRUE TF9 Hockey Skates


The design of the TF9 includes a personalized fit system. The system works to integrate the insole of the boot to accommodate players who have a variety of arch heights, whether they are low or high arches.

The boots also have an anatomical tongue with a t-guard insert. This is a stiff and contoured design that will give you a lightweight tongue. It will ensure that the tongue has an anatomical fit for even better comfort. It will deliver added protection against impact, while still protecting your feet from lace bite.

The skates themselves are also ultra-lightweight. This will help with your performance by keeping your legs from receiving too much fatigue. They really are designed for elite performance, keeping you light and fast on your feet.


Looking at the skates’ features, you will see that they use True’s antimicrobial, moisture-wicking liner. This will keep your feet dry during and after a game, all through the use of its multi-density foam. The foam is known as a HydroFoam, where water will not be sitting around, causing trouble for your feet.

The skates also have a personalized fit system. This means that it is made to integrate low, medium, and high-arched feet. The insert placement can be adjusted to meet the needs of your feet, giving you the perfect amount of support.

The skates also offer a Shift holder. This is a new feature that uses BenchChange technology. As a result, you will be able to replace your skate blades without the use of a magnetized blade tool in order to reengage the blade. The process should be quick, getting you back out in the rink in no time.

Finally, the skates themselves are thermoformable. This means that the skates can be baked before wearing in order to mold them around your feet. As a result, you will have a much reduced break-in period, getting them to a perfect comfort-level for your needs.

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Elite performance
  • HydroFoam
  • Anatomical Tongue
  • Personalized Fit System
  • We didn’t find anything

8. Bauer Vapor X2.9 Ice Hockey Skates

Hockey Skates For Beginners

If you are looking for the best hockey skates for beginners, we suggest the Bauer Vapor X2.9. These are made for skaters who are skating at most twice a week and who are just getting into the sport.

Bauer Vapor X2.9


The Bauer Vapor X2.9 skates are a low-profile design that offer a better overall fit for the average sized foot. Players with larger or wider feet will not find these skates as comfortable.  They are designed for newer skaters who are only skating casually.

The design also includes a two-piece, 48 ounce felt tongue that has been injected with a metatarsal guard. As a result, you will get a good level of comfort, flexibility, and protection against lace bite and other potential injuries.

The liner within the skates is a hydrophobic microfiber liner that helps to wick water away from your feet while keeping you protected from abrasions.


There are a lot of features that come with the Vapor X2.9 skates, including the Form-Fit+ footbed. This is an exclusive feature from Bauer that will help secure your foot using memory foam.

The quarter package is a 3D Lasted Tech Mesh, which offers a high level of support. It is also thermoformable so the skates can be baked in order to get a more customized fit. This is part of the PerformFlex system.

The Comfort Edge and Aero Foam padding add in more support throughout the skates while still giving you personalized comfort throughout the ankle. You can feel secure that your skates will not only keep you as safe as you need them to, but you should be comfortable as well.

These are not overly stiff skates, which is important for beginning players. They do have a little bit of give so you will be able to adequately master your techniques. It also does have the Bauer Tuuk edge system, so changing out blades should be incredibly easy and quick.

  • Comfort Edge and Aero Foam padding
  • Form-Fit+ footbed
  • Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder
  • PerformFlex system
  • 3D lasted tech mesh quarter package
  • Low-profile design runs small

9. CCM Ribcor 80K Ice Hockey Skates

The CCM Ribcor 80K is another skate that you should consider. These are a high quality type of skate that offer a little more foot room than other skates that we have looked at.

CCM Ribcor 80K


The Ribcor 80K skates are a high profile design that work best with a foot that is high volume. These are typically players who need a little more space throughout the boot generally, so having some extra wiggle room will be more comfortable and effective.

The boot itself is flexible as well, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsupportive. It uses Flexframe technology that provides forward flexion to give you more power and stability.

Another design element that you will find with the 80K skates is the Tritech Pro tongue. This is a three-layered tongue that is 7mm in thickness made from black felt. It also has HDPE foam and has been injected to protect you from lace-bite and other potential injuries to that sensitive part of your foot.


Like many of the CCM skates, the Ribcor 80K have the SpeedBlade XS1 technology in place. This includes a quick release holder, so you can swap out the blades easily.

It also has the anti-corrosive black coating along the SpeedBlade XS1 runners. The coating should extend the life of the blade, but it will come off eventually.

Looking at the inside of the boot, you will find that it has ADPT memory foam ankle pads that are made using symmetrical foam. The foam wraps all around the ankle, giving you a custom fit with a high level of comfort. The Smooth Contour Pro comfort pad provides an extra level of protection for both your ankle and your foot.

Finally, there is Durazone abrasion protection liner within the boots that uses a moisture wicking material to keep your feet dry and comfortable. It is a durable liner as well, so it is unlikely to wear out before your skates do.

  • Orthomovefootbed
  • Tritech Pro tongue
  • SpeedBlade XS1 runner
  • ADPT memory foam padding
  • TotalDri Pro+ liner
  • Anti-corrosive coating can come off over time

10. CCM Jetspeed FT2 Ice Hockey Skates

New Release

The last skates that we will take a look at are a new release. The CCM Jetspeed FT2 are the newest addition to the Jetspeed line of skates and make a great addition.

CCM JetSpeed FT2


The Jetspeed FT2 skates are designed with a tapered fit. The tapered fit really only works with players who have narrow to average-sized feet and are made to give you a snug fit that some players might find uncomfortable. They are made for players who skate several times a week and need a high level of performance out of their skates.

You will find that the FT2 skates have a Metatomic tongue, which supplies a molded lace-bite protection. It is newly designed and is lightweight.

What makes it different is the asymmetrical flex point that gives you a better wrap and an enhanced fit, both of which are incredibly important to your metatarsal safety.

The top of the boot also has an injected contour pad that is a one-piece, injected protective pad that offers comfort as well as protection around the collar of the skate boot.


There are a lot of great features that come with these top-of-the-line skates, including the SpeedBlade XS1 technology. The SpeedBlade XS1 black runner adds 12% more height than you will get from other blades.

The purpose is to give you better strides and generally an improved skating performance. The blades themselves are a premium oxide-treated steel that are made to have a longer life and be more resistant to wear and tear.

The CCM OrthoMove custom support system utilizes venting to help release moisture from within the boots, preventing blisters and keeping your feet as dry as possible. The OrthoMove footbed will stabilize your foot within the boot while still offering you a high level of comfort. The system also has a TotalDri Pro+ liner, which will wick away water build up.

  • OrthoMove footbed for custom support
  • TotalDri Pro+ liner
  • Liteframe 360 Evo quarter package
  • Metatomic tongue for better fit and protection
  • SpeedBlade XS1 technology
  • Tapered fit is going to be snug for many players

The Ultimate Ice Hockey Skates Buyers Guide 

Now that we have taken a look at the top hockey skates that you can get for any level of play, let’s look into the other important features that you should take into consideration when you are shopping for a pair of hockey skates, including construction and use.

Hockey Skates Construction 

Looking at the most basic features of a hockey skate, there are really three parts that you will find in any hockey skate:

  • Boot: The boot is complex and has many different parts to it, including the quarter package, footbed, heel support, liner, outsole, tongue, and ankle padding.

  • Holders: This is the part that your boot sits up on and holds the runner.

  • Runners: The runner is another word for blade. Most high performance skates will allow the holder and runner to be in two pieces.

Hockey Skate Boot

Hockey Skate Boot

Beyond the standard three pieces within a hockey skate, there are also the other features within the boot, which include:

  • Quarter Package: This is the shell of the boot that holds the padding and inserts.

  • Footbed: The removable and padded insert that your foot rests on inside of the boot.

  • Heel Support: The heel support is how your foot locks into place within the boot.

  • Liner: The liner provides padding, protection, and usually water wicking ability.

  • Ankle Padding: It is the padding specifically around your ankle. It’s inside of the quarter package.

  • Outsole: The outside is the rigid underside of the boot that the holder is attached to.

  • Tongue: The tongue is the piece that rests underneath the laces that gives you extra support and protection.

The amount of these features and the quality of the features will vary from skate to skate. Lower-end skates will not have the same amount of insulation within the quarter package and also the runner and holder will be one piece.

When the runner and holder cannot separate, you cannot change out the blade in the event that it is damaged and most likely will need a whole new pair of skates. Each of the features is important within the skate, but the quality you need from each one depends on your needs.

Your Foot Type (Regular, Narrow, Wide)

Just like with shoe sizes, senior hockey skates come in a variety of widths in order to match the width of your feet. Most people will fit well into the regular width, but skates also come in narrow and wide width.

The size chart above for each type of skate should help you indicate the right width for you if you are not sure about your foot width. Hockey skates will have a number after the size, which is the width of the boot. This is what they are:

C/N: Narrow width

D/R: Regular or average width. This is the most common width you will find.

E/W/EE: Wide to extra-wide

If you have wider feet, you will have more trouble finding the right hockey skates for you, but you should not try to squish your feet into the regular width shoes for the same reasons you cannot wear too small of a size: you will cut off the circulation to your feet and not have a good amount of control on the ice.

Bauer & CCM Ice Hockey Skates Sizing Chart

Bauer Skate Size

U.S. Shoe Size

Euro Shoe Size

U.K. Shoe Size





































































Bauer Skate Lines

  • Vapor - Narrow Fit (Low Volume)
  • Supreme - Medium Fit (Medium Volume)
  • Nexus - Wide Fit (Wide Volume)

CCM Skate Lines

  • Ribcor - Narrow Fit (Low Volume)
  • JetSpeed - Average Fit (Medium Volume) 
  • Tacks - Slightly Wider Fit (Higher Volume)

How To Check The Fit Of Your Skate

Having the right fit for your skates is incredible important not just to your performance, but also your safety as a skater.

There are a few different tests that you can do to make sure that your skates fit your properly.

The Squeeze Test

The squeeze test is a way to confirm the overall stiffness of your skate. You can do this by holding the skate from behind and squeezing the ankle using your thumb and pointer finger.

Skates that collapse in are too flexible. If they don’t move at all, they are meant for more advanced or elite skaters. Newer skaters can have a little bit of give, but not so much that the skates are folding in.

The Pencil Test

You do the pencil test to make sure that you have the right volume. You do this by putting on your skate, but don’t lace it up. Pull the tongue out, away from your foot.

Then, take a pencil or pen and lay it across the third or the fourth eyelet of your boot. If the pencil can stay there without moving, you have a good volume. If it rolls off, you might need a different skate.

The Finger Test

The finger test is used to confirm the size of your skate. You do this by putting on your skate and lacing it up. Keep your feet flat on the ground and lean forward.

If you can slide a finger between the back of the boot and your ankle, great. If you like a snug fit, you should have a smaller gap. If you can fit more than one finger, the boots are too big.

The Toe Brush Test

This is another test to make sure that you have the sizing of your skates right. The toe brush test is done by putting on your skates and lacing them up like you would before hitting the ice.

Then confirm where the ends of your toes are at. They should barely brush the front end of the skate. If they push all the way against it, your skates are too small. If there is a gap, they are too big.

Hockey Skates For Different Skill Levels

Hockey Skates - Different Skill Levels

Before you can really commit to buying a pair of hockey skates, you need to consider what you will be using them for. 

Competitive skaters, new skaters, or recreational skaters all have different needs when it comes to hockey skates and understanding the difference between the different levels of skates can help you decide the best choice for you. Price is not always the right way to figure out the level, you need to consider other factors.

  • Low End Skates: If you are only skating casually for recreational purposes, you will not need the same level of quality that someone who competes seriously requires.

    These skates are generally more affordable than high end skates, but they still offer a great level of comfort. Ideally, you would wear these skates on a public rink just for skating, not playing hockey. You should not be paying too much these skates.

  • Intermediate Skates: You would get an intermediate pair of hockey skates if you are a casual hockey player, but not a serious competitor.

    These skates will not cost as much as a higher end pair of skates, but they should still get the job done for you on the ice. Intermediate skates will not have the same quality of blade for cornering, but still should be adequately comfortable.

  • High End Skates: High end skates are the most expensive skates of the bunch and for a good reason. High end skates are going to give you the best comfort, stability, and the very best cornering you can get.

    Your feet will be happy for hours of skating, keeping your feet dry and protected. The superior workmanship, lightweight structure, and maximum protection can all be expected from these skates.

How Do You Want To Use Your Hockey Skates

Ice Skates - Hockey vs Recreational

There is no one-skate-fits-all approach to buying hockey skates. The first consideration that you need to make is how you are going to use your skates. The answer goes well beyond simply wanting to skate on the ice. There are other considerations, like whether you are a recreational skater or a hockey player.

What level of a player are you? How serious of a player are you? How you are going to use the skates makes a big difference when deciding the right skates for you. The speed, design, and construction will vary depending on your needs.

Competitive Ice Hockey Skates:

Competitive hockey skates needs to have ample protection and a solid construction in order to work well on the ice. Beginning players will not need the same amount of speed or padding as more advanced or professional players will need.

This is because you are less likely to be hit at high speed. Water wicking technology, comfort, and some padding is still needed if you want to keep your feet safe and happy on the ice.

Speed and performance should also be taken into consideration as you will need to move and corner quickly on the ice.

Heavy skates that have a poor energy transfer rating will make you slower and more tired on the ice, where skates that help you propel forward without as much effort can keep you going longer. High performance skates will not always be lightweight, but you should not feel the weight as you skate.

Recreational Ice Skates: 

People who enjoy ice skating, but do not necessarily play ice hockey or perhaps do not play hockey competitively, do not need all of the bells and whistles that you would get from competitive hockey skates.

To begin with, you do not need the amount of padding and protection since you are not going to be run into by anyone on the ice intentionally. In addition, for the same reason, your holder and runner do not need to be two pieces.

Skaters who enjoy figure skating for fun, but do not like the awkwardness of figure skates, often like the stability that you get from hockey skates. 

The blades are meant less for delicacy and more for speed and action, making them a lot more fun on the ice. That said, you simply do not need the same type of quarter package or blade with recreational skates that you would need for competitive skating.

What's Your Play Style 

 Hockey Skates For Different Play Styles

If you are a hockey player and are looking to get the most competitive hockey skates possible, then you need to also look at what kind of skater you are, which includes the your style of play.

Forward, defense, aggressive, or reserved all need different features from their skates for the best performance.

  • Forward vs Defense: The forward positions require players to be swift and have excellent cornering in order to successfully maneuver around the opponents in the rink, heading for the goal.

    Defense can still utilize the speed, but usually they are more interested in blocking the opposing forwards from progressing further on the ice, meaning they do not need the same level of speed and cornering a forward does. While both need padding, the defense can anticipate blocking and being hit at a higher speed.

  • Aggressive vs Reserved: Hockey players who are more aggressive on the ice will need the best padding possible as well as skates that are going to be able to hold up against a few beatings. Aggressive players are more likely to be in the center of the action where skates and skaters could be injured or damaged.

    A more cautious or reserved skater would most likely be happy with the speed, but does not need the same level of padding within the quarter package that an aggressive player would.

Bauer vs CCM Ice Hockey Skates

Bauer and CCM are without a doubt the two biggest names in the hockey skate industry. While they are both popular, and rightly so, the skates themselves are not the same at all. Their design and construction between their models take on different approaches, though they both produce excellent results.

Bauer skates normally come with their famous TuukLightSpeed Holder which adds to the height of the skate and improves its overall ability to attack on the ice. Meanwhile, the CCM has a speedblade that is streamlined for the best transfer of energy possible.

The Bauer skates also generally come with a tight heel lock to keep players’ feet in place within the boot. As a result, skaters who have wider feet could struggle with the snug fit of the Bauer brand. CCM, however, does not have the same heel lock and is known for producing more skates that fit wider feet.

To determine which the right brand is for you, you would need to consider both your individual foot needs as well as your level of play on the ice. Some competitive players are happier with Bauer while others prefer CCM.

Bottom line: they are both excellent brands with high quality skates.

Most Expensive Hockey Skates

When money is not a concern and you can get the best-possible hockey skates, there are more expensive hockey skates out there that you can get. The most expensive skates can be considered elite.

What this means is that every possible customization and special feature has been taken into consideration, leaving you with skates that are lightweight, durable, fast, and have the highest level of protection.

Having every feature of comfort thought out results in your feet being well-protected, allowing you to be as hard and competitive as you like. These elite skates really do give you everything that you could possibly want from hockey skates.

The only issue is that if something on a skate like this breaks, fixing it can be harder and could also likely result in you having to pay for a new pair.

Anyway, if you're looking for top of the line hockey skates, check out CCM Jetspeed FT2. Also, Bauer Supreme 2S are another great skates for elite skaters and professional hockey players.

Do Not Buy Used Hockey Skates

Used Hockey Skates

It could be tempting to try to save a few dollars by purchasing used hockey skates. This would be a mistake, however. The footbed of hockey skates will adapt to meet the individual fit of the skater and no one is going to have the same exact footstep.

Also, many skaters will bake their skates to get a customized heat-molded fit. You cannot bake the same pair of skates twice or you will wreck the longevity of the skates as well.

Skates that have been around awhile will also have had their padding broken down or worn down, limiting their ability to protect you. This also means that the blade itself could have damage, putting you at risk of injury on the ice.

If the price of new skates is a concern for you, try to get one of the less expensive options from one of the major brands. You can then be sure of its level of protection and know what you are getting.

Breaking Into Your New Hockey Skates 

Just like you find with your street shoes, sometimes a new pair of hockey skates is not going to be comfortable right out of the gate and might require some time to loosen up to meet your needs.

If your skates are heat moldable, you can bake them in order to get a better fit and lessen the amount of time that it takes to break them in.

If they are not heat moldable, you might just have to put the hours in on the ice in order to gradually wear them into being the right fit.

Your skates should not hurt you right out of the box, however. Being snug or having spots that need to be broken in is normal, but having your feet feel squished or blistered is not. You might not have the right size of skates if you are getting hurt from them.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, the best hockey skates on the market right now are the new Bauer Supreme 3S Pro.

These skates are perfect for elite skaters who are looking for skates that they can wear all day without causing any discomfort. They will really improve your overall skating technique as long as you are an experienced skater.

Less experienced skaters might be happier with the Bauer Vapor X2.7 or the Supreme 3S, both of which are comfortable, but will also enhance your performance. If you are looking for the most comfortable hockey skates, TRUE TF9 hockey skates are your best bet.

The two most important factors to consider when buying a pair of skates is how you skate and your comfort level. More aggressive skaters need different things than skaters who are just getting on the ice.

Make sure that your hockey skates work perfectly for you. Not only will you improve your game, but you will help to prevent any future injuries that might have been caused by unsupportive skates.

1 thought on “Best Hockey Skates (2021) – Beginner To Pro Ice Hockey Skates”

  1. Hey Shawn, thanks so much for the detailed overview of the products and their features. I used to play a lot as a kid but have been out of the game for too long to remember what to look for when finding a pair of skates, so this was super helpful for me. Quick criticism, if you don’t mind: you mentioned buying a pair of skates “for your son”, but unless there are skates that are specifically better for a boy’s feet vs. the shape of a girl’s, it would be great to just say “for your kid”. Lots of girls play hockey and with a more welcoming environment perhaps even more would. Thanks again for providing such great info!


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