Best Hockey Skates (2023) – 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 ice 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.

Editor's Choice
Bauer Vapor 3X Pro Hockey Skates

Our Editor’s Choice for the best hockey skates in 2022 is the Bauer Vapor 3X Pro. Designed for regular and elite players, the 3X Pro skates are constructed with high-end technologies and materials. The 3D Curv Composite Quarter Package provides a supremely lightweight feel for skaters wanting to improve speed and agility.

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High Performance
Bauer Supreme Mach Hockey Skates

Our choice for high-performance skates in 2022 is the Bauer Supreme Mach skates. The AMP Flex technology provides players with extra flexibility which improves acceleration and gliding power. The Unibody Power wrap stiffens the lower portion of the skate to add extra power transfer to boost acceleration.

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Budget Friendly
Bauer Vapor 3X Hockey Skates

Our budget-friendly recommendation is the Bauer Vapor 3X. Containing Bauer technology at an affordable price, the 3X delivers high-speed, agile performance. Comfort is assured through the memory foam interior and 40oz tongue which also both protect the feet well from potential injuries on the ice. 

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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.

10 Best Hockey Skates (2023)

No matter your skill level, finding the best hockey skates can be a challenge if you are new to the search.

Thankfully, leading brands have a wide range of skates available for players of all skill levels and budgets.

1. Bauer Vapor 3X Pro Hockey Skates

Best Hockey Skates (Editor’s Choice)


The Bauer Vapor 3X Pro hockey skates are an ideal choice for players who skate 3-4 times per week. Constructed with high-quality materials and high-end features, the Vapor 3X is an investment in high skating performance.

In recent years Bauer split the Vapor and Supreme ranges to focus on specific attributes of each range. The Vapor range concept focuses on speed in the lower part of the skate, while the upper part is stiffer to support better lateral support. The design concepts are evident in the Vapor 3X.

The Vapor 3X Pro provides players with elite protection due to the 3D last Curv Composite Quarter Package which also ensures the skate has a lightweight feel. The inclusion of a Pro TPU enables a lower flex point which supports better agility and speed.

The Vapor 3X Pro has an elite fit due to the asymmetrical toe cap and a 48oz Pro Stock felt tongue which helps wrap the foot inside the boot and well-protect the foot from damage.

Bauer Vapor 3X Pro Hockey Skates


The performance of the 3X Pro is elevated due to the injected facing which is integrated to improve the lateral stability and foot lock.

This technology also allows the foot to have strong forward flex which strengthens gliding power.

Durable performance is also guaranteed due to the inclusion of the premium Lightspeed EDGE holder with LS Pulse steel. These high-end materials ensure a long-life blade and smooth glide every time.

High-performance of the 3X Pro is enabled through the high-quality interior materials which provide protection and comfort for players.

The AeroFoam+ padding in combination with a Hydrolite liner enables solid support and a snug fit. These materials also provide good boot breathability by moving sweat away from your foot.


  • High-quality materials provide an elite-level fit
  • Incorporates Bauer Vapor design concepts for speed and agility
  • Good boot breathability
  • Robust interior padding for extra comfort and protection


  • Premium price

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2. Bauer Supreme Mach Ice Hockey Skates

High Performance


The Bauer Supreme Mach skates are designed for experienced players skating about 5 times a week. Renowned for being lightweight, the Supreme Mach skates are great for boosting speed and agility on the ice.

Similar to other Bauer skates, you have the option choose your preferred runner when purchasing the Supreme Mach skates.

The three runners available to choose from are the Carbonlite, Pulse TI and Pulse. For ultra-lightweight performance due to a carbon fiber construction, the Carbonlite runner is ideal and is 35% lighter than steel runners.

Pulse TI provide extra height and edge retention, supported with an outer coating of titanium. While Pulse Runners give the Supreme Mach premium glide and durability due the premium core materials.

The Supreme Mach follows the Supreme design concept of making the lower part of the skate stiff for better energy transfer while the upper part is softer to encourage better mobility.

The strong energy transfer in the lower skate is enabled through the 3D Lasted 12K Carbon Curv Composite main body of the skate. This stiff, lightweight material maximizes energy transfer to boost agility and speed.

Bauer Supreme Mach Hockey Skates


A leading performance advantage of the Supreme Mach is its flexibility due to a new Active Motion Performance Flex Technology.

The flex facing technology is located between the 2nd and 3rd eyelets on the boot and enable better mobility when striding and improved overall motion.

The Supreme Mach also has improved acceleration due to the Reflect Tendon guard which makes power generation more efficient.

The guard limits forward flex through providing a firm hold around the player’s ankle, allowing greater striding power.

The Supreme Mach stiffness is primarily enabled through the Unibody Power wrap technology on the outsole. This technology stiffens the lower portion of the skate for maximum energy transfer.

Overall, the Supreme Mach is classed as a low-profile skate, with the inclusion of an asymmetrical toe cap a feature which reduces skate volume and gives players increased push-off power.


  • Increased motion range due to the AMP Flex technology
  • Stiff lower part from Unibody power wrap technology maximizes energy transfer
  • Lightweight feel due to the 3D lasted 12K carbon Curv Composite quarter package
  • Ultra-lightweight runner options


  • None found

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3. Bauer Vapor 3X Hockey Skates

Budget Friendly


The Bauer Vapor 3X hockey skates are affordable skates in the Vapor line which are ideal for players skating 2-3 times per week. The Vapor range always delivers quality performance, comfort and fit and the 3X is no different.

Compared to the 3X Pro, the 3X uses fewer high-end materials to provide a lower price point. However, this does not denigrate the skate’s quality and feel, as they still weigh 6.5% lighter than skates of a similar price point.

The lightweight feel of the Vapor 3X skate is enabled through the improved LS+ runner and the full composite boot construction. The lightweight feel enables players to feel freer and improves speed and agility on the ice.

The Junior 3X range includes an LS Balance runner and Motion-Flex technology which makes it easier for a youngster to bend their knees as they perfect their skating stride.


Bauer has focused the Vapor range concept on speed in the lower part of the boot, while the upper provides better lateral support by being stiffer. The 3X contains all of these features to provide a low-profile, high-speed and agile boot.

The low-profile boot fit matches the Vapor 2X Pro line which has an asymmetrical toe cap. The toe cap enables players to push off with speed to increase overall gliding power.

Vapors are renowned for a good balance of fit. A combination of the 40oz Pro Stock tongue, hydrophobic microfiber lining and FormFit+ footbed enable this balance.

The liner enables great foot support and a soft interior. The material also has moisture management properties which remove sweat from the foot to improve boot breathability which is important for foot stability.

High comfort levels are guaranteed with the memory foam footbed which reduces friction and also adds extra foot protection against blows on the ice.


  • Vapor quality construction and design at an affordable price
  • Lightweight feel
  • Asymmetrical toe cap improves the fit compared to the previous range
  • Memory foam and 40oz felt tongue provide a comfortable fit


  • Less durable than the premium Vapor range
  • Takes time to break in

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4. CCM Jetspeed FT485 Ice Hockey Skates

For Beginners 

If you play two to three times per week and looking for solid performance features and top technologies for a great value, the CCM FT485 is designed for you.

CCM JetSpeed FT485 Hockey Skates


This hockey skate is designed for acceleration and performance to give you a closer fit and direct energy transfer for faster strides.

The stiffness index is less than the FT4 and FT4 Pro but still, it provides great support for players at performance level and is lightweight.


The CCM XS Tongue takes the protection and comfort of this skate to the next level by making them interchangeable.

Players can change the different inserts to improve the protection and feel of the skate. The XS Tongue System allows the players to adjust the thickness to either decrease or increase the volume of the boot for a better fit.

The fits range from slim to thick. The 4mm custom tongue option allows more mobility as it increases the volume of the boot.

The standard volume tongue option is 7mm and provides better protection and is stronger than the stock tongue by 20%. The 10mm insert reduces the volume of the boot to create a better fighting lace bite and snugger fight.

The tongue inserts are for extra purchase as the FT485 comes with a tongue that is 7mm and performs better with an improved overall feel, enhanced protection, and lace-bite protection.

The Memory Foam wraps well around the feet while the TotalDri liner prevents abrasions and wicks the moisture away.

This also protects against rubbing or wear as well as prevent lace bite. The footbed is designed using the CCM Ortholite technology which is eco-friendly and offers ideal support and a lightweight feel.

This hockey stick features the Speedblade XS runner that offers long-term performance because of the long-lasting edges.


  • Interchangeable tongue inserts
  • Has a closer fit and a more direct transfer of energy
  • The liner wicks away moisture for a lightweight and dry feel
  • The memory foam provides a customized feel


  • Can cause blisters in the first few sessions before breaking in

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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

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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

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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

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8. Bauer Vapor X2.9 Ice Hockey Skates

Best 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

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9. Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Hockey Skates

Bauer wants to follow the suit of the highly Supreme Line by adding some key upgrades to the current iteration to produce the most Bauer advanced skates.

If you are a player at an elite level and looking for skates that match your performance, then look no further because Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Senior Ice Hockey skates are here for you.

Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Hockey Skates


These skates are Bauer’s new Performance Fit System and ultimate performance skates for an elite player. They are designed to maximize control and power.

The boot has a unibody sole that combines with 3D Lasted Carbon Curv to allow every push to optimize energy transfer and faster straight-line speed.

A power boot creates more powerful strides because of its increased wrap for optimal foot support and stability so that you can attack the puck better.

The shape of the blade has four zones uniquely placed and designed for specific performance improvements during all types of edge work.

  • The first zone is shaped to maximize acceleration and is at the toe of the runner. When the players start their stride, the weight shift from the top of the toes into the ice, using a 6-foot radius for the initial drive.
  • The second zone sits on a 9-foot radius and is also known as the transition zone. This zone helps transition the player’s stride from rapid acceleration to longer, measured striding.
  • The speed zone is the third zone leveraging a radius of 9 feet. The player now maximizes their blade to ice contact for a straight-line speed and efficient power transfer.
  • The fourth zone is the final zone and is also known as the stability zone. This is towards the heel and holds a 13-foot radius, the longest, and provides balance when the player shifts between their edged when pivoting and absorbing contact.


It has a Light Speed Edge Holder, which is a trigger release system that allows you to replace a broken or damaged blade.

It features TUUK LS Pulse TI, a titanium coating that gives a better edge grip and retention to provide consistency while maintaining speed. The new blade is geared with Bauer’s Power Profile to give a player a more powerful stride and help to maintain speed.

The Reflex Pro Tongue, the Reflex Tendon Guard, and Flex Facing work together to improve motion range, increasing the level of power and every stride’s length.

The composite inserts in the Reflex Pro Tongue gives protection, comfort, and a custom fit. The Lock Fit Pro Liner is a memory foam liner. The upgraded ankle padding gives comfort while keeping the feet locked in place and dry.

3D Carbon Curv gives a lightweight one-piece boot designed to allow faster straight-line speed and maximum energy transfer.

The titanium-coated blade also known as LS Pulse TI Blade provides better edge retention and grip along with a Reflex Tendon Guard that allows for maximum range of motion for a more powerful and longer stride.


  • Provides maximum power and control to the player
  • The boot gives the best foot support and stability thus providing the player with a more powerful stride
  • Easy to replace a broken or damaged blade
  • Lightweight and comfortable as well as affordable


  • Some players are having problems with the Tendon Guard

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10. CCM Jetspeed FT4 Hockey Skates

CCM pulled out all the stops with their highly advanced One-Piece boot providing players with a skate made to fit the player’s exact foot shape and a boot made for pure acceleration.

CCM JetSpeed FT4 Hockey Skates For Wide Feet


The JetSpeed FT4 Skates is what you want for your better performance. With these skates, players of all foot shapes can find their perfect fit in the Lower- Profile, tapered or wide options in these skates.

This skate is a highly advanced one-piece boot speed and an all-new design technology. The model has great performance benefits for the player that skates three to four times a week and needs elite features and new technologies at a cheaper price point.

When looking for the right skate for you, find the right model that fits your foot best.

CCM’s Jetspeed offers regular, tapered, or wide fit according to your foot giving you a closer fit, customized feel, and faster strides.

The Jetspeed FT4 has been built with new highly advanced One-Piece Boot Speed technology. It is designed using RFM composite which is a lightweight material that provides performance and acceleration. This offers players direct energy transfer and a closer fit for quicker strides.

CCM has included Step Steel runners that are worn by 60% of the players in the NHL. This helps players to have better edge retention, improved glide, and more custom radius options.


One-Piece Boot design is lighter, good with transferring energy, and wraps around the foot for an improved fit. Hence making a player move faster and quickly.

SpeedBlade XS Tongue System is an easy and secure clip that allows you to use one of the three aftermarket CCM tongues.

Extra is the most protective and the thickest which also reduces the internal volume. Regular is more like the stock tongue but comes with D30 Smart Foam for top-tier protection. Slim is the slimmest and the lightest of the three tongues to increase the internal volume and reduce weight.

Asymmetrical Toe Cap is a lower-profile design that provides a better foot-to-ice connection with a comfortable snug feel.

The TotalDri Liner is built with durable and comfortable fabrics; that wicks away moisture with each shift. The new Memory Foam Ankle Pads feel like a dream on the feet and mold around the foot during the baking process.


  • It is cheaper
  • It gives the player a close fit for faster strides and better performance
  • It is lightweight and keeps your feet dry


  • They are stiff and hard

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New CCM Custom Fit System For 2021 Explained 

The new Custom Fit System launched by CCM will enable players to use their performance features to choose skates rather than using any line that fits their feet.

There are three different fits provided by CCM in the Ribcor and Jetspeed skate lines, that offer you an opportunity to choose the skate that is ideal for your game.

The 3D Fit Scanner by CCM allows for the accurate measurement of the player’s foot to find out the best fit for them. The three fits offered by CCM ensure that the foot’s instep, depth, and width are accounted for.

Tapered Fit Skates

The new Tapered fit is like the previous Jetspeed D width which has been used by many for years and is narrow and low-profile.

The new Tapered fit features a low foot volume, a low instep, and a shallow heel pocket which will make players of traditional Jetspeed feel at home. This is because it is the narrowest of the three fits and offers a tighter fit around the ankle wrap.

Models available include the FT4 skates, 2021 Ribcor 100k Pro Skate, and 2021 CCM Jetspeed FT4 Pro.

Wide Fit Skates

If you require more volume for your feet, this fit is a great option for you. The Wide fit is like the EE size and caters to a specific foot type, that is why it is the least common fit. This fit is for players looking for a wider overall skate, a taller instep, and a deep heel pocket.

Players can find the full volume fit in the CCM Ribcor 90K, 100K Pro, 86K, and 88K models as well as the Jetspeed FT4, FT4 Pro, FT475, and FT485 models

Regular Fit Skates

The Regular fit is for you if your foot is a mid-profile. The regular fit is like the traditional Tacks D width, which was also a common fit.

If your instep is slightly higher, you should feel at home when using this. The Regular fit features an increased volume in the ankle wrap, mid-heel pocket, and a wider forefoot.

The mid-profile fit is available in the 2021 CCM Ribcor 90K, 100K Pro, 86K, and 88K models as well as the 2021 Jetspeed FT4, FT4 Pro, FT475, and FT485 models.

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.

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.

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

In the US and Canada, approximately 20 million people ice skate every year, with a high proportion of those playing hockey.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, finding new hockey skates in a market with so many consumers can be a real challenge, but the good news is that we’re here to help!

Hopefully, this article has provided all the essential information you need to know about finding the perfect hockey skates for you.

Our choice for the best hockey skates is the Bauer Vapor 3X Pro. These skates don’t come cheap but deliver high-quality performance and include some of the latest ice skate technologies such as AeroFoam+ padding.

Bauer’s reliable technologies support high-speed and powerful performance on the ice, giving you quality performance.

1 thought on “Best Hockey Skates (2023) – 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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