10 Best Hockey Skates (2019) – Senior Bauer & CCM 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.

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.

Bauer & CCM Ice Hockey Skates Sizing Chart

Bauer Skate Size

U.S. Shoe Size

Euro Shoe Size

U.K. Shoe Size

6.0

7.5

40.5

6.5

6.5

8.0

41.0

7.0

7.0

8.5

42

7.5

7.5

9.0

42.5

8.0

8.0

9.5

43

8.5

8.5

10.0

44

9.0

9.0

10.5

44.5

9.5

9.5

11.0

45

10.0

10.0

11.5

45.5

10.5

10.5

12.0

46

11

11.0

12.5

4

11.5

11.5

13.0

47.5

12

12.0

13.5

48

12.5

12.5

14.0

48.5

13.0

13.0

14.0

49

13.5

14.0

15.0

50

14

15.0

16.0

51

15

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 and CCM have three skate lines that are characterized by different fit and performance.

Bauer Skates Lines:

  • Vapor - Narrow Fit (Low Volume)
  • Bauer Supreme - Average Fit (Medium Volume)
  • Nexus - Wider Fit (Higher Volume)

CCM Skate Lines:

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

10 Best Hockey Skates For 2019 Reviewed

Brand

Skill Level

Weight

Rating

Check Now

1. Bauer Supreme 2S

Editor's Choice

Intermediate/Advanced

810 grams

100%

2. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro

High Performance

Advanced

860 grams

99%

3. CCM JetSpeed FT470

Budget Friendly

Beginner

862 grams

96%

4. CCM Super Tacks AS1

Advanced

797 grams

97%

5. Bauer Nexus N2900

For Wide Feet

Intermediate/ Advanced

860 grams

98%

6. Bauer Vapor X800

Intermediate

805 grams

95%

7. Bauer Vapor X2.9

For Beginners

Beginner

890 grams

94%

8. CCM Ribcor 80K

Intermediate/
Advanced

832 grams

96%

9. Bauer Vapor X600

Beginner

865 grams

92%

10. CCM JetSpeed FT2

New Release

Advanced

866 grams

99%

1. Bauer Supreme 2S Ice Hockey Skates

Best Senior Hockey Skates Overall (Editor's Choice)

Our choice for the best hockey skates are the Bauer Supreme 2S. These are a high quality, elite-level type of hockey skate that aim to impress.

Bauer Supreme 2S Hockey Skates

Design

The design of the Supreme 2S skates includes a 3D carbon Curv material, which is lightweight. The Curv composite is also thermoformable, so the boots can be baked to give you the perfect size. In general, the outsole itself is very lightweight, but the boots are still heavier than most of the other composite boots on the market.

The Supreme 2S skates also have a 3-piece, 48 ounce felt tongue. This is in place with a metatarsal insert in order to provide the highest level of protection possible while still giving you a little but more comfort. The boots also have memory foam padding on the inside, which will increase your overall comfort when wearing them.

Features

There are a lot of great features that come with the Supreme 2S skates. They use the Bauer Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder. This allows for trigger-quick blade replacements while also increasing your height slightly.

Being able to swap your blades out quickly can mean that you will not be stuck on the bench while waiting to change your blades. For this reason, it is one of the most popular blade systems in the NHL. The Tuuk runners are stainless steel and made to handle a lot of wear and tear.

These skates also have a Lock-Fit footbed that will increase your stability within the boot. Lock-Fit ensures that your foot will not be slipping all around inside of the boot as well, preventing blisters as well as other injuries that might occur.

Lock-Fit was made for the most aggressive players who need to be able to have unstoppable amounts of power. 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.

  • Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder
  • Lock-Fit footbed
  • Lightweight outsole
  • plus
    3D Carbon Curv boot
  • plus
    3-piece, 48 ounce tongue
  • 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

Design

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.

Features

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
  • plus
    Low-profile design
  • plus
    Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder
  • Low-profile design can be too tight for players with wide feet

3. CCM Jetspeed FT470 Hockey Skates

Budget Friendly

If you are looking for more 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

Design

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.

Features

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
  • plus
    Memory form
  • plus
    HD micro-fiber
  • These are not high-end hockey skates for professional players

4. CCM Super Tacks AS1 Ice Hockey Skates

Another pair of the best ice hockey skates that you can get is the CCM Super Tacks AS1. These are a high-end pair of skates with a lot of great features and technology built in.

CCM Super Tacks AS1

Design

The Super Tacks AS1 skates are designed with DuraZone abrasion pads. These go along the shin to provide enhanced abrasion protection. You also will find that they have Smooth Contour collars for increased high-ankle protection. DuraZone increases the life of the liner as well, so it shouldn’t wear out on you.

The tongue of these skates is a TriTech Flex, which provides enhanced flexibility and a high level of protection. You will have better protection from lace bite as well as better protection for your metatarsal area.

It is a 7mm white, felt tongue that has thick, injected foams. It is also flexible enough to be comfortable for your foot.

It is a fairly light boot and is sleek and trim.

Features

These skates have a lot of amazing features to offer. To begin with, they are made with a MonoFrame 360 one-piece construction with SpeedCore III technology. This will leave you with lightweight, anatomical energy transfers to give you the highest rate of speed possible.

The MonoFrame is a full-carbon composite one-piece frame that has inner core technology. The 360 is referring to the fit that goes around the whole outsole for a better fit all around.

The Super Tacks AS1 also has SpeedBlade black runners that are designed to be anti-corrosive and provide a high level of edge durability. The black coating can come off, however, so just watch out for that. There is also the SpeedBlade 4.0 holder that helps with your stability on the skates.

The insole of the boots is an OrthoMove insole, which provides a custom level of support. The inserts within the boots are a medium level of support, but can be removed or replaced with something more comfortable for you.

  • SpeedBlade 4.0 holder
  • TriTech Flex
  • OrthoMove Custom Support
  • plus
    Smooth Contour collar
  • plus
    MonoFrame 360
  • Anti-corrosive coating can come off over time

5. Bauer Nexus N2900 Ice Hockey Skates

For Wide Feet

Perfect for intermediate to advanced skaters, the Bauer N2900 is a high-volume skate designed to give you as much power as possible.

If you have a wider or larger foot, this is the perfect skate for your comfort as well as its durability.

Bauer Nexus N2900 Ice Hockey Skates

Design

The N2900 has a significant increase in stiffness over its predecessor, the N2700. The better rigidity means that you will have the most power possible on the ice. The boot itself is thermoformable, so it can be customized to fit your foot after you bake it.

The boot is also lightweight, making it not only easy to move around, but it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The outsole of the skate is a fiber composite that has torsional resistance, giving you the advantage of out-positioning your opponents.

Fit-wise, these are made to fit feet that have a broad forefoot, high arch, or a deep heel, but they will not always fit players with wide feet or bigger ankles.

Features

The tongue of the N2900 is made up of a 48 oz, 2-piece black felt piece with an upgraded lace bite guard. You absolutely need to keep the top of your foot as protected as possible on the ice and the N2900 is going to help you.

The Tuuk LS1 stainless steel runner is polished for better performance and situates you higher up on the ice. The Tuuk holder has a quick-release system that lets you remove the blades quickly and without a struggle.

The Bauer Nexus N2900 are high performance skates with the same quality you can expect from other Bauer ice skates. As a result, these are best suited for competitive players who have wider or larger feet who are being confined by other hockey skates.

  • TuukLightSpeed Edge Holder with LS4 Stainless Steel
  • Metatarsal insert for foot protection
  • Tuuk LS1 stainless steel runner
  • plus
    Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder
  • plus
    3D injected fiber composite material
  • Not a good choice for players with narrow or low volume feet

6. Bauer Vapor X800 Hockey Skates

When price is no object and you are looking for high-end hockey skates possible, the choice for you is the Bauer Vapor X800. Bauer itself is a reliable and high performing brand and the X800 is a great skate.

Bauer Vapor X800 Hockey Skates

Design

What really sets the Vapor X800 apart from the pack is that Bauer uses scientific research to create an ideal combination between player feedback with a state-of-the-art design. With that in mind, these are the fastest hockey skates that you can get. Every feature of the skates goes directly into speed and improved performance.

Bauer skates also normally come with a TuukLightSpeed Edge blade holder with LS2 steel, which is specifically made for speed and tight cornering. If the LS2 steel blade is not what you had in mind, however, you can easily change it out for another blade.

Features

The 3D lasted Curv Composite with X-Rib construction allows the skate to be structurally stiff and supportive, allowing the player to get the most control possible. While the outside is stable and reliable, the inside is constructed with dual-density foam ankle pads which are covered with a Lock-Fit liner.

The liner itself locks your foot in, reducing the chance of your foot slipping around within the boot while also utilizing dry technology so there is no moisture or sweat build up inside of the skate. Dry feet that stay in place mean that you are less likely to get blisters and your feet will be comfortable the whole time. 

The Vapor X800s really are for players who are serious competitors. The high performance quality of the skates is not ideal for newer or recreational players, but instead works well for advanced skaters who need to be able to have a high level of protection and speed.

  • TuukLightSpeed Edge holder with LS2 steel
  • Lock Fit footbed for maximum comfort and dryness
  • Composite body means a lightweight boot
  • plus
    3D Curv Composite with X-Rib pattern for structural stiffness for maximum power
  • plus
    Flex-Lock tongue creates a locked fit while allowing forward flex movement
  • High price tag, not reasonable for all players

7. 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

Design

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.

Features

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
  • plus
    PerformFlex system
  • plus
    3D lasted tech mesh quarter package
  • Low-profile design runs small

8. 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

Design

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.

Features

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
  • plus
    ADPT memory foam padding
  • plus
    TotalDri Pro+ liner
  • Anti-corrosive coating can come off over time

9. Bauer Vapor X600 Ice Hockey Skates

The Vapor X600 are great skates that you can get on a budget. The quality and performance that comes with the Vapor line is excellent, especially at the middle-ground price point.

Bauer Vapor X600

Design

The composite X-rib pattern that is found in most of the Bauer senior skates provides a strong structural support that will let you burst forward when you would like to while still maintaining fluidity.

The Vapor X600 comes with the TuukLightSpeed Edge Blade Holder which gives players the competitive advantage of an extra 3mm or height with its high quality stainless steel blade. As a result, cornering is a breeze. The holder also allows you to swap out the blades if you would like to, though the Tuuk super stainless blade does make cornering simple.

Features

The tongue is made of an anatomical 2-piece 40 ounce felt that has an added layer of reinforcement, preventing lace bite while giving you a little extra protection on the top of your foot.

The HD foam metatarsal guard will keep that sensitive and vulnerable area of your foot protected. The footbed of the X600 is a Form-Fit construction which is intended to mold around your foot to give you the comfort that you need.

The only real disadvantage of going with a less-expensive Bauer skate is that they do not have the same level of energy transfer to reach maximum speeds that you would find in other Bauer skates. Unless you are an intensely competitive player, however, this should not be a big concern.

The Bauer Vapor X600 are a great quality of hockey skates and therefore will work with competitive players of all levels. Beginning players will be happy with the performance level and the stability while more advanced players will appreciate the extra padding and tight cornering available.

  • X-Rib composite construction that offers stability and structural support
  • TuukLightSpeed Edge Blade Holder
  • Anaform foam ankle pads with hydrophobic microfiber liner
  • plus
    2-piece 40 ounce felt tongue with reinforcement
  • plus
    Water wicking capability for the utmost comfort
  • Does not have the speed capability of other high performance skates

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

Design

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.

Features

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
  • plus
    Metatomic tongue for better fit and protection
  • plus
    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 best 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 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 best 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

When it comes down to it, the best hockey skates that you can get are the Bauer Supreme 2S. Not only is Bauer a top of the line brand, but the skates are made to be durable, comfortable, and offer you a high level of performance. 

What makes the Supreme 2S skates so great is that they work well for casual and pro skaters alike, providing a high level of stiffness as well as the level of quality that you really want.

Hockey beginners might not appreciate the Supreme 2S skates as much, especially if they are still mastering technique and need a little more flexibility. But in this case, there are quality skates like the Bauer Vapor X2.9, which offer that extra touch of flexibility.

Remember that the perfect hockey skates not only have all of the features that you want or need, but they also need to fit your foot as well.

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