Supporting your children's love of hockey goes beyond taking them to practice and games. It starts with their feet. When kids have the right equipment to play soccer, they are already on a path to success as well as building a lifelong love of the game.
When it comes to your kids, you cannot just buy any type of hockey skate, but you need to be sure that you are getting the best junior hockey skates possible. Part of that is knowing the differences in quality between brands and styles while the other part is knowing how to size them correctly.
Purchasing junior hockey skates is not the same as purchasing senior hockey skates. Children grow, their feet can change, and they have different needs as far as protection and stability go.
Regardless, you need the best junior hockey skates you can get. Here’s what you need to know.
What Feet Size Are Junior Hockey Skates For
Junior hockey skates are sized to fit kids in the range of approximately 7 to 13 years old with a US shoe size of 2 to 6.5.
There are three sizing categories when it comes to hockey skates: youth, junior, and senior. Youth skates are typically for kids that are 7 and younger, junior for kids ages 7 to 12, and senior skates for ages 13 and up. The shoe size equivalent for junior skates is a US 2 to 6.5. Juniors are the child’s sizes before adult sizes.
Sizing for children is a little bit different than sizing for an adult. With an adult, it is important that the skates fit snugly, but not too tightly, to ensure the feet cannot slip around within the skate. With ice skates for kids, if you buy them snugly, you will find yourself replacing the skates a lot sooner than you would want to. Children’s feet grow rapidly and unpredictably, so you should prepare yourself for needing to replace the skates every so often.
So how do you size junior skates for kids the right way? When you are sizing an adult, you usually size 1 to 2 sizes down from your street shoe size, depending on brand and fit. The same is true for children. You still want to size down 1 to 2 sizes, but also an extra half size to give a little room for the children to grow.
Bauer Junior Ice Skate Sizing For Kids
Bauer Skate Size
U.S. Shoe Size
Euro Shoe Size
U.K. Shoe Size
3 Best Junior Hockey Skates & Ice Skates For Kids
1. Bauer Vapor 1X LE
2. CCM Jetspeed FT390
3. CCM Tacks 5092
1. Bauer Vapor 1X LE
Best Junior Hockey Skates Overall (Editor's Choice)
Our top junior hockey skates are the Bauer Vapor 1X LE. Bauer itself is one of the best hockey brands that you can buy, providing high quality and high performing hockey skates that will keep you safe on the ice. The Vapor 1X LE comes with Bauer’s Speed Plate Technology, which includes LS4 Steel and an updated version of the X-Rib Curv Composite Boot. The composite material is durable, lightweight, and has been aluminized for extra stability. The steel plate technology is made from a recovery alloy to allow it to be heat molded to create the ultimate customization and also helps keep the center of balance right over the blade.
Like many of the Bauer skates, the 1X comes with the TuukLightspeed Edge Holder, which adds an extra 3mm to the height of the blade and makes for smoother and faster cornering. The LS4 steel runners provide a tight and reliable radius as well.
One of the best perks of the 1X LE is the 37.5 Liner. This is one of Bauer’s latest protective features that actually has the ability to evaporate any moisture that builds up in the skate instead of absorbing it or water wicking. Combined with the reinforced footbed and the 1X has a solid heel and ankle lock to keep the foot where it should be while giving the skater the ultimate control. Since you need to leave extra room for growth for children, a heel lock is essential to prevent blisters.
2. CCM Jetspeed FT390
If the Bauer Vapor 1X LE is not the right choice for your child, the second best ice skates for kids is the CCM Jetspeed FT390. The FT390 is made from a lightweight composite boot that has an ergonomic shape as well as an exhaust system to help with energy transfer. The shape will make sure that the boot naturally molds around the skater’s foot for the best level of comfort possible. The FT390 also has a solid heel lock which not only helps with control and turning, but it also prevents blisters or injury from having the heel slide around in the boot.
The FT390 is made with a Totaldri Pro liner. The Durazone abrasion protection works by wicking away water from the skin, keeping feet dry while on the ice. The liner is also lightweight, which helps keep the skates lighter instead of weighing them down. The soft pad around the collar of the boot adds an extra level of comfort for both the foot and the ankle.
The tongue of the FT390 is made with Tritech technology, protecting a vulnerable area of the foot while also preventing lace-bite. The footbed of the FT390 is made with aeration vents to help keep the feet from getting too hot on the ice while also preventing sweating. Combined with the multi-density memory foam, the skates will provide their wearer with the best comfort and protection possible.
3. CCM Tacks 5092
Budget Friendly Junior Hockey Skates
If the other skates are out of range for your budget or you simply do not want to speed the money on a junior skate that your child might outgrow relatively quickly, you will need a budget option. The best junior hockey skates on a budget are the CCM Tacks 5092. Don’t let the price fool you into thinking these are not great skates, however. The 5092 are still constructed with performance in mind.
Built with a power form composite with high-end later layer-formed boot frame, the 5092 are lightweight and durable. The composite is a reinforced AttackFrame which is also rigid and thermoformable if you would like to try baking the skate for a more custom fit. The heavy duty microfiber liner will last a long time while adding in some extra cushion around both the foot and the ankle. The memory foam ankle padding has symmetrical foam comfort pads that wrap around the player’s foot in order to provide an individual and comfortable fit.
The tongue of the 5092 is a multi-layer felt construction that is embossed with lace-bite protection. The top of the foot needs the added protection that you can get from the felt padding. The Tacks 5092 does not have a guaranteed heel lock, however, so you will need to be sure that the depth of the skate is right for the child’s foot before you commit to it. The Tacks are still comfortable, however, and have the padding needed to keep the player safe on the ice.
The bottom line is that the Bauer Vapor 1X LE skates are without a doubt the very best junior hockey skates that you can get for your child. Not only do they protect the feet and ankles, but they have essential support for developing hockey skills. With these high performance skates, corning and speed will come naturally, allowing for a great time on the ice.
Between the CCM Jetspeed FT390 and the Bauer Vapor 1X LE, you will find that they are both high performance skates with great structure and design. One of the biggest differences between the two is that the Vapor 1X has been designed with a liner that does not simply wick moisture away within the boot, but instead evaporates it all together, leaving the boots and the feet dry. This combined with the Tuuk blade holder that Bauer is known for, makes the Vapor 1X LE the better of the two and the overall best junior hockey skate.