There is a lot to consider when purchasing hockey skates. It is a difficult process and we want to make it easier for you. That’s why the team at Honest Hockey has put together the internet’s ultimate review list of ice hockey skates.

Our list includes skates of all price ranges and budgets, not just the most expensive.

Typically, hockey skates under $400 are usually best suited for intermediate and beginner players playing a few times a week, while the $400-$900 price point will be advanced and pro level skates that have the most advanced features and technology available more suited to players constantly practicing and pushing their skates in every game.

 

SHORT ON TIME?  Here are our picks.

Best Overall Senior Skates

CCM JETSPEED FT2

For the most elite hockey player who needs the latest tech and most advanced performance and safety features, the CCM JETSPEED FT2 are the best OVERALL hockey skates available today. These skates are worn by many top NHL players.


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Best Mid Range Skates

CCM FT470

The skates with the best mix of VALUE AND FEATURES are the CCM FT470 hockey skates. Great performance and safety in these mid-range skates.

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Best Budget-Friendly Skates

BAUER SUPREME S37

After much review, these hockey skates are our pick for the best BUDGET FRIENDLY hockey skates. They take a lot of what is great about the skates above and won't break the bank.

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** CHECK OUT OUR BLACK FRIDAY DEALS PAGE HERE **

 

For full reviews, keep reading below…


1. Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Hockey Skates

bauer supreme ultrasonic review

Overview

The brand new Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Hockey Skates are made to fit comfortably no matter the size and shape of your feet. These top-notch skates bring added stability and power to your game. The company’s Performance Fit System means they’re ideal for low, medium and high profile feet.

The stiff, durable composite boots feature a carbon outsole wrapping over the quarter packages to help provide maximum energy transfer with every stride you take. The stiffness of the boots enables uninhibited range of motion while the reinforced-felt tongue, tendon guard and Flex Facing result in enhanced mobility while your feet stay firmly locked in place.  

The Tuuk Edge Holder and stainless steel blades have been designed for superb edge retention and bite as well as consistency. In addition, balance, agility and stability are second to none with this elite level skate.

The Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Hockey Skates are in the upper-level price range and designed for serious players. They’re also quite light as a size 9 skate weighs just 949 grams with sizes 4 to 12 being available for narrow, standard and wide feet.

Skate Fit

Bauer revolutionary new skate fit system.  Traditional D and EE widths have been replaced with Fit 1, Fit 2 and Fit 3.

Fit Profiles: Low, Medium and High

Key Features: Carbon Curv Composite Boot – Asymmetrical Toe Cap – Unibody Technology, LS TI Runners with Quad Profile.

Weight: 941 grams

Click here to see our Bauer Supreme vs. Vapor vs. Nexus comparison!

What People are Saying

“The new fit system works perfectly for my feet.  2S really killed my feet but these are the most comfortable skates I’ve worn to date.  Very lightweight.  Tendon guard it a bit weird at first but you get used to it quickly.  They’re designed to flex with your body for better energy transfer, and I honestly feel faster. ”

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2. Bauer Supreme 3S Hockey Skates

Bauer Supreme 3S review

Overview

The Supreme 3S Skates by Bauer are also new and geared toward power and speed. The boots are constructed with lightweight flex composite for the right amount of support and stiffness which results in an explosive transfer of energy while skating. They’re designed to be game-ready with an anatomically-correct fit for all sizes and shapes of feet.

Protection is provided with the thick, high-grade foam ankle padding which moulds around your feet. The padding is also covered with a hydrophobic microfiber material to wick away moisture, ensuring your feet remain dry, cool, and in place at all times during the heat of action.

The LightSpeed Edge Holders by Tuuk means you can quickly exchange the blades in a matter of seconds when necessary to make sure you don’t miss a shift. Also, the top-quality steel blades create more contact with the ice for the ultimate in speed, agility and balance. 

The popular Bauer Supreme 3S Skates are in the mid-price range with the size 9 skate weighing 888 grams. They’re designed for all widths of feet and can be found from size 4 to 12. 

Fit Profile: Low, Medium and High Volume

Key Features: Flex Composite Boot, TUUK Lightspeed Edge Holder, AeroFoam Ankle Padding, LS1+ Runners with Quad Profile

Weight: 888 Grams

What People are Saying

“The new Bauer 3S are great skates ! Absolutely love them, skated two times so far and no complaints !”

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3. Bauer Vapor X2.9 Hockey Skates

Bauer Vapor X2.9 skates review

Overview

The Bauer Vapor X2.9 skate takes a lot of features from the top of the line Vapor skates a few years ago and improves upon them now, all at an incredible price. This is a no-nonsense pro-level skate that will enhance speed and performance.

The boot is made from the 3D Lasted Tech Mesh Quarter, making it one of the lightest and most responsive skates in this price point.

The new Flex-Lock tongue is a three-piece, 48oz felt tongue that features a more flexible metatarsal guard that enables players to get over further on the balls of their feet without sacrificing protection.

The Hydrophobic Microfiber liner features a grip-focused design that better stabilizes the foot especially during heavy use and sweating. This skate is mounted on Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holders and tried and true LS1 steel.

Overall, the Bauer Vapor X2.9 hockey skates are an excellent value for those looking to improve their game with a high performing skate.

Fit Profile: Low Volume – Shallow heel pocket – Narrow forefoot – Low instep

Key Features: 3D Lasted Tech Mesh with X-Rib Tech, Comfort Edge Padding, Hydrophobic Microfibre Liner, AeroFoam Padding, TUUK Lightspeed Edge Holder and Runners

Weight: 890 Grams

What People are Saying

“These skates are awesome. I have started playing again after many years away and play twice a week in them. Great feel, love the blades, Great heel lock, nice and stiff. No foot pain due to proper fit and no foot fatigue. Highly recommend if you are looking for a mid level skate (pricewise) with high end features!”

“Highly recommend if you prefer a snug fit in the heel and mid foot with a decent sized to box. They aren’t cheap, but won’t kill you either. As a 32 year old beer leaguer I’m looking forward to the next decade in these Vapors.”

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4. CCM Super Tacks AS3 Pro Skates

CCM AS3 Pro review

Overview

These one-piece, rigid-boot skates by CCM are designed for agility and speed as the one-piece technology is lighter and more efficient when it comes to energy transfer while skating. In addition, the boots are made to fit the natural shape of your feet better.

The CCM SuperTacks come with replaceable flex tongues for top-grade comfort and protection and allow you to customize the fit to your liking. The tongues can be quickly changed with three different styles available to choose from for the perfect fit.

The thick foams used in the construction process means the boots hug the feet naturally while  increasing comfort while the extra padding in the ankles help prevent irritation. The quick-release SpeedBlade XS Holders enable you to easily change blades when needed and the mechanical dial makes sure the blades won’t pop out due to impact.

These new CCM skates are available in sizes 3 to 12 with the size 9 model weighing 897 grams. They’re aimed competitive players and can be found in the mid to high-price range.

Fit Profile: Medium Volume

Key Features: MonoFrame One-Piece Boot, Pro Carbon Composite, SpeedBlade XS Tongue System, SpeedBlade XS Holder.

Weight: 921 grams

CCM vs Bauer skates? Click here to see our comparison

What People are Saying

“At first sight you are impressed with how good they look. The quality of materials stand out. Next thing is the weight, these puppies are incredibly light. The boot is very stiff as advertised which is taking some adapting for me but so far I love it. I chose not to bake them and break em in the old fashioned way and even without baking they were exceptionally comfortable the first time. They added some good pep to my step. k highly recommend them, of course I would study your foot first and make sure the shape of these is right for you. I have a narrow heel and a semi-wide forefoot, the foot bed is very accommodating for that.”

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5. CCM JetSpeed FT470 Skates

CCM FT470 review

 

Overview

The CCM JetSpeed FT470 Skates feature the Metaframe Technology boot, borrowing from the top of the line JetSpeed skate last year.

This is key because players are now supplied with a skate that provides significantly better energy transfer, support, and comfort in a lightweight package at a much more affordable price point.

The Metaframe boot works with the SpeedCore internals that both respond extremely well to the recommended heat molding for increased comfort. (See our guide on how to bake skates in our fitting guide!)

The Contoured Pro boot collar eases high-ankle discomfort while the multi-density ankle foam pads provide pro-inspired fit and feel while keeping the foot and heel locked in place for optimal ankle support.

The JetSpeed FT470 hockey skates feature an upgraded concave reinforced outsole that improves energy transfer while decreasing weight. The JetSpeed FT470 is equipped with the SpeedBlade XS holder that is also found on top of the line CCM skates.

The new heightened holder lets players lean over even further on their edges without bottoming out for one of the most aggressive turning radius’ in the game.

Overall, the CCM JetSpeed FT470 could be the best budget-friendly, high-performance skate on the market today.

Fit Profile: Medium Volume – Slightly shallow heel – Slightly narrow forefoot – Standard instep

Key Features: RocketFrame Composite with MetaFrame Tech, Contour Pro Collar Pads, Microfibre Liner with Durazone Anti-Abrasion Protection, SpeedBlade XS Holder with XS1 Runners.

Weight: 787 grams

What people are saying

“I prefer a tight all around skate but I do have a slightly wider foot. So I decided to try all the skates and wow the CCM JetSpeed was the one I was looking for. The heel lock is the first thing you notice. The skate is pretty stiff compared to the equivalent of Bauer price point.”

“The FT470’s were at the right price point with the features I needed to continue to beer league, coach and ref hockey so I jumped in. I was amazed at how light and fast they were. It did take a little getting used to as they were higher and put your stance a little forward but after half the season and numerous ref jobs, the skate are holding up extremely well and break in time was minimal. I highly recommend these skates”

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6. CCM JetSpeed FT2 Hockey SkatesCCM JetSpeed FT2 Review

Overview

The CCM JetSpeed FT2 Skates are a lightweight and durable one-piece composite model which provide maximum fit, performance and comfort. CCM has focused on the connection point between boots and toe caps and offers redesigned tendon guards for added reinforcement without adding any weight to the boots.

The skates boast sleek Metatomic tongues for premium comfort and fit with the asymmetrical design meaning they are anatomically-correct to better wrap around your feet. Since the tongues are made of thick felt and multi-density foams they also provide added protection and flexibility.  

The inside of the boots are constructed with dual-zone pro liners to provide durability and excellent moisture-management. They feature tough, anti-abrasion pads to extend the life of the skates while the smooth, plush pro collars reduce friction.

The SpeedBlade XS holders allow you to quickly swap the blades and also help transfer energy to the ice while skating. The black steel blades are corrosion-resistant and provide an optimal turning radius. The CCM JetSpeed FT2 Hockey Skates are geared toward elite players with the size 8D skate tipping the scales at 850 grams. 

Fit Profile: Medium Volume – Slightly Shallow Heel Pocket – Slightly Narrow Forefoot – Standard Instep.

Key Features: One-Piece Boot with RocketFrame Composite – Total Dri Pro+ Liner w/ Durazone Anti-Abrasion Protection – New Injected Smooth Contour Pro Collar – Asymmetrical Metatomic Tongue – CCM OrthoMove Custom Support Insoles – SpeedBlade XS Holder w/ SB XS1 Runners.

Weight: 850 grams

What People are Saying

“One word. Wow! I’m blown away.  Love this skates.  Fits my foot perfectly.  The quick change blades are so awesome. CCMs fit me better than the other brands and absolutely would recommend anyone to give these a go.”

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7. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Skates

Bauer Vapor 2X Pro review

 

Overview

Utilizing state of the art design testing and feedback from many NHL players, the Bauer Vapor 2X pro hockey skates are one of the highest performing skates on the market today. The overall theme of this skate is to keep the foot locked into the boot to eliminate any wasted energy.

The Bauer Vapor 2X pro boot is made of the 3-D lasted Carbon Curv® Composite Quarter material with the X-Rib pattern, which reduces the overall weight of the skate while keeping the durability, strength, and support. Inside is boot is the Lock-Fit Pro liner that keeps your foot dry and in place with a grip texture below the ankle.

The top of the 2X pro skate has Bauer’s Comfort Edge padding, which helps with ankle rub that is common with a stiffer boot. The shape of the boot is asymmetrical to better align with the position of your ankle bones to improve the fit and energy transfer and optimal ankle support.

The tongue is the Recoil PRO tongue and is unique in that it is also heat moldable to provide increased protection and forward flex for aggressive skating position. Also unique to this skate is the lace locking feature that keeps the laces in place during the game.

The boot sits on the pro favorite Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder and the highest quality steel in the LS5 runners.

Overall, the new design and innovations on the Bauer Vapor 2X pro skate makes it feel like an extension of your foot.

Fit Profile: Low Volume – Shallow Heel Pocket – Narrow Forefoot – Low Instep

Key Features: 3D- Lasted Carbon Curv Composite w/ X-Rib Tech – Injected One-Piece Facing – T-Shaped Eyelets – Felt Lined Asymmetrical Toe Cap – Injected Tendon Guard – LockFit Pro DualZone Liner – AeroFoam Pro Padding – TUUK Lightspeed Edge Holder w/ TUUK Lightspeed 5 Carbon Runners.

Weight: 871 grams

What People are Saying

“These hockey skates are billed as offering superior comfort, stability, fit and performance, but casual players like myself are for some reason discouraged from using these. If these are the best (and they are!) what features would you want to sacrifice by going down the scale? I didn’t see a reason to compromise, and pulled the trigger on the top model and am very happy I did. After 3 years using another brand’s boots, which felt like Mason jars on my feet, these were a revelation. On a first wear after baking, two and a half hours on ice caused no discomfort whatsoever. The support and locking in of the heel and entire foot are incredible. If the budget allows, I say get yourself measured by the Bauer computer and don’t hesitate.”

“Finally, someone realized that the inner ankle bone and the outer ankle bone are not inline with each other. My inner bone is a full 1.25″ forward of my outer, meaning that the inner bone NEVER sat in the ankle pocket and very close to the eyelet holes. BAUER finally addressed that with the 2X pro. My ankle now sits in the pocket and what a difference! Love it!”

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8. CCM RibCor 80k SkatesCCM Ribcor 80K review

Overview

The RibCor 80k is the lightest, most responsive, and best fitting RibCor skate to date. Using biomechanics and feedback from pro players, CCM has revamped the RibCor line of skates.

The most notable difference from prior years is the removal of the pump bladder system and replacing it with their pro preferred heel support that eliminates weight and the moving parts that could break from repeated use.

The RibCor 80k is 10% lighter than the previous 70k model from last year!  This is paired with the 3D-Lasted Composite boot with Flex Frame Technology that increases forward flex to generate power and lateral stability to help maximize energy transfer in each stride. The tongue is a classic white felt with lace bite guard to improve protection and comfort.

Overall, this is a much-improved top of the line hockey skate and would be a worthwhile upgrade for those liking the fit of the RibCor line but without the problems of the old pump system.

Fit Profile: Low Volume – Shallow Heel Pocket – Narrow Forefoot – Low Instep

Key Features: 3D Lasted Composite w/ FlexFrame Tech – Total Dri Pro+ Liner – ADPT Multi-Density Ankle Pads – CCM OrthoMove Custom Support Insoles – SpeedBalde XS Holder w/ SB XS1 Black Runners.

Weight: 800 Grams

What People are Saying

“I have had pretty much every top of the line skate.. VH, 1s ,1x, FT1, Super tacks. I was desperate to find something I liked. The VH was great but just so heavy. I had been thinking about trying the 80k’s for a while but assumed because of the lower end price point they wouldn’t be what I was looking for. Boy, was I wrong! These are the answer. It is hard to explain how much these help with agility, lateral moves, and the ease to get over on your edges.”

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9. Bauer Vapor X2.7 Hockey Skates

Bauer Vapor X2.7 review

Overview

The Bauer Vapor X2.7 hockey skates are a budget conscious choice for the competitive, intermediate level player. The Vapor series is built with dynamic speed and agility in mind, with construction and features to enhance on-ice performance.

The Bauer X2.7 boot is a One Piece 3D Polycarb material that is light, stiff, and supportive and is fully thermoformable for a custom fit and decreased break-in time. The boot also features the X-Rib design for increased stability and responsiveness.

Inside the skate has anaform foam ankle pads covered by a hydrophobic microfiber liner. This liner helps wick moisture and keeps your foot locked in for maximum energy transfer.

An anatomical 2-piece 40oz felt tongue with a metatarsal guard to help protect the most vulnerable areas of the foot from pucks and slashes.

Last but not least, these Bauer Vapor X2.7 sit atop the most popular holder in the NHL, the Tuuk Lightspeed Edge that features a quick release for easy blade changes.

Fit Profile: Low Volume – Shallow Heel Pocket – Narrow Forefoot – Low Instep

Key Features: One-Piece 3D Polycarb – Plush Microfibre Liner – Tick memory Foam Ankle Padding – Form Fit Footbed – Injected TPR Outsole – TUUK Lightspeed edge Holder and Runners.

Weight: 810 grams

What People are Saying

“I finally convinced myself to buy new skates after 11 years and couldn’t have been more satisfied! Was so nervous that it would take forever to get used to the new skates but I was completely wrong! Played in a tournament with them after skating in them only once and they felt completely comfortable and I definitely felt like I could skate faster. The skates are light and fit perfectly. Locks in my heel really well.”

“The previous skate I had was the Graf Ultra G35. since my boot was broken down and needed to be replaced, but I loved the heel lock and fit of my Graf’s which were no longer in production. These fit the bill, though I needed to get wide width because they run narrow. Great heel lock for a narrow ankle and low volume foot. I can’t imagine what the higher end skates would have improved over these, besides the insoles… But these are more than enough for me.”

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10. TRUE TF9 Hockey SkatesTRUE TF9 review

Overview

One-piece lightweight composite skates are quite popular these days and the TF9 model by True is also new to the market. These skates feature a one-piece shell which is designed to mould and wrap around your feet better than two-piece traditional skates. They are built with top-grade thermoplastic and carbon fibre for comfort, protection and powerful transfer of energy.  

The ankle pads are made with dual-layer, multi-density foam and the the low-profile, anatomical felt tongues help form a total customized feel and fit and soon as you place the skates on your feet. The insert foot bed system below the feet means the boots can accommodate all types of arch types.

The hydrofoam liners help reduce odour and sweat while keeping your feet fresh, dry and comfortable while the flexible tendon guards are replaceable. The blades are made of premium-grade stainless steel which sit in spring-loaded holders.  

These True TF9 Skates are available in sizes 3 to 11 with the 9D model weighing 945 grams. They’re aimed at competitive players and can be found in the mid-price range.  

Fit Profile: Medium Volume

Key Features: Co-Molded One-Piece Boot – True Shell Technology – HydroFoam Liner – Personalized Fit Insole System – Anatomical Tongue

Weight: 945 Grams

What People are Saying

“Overall, I thought the Bauer Vapors were by far the best hockey skates I’ve ever had, but this is a similar feel but without the pressure point around the tendon guard. The TF9 seems much more durable and slightly stiffer, so maybe a bit more energy transfer.  These TF9 skates are pretty comfortable out of the box.  They’re new, but I’m very impressed after my first skate. TRUE may have nailed it.”

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11. Bauer Supreme S37 Skates

Bauer Supreme S37 Skates

Overview

The Bauer Supreme S37 Skates are ideal for competitive players who are looking for good value for their money. They feature flex composite boots, with plush internal-memory foams for extreme comfort and protection. The outsoles and midsoles boast plastic TPU for a great combination of flexibility, support and power. 

There’s even more protection for the top of your feet with the reinforced 40-ounce felt tongues which come with built-in lace-bite guards. In addition, your feet stay cool, dry and ventilated due to the hydrophobic liners which eliminate moisture. 

The skates come with tendon guards and unwaxed laces while the Tuuk blade holders have the quick-release system for fast and easy replacement of the stainless steel blades. 

The Bauer Supreme S37 Hockey Skates can be found in the low to mid-price range with sizes 4 to 12 being available with the size 9 skate weighing 885 grams

Fit Profile: Medium Volume

Key Features: Flex Composite Boot – TUUK LightSpeed Edge Holder – 3D Injection Construction – Hydrophobic Microfibre Liner – Lightweight Memory Foam Ankle Padding.

Weight: 885 grams

What people are saying

“This skate out of the box is sharp, Very comfortable even without a bake, and extremely lightweight. I broke down a lot of differences in material and this boot should perform much like pro stock. I play 1 game a week and stick and puck 3-5 times a week.  I will submit another review after some time on ice.  Overall this is great price for the build quality.”

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12. CCM Ribcor 74K Hockey Skates

CCM Ribcor 74k review

Overview

The CCM Ribcor 74k hockey skates are a great entry level skate for the player looking to upgrade from used hand me downs and rentals. This skate shares similar features and cutting-edge design with the pro-level Ribcor 70k, just with a bit heavier materials to make this so affordable.

With that said, this skate is still very stiff and supportive with a synthetic composite boot that is fully heat moldable.

The interior is a heavy duty microfiber for comfort and durability. Unique to the Ribcor series is the Ankle Lock padding for a secure fit and increased stride efficiency. The tongue is a reinforced felt tongue to stabilize the foot and offer comfort and protection.

The Ribcor 74K sits on the same SpeedBlade 4.0 holder that is found on the most expensive CCM skates today.

Overall, this skate offers pro looks, performance, and comfort at an affordable price that would be perfect for the recreational and beginner skaters.

Fit Profile: Low Volume – Shallow Heel Pocket – Narrow Forefoot – Low Instep

Key Features: Synthetic Composite Construction – Microfibre Liner w/Anti-Abrasion Material – Thick Foam Ankle Padding – SpeedBlade 4.0 Holder w/ SpeedBlade Stainless Steel Runners.

Weight: 827 grams

What people are saying

“The skates broke in with no problems. Did not hurt in anyway. These are excellent skates for the money. They look good and handle very nice on the ice. Totally recommend!”.”

“I was in desperate need of new skates after many years. Thought these to be a good skate at a reasonable price point. After using them for the past month I believe these would be perfect for any level of hockey player.”

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Best Hockey Skate Accessories for 2020

SUPERFEET - Carbon Hockey Insoles

Unrivaled edge control, exceptional energy transfer and better acceleration on the ice with SUPERFEET CARBON Pro Hockey insoles. Designed for tight turns, crossovers, quick starts and hard stops. A genuine game changer

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DryGuy DX Forced Air Dryer

The DryGuy DX Forced Air Dryer can a variety of garments and sports equipment. From soaked hockey skates and gloves to sweaty ski or hunting boots. Dries garments in 1 to 2 hours.

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GEARHALO Sports Deodorizer Pods

Stop the stink! GearHalo pods are a dry solution that combat the root causes of Sport Stink in all your gear. Non -toxic and used by the pros.

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Elite Hockey Pro - Skate Guards

Protect your blades off the ice with the Elite Hockey Pro-Skate Guards. These hockey skate blade covers keep water off your blades thanks to VCI water-resistant treatment. The bottoms have rubber traction that grips the ground for secure walking.

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Best Hockey Laces - Unwaxed

ELITE HOCKEY LACES

Elite Hockey® unwaxed wide cotton hockey skate laces. Includes one pair in box. Molded plastic tips make lacing easier, Lightweight. Assorted Colors and Lengths to choose from. Traditional feel, constructed with durability in mind.

See on Amazon Learn More

 


If you’re looking for our lists of the best:

Junior Hockey Skates, you can see those here.

Youth Hockey Skates, you can see those here.

Goalie Hockey Skates, you can see those here.

Also Check Out:  Best Gifts for Hockey Players


 

 

The Construction of Hockey Skates
Diagram of hockey skates: boot, holder, and runner

hockey skates are made up of 3 different parts. You have the boot, the runner, and the holder. As you can see on the right side, the boot is the part you put your foot in.

The holder is what connects your runner to the boot, and then the runner is the steel blade on the bottom!

Let’s dive a little bit more into each part and how they differ from skate to skate.

Holders and Runners

For most hockey skates you’d be looking to buy, you’d want the holder and the runner to be two separate parts. For lower end skates, they come as one part. This would be for skates that cost below $80.

The reason you want them to be two separate parts and why higher end skates have it this way, is so that you can replace the blade without replacing the whole skate. As you use your skates more, you’ll eventually need them sharpened. After sharpening them a bunch of times, your blade will become smaller and will need to be replaced.

If you’re buying blades for less than $80, then it’s probably better to just get new hockey skates, especially if you’ve had them for a year or so. However, if you’re looking for more elite skates in the $150 to $900 range, you’d much rather just replace your skate blades then the entire skate.

It’s pretty easy to replace your runners. Brands like Easton, CCM, and Reebok have visible screws, while Bauer and others have the screws below the heel beneath the sole.

Most players are ok replacing their blades every year or so. Professionals replace their blades every few weeks, but they are having them sharpened before every game and are skating possibly twice every day. For most of us, we don’t wear down our blades that fast.

Hockey Skate Boots

Boots are one of the pieces of equipment that brands are constantly working to update. They’re always looking to see if they can make the boots lighter and more responsive to your movements without losing the support that a good boot requires.

However, skates do not change drastically one year to the next. Very often manufacturers will market a nearly identical boot on the next iteration of a skate. Take, for example, the Bauer MX3 and 1S Supreme skates. While the tendon guard was changed to improve flexibility on the 1S, the boot construction remained largely the same. In this case, if you can find the previous version (MX3) you would be paying a fraction of the price for almost the same skate.

It is important to note the fit may change between skate generations, but with companies adopting the three fit model (Bauer and CCM specifically), it is unlikely the shape will change dramatically.

Some of the materials companies are using to pull off these new and improved boots are carbon composite, texalium glass, anti-microbial hydrophobic lining, and thermo-formable foam. While that last sentence may make you feel like you need an engineering degree to pick out a pair of skates, don’t worry! What we really need to take into account is the overall weight, comfort, protection, and durability.

We take all of this into account and break it down simply into the list below to make your buying decision as easy as possible.

While we broke down a skate above, we need to continue the breakdown and look specifically at what makes up a boot. (Remember, if you just want to see the list, you can jump to that here.)

Here is what makes up a hockey skate:

1. Liner – This is the material inside of your boot. It is the padding and also is responsible for providing a comfortable fit.

2. Ankle Padding – Above the liner in the boot. It’s made of foam and offers comfort and support for your ankles

3. Heel Support – Cup around your heel, protecting and securing your foot while in the boot

4. Footbed – Padding on the inside of your boot on the bottom part

5. Quarter Package – Boot shell. It holds all the padding and support inside of it. It needs to be flexible and offer support at the same time.

6. Tongue – Covers the top of your boot, and is like a tongue you would have in your regular shoes

7. Outsole – Hard underside of your skate boot. This is where the holder is attached

Hockey Skate Sizing – How to Size Your Skates

There are a lot of things to consider when sizing your skates. We get into them more below, so if you don’t know what skate size you should be getting or what brand, you’ll have a really good idea of it below.

Identifying Your Foot Type

The first step is to identify what type of foot you have. Are they long and narrow? Short and wide? Really hairy? Ok… that last one doesn’t matter as much. But you get the idea. Let’s take a quick look at how skates are labeled for sizing.

  • C / N = Narrow Fit
  • D/ R = Regular Fit
  • E / W = Wide Fit
  • EE = Extra Wide Fit

The good thing about trying to figure out your foot type is that you can basically use what you know about how your tennis shoes fit you and apply that to your skates. If you fit well into normal tennis shoes, or especially Nikes, then you should fit well into regularly sized skates (D/R).

If regular sized tennis shoes hurt your feet, or you tend to prefer how Adidas fits over Nike, you’ll probably want a slightly wider fit (E/W).

When analyzing your feet, you’ll want to measure:

  • Width of the front quarter of your feet (Where they’d be in a toe box)
  • Thickness/depth of your feet
  • Width of your ankles/heels

Below, we have a chart of the most popular brands and how they typically fit. Our chart takes into account the below factors we are about to walk through, so we’ll go over it after you’ve gotten to check those out.

Since we are focusing on senior ice hockey skates, you’ll most likely have a shoe size of above 7 in men. Most hockey skates are sized 1.5 sizes smaller than typical tennis shoes. So if your size 10 tennis shoes fit you well, you’ll be most comfortable in a size 8.5 senior skates.

If you are shopping for someone whose feet are still growing, I’d recommend only going 1 size down so the skates last a little longer.

Here’s a quick breakdown of shoe size to what you should be looking for in skates:

  • Senior Skates = Men’s Shoe size of 7 and above
  • Junior Skates = Boy’s Shoe size of 2 to 6.5
  • Youth = Smaller than Boy’s 1.5

Below we have a few tests you can use to determine if your skate is the right fit for you.

Deciding Your Level of Play

First, you’ll want to decide your level of play. Are you competing competitively or playing in rec league where you mostly just play once a week? Maybe you are looking for skates for general ice skating and every once and a while playing some pickup.

If you are reading this far into how to select the right hockey skates, I would most likely assume you are looking for skates to use on a regular basis. If this is true, you’ll want to avoid lower end skates.

Let’s break down the typical pricing for skates so you can get an idea of what kind of quality and value you get for what pricing.

1. Low End Skates – These skates are below $150 and are made for casual use. If you plan on playing hockey regularly (about once a week), then I would recommend avoiding skates in this range unless there is a sale or you are buying used.

2. Intermediate Priced Skates – Between $250 and $400. You’ll find skates in this range on the list (with higher end ones too). If you are playing recreationally, once a week or so, these will be the skates you want. You can always go for higher priced skates if you want since they will be higher quality, but these skates should be fine for most players. These are the skates I recommend for children since they can grow out of skates so quickly.

3. Top of the Line Skates – Between $400 and $Beyond. These skates are for competitive players. If you’re practicing most days and training for the next level, then you may want to look in this range for skates. Here are some of the reasons why higher end skates are so much more expensive

  • They are made of lighter weight material. This is to maximize your speed on the ice
  • Higher durability. If you’re spending above $400 on a skate, it is going to last you longer than the average priced ones
  • Thermo-formable foam padding. This type of padding allows skates to be “baked” so they can fit your foot better, offering better support
  • Better support for your ankles, and increased stiffness while still allowing flexibility
  • Better padding and protection

As you can tell, higher priced skates cost more because they are the ones made with the best material and more work is put into each boot.

If you are a new player looking for skates and plan on playing regularly, the $150 to $300 pricing should be where you look. You can get some great skates in there, and then always move up if you end up playing more competitive hockey.

What Kind of Player are You?

This is something most sports don’t have to deal with. In basketball, you can buy whatever shoes you want without worrying about your position. Similarly, in soccer.

However, in hockey, this is something we need to consider.

The question you need to ask yourself, is “Am I a more aggressive or reserved player?”

This isn’t a judgment on you as a player, but more about how you go about your game. Here are some ideas to help you understand what kind of player you are:

Aggressive

  • Always chasing the puck
  • Proactive, constantly moving
  • Play more center or winger
  • In an aggressive/athletic stance more often than not

Reserved

  • Spend more time watching the play develop
  • Hang back from attacks (playing move defensive)
  • Not always in an athletic stance

Once you’ve decided which type of player fits you best, you are ready to choose which type of skate is best for you!

Let’s use this table to help you decide.

Brand / ModelPlayer TypeInstepHeelMid-FootToe Box
Easton StealthAggressiveSlightly ShallowRegularSlightly NarrowSlightly Narrow
Easton MakoAggressiveRegularSlightly NarrowSlightly NarrowRegular
CMM TacksTraditionalRegularSnugSnugSlightly Narrow
CCM RBZTraditionalDeepWideWideWide
RibCorTraditionalRegularSlightly NarrowRegularRegular
ReebokTraditionalSlightly DeepRegularReuglarSlightly Wide
Bauer NexusTraditionalDeepRegularVery WideVery Wide
Bauer SupremeTraditonalRegularSnugSnugSlightly Wide
Bauer VaporAggressiveSlightly NarrowRegularRegularRegular

Tests to Check the Fit of Your Skate

OK, so you’ve decided what type of skate you should be looking for. Great! First, let’s look at how to test the fit of your skate!

Thanks to Ice Warehouse for making a good video.

We have a few tests that we like to recommend when testing out the fit of your skate.

The Squeeze Test

The squeeze test is unnecessary if you are buying off of the list we’ve put together below since we know these skates are the right stiffness. But if you are curious as to how stiff good skates should be, this test is a good one to do.

To do the squeeze test, hold the skate by the back/heel of the boot with the toe facing away from you. Squeeze the skates like you are trying to touch the insides of the boot together. If the skates fold all the way in easily, they won’t offer you enough support while playing hockey.

You want your skates to be hard to push together so they can protect you while you doing tight turns, stopping on a dime, and doing crossovers.

The Pencil Test

To do the pencil test, put on your skates, but don’t tie them up. Pull the tongue forward and put a pencil between your foot and where the tongue is pulled out at, about 3 eyelets down from the top.

If the pencil touches your foot but is not touching both the eyelets on the right and left side of the tongue, then the boot is too shallow. You want the pencil to lie flat without moving around.

The Finger Test

This time, you’ll want to lace your skates fully up like you’re about to go play. Then get into an athletic stance like you’re playing. Reach to your heel and see how much of a gap there is between the back of your ankle/heel and the boot. If you can slide more than one finger all the way down there, then the skates are too loose.

For children who are growing quickly, a 1 figure gap is fine. If your feet aren’t growing, go for a tighter fit.

The Toe Brush Test

This time, with your skates still fully laced, stand straight up. Your toes should be just barely touching the front of your skates. Then when you get into an athletic stance, your heel should be firmly against the back of the skate and your toes shouldn’t be touching the front anymore.

How to Break in Your Skates

When you get a new pair of skates, you’ll want to break them in before you get into a game. It’s common for new skates to hurt the first couple times you skate on them. If they hurt after you’ve skated on them five times, then you probably have a poor fit.

One of the best ways to break your hockey skates in is to “bake” them. We mentioned that above with the higher end hockey skates, how they have boots that if you heat them up, they can be molded to fit your unique feet. Here’s a good video by Ice Warehouse on how to bake your skates at home:

Thanks to Ice Warehouse for making a good video.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hockey skates be too stiff?

Yes. Less experienced skaters are less likely to handle stiffness and will feel uncomfortable and unable to skate properly.

What is the most popular skate in the NHL?

Bauer is the most common brand of skates used in the NHL with skates like the Vapor 2X Pro Skates, Vapor X2.7 hockey skates and Vapor 1X Senior Skates.

Are expensive senior hockey skates worth it?

Performance-wise mid-range to professional skates wouldn’t make a huge difference, not for a while at least. However, in the long run, more expensive skates will show less wear and tear and will not decrease the performance level, whereas low-end skates won’t hold up as good after days and days of hard practice.

Keeping Your Blades Sharp

If you want detailed information on how to maintain and sharpen your skates, click here.

See our full review of the Sparx Skate sharpener here

Conclusion

Thanks for making it all the way through our list! A lot of time and energy goes into getting you the best information available when it comes to hockey gear.

We hope you found some skates that are a good fit for you both performance and price-wise. Feel free to leave your comments or questions below. We value your input here at Honest Hockey and we strive to read and respond to all of your comments.

Ian Editor
Lead Writer , Honest Hockey
Honest Hockey is a website dedicated to bringing you the best information and resources to improve your hockey game. We are dedicated to bringing you the highest quality hockey gear reviews and industry news so that you’re up to date and know which equipment is best for your goals.
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