There is a lot to consider when purchasing
Our list includes skates of all price ranges and budgets, not just the most expensive.
SHORT ON TIME? Here are our picks.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
For full reviews, keep reading below…
1. Bauer Supreme Mach Ice
The new Bauer Supreme Mach Ice Skates are made for hockey players who are looking for elite range of motion and energy transfer on the ice, resulting in an explosive stride. The two-piece boots are made with lightweight 12K Carbon Curv composite material while the outsoles feature a Unibody Powerwrap build for the right amount of protection and stiffness.
The skates come with injected AMP Tendon Guards for maximum flexibility and durability and the thick-injected, foam-felt tongues are reinforced for first-rate comfort and protection. In addition, the inside of the skates boast thermoformable and lightweight AeroFoam Pro packages with Lock-Fit Pro Liners. The moisture-wicking skates can easily be oven-baked to fit to the shape of your feet
The abrasion-reinforced Mach Pro Skates by Bauer are available in several fit profiles, widths and sizes with the size-9 model weighing just 837 grams per skate. They come with premium blades with your choice of steel and the holders allow you to change the blades easily and quickly thanks to the quick-release spring mechanism.
These are top-grade
Click here to see our Bauer Supreme vs. Vapor vs. Nexus comparison!
What People are Saying
“I’ve always used supreme line skates and have always loved them, but these new skates are by far the best skates I’ve ever owned. The comfort is unreal post baking and first skate. I’ve always had a break in period with my feet, but the new fit system I think has allowed a more custom fit without being custom, which helped with the comfort. If I were to look again for a skate I would but this one over and over. I was honestly nervous going straight to a game in these new skates, but that didn’t matter because they were so comfortable and energy efficient with each stride. ”
2. CCM Tacks AS-V Pro Ice
New this season are the CCM Tacks AS-V Pro Ice Skates, which are being billed as the company’s best-fitting and most comfortable and powerful Tacks model ever. The 3D one-piece boots are extra stiff as they’re made with first-class RocketFrame carbon and composite materials and promote maximum energy transfer and return. The skates mould and wrap to the shape of your feet when heated and they feature replaceable and reinforced Metatomic foam tongues and carbon fibreglass PowerFlex tendon guards for the utmost in protection and comfort.
The inside of the boots are kept dry and odour-free with the advanced hygienic moisture-wicking liners which also fight off bacteria. You can choose which top-quality, lightweight steel blades you prefer from the V-Steel, BlackSteel, and standard Step options. Extra durability comes from the skates’ abrasion reinforcement, collar padding, memory foam ankle padding and molded footbeds.
The SpeedBlade XS holders come with a tool-less dial release mechanism which allows you to quickly change the blades. These popular elite skates from CCM are available in several sizes, widths and fit profiles with the size-9 model weighing 992 grams. They can usually be found in the upper-level price range.
What People are Saying
“Brilliant skates! Stiffness is perfect if your looking for power and speed and look very cool.”
3. Bauer Vapor 3X
These new two-piece skates by Bauer are ideal for players on a budget who are still looking for quality fit, protection, agility and performance. The lightweight 3D Flex composite boots are heat moldable and provide the right amount of stiffness and support needed. They boast internal memory foams, 40-ounce felt tongues, moisture-managing liners, asymmetrical toes and foam ankle, collar and footbed padding.
The LS Balance stainless steel runners are made for stability and come with Tuuk LightSpeed Edge holders with a quick-release trigger system. They have unwaxed laces with Digi Comp outsoles and TPR plastic midsoles as well as moisture-wicking liners.
The Bauer Vapor 3X skates come in different profiles, widths and sizes with the size nine model 851 grams each. These are ideal for price-conscious players who are looking for plenty of value as the skates are typically found in the low to mid price range.
Key Features: Significant weight reduction – 6.5% lighter, Asymmetrical toe cap, 40oz Felt tongue, Hydrophobic liner, Full composite boot
What People are Saying
“My sons fit profile when from a fit 3 to a fit 1 in less than a year (pre teen). He LOVES his new vapors and his skating stride has noticeably lengthened. The skates are a step up from the CCM ribkor74 that he was using. Much stiffer quarter package. Skate has a good amount of higher end features and has good interior support. We upgraded the foot beds to super feet since the include ones are typical unsupported foam. All in all a very good middle of the line skate for not a lot of money. Definitely Recommended..”
4. CCM Tacks AS-V
Another new skate for 2022/23 is the Tacks AS-V model by CCM. These are pro-level, lightweight skates that feature stiff, responsive boots with a reinforced one-piece composite construction for maximum power and speed. They boast XS Asymmetrical 30-ounce multi-layered Tri-Tech tongues and fibreglass PowerFlex tendon guards for flexibility and protection as well as smart foam reinforcements for added comfort and impact protection.
The skates are heat moldable for a perfect fit to the shape of your feet, which are kept cool, dry, odour-free and comfortable at all times due to the moisture-managing, hygienic liners. They boast traditional facing, unwaxed laces, high-grade plastic outsoles, abrasion reinforcement, molded footbeds, and memory foam ankle and collar padding.
This model come with three different options when it comes to premium-quality steel blades as you can choose from V-Steel, Step, and BlackSteel. Meanwhile, the blades can easily be replaced via the SpeedBlade XS holders which come with a tool-less dial release mechanism.
The CCM Tacks AS-V Skates are available in several sizes, fit patterns and widths with the size-9 model weighing 955 grams. They can generally be found in the mid-price range.
CCM vs Bauer skates? Click here to see our comparison
What People are Saying
“Great feel, baked once and ready to go! Very happy with them”
5. CCM Tacks AS 580
The brand new CCM Tacks AS-580
The lightweight 3D one-piece composite fibreglass boots are great for transferring energy for quickness and speed while the HD microfibre liners are designed to eliminate sweat, odour and bacteria while keeping your feet dry and comfortable. The skates also boast standard tendon guards, traditional facing,
high-grade plastic midsoles, standard footbeds and foam ankle padding.
The 10-inch XS steel blades are removable and are kept in place by SpeedBlade XS holders which come with a tool-less dial quick release mechanism. The performance-level CCM Tacks AS-580 Skates are available in different fit profiles, sizes and widths with the size-9 model weighing in at 853 grams. They can generally be found in the low to mid-price range.
What people are saying
“Had them baked for comfy fit. Lots of room (height) in the toe box, if your big toe nail grows up on an angle, and perfectly wide. No pinky toe pinch. The tongue is softer and a little thinner than my last pair, so trying to deal with the lace bite. Hoping it wears in with time. Glad I got new ones! Should have done it sooner! ”
6. CCM JetSpeed FT4 Pro
The new CCM JetSpeed FT4 Pro
They also feature heat-molded ADPT memory-foam ankle pads with unwaxed laces, composite midsoles, and reinforced, injected tendon guards. Comfort foam padding can be found throughout the skates as well as ultra-light footbeds. The removable steel black runners are made with high-grade stainless steel and finished with carbon chrome while the holders have a tool-less dial release mechanism.
The CCM Jetspeed F4T Pro skates skates are available in various sizes, profiles and widths with the size nine model weighing just 899 grams each. They offer ultimate comfort and protection and can be found in the higher price range.
Key Features: One Piece Boot Speed quarter package, TotalDri Pro+ liner, Interchangeable tongue, Asymmetrical toe cap, Step Blacksteel with carbon coated technology, Lightweight composite midsole.
What People are Saying
“My son loves theses skates, he says they are lightweight and very comfortable.”
7. Bauer Vapor 3X Pro Skates
If you’re looking for agility, fit, comfort, speed and protection on the ice then you may be interested in the new lightweight two-piece Bauer 3X Pro skates. The come with responsive, durable and heat-moldable Curv Composite boots with a one-piece injected lacing system for better lateral support. The outsoles feature flexible Pro TPU material for improved strides, turns, starts and stops while the tendons and ankles are fully protected.
The skates come with flexible 48-ounce Pro Tongues for enhanced energy transfer and range of motion. They feature moisture-wicking HydroLite liners and AeroFoam+ padding in all key areas for incredible feel and fit as well as asymmetrical toe caps. The Vapor 3x Pro comes with Tuuk LightSpeed Edge holders, with a fast-releasing trigger system to change the high-grade steel blades.
The Bauer Vapor 3X Pro skates can be found in different profiles, sizes and widths with the size nine boot weighing in at 890 grams. They’re aimed at serious players and come in the higher price range.
Key Features: Removable runners, Improved flex profile, Aerolite foam tongue, Hyperflex outsole with rigid composite, Asymmetrical toe cap, AeroFoam Pro interior padding
What People are Saying
“I tried on every skate model known to man, settled on the 3x pro. What a great decision. Great fit, minimal break in time. Took a few skates to get used to the blades and forward skate stature. Clear upgrade of old Supremes. Strongly recommend. A bit pricey, but it is what it is. They’re very well built, should last a long time.”
8. Bauer Supreme M1
New from Bauer for the 2022/23 season are the Supreme M1 Skates. These are ideal for casual hockey players and newcomers to the sport as they offer all the protection and comfort needed. The skates feature flexible and supportive 3D-injected Polycarbonate materials in the boots and 13-inch stainless steel blades for maximum stability and confidence.
There’s added comfort thanks to the reinforced, plush 30-ounce felt tongues and the boots can be easily molded to the shape of your feet simply by placing them in the oven and heating them. They also come with protective lace guards, traditional tendon guards, TPR plastic midsoles and outsoles, foam-padded ankles and footbeds and microfibre linings to keep your feet dry and comfortable at all times.
These lightweight recreational skates from Bauer come in several sizes with the size-9 model weighing in at just 758 grams. The blades are kept firmly in place with the Tuuk LightSpeed Pro II Holders which provide stability and durability.
The Bauer Supreme M1
What People are Saying
“Amazing new skates for the price, really impressed!”
9. Bauer Vapor Hyperlite
The new Vapor HyperLite skates by Bauer are made to enhance your agility and quickness on the ice while still taking care of protection and comfort. The HyperFlex outsoles are built with rigid composite materials in the front with flexible dual-injected materials in the rear to maximize blade contact, torsional flex and energy transfer. The lightweight skates feature Bauer’s AeroLite system and moldable, felt-less tongues to reduce weight without giving up protection.
The heat-moldable skates incorporate durable carbon Curv Composite boots and come with LS CarbonLite steel runners with carbon composite uppers and release-mechanism holders. They come in a 3D Lasted two-piece design with injected-plastic tendon guards, carbon fibre midsoles, unwaxed laces, foam ankle, footbed and collar padding as well as moisture-wicking liners.
The Bauer Vapor Hyperlite skates come in different profiles, sizes and widths with the size nine CarbonLite boot weighing only 849 grams. These skates are ideal for competitive hockey players and can be found in the upper price bracket.
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.
What People are Saying
“Switched to Vapors at the 2x Pro’s and decided to upgrade to the Hyperlites when they came out. In short, I absolutely love them. Only took 2-3 skates to have them fully broken in, and while the aerolite tongue is definitely different, I think it provides a little more support and protection than the older felt style. Waiting to get the carbon runners back from profiling and I’ll be the best D leaguer in America..”
10. Bauer X-LS
The Bauer X-LS
The flexible skates also boast 30-ounce felt tongues, traditional tendon guards, TPR Plastic outsoles and midsoles and foam-padded footbeds and ankles. Your feet are kept cool, dry and comfortable even when the action heats up due to the inclusion of the moisture-wicking microfibre liners.
The lightweight X-LS Skates by Bauer can be found in various sizes with the size-9 boot tipping the scales at just 736 grams. They offer plenty of bang for the buck as they can typically be found in the lower-price range.
What people are saying
“The skates feel great a look nice. I wish I had a little bit longer laces. Other thank that best bay for the buck.”
11. CCM Jetspeed FT4
Players looking for good value at an affordable price are attracted to the CCM Jetspeed FT4 skates as they supply elite-level protection and performance. The lightweight one-piece boot design is ideal for fit and speed and comes with CCM’s 3D Skate Fit system for maximum energy transfer as well as asymmetrical toe caps.
These popular composite, abrasion-resistant skates come with removable foam TriTech XS tongues for ultimate forward flexion and protection while the TotalDri liners are great at wicking away moisture all game long. In addition, they boast ADPT memory foam ankle pads which mold around your feet when heated. The stainless Step Steel runners provide superb edge retention, improved glide and custom radius options and are easy to change with a tool-less dial mechanism.
The CCM Jetspeed FT4 skates are available in different profiles, sizes and widths with the size nine skates weighing 921 grams each. They include unwaxed laces, reinforced tendon guards, tough plastic midsoles and can be found in the mid to high price range.
Key Features: One Piece Boot Speed quarter package, TotalDri liner, Interchangeable tongue, Asymmetrical toe cap, Step Steel runner, Lightweight composite midsole.
What people are saying
“The CCM ft4 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!”.”
Best Hockey Skate Accessories for 2021
If you’re looking for our lists of the best:
Also Check Out: Best Gifts for Hockey Players
The Construction of
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
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
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
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
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:
- Always chasing the puck
- Proactive, constantly moving
- Play more center or winger
- In an aggressive/athletic stance more often than not
- 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 / Model||Player Type||Instep||Heel||Mid-Foot||Toe Box|
|Easton Stealth||Aggressive||Slightly Shallow||Regular||Slightly Narrow||Slightly Narrow|
|Easton Mako||Aggressive||Regular||Slightly Narrow||Slightly Narrow||Regular|
|CMM Tacks||Traditional||Regular||Snug||Snug||Slightly Narrow|
|Reebok||Traditional||Slightly Deep||Regular||Reuglar||Slightly Wide|
|Bauer Nexus||Traditional||Deep||Regular||Very Wide||Very Wide|
|Bauer Supreme||Traditonal||Regular||Snug||Snug||Slightly Wide|
|Bauer Vapor||Aggressive||Slightly Narrow||Regular||Regular||Regular|
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
Thanks to Ice Warehouse for making a good video.
Frequently Asked Questions
hockey skatesbe 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
Are expensive senior
hockey skatesworth 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
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.