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 along all price ranges and budgets, not just the most expensive.

Typically, 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.

1. Bauer Supreme HP Pro Skatesbauer-hp-pro-skate

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Overview

The Bauer Supreme HP Pro Hockey Skate is a high-performance skate at an affordable price.

Specially designed by Pure Hockey and Bauer, the Bauer Supreme HP Pro hockey skate is made to be the best performance at this price level. This skate has added features, upgraded technology, and comfort benefits both inside and out.

Supreme HP PRO hockey skates bring explosive power to the table in a package that's durable and lightweight. The boot is made from a 3D lasted Tech Mesh that is stiff, efficient, and conforms to the foot perfectly.

Inside is an upgraded Hydra Max liner that keeps the foot in place and wicks away moisture. Underneath the liner is heat moldable memory foam padding for increased comfort and fit. The tongue is a FORM FIT 3 piece stitched felt that wraps the ankle closely and a heavy duty lace bite guard ensures comfort and protection.

Overall, the Bauer Supreme HP Pro was specially designed to have premium touches and offer great value to players looking to upgrade into a higher end skate.

Skate Fit

Medium Volume: Anatomical – standard heel pocket – standard forefoot – standard instep

Weight: 800 grams

 

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

 

What People are Saying

“I bought these skates just a few weeks ago. They are an amazing value for the price. I'm new to the sport, and these skates are night and day different from what I was using when I first started. They are light, supportive, protective, and really comfortable. I never thought hockey skates could be comfortable. I feel like my skating has improved a ton since making the switch. I would recommend to anyone.”

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2. Bauer Supreme 1S SkatesBauer Supreme 1S Ice Hockey Skates

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Overview

The Bauer Supreme 1S is loaded with the latest and greatest technology and materials available from Bauer. Improving upon the previous MX3 from last year, the 1S promises to make your stride more explosive than ever. One of the standout features of this skate is the felt tongue with C-Flex Technology that has interchangeable inserts to customize the flex and range of motion to better fit player preference and skating style. The boot is the 3-D lasted Titanium Curv Composite that provides best in class stiffness and responsiveness while being anatomically correct to hug every curve of the foot once thermo molded.
Inside the skate is a new and upgraded polyester liner that helps the skate dry out as fast as possible to keep you from ever skating in sweaty skates again. The footbed is the new Bauer SpeedPlate that is also heat moldable, allowing for a more custom fit and greater energy transfer. The boots are mounted on the pro preferred Lightspeed Edge holders with LS4 steel that will hold an edge longer and provide an improved angle of attack on the ice.
Overall, this is one of the highest quality skates out today and offers pro-level performance and customization.

Skate Fit:
Medium Volume: standard heel pocket – standard forefoot – standard instep
Weight: 798 Grams

What People are Saying

“The 1S skate boot is the most comfortable boot I have ever had the pleasure of using. My previous skates were the MX3, and the 1S improves on most aspects of design, comfort, and movement. The only downside is the price and I personally don't like how tall the new tongue is.”

“Best skate I've ever used. Gives you great power in your stride. Very comfortable.”

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3. Bauer Vapor X800 Skates

Bauer Vapor X800

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Overview

The Bauer Vapor X800 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 same Curv Composite material found in the 1X, 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 Lock-Fit liner features a grip-focused design that better stabilizes the foot especially during heavy use and sweating. This skate is mounted on Tuuk Edge holders and tried and true LS2 steel.
Overall, the Bauer Vapor X800 skate is an excellent value for those looking to improve their game with a high performing skate.

Skate Fit:
Low Volume: shallow heel pocket – narrow forefoot – low instep
Weight: 808 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 AS1 SkatesCCM SuperTacks AS1 Skate

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Overview

Brand new for 2018, the CCM Super Tacks AS1 skate builds on the success of the previous Super Tacks skate from 2016. The standout feature of this skate is the innovative Monoframe 360 one-piece composite boot. The boot is fully anatomical and will mold to every part of your foot and will be one of the best fitting skates on the market today. This superior fit and boot stiffness of the Speedcore 3 material will provide direct energy transfer for a more powerful and efficient stride.

Inside features a TotalDri Pro level liner that wicks moisture to keep your feet dry and the memory foam ankle pads keep the heel locked in. The smooth contour pads around the collar of the boot increase the protection and comfort. The Super Tacks AS1 boot is unique in that the one-piece construction eliminates the midsole for a more efficient energy transfer from boot to blade and weight savings. These skates also come with premium CCM footbeds that provide arch support and are heat moldable for even more of a custom fit. These skates are mounted on top of the line holders and steel from CCM in the SpeedBlade 4.0 holder and oxide treated SpeedBlade Black steel.

Overall, the CCM Super Tacks AS1 skates are the total package and provide the ultimate performance and comfort, perfect for the explosive skater looking for more power in their stride.

CCM is so confident you will love these skates, you can return them for any reason within 90 days – no questions asked.

Skate Fit
Medium Volume: Contoured shape – standard forefoot – standard heel
Weight: 786 grams

 

CCM vs Bauer skates? Click here to see our comparison

 

What People are Saying

“Last model SuperTacks were great and wasn't really sure they made any changes to this new one. Once on the ice, I noticed immediately. The fit is perfect and feels like I am floating on the ice. They feel lighter and stiffer. I am on the ice 4 days a week and have held up great so far.”

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5. CCM JetSpeed FT370 Skatesccm hockey skates jetspeed ft370

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Overview

The CCM JetSpeed FT370 Skates feature the RocketFrame Composite boot, borrowing technology 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 RocketFrame 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.

The JetSpeed FT370 skates feature an upgraded vented outsole that improves energy transfer while decreasing weight. The JetSpeed FT370 is equipped with the SpeedBlade 4.0 holder that is also found on the top of the line FT1 skate. 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 FT370 could be the best budget-friendly, high-performance skate on the market today.

Skate Fit

Medium Volume: slightly shallow heel – slightly narrow forefoot – standard instep

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 FT370'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 Tacks 9080 Skates

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ccm-hockey-skates-tacks-9080-sr

Overview

The CCM Tacks 9080 Skates boast the specs, durability, and looks of elite skates but cost a fraction of the price.

The RocketFrame Composite boot has been drastically updated over the last generation, with a more anatomical fit and improved durability. CCM’s new 3D-Lasted Technology allows the boot to form in a way that conforms much better to the curves of the foot.

Inside the boot, the Tacks 9080 skates feature CCM's top of the line liner called TotalDri. The strategically placed DuraZone abrasion-resistance patches ensure the liner does an excellent job of wicking away moisture and maintaining premium durability. The 10mm, dual-density tongue features pro-level thickness for top-notch comfort and protection from pucks and also lace bite.

These feature an extra-rigid Pro TPU outsole that promotes more efficient energy transfer through each stride with a vent to push out moisture and increase drying time. The holders consist of CCM's gold standard SpeedBlade 4.0 with SpeedBlade stainless steel runners for tight turning and quick stopping.

Skate Fit

Medium Volume: contoured shape – standard forefoot – standard heel

Weight: 847 grams

What People are Saying

“One word. Wow! I'm blown away. I've skated every brand of skates. These 9080's are incredible. I don't have a very wide foot. Slightly wider than average and the skates fit like a glove in a standard D width. The support throughout the boot was amazing. I was nervous switching to such a stiff skate but I have no complaints. The runner and attached steel was nice. I felt like I turn much sharper. I'm extremely impressed by how light they are. I could really feel the difference. If you're in the market for a new skate I'd highly recommend the new CCM Tacks 9080.”

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7. Bauer Vapor 1X Skates

bauer hockey skates vapor 1x sr

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Overview

Utilizing state of the art design testing and feedback from many NHL players, the Bauer Vapor 1X 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 1X boot is made of the ultra-lightweight Curv composite 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 1X 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.

The tongue is the Flex-Lock Pro tongue 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 Edge holder and the highest quality steel in the LS4 runners.

Overall, the new design and innovations on the Bauer Vapor 1X skate to make the 1X feel like an extension of your foot.

Skate Fit

Low Volume: shallow heel pocket – narrow forefoot – low instep

What People are Saying

“These 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 1X. My ankle now sits in the pocket and what a difference! Love it!”

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8. CCM RibCor 70k SkatesCCM RibCor 70K Skates

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Overview

The RibCor 70k 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 70k is 10% lighter than the previous 50k model from last year!
This is paired with the brand new Dual Axis 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 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.

Skate Fit:
Low Volume: shallow heel pocket – narrow forefoot – low instep
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 70k’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 X500 Skatesbauer-hockey-skates-vapor-x500-17-sr

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Overview

The Bauer Vapor X500 skate is 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 X500 boot is a TrueForm Tech PU 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 X500 sit atop the most popular holder in the NHL, the Tuuk Edge that features a quick release for easy blade changes.

Skate Fit

Low Volume: shallow heel pocket – narrow forefoot – low instep

Weight: 826 grams

What People are Saying

“I finally convinced myself to buy new skates after 11 years and couldn't have been more satisfied! I was so nervous that it would take forever to get used to the new skates but I was completely wrong! I 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. CCM JetSpeed FT390 SkatesCCM JetSpeed FT390 Skates

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Overview

The CCM JetSpeed FT390 has all the high-performance features of the flagship FT1 skate, except it is made from more traditional construction process instead of the new one-piece boot technology for $200 less. Each type has their advantages, but the FT390 is a pro level skate without a doubt.
The boot is 3D lasted with Rocket Frame composite in an ergonomic shape for a better out of the box fit. The outsole is an ultra-stiff carbon composite with venting for ultimate energy transfer. This skate shares features with the FT1 such as the TotalDri Liner and the SpeedCore 3 rigid core that has incredible heat molding properties for performance and fit. The tongue is a high density felt with heat moldable foams for increased comfort around the top of the foot and ankle.
Overall, the CCM JetSpeed FT390 is a high performing pro level skate at a great price.

Skate Fit:
Medium Volume: slightly shallow heel pocket – slightly narrow forefoot – standard instep
Weight: 805 Grams

What People are Saying

“Overall, I thought the Easton Makos were by far the best skates I've ever had, but this is a similar feel but without the pressure point around the tendon guard. The FT seems much more durable and slightly stiffer, so a bit more energy transfer. These skates are incredibly comfortable out of the box, no break-in period at all. I was very, very impressed after my first skate. CCM nailed it.”

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11. Bauer Supreme S180 Skatesbauer-hockey-skates-supreme-s180-sr

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Overview

Bauer Supreme S180 is the perfect skate for players who are really starting to get serious about their game. If you're ready to make the jump to more competitive hockey, it's worth taking a look at one of Bauer's most competitive skates. Delivering elite level performance without breaking the bank.

Built with the feather-light Curv Composite, this boot offers superior stiffness and power. It has an anatomical shape and fit to hug the foot close for a more responsive stride.

Inside is a premium Hydra Max Mesh liner that wicks away moisture and keeps the foot solidly in place. Unique to top-tier Supreme skates is the Flexible Tendon Guard that allows maximum range of motion in your stride.

These incredible boots are attached to the industry-leading holder Tuuk Edge with high-quality LS2 Steel to hold your edge as you turn and stop.

Skate Fit

Medium Volume: standard heel pocket – standard forefoot – standard instep

Weight: 838 grams

What people are saying

“This skate is honestly as good as the top of the line. Yes the s190 and 1s are better boots, but if you prefer a simpler skate this is perfect. The Curv Composite boot gives it superb stability and its heat moldability is outstanding.”

“The 180 is the perfect balance of elite performance and price. 190 has a couple extra options but not worth the $200 extra. The 170 has significant reductions in the boot's structural integrity which you'll feel immediately when comparing products.”

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12. CCM Ribcor 64K Skates

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Overview

The CCM Ribcor 64k 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 64K 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.

Skate Fit

Low Volume: shallow heel pocket – narrow forefoot – low instep

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. I would recommend them completely.”

“I was in desperate need of new skates after many years. I figured 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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Conclusion

Thanks for making it all the way through our list! 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.

If you are looking for our list of the best youth hockey skates, you can see those here.

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 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

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 size of skate 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 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 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 $900. 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.