No matter your skill level, hockey skates are a mandatory piece of equipment for the game. The right pair gives you confidence, speed, control and protection on the ice. We find out what to look for when buying hockey skates.
The platform that the boot sits on is the outsole. Its rigidity helps transfer your energy into momentum when you’re on the ice.
Entry-level skates are often made with a plastic outsole.
More advanced players should find an outsole that’s been injected with lightweight composites like carbon or Kevlar, which provides even more rigidity for more power and control, though it’s not always as comfortable.
Blades made from carbon steel work well for the occasional skater. Regular players should go with a stainless steel blade, which will last longer between sharpenings.
The skate tongue is an important comfort feature. Felt tongues are popular for comfort but may still allow you to actually feel the laces binding into your foot (“lace bite”). A hard foam or plastic tongue stops the bite.
The right fit is key and is different from any other footwear. Skates should fit snugly, about one or two sizes smaller than what you’re used to. The skates should feel short even when you kick your foot right to the back of the skate – to provides you with more support.
We drafted some recreational players to try out these four pairs of stainless steel-bladed skates:
- CCM SuperTacks: $200
- Easton Synergy: $220
- Bauer Vapor: $300
- Reebok: $400
- The Bauers were comfortable and had a snug fit.
- The Eastons were also comfortable.
- The CCM SuperTack and the Reebok weren’t as comfortable or snug fitting as the other two.
OUR TOP PICK
Our players preferred the Bauer skates for their comfort, snug fit, and overall support.