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    Categories: Sport

Best Hockey Skates — Buyer’s Guide

Within this guide, you will find our top ten favorite skates for a variety of skill levels, along with an overview of each product overall which includes a description of the product, its performance, and any technical issues. The price variance for skates is large so, depending on your needs, the skate can also vary quite a bit. We have included a comparison table of best hockey skates for beginners, for wide feet, for flat feet … for easy reference. This should help you narrow things down after you have read through a few times. Research is an important part of a skate purchase so we have streamlined it for you.

Best hockey skates of 2018

The Buyer’s Guide at the end this article is an essential read before you decide which type of skates to purchase, and, really, how much you actually want to spend. That is the overarching theme here.

When you are buying a pair of skates, it is important to consider your skill level, how much you want to invest in the sport, and what you want to get out of it. Are you going to be skating around while holding the wall, once a week? Or will you be competitively skating and playing games while you travel to tournaments? Even if you are sticking to the house team, you will still want to remain competitive.

Take your time as you read through to consider the differences between the different skates. The Buyer’s Guide at the end will help you consider the options further.

ModelPlayer TypeInstepHeelMid-FootToe Box
Bauer Vapor
X400

(Editor’s Choice)
AggressiveSlightly
Narrow
RegularRegularRegular Check Price
Bauer Supreme
S140 Senior
TraditionalRegularSnugWideWide Check Price
Bauer Youth
Supreme 140
TraditionalRegularSnugWideWide Check Price
TOUR HOCKEY
TR-700 SENIOR
TraditionalRegularRegularRegularRegular Check Price
American Athletic
Shoe Senior
Cougar
TraditionalRegularRegularRegularRegular Check Price
Bauer Junior
Supreme 150
TraditionalRegularSnugWideWide Check Price
American Athletic
Shoe Men’s
Ice Force
TraditionalRegularRegularRegularRegular Check Price
CCM JetSpeed 260
(Editor’s Choice)
AggressiveRegularSnugSnugSlightly
Narrow
Check Price
Tour Hockey
FB-225
TraditionalRegularRegularRegularRegular Check Price
Bauer Senior
Vapor X300

AggressiveSlightly
Narrow
RegularRegularRegular Check Price

1. Bauer Vaper X400 — Best Overall Skate for the Price

These skates are a step up from the beginner level in price and quality. The comfort and performance also goes up with the price. Your speed and maneuverability will rise, too, if you are skating at a higher skill level.

We recommend this pair for the semi pro skater. You might not want to invest in this price if you have not already dedicated yourself to the ice. Competing in tournaments and perhaps joining a travel team means you need better equipment, and it makes sense to spend a little more for the durability and performance when it can make a difference competitively.

Bauer continues their dedication to the Tuuk Lightspeed Pro blade holder and Super Stainless steel runner for added acceleration and speed to go with the comfort expected from the brand.

Especially at a higher level, you are going to want to make certain your skates are not loose, and that they support your ankle well. That is why you should always ensure skates fit well, even if they are more expensive, and because some lines, like Bauer, run wide and might not give a regular size foot the support it needs.

These skates are a good choice for those that have made a firm choice to spend years on the ice.

Pros
  • Excellent quality for comfort and performance
  • Great for beginning pros
Cons
  • Not a good investment for those skating at a beginner level

2. Bauer Supreme S140 Senior — Best, Affordable Senior Skate

This skate is a great, affordable option, especially for those with a wide foot. The Supreme S140 is the base model in the new line of Supreme skates. There are only minute differences between the ability of these skates and more expensive skates. These differences will not be noticed by the casual skater. However, this pair does come with the Tuuk Lightspeed Pro holders and Lightspeed Super stainless steel runners — these features should add to your speed as you build your skill. Bauer Supreme is best hockey skates for wide feet.

At times, you sacrifice comfort when you go down in price, but these skates have an anatomical ankle for maximum support and comfort. Plus, the construction makes the skate look fairly professional. You can usually depend on the Bauer brand for comfort at all price levels. In fact, the Supreme line has the Tuuk accents and comfort across the entire line.

We would recommended this pair for the casual skater. While these skates may not have the durability of a more expensive skate, they are great skates at a great price for someone starting out. Also, they will grow with your skill for a while and the comfort is an added bonus.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Good for Wide Feet
  • Strong stride
Cons
  • Low durability

3. Bauer Youth Supreme 140 — Best, Affordable Youth Skate

This skate is a good choice for intermediate skaters. This model is a comfortable, affordable option. Beyond some sharpening, you should not have any issues with this pair if you are skating for fun. The Youth Supreme 140 is similar to the Senior S140. It has the Tuuk Super stainless runners and Lightspeed Pro blade holders, as well.

We would recommended this model for frequent skaters that are not skating competitively. Beyond differences at higher levels of skating, this pair will serve you well. The anatomical felt tongue and patented integrated anatomical heel and ankle support will lend to your comfort as you train or go out for fun. Just keep in mind Bauer tends to run wide.Bauer Youth is best youth hockey skates.

As mentioned about the Senior model, you do not have to sacrifice comfort for saving money, in this instance. It makes sense to purchase these if you are just getting into the sport, or if you are still growing quickly and are not in any stiff competitions.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Not suited for higher levels of skating

4. Tour Hockey TR-700 Senior — Best for Quick Turns

The TR-700 Series has a reinforced ankle meant to assist skating with a little more finesse. While still affordable, these skates take it to the next level of high performance. The durability may not match more expensive skates, but the craftsmanship is excellent for the price range. Many customers are impressed with how they perform and hold up against frequent skating.

We recommend this model for the skater moving up to more complicated skate style. Durability is not a given in this price range, but you will be happy with the performance. This is a great choice for the skater that may not have dedicated themselves to tournaments or travel, but is starting to skate at a higher level. In other words, intermediate skaters are best suited to this pair of skates.

Those that are just starting out should not spend in this range, and those that are skating at a professional level should spend more to maximize their performance.

Pros
  • Reinforced ankle for high performance
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not adequate for high level skating

5. American Athletic Shoe Senior Cougar Soft Boot — Best for the Companion Skater

This skate is best suited to an adult that accompanies someone else to the rink. If you want to skate beside them, and are not interested in getting fancy, this skate is an excellent choice for a short, fun skate.

You will notice these skates are not pro level in the least. This is fine if you are casually skating around. There is also a quality issue with the velcro strap, on some models. Ensure it is properly attached before use.

We would recommend this pair for the casual, companion skater.
You are not going to be able to do anything fancy, but it will get the job done if you want to have a fun time skating on the perimeter of the action.

This skate would work well for a hockey parent that only occasionally gets on the ice, or someone who wants to take their kids ice skating a few times during the winter. These skates are not going to work for any longer than that.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Simple
  • Comfort level suited to short periods of casual skating
Cons
  • Some issues with quality and construction
  • Not comfortable for long periods of skating

6. Bauer Junior Supreme 150 — Best, Affordable Junior Skate

This pair is excellent for a junior, starting skater. You are not going to be able to lace these up and go pro, but they will help you start to learn the basics that lead you there. With the lower prices come some lower quality and durability, but a beginning skater that is growing fast will not need to worry about this. We definitely recommend this pair for a beginner as this skate is an affordable option for learning and growing, but do not expect high performance. Bauer Junior is best junior hockey skates .

The Bauer skates again continue with their Tuuk Lightspeed Pro Holder and Tuuk Super Stainless Runners, as well as the comfort that comes with the anatomical, thermo-moldable structure. The Bauer Supreme is a slightly wide line of skates. If you have a narrow foot, this may not be a good choice for you. Pay close attention to the fit.

Pros
  • Long and strong stride
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not able to match higher skill level
  • Not good for those with narrow feet

7. American Athletic Shoe Men’s Ice Force — Best for Beginner Adults

These skates are entry level. The price is right for dipping your toe in, as it were. Keep in mind these cheaper skates are stiff and will not be comfortable for extended wear.

This pair will perform at a basic level. Do not expect any impressive moves to come out of them, even if you are a talented skater. A hockey stop can be difficult in these skates, even if you know what you are doing. We would recommend this pair for the adult, beginning skater.

Like we said, these skates are not going to impress anyone who has worn a nice pair of skates. These are definitely suited for a beginner to occasionally skate for short time periods.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Adequate for learning
Cons
  • Not comfortable for extended wear
  • Hockey stop is difficult

8. CCM JetSpeed 260 — Best for Speed and Angles

These low profile skates are great for speed and agility. The comfort, along with the price, has gone up considerably since the last pair. This skate is great for a more experienced skater who is concerned with more complicated skating.

The low profile may not be preferred by some. You should try out a pair before ordering, just to make sure. We recommend this pair for the experienced, adult skater. As we advise in the Buyer’s Guide, it is a good idea to visit your local shops and rinks to see if you like a particular kind of skate before you buy it.

The comfort and maneuverability add lots of points to this pair. The low profile may be a plus for you, maybe not. It is something to keep in mind. These skates are the lightweight material that you will start to want once you are playing at competitive level, going to tournaments, or participating in the travel team. This is where the thicker tongue, extra hooks and other expert level concerns will come in.

Pros
  • Comfort
  • Agility
  • Low Profile
Cons
  • Low Profile

9. Tour Hockey FB-225 — Best Mid-Range Option for Older Youth

Here we have a mid-range option for the older youth. These skates are comfortable for mid-level skill and ability. You will be able to do a nice hockey stop, but do not expect anything crazy. More experienced skaters may find these skates to be uncomfortable if they are used to a higher priced skate.

Intermediate and occasional skating seems to be the best fit, so we recommend this skate for a mid-level skater. They are an affordable option for the intermediate skater, but not suited for someone skating a higher level. The reinforced ankle is there, but the lightweight agility is not something you will find with these.

You might also consider whether the comfort will last for skating longer periods of time. This is an important consideration for anyone buying a pair of skates, but is especially weighty when deciding between entire price range. In short, if you want to do anything beyond the occasional fun, you will need some skates that can handle more use and live up to your fancier moves.

Pros
  • Comfortable for most
  • Nice hockey stop
Cons
  • Not suited for high skill level
  • Not suited well to long wear

10. Bauer Senior Vapor X300 — Best for Beginning Semi Pro Skating

This senior skate is one with unexpected comfort and durability. You can bake this pair which helps a lot with the fit. If you are tired of rentals, these are an excellent choice. These are not pro level skates, but they are great for someone who skates often and for longer periods of time.

We recommend this pair for the frequent skater who has grown beyond the rentals. You are going to get the most comfort and support in the price range from this pair. Bauer continues their comfort spree while including the Tuuk Lightspeed Pro holder and a White Felt Tongue for performance and visual appeal.

This pair of skates will save you money, in the long run, if you are frequently visiting the rink or pond. Rentals add up, and sometimes you have to pay a little for comfort

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Adequate agility
  • Can bake for a better fit
Cons
  • Only adequate agility

Buyer’s Guide — Ice Hockey Skates of 2018

General Guidelines

Once you have thought about those options and made a decision on each one, you can better decide which pair to purchase. You do not want to buy a pair of semi-pro skates if you are going to casually skate around the wall while your kids practice. It is fine to be a casual skater (have fun!), but do not spend unnecessary money when you will not notice the difference. On the flip side, if you are a semi-pro skater, you do not want to cheat yourself on quality and durability by saving some money. By investing a little more, you are ensuring you get a set that will last you and serve your needs for speed and maneuvering. At a more competitive level of skating, you will notice the difference in the price ranges, and your teammates will appreciate the difference.

No matter how talented a hockey player you are, the equipment you use will make all the difference at high level of playing.

Hockey skates are constructed with three different main parts: the boot, the holder, and the runner.

Cheaper skates will come with the blade attached, while more expensive skates will come with it unattached for easy replacement. This is because the boot will last longer with more expensive skates. The boot is a decision to be made mostly on comfort. You can start worrying about the weight and more complicated choices once you are at a higher level of skating. These choices will include looking for more padding on the tongue or extra hooks. Three hooks should be enough for a beginner.

Sizing is width and length. What best hockey skates for flat feet?

The width can be narrow, regular, wide or extra wide. Keep in mind that skates will generally be 1.5 sizes smaller than your regular sneakers. So, if you are usually a size 9, you will likely want a 7.5 size skate. People who usually purchase women’s sizes will want to instead go by their size in men’s shoes.

How much you spend on a pair of skates should be dependent on your level of play. If you are skating a few times a season, you can make do with the cheaper skates; but, if you are skating often at a casual level, you may want to go with an intermediately priced skate. At an intermediate level, you will be looking for ample ankle support and trying to ensure the blades are attached at the correct height. The more expensive skates are a good choice for skaters that are playing competitively. They are more lightweight, they will last longer, will fit better, and will give you better support, comfort and protection.

Tips for the Right Fit

There are several tests that can be done to test your fit: the squeeze test, the pencil test, the finger test, and the toe brush test. These tests will help you determine whether you have made a good choice, but, ultimately, you will be the one to decide if they are the right pair for you. Even if the tests say they should be an amazing fit, you may just not like them. Speak up! You are the one that has to skate on them, ultimately.

Tips to Break Them In

Your skates will likely hurt the first few times you wear them. They need to be “broken in”. If you have skated five or more times, and they still hurt, you likely do not have the right skates. Several of the skates in the higher price ranges will be “thermo-moldable”, meaning you can bake the boot and mold it to your foot. This aids comfort and stability in a big way because the boot is then “made for you”.

Another idea to aid the breaking in process is to wear your skates around the house (with the guards on). This will speed the process along. If you have skated in the past and notice a regression with your new skates, try not to be discouraged because this will not last. Once your skates are broken in, you will notice rapid improvement.

We are excited to provide you with this guide in order to help you find your perfect pair of skates. Hopefully, this article has helped you reach a decision for your pair of skates, or has at least assisted you in beginning your search. Do not be hesitant to go to your local rink and try on some skates. They will know how to help you get an idea of what you like, no matter your skill level. People with a passion for the sport will be glad to see your interest.

Remember to consider and balance your need for comfort, durability, agility, speed, and savings. Ice skating and hockey are both fun and great exercise! You will be skill building and making new friends! Have fun out there.

Conclusion

The two standouts are the Bauer Senior vapor X400 skate, and the CCM JetSpeed 260 skate. The Bauer skate is a top pick because of the overall appeal, comfort and affordability. It is a great choice for a wide range of skill levels. If you go beyond the beginning and intermediate levels, the CCM skate looks great and performs well. The low profile adds to the ability and visual appeal. Both pairs will give you the comfort and durability you need so, as long as you know your skill level, you can’t go wrong.

George Carlyle:

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