When you are in the market for the best hockey skates you can get, you cannot assume that the first skate that you find or even the most popular skate out there is the right one for you.
No two hockey players will play the game the same way and you cannot expect them to skate the same way.
Looking for hockey skates takes time and research. In order to do that well you need to know how you are as a player and a skater right now. It is also a good idea to know whether your feet are naturally wide or narrow.
There are many factors that you will need to take into consideration when you are looking for the right pair of skates that goes beyond looking at the models on the market.
How To Find The Right Hockey Skates For You
There are several considerations to keep in mind when you are shopping for the best hockey skates for you.
You will need to make sure that you have the right sizing, the right foot type, and that you have taken into consideration what your skill level is.
Hockey Skates Sizing
If you were to guess, you might assume that your hockey skates will be the same size as your street shoes. This is not the case, however. Depending on the brand, you can expect that your hockey skates will actually be at least one or two sizes smaller than the shoe size you would normally go for.
Every brand, from Bauer to CCM, has their own skating sizing chart that you will need to follow to make sure to get the right fit possible. If you are ordering online, do not make a wild guess or you are likely to have to return them later. Follow the size charts closely to get the best size possible.
Your Foot Type (Regular, Narrow, Wide)
The width of your foot also affects the fit of your skates. Luckily, hockey skates come in every width imaginable to accommodate the variety of widths. Their width ratings do look different than standard shoes, however. These are the different ratings:
The major brands have different lines to accommodate different widths as well.
For Bauer Skates, The Three Major Lines Are:
- Vapor: Narrow width
- Supreme: Average width
- Nexus: Average to Wide width
For CCM, The Major Lines Are:
- Ribcor: Narrow width
- Jetspeed: Average width
- Tacks: Average to Wide width
You will find that the major brands do offer a variety of widths, but pay attention to the fit as well. Even if they are listed as an average width, some skates will run tighter and narrower than others.
Your Playing Style
The type of hockey player that you are can also impact the type of hockey skates that you should get.
- Aggressive Players: If you are a more aggressive player or are likely to put heavy force on your skates, you will need skates that have a forward pitch at the ankles. This will give you a deeper knee bed.
Forwards should opt for skates in this category. You will need skates that allow you to push with force so you can go forward with speed and power. You will want skates that are lightweight and highly responsive. The skates need to be rigid and have a flat foot plate in order to maximize power.
- Reserved Players: These players can go with skates that have a traditional fit. Defensive positions can usually go with reserved and more traditional fitting skates since they are less likely to chase down a puck like forwards would be.
Top 10 Best Hockey Skates For 2020
1. Bauer Supreme 2S
2. Bauer Vapor X2.7
3. CCM Super Tacks AS1
4. CCM Tacks 9070
5. Bauer Nexus N2700
For Wide Feet
6. CCM JetSpeed FT2
7. Bauer Supreme S27
8. Bauer Vapor X800
9. CCM Ribcor K80
10. Bauer Vapor 1X
What's Your Skill Level
While it might seem like a great skate should work for all levels of skaters, in truth, your experience level does impact the type of skates that you should get. Beginners and experienced players should be looking for different features in their skates in order to find the best ice hockey skates for them.
Hockey Skates For Beginners:
When you are a new player, you can go with a middle of the line skate. There is no reason to go for the most expensive and high performance skates when you are just starting. Top of the line skates are stiffer which will be harder to manoeuvre. Likewise, you need stable boots to support your ankles to prevent injury. Here's how to hockey stop for beginners.
When you are looking for hockey skates for beginners, you should do a squeeze test on the boot of the skate. It should move a little when you squeeze, but not completely collapse inward. If it doesn’t move at all, it is too stiff. It is ideal if you can go to a store and try on skates as well as have a staff member help you size your hockey skates.
Remember that you should not buy used hockey skates under any circumstance for your own comfort and safety.
Hockey Skates For Experienced Players:
Experienced and competitive players will look for skates that are on the higher end of the price spectrum. The types of skates that they will need are skates that are extra stiff. When you hold the skate and squeeze the boot, the skate should not move inward.
This will mean that the skates are as stable as possible, which is exactly what you need for a competitive skate.
You will also need to make sure that you have lightweight skates. Combined with stability, you will have the right type of skates to give you the best speed and precision that you need in order to manoeuvre well around the rink.
High performance skates will also have more of a heel lock to keep your foot where it should be as well as a footbed that will mold to your foot, keeping it in place within the boot.
1. Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Hockey Skates
Best Senior Hockey Skates Overall (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best hockey skates is the Bauer Supreme 2S Pro ice hockey skates. These skates are normally chosen by experienced skaters who need a higher performance skate.
The 2S skates are designed with a 3D Carbon Curv Composite boot. This is made to give you a lightweight performance while keeping your feet cool in the process. The boot is designed to mold to your feet, leaving you with a custom fit that is snug enough to prevent blisters.
Another one of their wonderfully comfortable designs is the tongue, which is made from high-density foam underneath a durable layer of felt. The tongue is actually a 3-piece, 48 ox reflex tongue. These skates also use the Reflex Pro facing and an agile custom lacing system to make getting the boots on and off easier than ever.
The Bauer Supreme 2S Pro skates have many features that help make them the top of the line skates. One of these features is the LockFit+. LockFit+ is a lining that is made from two materials, leaving you with excellent durability and a great level of comfort. The carbon composite outsole of the skate is made for give you increased power and control on the ice.
Additionally, you will find that the 2S Pro has a Bauer Speed Plate 2.0. This footbed offers a lock-fit, which is essential for stability throughout your foot and up into your ankles. You will find that there is a lower risk of injuries because of the stability, but they are still comfortable enough to make you forget that you are wearing hockey boots.
The Supreme 2S Pros also have the Bauer patented Tuuk Lightspeed Edge holder with the Tuuk stainless steel runners. The Edge gives you a slightly taller skate, but also gives you the advantage of changing them out quickly if you needed to.
2. Bauer Vapor X2.7 Ice Hockey Skates
Good quality skates that you can get on a budget are the Bauer Vapor X2.7 senior hockey skates. These are best used for players who are more casual, but still interested in getting the best performance possible on a budget.
The Vapor X2.7 skates are incredibly comfortable. They come with a Comfortflex System that allows for improved overall, but doesn’t sacrifice any comfort to do so. Having better feel from your skates means that you will have more control over the movements and know exactly where your feet are and what they are doing.
The memory foam padding also enhances the comfort level of the boots, making them easy to wear for long periods of time. In fact, it is strategically placed around the ankle area to give you a high level of comfort and support. The boot also has a Form Fit footbed which will increase the support of your foot within the boot, keeping your foot both comfortable and stable.
The best feature that you will get from the Bauer Vapor X2.7 is that they have a one-piece 3D Polycarb quarter package. This means that they are built with a snug fit from the ankle to the heel. It will secure your foot within the boot, ensuring that you will not experience any slipping or blisters. The microfiber liner within the boot will also help to prevent blisters or other injuries like it.
Like other Bauer skates, these come with the Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder system. The best part about this system is the quick trigger release that allows you to swap out your blades quickly, without the use of any tools.
This will keep you from being stuck on a bench while trying to change out a bad pair of blades. There is a Bauer tool included that can help keep your hand safe during the process. The holder also improves the energy transfer from the boot for better striding.
3. CCM Super Tacks AS1 Ice Hockey Skates
For anyone looking for a higher performance skate, the CCM Super Tacks AS1 might be just what you were looking for.
Designed with a black oxide coating, the Super Tacks AS1’s runners are designed to have a long edge life with a low risk of corrosion. It also includes a SpeedBlade 4.0 edge holder with Speed Rib technology. The holder has a unique geometric design that provides enhanced stiffness as well as a maximum energy transfer.
Other design features include brass eyelets and double stitching throughout the boot. The quarter package height has also been raised with these boots in order to give you a natural feeling when you are wearing them. The AS1 also has a MonoFrame 360 one-piece construction with SpeedCore III technology, giving you better lightweight and anatomical energy transfers. This is a full-carbon design that comes with SpeedCore III inner core technology for the ultimate fit.
You will be amazed by all of the features that you can get from the Super Tacks AS1 hockey skates. They include the DuraZone abrasion pads that are built to give you enhanced shin guard abrasion protection as well as the Total-Dri Pro liner, which will give you more durability as well as dry feet.
The OrthoMove Custom Support footbed will give you personalized comfort as the footbed begins to mold around your feet, making the skates feel like they are just for you. The skates will come with both medium and high inserts to also help guide you for the best support level for you. The venting throughout the boot will release any extra moisture into the bottom of the boot, which is then exhausted through the vent.
4. CCM Tacks 9070 Ice Hockey Skates
Best Hockey Skates For Beginners
If you are looking for the best ice hockey skates for beginners, look no further than the CCM Tacks 9070. These are made with the latest technology with all of the features that you would need as a beginning skater.
The Tacks 9070 hockey skate has a SpeedRib technology within its SpeedBlade 4.0 holder. This includes a unique geometric design that is made to reduce torqueing and give you better stride-energy transfers. The quarter package of the skates is made out of a RocketFrame Composite that is specific to CCM. The composite is lightweight as well as a professional-grade material.
The design is also anatomical, including the MetaFrame technology, which is a new molding process that will give you a better fit. With the vented, injected TPU outsole, you will find torsional rigidity and dry comfort as well. The tongue of the boot is a 7mm, center-injected white felt that will help prevent lace bite and give you better positions for the laces to get the tightness that you want. You will find out that your feet are both comfortable and protected.
Even though they are beginning skates, the CCM Tacks 9070 still has all of the features that will want when you are a more advanced skater. This includes the fact that the skates are thermoformable, so you will be able to bake them in order to lessen the amount of time that it takes to break them in.
Another one of the features that you will like is the Smooth Contour collar pads that are on the top of the quarter package. The pads will help reduce high-ankle abrasions, which is essential when you are wearing a stiffer boot. Ultimately, this is a mid-range skate with the qualities that you would expect from an elite-level skate.
5. Bauer Nexus N2900 Ice Hockey Skates
For Wide Feet
Our top choice for the wide hockey skates are the Bauer Nexus N2900. A perfect choice for intermediate to advanced skaters with wide feet, the N2900 is a high-volume skate designed to give you as much power as possible. If you have a wider or larger foot, this is the skate that you have been looking for.
These skates are designed with the stiffness that you would hope to get from professional-grade hockey skates. This means that you will have the most power possible on the ice as long as you know how to use it.
The boot is also designed to be lightweight, making it not only easy to move around, but it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. You will also get the most speed from the skate. The outsole of the skate was designed with a fiber composite that has torsional resistance, giving you the advantage of out-positioning your opponents. Fit-wise, these are made to fit feet that have a broad forefoot, high arch, or a deep heel.
The tongue of the N2900 is made up of a 48oz, 2-piece black felt piece with an upgraded lace bite guard. The tongue itself is made out of a high-density foam and polyethylene. The metatarsal insert will also enhance your overall protection on the ice, keeping you skating as long as possible without injury. The memory foam ankle pads add in an extra element of comfort and protection as well.
These also come with the BauerTuuk LS1 stainless steel runner, which is polished for better performance while situating you higher up on the ice. The Tuuk holder comes with a quick-release system that lets you remove the blades quickly and without a struggle. The boot itself is thermoformable, so it can be customized to fit your foot after you bake it.
6. CCM Jetspeed FT2 Ice Hockey Skates
Perfect high performance hockey skates that you can get are the CCM Jetspeed FT2 skates. These skates are ideal for players who are skating nearly every day and really need high-end skates.
Looking at the design of the Jetspeed FT2 skates, you will find that they have a tapered fit that makes them comfortable for the average-sized foot. They have a narrow forefoot and the heel is considered anatomical. As a result, they do have a snug fit and should feel like an extension of your foot rather than something separate.
The skates also have a Metatomic tongue that. The tongue has a molded lace-bite protection feature. The tongue is lightweight, and it has an asymmetrical flex point that will give you a closer fitting wrap around your foot.
Even though it is lightweight, it still supplies a high level of support as well as protection. The top of the boot has a comfort pad as well that will also give you better comfort as well as protection.
The Jetspeed FT2 skates have excellent features, including the Liteframe 360 Evo quarter package. The Liteframe 360 Evo technology is a one-piece frame that keeps the high transfer zones free from anything that might interfere with the natural extension of your foot.
This means that there is no stitching, outsole, or even glue in the high traction areas, allowing your skate to really feel like just an extension of your foot rather than something add-on.
The Jetspeed FT2 skates also have the Speedblade XS1 technology. The Speedblade XS holder has a quick blade release system, so you should not be held up too much when you have to change out your blades.
The Speedblade XS1 runners are an oxide-treated blade that makes them black in appearance. The coating increases the lifespan of the blades by making them more resistant to wear and tear. The oxide will eventually wear off, however.
7. Bauer Supreme S27 Ice Hockey Skates
Another pair of skates that you can take a look at are the Bauer Supreme S27. The S27 skates feature all of the things that you might already love about Bauer with some slight differences.
The Supreme S27s are designed with thick memory foam pads within the boot. The large heel is designed to lock in the skater’s foot to keep the foot from slipping. This will not only prevent blisters but also make sure that there is no energy lost within the boot. The footbed is made from Form-Fit EVA, which is a mid-density foam to give you the best comfort possible.
The skate is also designed to be lightweight and is actually lighter than any other mid-level Bauer skate. The fit is a medium volume, so if you are a skater of average height with average width feet, you should do well with these skates. They really are designed for players who are just working out who they are on the ice and mastering some techniques, but more advanced skaters might find them slightly lacking in stability.
The features of the Supreme S27s are amazing. You can expect elite-level features, including a TPU outsole to give you enhanced torsional stability. The skate boot also has a hydrophobic microfiber lining with memory foam ankle padding to give you the driest level of comfort that you will need. There is also a flexible tendon guard which will allow for a better stride extension, giving you longer, more powerful strides.
The durability of this skate is also incredible high, with the skate boasting a moderate stiffness, making it a good choice for skaters who are just working out how they would like to skate, but who also need some torsional stability in their skating. These skates also can be baked in order to give you a faster break in time.
8. Bauer Vapor X800 Ice Hockey Skates
The final pair of really good skates you can get are the Bauer Vapor X800 ice hockey skates. These are elite skates for skaters who are just getting the skills needed to be truly competitive on the ice.
The Vapor X800 is designed with a Pro TPU outsole with a center indentation that allows for stiffness as well as energy transfer throughout the boot. The skate is designed to be lightweight, including the Vapor X-rib rear design. The X-rib gives you more support and stability while increasing the overall rigidity of the quarter package.
The design on the liner is a little more abrasive than other skates. The Lock-Fit dual-zone grip is designed to lock down on the skater’s foot, but it also has a soft underside that will make sure that your feet are still comfortable. Under the liner, you will find dual density soft ankle foams that will mold to your feet for a custom fit.
There are a lot of wonderful features with the Vapor X800 skates. They do come with Bauer’s Tuuk LightSpeed Edge holder, which means that you will have a quick blade replacement when you want one. The Flex-lock tongue of the skate is injected in the center, giving you both comfort and protection.
The Curve Composite quarter material of the boots will mold to your feet naturally over time, giving you a custom fit. You can also bake these skates if you would like to speed up the time that it takes to break them in. The Vapor X800 is a low-volume skate, meaning it is a good choice if you have a narrow forefoot or a shallow heel. If you have wider or larger feet, these are not the right hockey skates for you.
9. CCM Ribcor 80K Ice Hockey Skates
The CCM Ribcor 80K are without a doubt one of the best pairs of hockey skates on the market right now. They are ideal for players who are experienced and need an elite pair of skates.
The Ribcor 80K uses an Orthomove footbed, which provides a more comfortable fit. There is also a rigid base that ensures you are still getting the most power possible from your movements, without losing out on any of the comfort that you get from the footbed.
The midsole of these boots have been enhanced to give you better energy transfer. The extra stiff carbon composite outsole has an exhaust system as well, so your feet are going to stay as dry as possible within the boots. Combine that with the Tritech Pro tongue, which is a 7mm felt, black tongue, and you will find that these skates keep you both comfortable and protected.
One of the best features that you will get from the CCM Ribcor 80K skates is the 3D lasted composite quarter package that has Flexframe technology. While CCM skates often have the 3D composite quarter package that supplies stability at a lighter weight, the Flexframe technology is more unique.
This feature was developed using biomechanics research from NHL players to give you forward flexion. What does this mean? You get more power with every stride, but you don’t have to expend any excess energy to achieve it.
The features also included an ADPT memory foam ankle pad. This wraps around your foot with an anatomical fit so you get a customized fit. The collar of the boot uses a Smooth Contour Pro comfort pad as well. As a result, your feet should be incredibly comfortable.
Finally, the skates have the Speedblade XS system, including the quick release blade holder and the black-oxide-coated blades. The blades are coated in order to increase their lifespan as well as 12% more height than the average blade.
10. Bauer Vapor 1X Ice Hockey Skates
If you are looking for a skate that is technologically advanced while still having that pro-level greatness, the Bauer Vapor 1X might be just what you are looking for. The 1X is ideal for those skaters who are demanding the best features and design possible.
The Vapor 1X skates are designed to be the top of the line quality that you can expect from Bauer. They are built with a carbon composite vented outsole, which will help moisture have a path of escape instead of pooling in the bottom of your boots. They have a lace eyelet system that will ensure that you have locked-in stability. The top of the boot also has a comfort edge wrap to make sure that you do not get any blisters.
The tongue of the boot was designed with a 3-piece FlexLock Pro model, which will give you class-leading thickness and comfort. With a thermoformable composite material down the tongue’s center, you will be surprised by how comfortable these skates truly are.
These skates have a lot of wonderful features to offer. To begin with, the Vapor 1X has Bauer’s very stiff and lightweight 3D Lasted Curve Composite material. The composite is made to be thermoformable, so you will be able to bake these skates in order to get the best fit possible.
The Curv Composite also includes the ankle support, which is exclusive to the Vapor 1X model. The ankle support means a lighter and stiffer response.
The footbed on the Vapor 1X is an Anaform Speed Plate with Ortho-resin technology. The speed plate is also thermoformable, meaning you really will be able to customize this entire boot to fit your foot perfectly. The asymmetric quarter dimensions of the boot will also give you anatomical power generation, making sure that you do not waste any energy as you speed up and push forward.
Ice Hockey Skates Construction
There are three primary parts in a hockey skate’s construction: the boot, the holders, and the runners.
- Boot: This is the part of the skate that you put your foot into and that you will lace up. The boot is usually high or low and can come in several stiffness types to match your playing style. It is important that your boot fit your foot well in order for you to perform well on the ice.
- Holders: The holder is the portion of material below the boot of your skate. This is the connector between the boot and the blade. The holder is normally made of plastic or composite material. Different brands have different heights in runners which can alter how you skate.
- Runners: The runners on your skates are also referred to as the blades of your skates. This is the stainless steel end on your skate and the part that touches the ice. You will need to get your runners sharpened from time to time in order to keep them sharp so you can skate well.
What Makes Up A Hockey Skate Boot
A hockey skate boot is made up of several different parts.
- Quarter Package: This runs from the front of the toe, along your midfoot, and up the ankle. It is a rigid area that can often be baked.
- Footbed: This is the part that your foot sits on, referred to as an insole when you are talking about street shoes.
- Heel Support: Heel support is the back of your foot, where it locks into place. Your heel should not be able to slip around if it is well supported.
- Liner: The liner is the inside of your boot. It is usually made up of a water wicking material or leather. It meant for moisture management.
- Ankle Padding: The padding around the ankles is often a type of foam. This acts to keep your ankles in place, but also gives you an added layer of protection.
- Outsole: The outsole of the boot is the part of the boot that touches the holder. It is usually made of leather and is durable.
- Tongue: The tongue of the boot is the same as any of your shoes. It is usually made of dense felt to give you protection.
Can The Steel (Blade) Be Replaced On Your Skates?
The steel blades on your hockey skates can absolutely be replaced. The runners on your skates should be kept rust free, burr free, smooth, and sharp in order to get the best performance you can. After they have been sharpened several times, the steel will wear down, making new blades necessary.
You will be able to feel when your runners are wearing down because skating will feel wobbly and you will not have the ability to turn as sharply as you might have been able to in the past. You can get new runners from a local hockey shop or online.
How Stiff Should Your Skates Be?
The stiffness of your skates should depend entirely on your level of skating and the type of skating that you will be doing. If a skate is too soft, there will be no stability which will set you up for injury, such as a sprained ankle, on the ice.
More advanced players will opt for stiff boots that do not offer much in the way of flexibility around your ankle.
If you get thermoformable skates, you will find that they feel incredibly soft when they are heated up, but once they cool down they will once again regain their stiff appearance. Heating your skates will not improve the overall stiffness of your skates.
How Much Should You Invest In Your Hockey Skates
The investment that you are willing to make on your hockey skates is an entirely personal decision. While the higher-end and more expensive skates are more likely to have all of the features that you might want from your skates, they might also not be the right skates for you.
If you are not an elite player, you do not need to be spending a huge sum of money on your skates. There are plenty of great skates that have a lower price.
That being said, getting the least expensive skates possible is also a mistake. You need to think about your comfort and protection and many of the inexpensive skates will not be able to provide that.
How To Fit Your Hockey Skates
It is so important to make sure that your hockey skates fit you well. Here are some of the tests that you can do to test the fit.
The Pencil Test:
With your skates on and untied, pull out the tongue and place a pencil on top of the eyelets, three outlets down or so. The pencil needs to be able to lay flat and still if the boot is deep enough. If the pencil is touching your foot, you need a deeper boot.
The Finger Test:
With the skates on, laced up, and tightened, bend your knees and lean forward. If you reach back, you should be able to see how much space there is between your heel and the boot of the skate. If you can put more than one finger in the gap, it is too loose on your heel.
The Squeeze Test:
You should also test the stiffness of your skates to make sure that you have the right fit. Holding your skate below the tendon guard, try to squeeze the sides inward. If it folds, they are not stable enough to wear. If they give a little, they are a good choice for newer players. If you can’t squeeze them at all, they would work for advanced or heavier players.
The Toe Brush Test:
Another way that you can test the fit of your skates is to see where your toes are at within the skates. With your skates on and laced up, stand up straight in your skates. Your toes should brush the toe cap inside. Then you should get into the athletic stance and your toes should pull back away from the cap.
Breaking Into Your New Skates
While it would be amazing if your skates fit you well right out of the box, the truth is that you should expect to give yourself some time to break in your skates. The stiffer that the boot is when you buy it, the longer it will take to break in naturally.
You should make sure that you have skates that fit well first as well. Ideally, you should try on several different types before settling on one. Then you will have a better break in time than if you bought the wrong ones.
Another factor to consider is that higher end skates often can be baked, which is where they will be gently heated to the point that they are moldable around your feet. This will reduce your break in time dramatically. Baking, if your skates allow it, can be done with a hockey professional or at home, as long as you do it correctly.
Sharpening Your Hockey Skates
The blades of your hockey skates are the same as the blades of a knife. They have two edges. The blades need to be sharpened once in aware to help smooth out the blade to give you more control on the ice. This can be done because of burrs or pockmarks, rust, or even a previous sharpening that was not done correctly.
Ideally, you should have your skates sharpened by a professional at a skate shop to make sure that it is done well and correctly and to the needs of you as a skater. You should have your skates sharpened about every 15 to 20 hours spent on the ice, depending on how hard you push them on the ice.
Do Not Buy Used Hockey Skates
Buying used goods in general can be a great way to save money, but it is not what you should do with hockey skates. Hockey skates, like shoes, will mold to your feet over time. The more that you wear your skates, the more customized the fit will become. And you will know exactly how many hours that you have put into your skates and any damage that might have happened to them.
Wearing a pair of skates with an unknown origin is putting you at risk of injury. The boots will naturally break down over time, making them less reliable and stable. Likewise, used boots will have been broken in by someone else’s feet.
No two people have the same feet so having boots that fit someone else, will never fit yours well. The skates could have also been damaged at some point, which means they could fail you when put under pressure. Bottom line: do not buy used hockey skates. The same goes for hockey helmets. Always try to get the best hockey helmet that you can get your hands on.
When it comes to buying a new pair of hockey skates, you will need to take several factors into consideration, including how often you play, what your skill level is, and even the type of feet that you have.
Even if you have friends who prefer one type of hockey skate, there is a good possibility that it will not be the right hockey skate for you.
The best hockey skates on the market are the Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Ice Hockey Skates. These skates are comfortable and sturdy, made by one of the most well known manufacturers in the business. If you have wider feet, however, you might have a better time with CCM Tacks AS1, which are a better choice for wide feet.
Regardless, make sure you review the hockey skates thoroughly and even try on more than one type before committing to one. Then, you will be able to find the perfect hockey skates for you.