It should not be a major chore to buy hockey skates for the first time, but if you are looking for the best junior hockey skates, it is easy to be overwhelmed.
With growing feet, you will wonder how long the skates will last before they grow out of them.
You will also need to make sure that you are following the size guides and taking your child’s comfort into consideration.
This also means that you need to be sure that the skates have been designed with either your or your kid’s comfort in mind. Let’s take a look at what really makes the best youth hockey skates and junior hockey skates “the best.”
Junior Skates Sizing
You cannot simply go out and pick up a pair of junior hockey skates and call it good. You first need to discover what junior skates actually are. Junior skates are intended for children ages 7 to 13 or shoe sizes 2 to 6.5. They cover the elementary school ages.
One method of determining the size of skates you need is the circle method. This is where you would have your child stand on a sheet of paper barefoot and trace around his or her foot.
Then you can use a ruler and measure the dimensions of the foot and compare it to the size chart provided by the manufacturer. The dimensions you are looking for are the length and the width of the toe box. If your kid has large feet, here are recommended skates for wide and flat feet.
Pay attention to whether they use inches or centimeters as well. Typically, hockey skates are one to two sizes down from a standard youth size of street shoes.
Youth Hockey Skates Sizing
When you are shopping for hockey skates in youth sizes, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. It is tempting to buy clothing and shoes overlarge to give the child a chance to grow into before replacing.
Youth hockey skates are sized to fit toddlers and children in the age range of 8 years old and younger with a youth shoe size of 1.5 or smaller.
In hockey, you really should not do that. Some wiggle room is allowed for the toes, but the foot needs to stay put. At most, you can buy your child skates a half-size bigger than his or her foot.
Best Junior Hockey Skates & Youth Hockey Skates (2021)
1. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro
Editor's Choice (Junior)
2. Bauer Supreme 2S
High Performance (Junior)
3. Bauer Supreme S29
Budget Friendly (Junior)
4. CCM Tacks 9080
5. Bauer Vapor X800
6. CCM JetSpeed FT2
Editor's Choice (Youth)
7. Bauer Vapor X2.7
Budget Friendly (Youth)
8. Bauer Supreme 3S Pro
9. CCM Super Tacks AS3
10. Bauer NS Skates
1. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro Ice Hockey Skates
Best Junior Hockey Skates (Editor's Choice)
If you are looking for the best junior ice hockey skates for your child, we recommend the Bauer Vapor 2X. These are high quality hockey skates that can help young skaters build all of the techniques that they need to advance in the sport.
The Bauer Vapor 2X junior skates are pretty modern looking and should be suitable for young players. They come in black and red, so they should look really nice on the ice.
Also included in the design is memory foam padding that will improve the comfort level as well as the feel of the skates, so they will be comfortable, regardless of skating ability. The Lock-Fit Pro liner within the skate’s boot has a lot of grip as well as good moisture wicking properties.
One of the best features that you will find with the Vapor 2X is the classic Bauer Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder as well as the Tuuk LS5 runner. The edge holder locks in the blade for security, but also has a quick release to change them out. The blades themselves have a long edge life and will help with performance on the ice.
The 30 ounce tongue that comes with the skates will protect your child’s feet from lace bite as well as injury to the top of his or her foot.
2. Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Junior Hockey Skates
If you are looking for a higher performance junior hockey skate, the Bauer Supreme 2S Pro is the best pair of skates that you can get.
The Supreme 2S Pro skates have a sleek design that looks more adult and less childlike. They are specifically designed with comfort in mind. The design also includes the durable 3D lasted carbon Curv composite with Total Edge Comfort Padding. The composite material is what makes the skates lightweight, but the padding is what makes it so easy to wear these skates for long periods of time.
The footbed of the skates use a lock-fit liner, which will pull moisture away from your feet, keeping them as dry as possible.
You will be amazed by all of the features of the Supreme 2S Pro, including the 3-piece, 52oz felt Reflex Pro tongue. This is an incredibly comfortable tongue that will make it easy to have the skates laced for long periods of time without any discomfort.
You will also find that the back end of the 2S Pro has a tendon guard with C-Flex technology, giving you the best protection possible from every angle. These boots are thermoformable as well, so you can bake them for an even more customized fit.
3. Bauer Supreme S29 Junior Hockey Skates
Our pick for budget friendly junior skates is the Bauer Supreme S29. These are some of the most comfortable skates that Bauer makes.
With their sleek design, the Supreme S29s have a low-cut design, which also includes the 3D composite injected quarter package. The composite guarantees stiffness, but also means that the boots will be as lightweight as possible. The outsole of the boot is also a composite material, mixed with a full-fiber boot.
The design itself takes into account torsional stiffness, which is where the boot and the outsole twist while you are out there skating. Combined with a sturdy boot, these skates should last until your son or daughter grows out of them.
These budget friendly boots have a lot of great features to offer, including the Form-Fit+ thermoformable technology, which means that the skates can be baked in order to reduce the amount of time that it takes to break them in.
Another feature is the hydrophobic lining, which means that moisture cannot pool in the bottom of the skates, keeping the feet as dry as possible. The boots also has memory foam along the ankle pads to give you that much for injury prevention and comfort.
4. CCM Tacks 9080 Ice Hockey Skates
Another pair of good junior hockey skates is the CCM Tacks 9080. CCM is one of the best hockey gear manufacturer on the market, meaning these skates have been thoroughly tested to make sure that they are perfect for your child’s hockey game.
These are a pair of wonderfully high performing skates, including the SpeedRib technology. This design is unique to CCM and includes triangular shapes that help you move, but also provide you with stiffness and stability. This means that you are going to have a lot of power going onto the ice.
The Tacks 9080 skates are designed with comfort in mind. This is evident from the contour pads and the anatomical response footbed, both of which help keep your feet comfortable. The tongue on the boot is a 10mm double-stitched felt tongue, giving you the best protection possible for hits to the foot or even lace bite.
One of the best features of the Tack 9080 skates is that they are thermoformable, so they can be baked in order to give even the smallest feet a chance to have a custom fit and a shorter break-in time.
Some of the other features include the Total-Dri dual-zone liner which is made to keep your feet as dry as possible throughout the game. There is also an anatomical response footbed, in order to give your feet the most customized feeling that they can get.
5. Bauer Vapor X800 Ice Hockey Skates
The final pair of skate that we will be reviewing are the Bauer Vaper X800. The Vapor X800 is an elite line of skates, giving you the best quality and performance that you could expect.
The design of the Vapor X800 includes an X-Rib design that is exclusive to the Vapor line. The X-Rib means that you will have the ability to move your ankles in the skates the way you need to while still giving you the level of stiffness that you would want to have for performance.
The tongue on the X800 is a three-piece Flex-lock, 48 ounce white felt design, allowing for a more anatomical fit over the foot.
The features on the Vapor X800 include the 3D Curv Composite quarter package, which manages to be both stiff enough for excellent performance while keeping the skates as light as possible. The X800 also includes the Bauer Tuuk LightSpeed Edge holder that has the innovative trigger release that many hockey players have come to love.
The liner of the boot is a Lock-Fit dual-zone grip liner which is specifically made to keep players’ feet in place. This can be uncomfortable for some players, however, since it restricts the feet’s movements within the boots.
6. CCM Jetspeed FT2 Youth Hockey Skates
Best Youth Hockey Skates (Editor's Choice)
For the best youth hockey skates, look no further than the CCM Jetspeed FT2 skates. These skates are made with an incredible amount of technology for youth skates and are really great for emerging young skaters.
To begin with, the design of these skates includes the CCM OrthoMove footbed, which is in place to provide both support and comfort. The OrthoMove footbed will lock your child’s feet within the boot, so the feet will not be able to move around and cause blisters.
Additionally, these skates have a narrow forefoot and are made to feel like an extension of the foot. This might be too tight for some of the larger players. A snug fit is good, but it should not hurt.
These skates really do have a lot of great features to offer, including the CCM Speedblade system. They have a Speedblade XS1 holder, which is designed to allow the blades to be changed out quickly. The Speedblade runner is slightly taller than the average runner, but will help new skaters manoeuvre better out on the ice.
The boots themselves are lightweight and easy to wear, because they have the Lifeframe 360 Evo. The skates are therefore sturdy and will not disappoint you. They also have the Metatomic tongue, which is in place to help prevent lace bite as well as other potential injuries to the top of the foot.
7. Bauer Vapor X2.7 Youth Hockey Skates
It is understandable if the cost of youth hockey skates is giving you sticker shock. If that is the case, have no fear, there are many great skates that are within smaller budgets. For less costly skates, we suggest the Bauer Vapor X2.7.
The important design piece that you need to remember with the Bauer Vapor X2.7 is that they are made for beginner skaters. They will not be as satisfactory for skaters who have been skating for a long time and do it often.
For this reason, these skates are not as stiff as the other ones that we have looked at all. Beginning skaters need more flexibility in the boot to perfect technique before moving onto stiff boots.
The Bauer Vapor X2.7 skates do come with the standard Tuuk Lightspeed Pro system, so it will be easy to change out the blades when needed. The process uses a trigger system. Additionally, the skates have the Tuuk blades which help with agility on the ice while having a good amount of durability.
They also come with a microfiber liner for comfort as well as memory foam padding. Together, they help to make the skates incredibly comfortable to wear. It is important to have younger skaters be comfortable in their skates to not frustrate them.
8. Bauer Supreme 3S Pro Youth Hockey Skates
If you are looking for high performance youth skates, our recommendation is the Bauer Supreme 3S Pro. These are high quality skates that really work for serious skaters who have been playing for a while.
Starting with the design of the Supreme 3S Pro, you will find that they use an increased forward flex. The skates themselves will provide a high level of comfort, which is further improved by the 32 ounce Pro Felt tongue.
These skates come with a power cut, which is there to increase the wrap for optimal foot stability. That will increase stride efficiency and reduce the typical fatigue from skating. The footbed is a Lock Fit, which will help keep your child’s foot in place.
The Supreme 3S skates come with Power Profile features that will help your child maintain speed and a powerful stride. The Power Profile is a 4-zoned radii, which is also called a quad profile, helping with four different movements on the blades. The skates also come with a Die Cut EVA footbed, designed to provide your child with the best level of comfort possible.
The skate blade holder is a LightspeedPro II. The skates use the Bauer Tuuk LS1 premium grade steel for the blade, which has a mirror finish to enhance your child’s glide while adding some extra height for better agility on the ice.
9. CCM Super Tacks AS3 Hockey Skates
Another great choice of hockey skates for youth skaters are the CCM Super Tacks AS3 skates. They are ideal for skaters who are still working on their skills and have not quite mastered them yet.
These skates are designed with a molded kid sizing zone. That way, you will be able to get the best fit, even for the smallest feet. Youth players will get support, comfort, and a fit that should work with their feet.
The skaters are also designed with a solid core that should help with skating performance. The stiffness performance index is 125, which is good for younger skaters.
The AS3 skates have a 7mm felt tongue that has been embossed with lace-bite protection. As a result, there is a high level of comfort and protection for the youngest hockey players out there. The brushed microfiber liner has Durazone abrasion protection as well, which will help with protection against wear and rubbing, preventing any kind of blisters.
The skates also have the CCM black speedblade, which is a non-replacement black steel blade with an elevated holder for an increased attack angle. This is a good way for young skaters to develop their skills out on the ice. The skates also use a concave reinforced injection which will help skaters with their energy transfer. They have been injected with synthetic composite.
10. Bauer NS Hockey Skates
If you are looking more for the best hockey skates for beginning youth skaters, check out the Bauer NS youth skates.
These are great for new skaters who have little to no experience on the ice, but they are not great for gameplay. They are much better for recreational use, so you might need to upgrade your child as his/her skills progress.
Starting with their design the Bauer NS skates use an EVA foam footbed in the boot, increasing the overall comfort of the skates. This will make it easy to wear for long periods of time, which is especially nice for young skaters who are just getting used to them.
The skates have a 30 ounce felt tongue, which is both flexible and comfortable. This will make it easy to bend without having the youngest skaters suffer from lace-bite.
The Bauer NS skates have a stainless steel runner that will not rust. The runner has been secured by the TuukLightspeed Pro II holder, which will help with movement along the ice. This is great for developing and experienced skaters alike. The skates also use a microfiber liner, which will help to keep feet nice and dry within the boot of the skates.
The skates also use an injected composite weave quarter package, which provides stability and support within the boot.
What To Look For In Junior Hockey Skates & Youth Hockey Skates
When you are looking for a pair of junior skates, make sure you know what you need to look at. Three important features include:
The boot of the hockey skate is the “shoe” portion of the skate. This is where the feet go in order to wear your skates. Ideally, there should be an anatomical or agronomical insole on the bottom of the skates.
This will give the skater an extra ounce of comfort and protection, something that all little people playing hockey in your life really would like. The boot should also have some kind of water wicking device installed in it. Normally, hockey skate boots are cut low. This is to give you the most power on the ice.
Another important feature is the blades on the skates. The blades are the piece of the skate that is supposed to the touch the ice for you. There are different types of blades, however. All blades do need to be sharpened once in a while.
Having the ability to replace a blade is also important since the blades could need to be replaced more often than the boots need to be replaced, especially if they have been damaged or have rusted. Some blades do not have a holder that will allow them to be swapped out, so pay attention before you buy.
The stiffness rating on skates range from soft and pliable to stiff and rigid. The stiffest boots are usually reserved for more advanced and elite skaters, where beginning skaters should stick with boots that are a little bit softer.
In junior skates, you typically would avoid the hardest boots because they will be uncomfortable for children to wear. They should also avoid too soft of boots to make sure they still have the stability that they need to be safe on the ice. You can test the stiffness by squeezing the back of the boot. If they collapse inward they are too soft and if you can’t move them at all, they are too stiff.
When you are looking for skates for the youngest skater in your life, you will naturally only want the very best. This is why we are recommending the Bauer Vapor 2X as the best junior hockey skates and the CCM Jetspeed FT2 as the best youth hockey skates.
Both of these skates are made for high performance and while they might both be a little bit stiff in the boot, it won’t take your child long to get the hang of it and use that stiffness to increase his or her overall performance.
If you are looking more for skates that are within your budget, you can look at other quality skates, like the Bauer Vapor X2.7s, which will do their job well and keep your child safe.
The Bauer Vapor 2X and CCM Jetspeed FT2 are still the best, however. At the end of the day, you will need to make sure your child is comfortable and safe so that they can really enjoy themselves whilst on the ice and excel in their sport.