Table of Contents
- The structure of an ice hockey skate
- Best Ice Hockey Skates
- American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate
- Bauer Senior Vapor X300 Skate
- American Athletic Shoe Senior Cougar Soft Boot Hockey Skates
- American Athletic Shoe Boy’s Ice Force Hockey Skates
- Jackson Ultima Softec Sport ST6102 Black Mens Ice Skates, Adult 6
- Tour Hockey XLT50-05 TR-700 Ice Hockey Skate
Together with other high-adrenaline winter sports, ice hockey comes with a high risk of injury. Well, every sport has its own risk, only that some will put you at a greater risk of injury and ice hockey is one of them. Having said this, the right gear will not only minimize this risk but also enhance your ability and bring out your potential.
You need several types of gear when out in the rink but today we talk about the all-important ice hockey skates.
||American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate||4.1|
||Bauer Senior Vapor X300 Skate||4.8|
||American Athletic Shoe Senior Cougar Soft Boot Hockey Skates||4.4|
||American Athletic Shoe Boy’s Ice Force Hockey Skates||4.3|
||Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sports Men’s Figure Ice Skates||4.5|
||Tour Hockey Adult TR-700 Ice Hockey Skates||4.0|
The structure of an ice hockey skate
To start us off, let’s first get familiar with the fundamentals of an ice hockey skate. By knowing about the construction of a hockey skate, one will have been empowered to make the right selection during purchase.
While there is bound to be variation in design features, material construction, and the outlook of these skates, all manufacturers use the basic three-part model in designing their skates. These include:
The runner, also known as the blade, is the bottom part of the skates that keeps you in motion on ice. It is made of metal and first needs sharpening or grinding for excellent performance before hitting the ice. While short runners will give you a great experience maneuvering turns and corners while on the ice, longer ones offer you stability. On the other hand, a bigger skate hollow (the inward curving of a skate when viewed from the front) gives it a better grip on ice while a smaller hollow enhances speed. It all depends on the preferences of the user.
This is the part that connects the boot to the runner. They are commonly made of tough lightweight material like fiberglass. Some beginner skates have the holder and the runner as one piece. This, however, may not be suitable for the competitive ice skater.
This is the most important part of the skate as designing the other parts depends on it. It is also the part, like shoes, that comes into direct contact with your feet and therefore has the all-important role of covering and protecting them. Boots come in different sizes to fit different feet sizes and are typically made of ballistic nylon, synthetic leather, or molded plastic. It is advisable to invest in quality long-lasting boots since you can always replace the holder and runner and still continue using your boots. The boot is made up of several parts.
- Quarter package. The shell, which really is the main part of the boot. It holds everything else together.
- Ankle Padding. The foam inserted on the ankle part to cushion the ankle bone from impact while giving it support.
- Heel Support. More like a pocket on the quarter package positioned where the heel of the foot is, whose function is to keep the heel firmly in place.
- Tongue. Literally the shape of a tongue, this part usually under the laces of the boots, that covers the top part of your foot.
- Outsole. The bottom outer part of the boot attached to the holder.
- Footbed. Also known as the insole is the underside of the boot from the inside. This part is usually padded to keep your feet warm and comfortable and is removable in most boots for easy cleaning.
- Liner. Boot liners cover the inside part of the boot to protect your feet. It should have the ability to wick sweat away and keep your feet dry.
Now that we are well familiar with the structure of an ice hockey skate, consider the following factors when you finally decide to get a pair for yourself.
Your foot type
The length and width of your feet are important factors in determining your foot type. Based on these two, your feet can either be narrow, regular, wide or extra wide. Also check that you find boots which will fit snugly around your ankles, toes, and heels.
Skates can either be for recreational or competitive purposes. Recreational skates are designed with high-performance features. Competitive hockey skates on the other hand competitive skates will go with your level of skill. This should either be beginner, intermediate, or professional level.
The right fit
To get the right fit, you need to be physically present at the store to try them on. Much better if you will go with your sports socks because you ought to factor these too. It is recommended that you get a size or two smaller than your normal shoe size so that when they pack out with time, they will fit you snugly. Finally, make sure that you get your skate blades sharpened and your boots heat molded so that you leave the shop all set for your skating.
Whatever your choice, make sure that the hockey skates you select have a reinforcement at the toe area and a comfortable ankle padding. In addition, check that all other parts of the boot are engineered to give you the utmost protection. Ice skating is a seriously aggressive sport, therefore, there should be no compromise when it comes to protecting your feet.
The appropriate stiffness
First, depending on your level of experience, you need to know the right boot stiffness. Boots have different stiffness levels from flexible, moderate to stiff boots with the stiffest boots being most suitable for advanced or pro skating level. Stiff boots will offer a great ankle and heel support to help you manage tight turns safely and with much ease. Flexible boots, on the other hand, offer better mobility.
Replaceable or irreplaceable blade
Find out if and how to replace the blade. Some skates come without a replaceable blade and should not be your choice if you intend to use them frequently. As we had mentioned earlier, maintaining your boots well will keep them longer than their blades so you may have to replace the blades from time to time to keep their performance at its best.
Best Ice Hockey Skates
Here, we have reviewed 6 of the best ice hockey skates in the pace. They are well constructed with quality materials and engineered to take in regular use without wearing out. They come with some impressive features that you would want to look at.
1. American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate
American Ice Force 2.0 ice hockey skates are skillfully designed with beginner and intermediate ice skaters in mind. These lightweight skates come with a customizable PVC injection mold that fits you just the way you like it, right out of the box without having to wait for it to pack out. They are engineered to offer superior reinforcement and support for your ankles, ultimately delivering the much-desired feet comfort in addition to incredible agility.
If you are looking for a pair that will enable you to bend your knees with ease and enhance your flexibility, this is it. The Force 2.0 skates are also pretty breathable and moisture wicking thanks to its breathable liner which has been lined with a comfortable padding. No sweat, no wetness, and no tension in whatever condition.
This pair features skate blades made of carbon steel and a tough nylon holder making them ideal for high-speed aggressive sporting. This construction is also a sure guarantee for durability in case you are looking for something that will last. It comes with ergonomic copper rivets that will offer excellent heel support and a nylon toe box to keep your toes safe inside the boots. Unlike other hockey skates, the Force 2.0 measures same as your normal shoe size so getting the right fit should not be a problem.
2. Bauer Senior Vapor X300 Skate
The high-quality synthetic construction in Bauer Senior Vapor X300 is what places it in the front pedestal as one of the best ice hockey skates and a long-lasting pair too. Beyond this, this model boasts of a sublimated tech nylon quarter package with a creatively formed X-rib pattern and a stiff flex ideal for the pro level and has been designed to enhance the user’s agility while offering remarkable anatomical heel and ankle support. If you are out for speed, tight turn maneuvers, and quick crossovers, this pair will serve you right.
Its comfort features include a brushed nylon lining with closed-cell foam padding and a white felt 1-piece tongue. On the exterior, the injected TPR outsole is not only high quality but also well compatible with the TUUK Lightspeed Pro holders used to hold the stainless steel runners to the boots. Weighing just 764 gm, this is definitely a well-designed pair in Bauer’s Vapor series.
3. American Athletic Shoe Cougar Soft Boot Hockey Skates
The Cougar Soft Boot Hockey Skates make a good option for the advanced recreational users. These ice hockey skates are designed to offer incredible warmth and comfort thanks to the thick foam padding construction on the inside and its lightweight. In addition, these pair stands out for its amazing multilayer ankle support and unmatched footbed comfort, and this latter feature matters a lot only that it is often overlooked. They also feature the quick-pull speed lacing system with a velcro closure at the collar of the boots to deliver a snug custom fit.
With durable holders and steel blades, the stability and sturdiness offered by the Cougar Soft Boot cannot be overlooked. Finally, get boots same as your normal shoe size without worrying about getting a size higher or lower.
4. American Athletic Shoe Boy’s Ice Force Hockey Skates
The entry-level Boy’s Ice Force model boasts of a sweat proof Cambrelle moisture-wicking lining that offers superior comfort and dryness for beginner skaters. Like other skates by American Athletic, this pair comes with a multi-layered quarter package and a toe-box that is resistant to cuts to offer maximum ankle support and protection for the toes. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor skating, get this pair for your energetic boy and set them up for some great ice hockey skates training.
The boots are not molded. Rather, they are designed to pack out really fast to offer a snug fit. For this reason, you will need to refer to the given size chart to get the right fit. On the other hand, however, the tough nylon holder and carbon steel blade are two performance and durability features that will give your training a big boost.
5. Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sports Men’s Figure Ice Skates
At a glance, these ice hockey skates speak of style, performance and perhaps a reinvention of the traditional hockey skates. They are designed for the recreational skater. Going into detail, they feature a well constructed lightweight structure that most current skate-manufacturers are adapting as this enhances performance while still maintaining comfort. This pair is designed with a durable nylon quarter package that offers incredible feet support. The 3M Thinsulate liner along with the foam padded tongue do their best to keep your entire feet warm, dry and comfortable thanks to their great moisture wicking property.
ST6102 Softec outsoles are made of a premium synthetic material that is light hence reducing the overall weight of the skates. These are connected to the stainless steel blades with a tough nylon holder to guarantee you several years of useful service. The blades come sharpened at the factory. It is, however, important to note that for most of Jackson Ultima boots, get at least a 1.5 size smaller if you intend to get the right snug fit.
6. Tour Hockey Adult TR-700 Ice Hockey Skates
Tour Hockey Adult TR- 700 Ice Hockey Skates is agreeably one of the best ice hockey skates in the industry and for all the good reasons. They feature reinforced quarter panels that offer both unyielding ankle support to enhance your speed on the skating rink as well as durability. For warmth and comfort, this pair has been engineered with the fast-dry brushed Tricot lining and EVA foam padding.
The TR-700 skates come with carbon steel blades that have been hardened at their edges to enhance their performance held to the boots by a tough plastic holder.
The best ice hockey skates for you depends a great deal on your level of skill, your foot size, and your playing style. You either need speed or flexibility in a pair of skates. All in all, ice hockey is an aggressive game that relies on the foot protection and support that your skates have to offer. A wrong pair of skates is bound to set you up for injury.