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Why Are Ice Hockey Skates so Expensive?

Skates, like any other hockey equipment, can get extremely expensive. We’re often asked if expensive skates are worth it over other starter models. Having reviewed several pairs of skates over the past years, we advise investing in high-performance skates. This is because they have the power to change your hockey-playing experience completely.

Is there any advantage of more expensive skates as compared to cheap skates? In all our experience reviewing skates, there are differences in the built quality of a top-of-the-line skate vs. an entry-level skate. 

What Makes Hockey Skates So Expensive?

The major reason hockey skates are so costly is that they are a piece of specialist equipment. Hockey skates are not as useful in off-ice activities as other sports footwear. This is unlike tennis shoes or basketball sneakers, which can be marketed to a wide audience and used casually outside their original sport.

Skate makers must thus sell their goods at larger margins to profit. They will do so at a relatively low volume compared to other sports footwear.

Hockey skates also cost more to produce than other forms of footwear. Compared to other footwear, producing hockey skates on a large scale is more complex and expensive since they call for various materials that require special quality.

The many components used to create hockey skates are broken down as follows:


The hockey skate is distinguished from other athletic footwear, first and foremost, by its unique steel blade. This steel needs to be fitted, finished, and shaped, which is expensive.

Padded Tongue

A typical tongue like that seen in a pair of street shoes cannot be utilized on a hockey skate. A hockey skate’s tongue has to be extremely thick and cushioned to withstand hits from stray pucks and sticks. The tongue must withstand lace biting since hockey skates must be tightly laced.

Flexible Casing

The fabric and liner used to cover the foot and lower leg must be strong enough to endure high force. Also, the tough rubber should be flexible enough to allow for quick cuts and twists and protect the toes. Outside the boot, a “box cover” is also used to offer stiffness and support.

Intricate System of Tall Laces 

The lacing system needs to be advanced and make its way up the ankle considerably higher than a typical shoe to tighten the skate and properly ensure the joint’s stability.

Ankle Pads

The winner of the skate must include cushioning at the ankle to cushion hits from pucks and sticks, just as the tongue.

Comfortable Sole

Since the bottom of the foot will be rubbing against the steel base of the skate, the sole or footbed of the skate must be ergonomically built to give comfort while playing.

The material used to make hockey skates is some of the most expensive in constructing any hockey equipment. Hockey skates require far more costly and high-quality materials than gloves or leggings. In a hockey skate, there is no “basic foam” or “Carbon Fiber,” not even something considered entry-level.

That said, most skate manufacturers offer a comparable “close second” option skate.

What Are The Most Expensive Skates Currently In The Market?

Depending on the athlete’s upgrades, expensive hockey skates can range anywhere from $800 to $1,500. A selection slightly below the top-end model supplied by whatever manufacturer you pick will frequently be more than adequate for the ordinary hockey player.

These are the priciest hockey skates available right now in the market:

Do Expensive Hockey Skates Make A Difference?

Technically, yes. The most expensive skates are often the lightest and offer the highest level of performance. The lighter the skate, the quicker your feet move. In addition, expensive skates use top-end material that improves overall foot stability. This allows for more power transfer from leg to foot, skate blade to ice, and thus more speed.

As far as hockey equipment is concerned, the higher the price, the more high quality of the materials used to build it. Because skates are the one piece of equipment that can change your game and overall hockey-playing experience, they’re one of the main gear we recommend upgrading.

How Much Does a Good Pair of Ice Skates Cost?

Generally speaking, the better the skate, the more costly it is. However, you might consider what you need in a skate before making a high purchase. While expert and pro-level skaters, who play consistently throughout the week, should strive for skates beyond the $400 price tag, beginner and intermediate players should adhere to skates with costs around $400.

Upper-entry-level skates

Beginners and casual skaters benefit greatly from upper entry-level skates, which have a peak price of roughly $150. They offer some assistance and will endure a little longer than the entry-level.

Upper-mid-range level skates

Upper-mid-range skates, which range in price from $199 to $399, are perfect for you if you play in an adult league and desire comfort and support. Some, but not all, of the most recent designs and features offered to the general public, are also featured by manufacturers in upper-midrange skates.

Lower-mid-range skates

If your child plays competitively but is still developing, choose lower-midrange as you will replace them regularly. These can run you up to $200.

Adult league level skates

Adult league players should use upper-midrange skates if they want comfort and support. Their most expensive item is around $400. Players with a lot of experience and skill should anticipate paying over $500 for their skates.

Special Make-Up skates, sometimes known as SMUs, are produced by several manufacturers, including CCM and Bauer. These skates mix top-notch and entry-level features to deliver premium features at a competitive price.

Final Thoughts On Hockey Skates

Hockey skates are pricey because they are special equipment made of several materials. This includes steel, cushioning, and support components, which must be expertly blended to provide the skater with the best stability and longevity.

High-quality hockey skates are much more expensive than typical footwear. The good news is that entry-level hockey skates are more reasonably priced and can be obtained for less than $100. So it is essential to know your hockey goals before making a skate purchase.

Most skaters enjoy playing hockey in comfortable skates that feel good on the ice. In the end, it does come down to your personal preference.

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