Hockey skates are often available at seven to nine price points per manufacturer line. The more money you spend, the better the skates will be. However, this does not mean the most expensive skates are best for you and your style.
So, do you need to spend $949.99 on a pair of skates to be a good skater? Adults can invest more in skate pricing, knowing they will likely use their gear for many years. Regarding kids, it is important to prioritize used equipment for youth hockey players. This lowers the average cost of hockey equipment for kids. This is because they grow so quickly.
- Boot stiffness
Senior Ice Hockey Skates
Senior hockey skates refer to skates that are size six and above. This means the shoe sizes would be 7.5 and above. Most major hockey skate brands like Bauer and CCM skates go up to size 13, starting at size 6. Custom hockey skates can be ordered for larger sizes above 13.
Senior hockey skates are designed to fit players with a shoe size of 8 or higher (size 6 or 6.5 hockey skates). This usually includes full-grown teenagers and adults.
Junior Ice Hockey Skates
Junior Hockey Skates are usually for kids aged 7 to 13. They are also suitable for those who wear 2 to 7 big kids’ shoes. However, they are mostly worn by 9-year-old kids, wearing between a 1.5 and 13.5 shoe size. Junior skate sizes range from size one up to size 5.5 in most cases. Also, they have bigger sizes than youth hockey skates.
Intermediate Ice Hockey Skates
An intermediate hockey skate is the size category between junior hockey skates and senior hockey skates. While senior hockey skates are skates above 6.5 or 7, Intermediate hockey skates are generally for kids ages 10-13. They come in a skate size of 5-7 (4.5 to 6.5, depending on the brand).
Most major ice hockey brands that carry intermediate hockey skates will have the same models as the senior-size skates. Intermediate hockey skates are great for youth players with larger feet than normal. They also serve players with smaller feet who want elite-level options (the same as senior skate models).
A good example would be an elite-level female skater who may have smaller feet but needs a top-end skate because of the demanding playing level.
Youth Ice Hockey Skates
These skates fit kids aged nine or under wearing shoes in a 1.5 to 13.5 small size. Youth hockey skates are the smallest size category available for hockey skates. Most major hockey brands feature the same models found in senior sizes. For example, the Bauer 3S Pros or the CCM JetSpeeds.
Youth hockey skates range from size eight kids to size 13.5 kids. One of the best youth hockey skates is the Bauer Vapor 2X. These offer a “standard,” tight but comfortable fit to help enhance ankle support for beginner skaters.
Expensive Hockey Skates vs. Cheap Skates
The main difference between expensive and cheap hockey skates is the quality of materials used in the construction of the boot.
- The top-of-the-line hockey skates use carbon fiber material to create a boot. This can be formed exactly to the player’s foot.
- On the contrary, entry-level skates will use the cheapest, most basic material to allow players the option to purchase a much cheaper pair of skates.
In the hockey world, each year, the top manufacturers of hockey equipment come up with new ways to talk about the products they’ve built. For the most part, it’s marketing jargon that doesn’t mean much to the average player.
With upper-end skates, the most important part of the entire build is the material they’re using to construct the skate itself. Remember, you have the opportunity to buy the same skates used by countless NHL and professional players across the world every year.
Major manufacturers like CCM, Bauer, and True make and sell their products to the average customer. NHL superstars like Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid also buy the same skates.
So, when you decide to go with the best skate money can buy, you’re getting into a skate that’s being worn on the NHL Network on TV by the game’s biggest stars every day.
Some key distinguishing features between expensive and cheap skates are seen in the following areas:
- Upgraded Side Panels
- Flex Zones
- Rigid Heel Support
- Toe Cap
- Overall Boot Quality Difference
Are expensive skates more comfortable?
As far as hockey equipment is concerned, the higher the price, the more high quality of the materials used to build it. Skates are one of the main gear we recommend upgrading. This is because they are the one piece of equipment that can change your game and overall hockey playing experience,
Are Used Ice Hockey Skates A Good Choice?
Younger kids don’t put much stress on their skates and are out of them too fast. So, typically used skates are in good enough condition to serve 3-4 children.
When shopping for used pairs, bring a knowledgeable person with you. Also, use the same fit and stiffness criteria as if you were buying a new one. Heat moldable boots will have an advantage here since they can be re-baked for a new skater.
Look at the main boot (inside and outside), blade holder (incl. the rivets), and blade steel damages. Minor scratches and chaffing are normal wear and tear. But, the deep scars, torn stitches, and loss of integrity or missing material are a problem. Make sure the lace eyelets are well preserved.
Suppose the blades look worn-out, allow a lot of sharpening cycles, and look at the possibilities of replacement. In that case, buying a new pair might be more economical.
Ice Hockey skates range in price from $100 up to $1000. Factors that increase price include protection, weight, boot stiffness, comfort, and durability. Bauer, CCM, and True offer hockey skates at different prices, so everyone has an option.
Do not be in a hurry to get the cheapest skates on the market or the most expensive ones with the hopes that they will be the best. Asides from your budget, choosing the right hockey skates depends on several other factors: skill level, foot shape, and how often you skate.