I think it is fair to say that:
It’s difficult to play at your maximum potential without good quality Hockey Skates…. Or is it?
There’s only ONE problem. Finding “Good” skates isn’t an easy job.
Finding good hockey skates can be a tough task. You need to know a number of things about your feet and how you play. You may be asking questions like ‘what hockey skates should I buy?’ or ‘what size hockey skates?’ or even ‘what are the best hockey skates?’ These are common questions and that’s why we here at What All The Pros Use take pride in this guide to help you find the right skate and give you a list of options to go off of. To learn more in depth about hockey skates check this out; hockey skates wiki. We hope you find this guide helpful as always and would love to answer your questions if you would comment below! Also check out our Hockey Monkey Promo Code page for our latest discounts and deals!
Hockey Skates Buying Guide
When looking for a new pair of skates or especially your first pair, you need to take a few things into consideration. First off what size you need, then your fit, style of play, body type, and preference. Finding the most comfortable ice hockey skates is going to take you knowing all of these for yourself. It’s all about comfort and the performance you get out of the skate. Every skate has it’s own unique advantages and disadvantages, and fits different types of players. So lets get into how you can figure out what fits you best.
How To Buy Hockey Skates
What Size Hockey Skates Do I Need
Let’s cover how hockey skates should fit and what you need to know to get the right size.
A proper fit for skates is 1-1.5 sizes smaller than your typical tennis shoe size, however all brands are different so there is no universal fitting chart for every skate out there. So when your purchasing skates, you should never judge entirely off your shoe size. The best and quickest way to find out is to start trying on skates at your local vendor before buying hockey skates online to get exactly what you want. Also while fitting you should wear socks you’d normally wear while skating to get just the right fit. How hockey skates should fit is snug but flexible.
What Is The Right Fit for You
This is something you have to test and figure out, luckily we have some good techniques to accomplish this.
The Pencil Test
Once you put on your skates, rather than tie them up, pull the tongue out and place a pencil or pen across the eyelets, appropriately three eyelets down. If the pencil or pen lies flat without moving around, your skates have good depth. If the pencil or pen hits your foot without touching both eyelets, your skates are too shallow.
The Finger Test
After lacing your skates, lean forward and bend your knees like your in a hockey stance. Then reach back into the heel of your skate to see how much of a gap there is between you heel and the skate. If you can slide more than on finger, the fit is not going to lock your heels and ankles to the correct places and you should try something else until you can only put one finger in there.
This may sound simple but just walking around in a pair of skates will give you a good idea of what the skates will feel like.
These are some simple ways to tell what kind of fit you need to suit your feet. There are three types of fit just like our recent Best Hockey Gloves 2017 we just covered. Let’s go ahead and look at what these different fits are. We also have a more in depth review on this subject here Bauer Skates Review
Anatomical fit: this is the most natural snug fit there is out there.
Classic fit: The wider foot fit, typically for bigger feet.
Tapered fit: narrow foot fit, lightweight.
What’s Your Preference
There’s a lot of different thing to look at when it comes to preference. When determining your preference, your biggest concern should be hockey skates with the best ankle support. This is where key sources of power coming from like strides and transitions. We will be sure to list those in the reviews below. Next should be quality, the quality of your skate determines a lot of things. Durability, performance, and comfort are the main three of this subject and all matter tremendously. We will get into all the specifics in the reviews about this to help you make a better educated decision.
Proper Way To Lace Hockey Skates
A lot of my friend’s get this wrong and it’s a lot more important to get right than some think. Neglecting to lace your skates the right way can cause your skating to suffer tremendously. I was luckily taught the right way early on and i’m really glad I did. In this video they will show you the proper way to lace hockey skates.
Another thing to keep in mind is tying your skates correctly. The proper way is to start at the bottom and making sure the bottom is super tight. The top should be tight as well but not nearly as tight as the bottom. The reason for this is because you want your feet to stay put so there’s no wiggle room and you want flexibility in the upper part of the skate. Where you end the laces is preference. Hockey skates tongue in or out is also a preference, but I highly recommend testing these things out as you could find that these options are more comfortable.
Hockey Skates Sharpening Guide
When it comes to sharpening I generally have someone else do it because I don’t trust myself. There are alternatives of course to this, you could do it at home and save a ton of money in the long run. There is a company that makes quality skate sharpeners called E-Z sharp. You can get their smallest model for $150 if your a first time buyer, below is the sharpener itself. Remember doing this could end up saving you a lot of money. I’m really considering buying one myself, If your interested here’s the link to their website! E-Z Sharp Also knowing when to sharpen hockey skates is important. If you step into a game with dull skates, you will find it’s going to be extremely difficult and you’ll tire out more easily. Just keep that in mind.
Baking Hockey Skates At Home
This process is actually a lot easier than some people think. What you will need is a baking sheet, conventional oven, and an oven mitt. Unless the skate manufacturer gives you other instructions, go with this hockey skates heat molding process.
- Preheat the oven
- loosen the laces all the way down to the boot and slightly pull the tongue out and leave the top eyelids open for an easy slide in of the foot.
- Turn off the oven before putting the skates in or they will melt
- Place the skates on a baking sheet and make sure it doesn’t touch anything but the baking sheet.
- Put the skates in the oven and shut it quickly to keep all the heat in the oven.
- let the skates sit for 5 minutes and then go ahead and take them out.
- sit in a chair and put the skates on and tie the laces tightly, and pull the sideways to avoid ruining the eyelets
- go ahead and stand up and crouch into skater position
- stay in this position for 15 minutes and avoid moving or walking around to stop from effecting the mold negatively
- take off the skates and loosely tie them and let them set and cool off and mold
This is just like when you are molding a mouth guard only you want to be a little more careful haha. This speeds up the process tremendously in getting comfortable with a new skate.
Recreational Ice Skates vs Hockey Skates
We get a lot of questions about this and it’s surprisingly talked about more than you’d think. ‘what is the difference between hockey skates and figure skates?’ Well i’ll tell you there is a huge difference. The layout and how you control them is totally different. I’ll go ahead and say if you are a hockey player, hockey skates are 100% the way to go. The layout of a hockey skates is for all out performance and comfort. A recreational skate is not going to give you the proper support you need for as much transitioning and stopping you will go through. The hockey skate is also way more durable and can stand up to more beating.
Top Rated Hockey Skates
We hope this hockey skates guide has helped you tremendously and you have learned something new about skates and how to go about purchasing them. That’s what we’re all about here at what all the pros use is not only reviews but helping you choose the right one. You may ask ‘what are the most comfortable hockey skates’ or ‘which hockey skates to buy’. We will answer these for you in what we believe are the best ice hockey skates. So without further a do let’s tell you the best hockey gloves of 2018!
|CCM Super Tacks||One-piece MonoFrame 360 Carbon||843g||Check Price|
|CCM RIBCOR 50K*Most Popular*||RibCor Elite||918g||Check Price|
|BAUER Supreme 1S||Premier 3D-Lasted Titanium Curv™||815g||Check Price|
|CCM RIBCOR 46K||RibCor Flex||889g||Check Price|
|BAUER Vapor X700||Pro-Level Tech-Mesh Nylon||941g||Check Price|
|CCM Jetspeed FT1 (Editor's Choice)||One-piece RocketFrame Composite||Check Price|
|BAUER Supreme S160||3D TrueForm Reinforced Tech PU||909g||Check Price|
|BAUER NEXUS N7000||Tech Mesh Nylon||849g||Check Price|
Best Hockey Skates of 2018
CCM SUPER TACKS – Editors Choice Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
The biggest thing I noticed from the skates was the stiffness. These are one of the most stiffest skates I have ever skated in and this is because of that monoframe technology which is a one-piece carbon composite boot that wraps all the way around the skates. With the traditional outsole, you have a little bit of energy loss but this is not the case with the CCM Super Tacks. The one-piece design really helps with the explosive power and does not that away any of that energy transfer for a really powerful fit. The stiffness continues through the ankles and the top of the skates while still giving you plenty of forward flex all the way throughout.
Another great feature is the anatomical heel shape which is going to be asymmetrical in its nature. This ensures the fit really matches up on either side of your feet and provide no slippage out there at all on the ice.
I also noticed the incredible comfort in terms of the way the skates cupped the side of my foot and underside of my foot. CCM have just done a great job with the true one-piece design of the frame and even the sensation that you get before you even step out on the ice.
In regards to the liner, CCM uses memory foam which is really comfortable and helps to really keep that shape of your foot so you have a locked in fit every time you put it on. The total dry liner does a really good job of wicking away the moisture and did not experience any waterlogged skates after each use.
Overall this is one of my favorite skates and would recommend this to any hockey player looking for explosive power out of the box but not compromising on fit and comfort.
CCM RIBCOR 50K WHITE – *Most Popular* Check On Hockey Monkey
So, you have this speed blade black runner and this has
been treated to be corrosion resistant and it holds an edge longer. The thing we noticed about them is that you are able to see little chips and burrs in the edges so you know when you need to get them resharpened. That will be sitting in the speed blade 4.0 holder that sits millimeters tall in the front and rear post giving you real aggressive turning radius. It also has the speed rib design in the lowers as well which adds some rigidity to the holder itself. This ensures you do not lose any power as you are taking your stride.
This all works in conjunction with the full lightweight composite and vented outsole. The lightweight composite is going to be stiff rand rigid which means that as you are taking your stride, you are getting the maximum energy transfer. The vents allow moisture to escape out of the boot.
Taking a look at the quarter, this consists of their carbon fiber reinforced Ribcor elite quarter. This has a ton of stiffness and support in the rear so as you are taking your stride, you are still getting maximum power out of it. What’s unique about these is that although the stiffness is still there, there is an element of softness to the feel of the skates so you have a great comfortable fit but not sacrificing any performance for that comfortability. However, we absolutely love the shades of white throughout the quarter package which makes it look phenomenal as well great to wear.
With the signature pump design, you get a little bit of air injected into the bladder that sits in the heel of the skates which eliminates negative space so your foot is not going to be sliding around as much and contributes to that great personalised fit.
Their tri-guard tongue is a little bit thinner in overall width compared to previous generations but has a lot of thickness to it. With the injected foam, there is a very traditional feel to the tongue.
The liner technology really helps lock in the heel so eliminate any heel slippage and wicks way any moisture by pushing it to the bottom of the boot so they can escape out of those air vents. For an indepth review of the CCM Ribcore 50K’s click here.
BAUER SUPREME 1S – Original Price: $949.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
The skates have the TUUK Lightspeed Edge holder which is a quick release trigger system that allows you to swap out damage of broken steel in seconds keeping you on the ice and not on the bench. You also notice the TUUK LS4 stainless steel runners on the skates which is the highest grade that Bauer offer and sits 3mm taller than the previous Lightspeed 2 allowing for more custom profiling options and a longer sharpening life. These are connected to the ultra lightweight vented composite which provides stability but gives you better energy transfer through each stride on the ice.
Taking a look at the quarter package, you see the use of the 3D-lasted technology from the MX3 but with the added feature of the Titanium curve which helps to increase stiffness and responsiveness of the boot. When we went ahead and baked these boots, it was pretty incredible how the stiff material softens up and curves to the natural contour of your foot shape.
The boots come with black laces and have an injected stability lacing system which gives you 33% more forward flex so you are able to get even further through each stride giving you better ankle bend. The eyelets are actually t-shaped so that the laces are held better, staying tight throughout the entirety of the game.
The tongue of the boot features a combination 52oz/40oz white felt construction with comfort padding on the back for a better fit against your foot. As well, the C-Flex technology allows you to control the stiffness for the perfect feel when skating while providing pro level protection for the top of the foot. Moving down the boot, the Bauer Speed Plate insoles feature a recovery alloy that provides you with a revolutionary customized fit that can be molded time and time again with no ill effects. The Speed Plate insoles mold directly to you and increase the contact area between your foot and the outsole of the skate enabling better balance and stability at all speeds.
Total edge comfort pads line the top of the boot to reduce abrasions against the leg when turning and integrated wear pads on the liner increase overall durability of the skate. Around the ankle on the inside of the boot, lightweight memory foam pads replace traditional anaform foam for a personal fit and mold. A 37.5 technology polyester liner keeps the skate at a ridiculously low weight and provides moisture wicking technology using your sweat to dry the liner.
Overall, if reliability is a big part of your game and being able to make quick stops and quick tight turns are also important then these skates let you do all of these with ease. We will say that the skate was a little stiff at first skate and the tendon guard took a couple strides to get used to because of the mobility of it. We love this skate and would recommend to anyone.
CCM RIBCOR 46K PUMP – Original Price: $299.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: Best out of box fit
Weight: 870 Grams
Liner: Dual Zone Liner with Lightweight Nylex Fabric
Boot Construction: Ribcor Flex Plus
Blade Configuration: SpeedBlade Stainless Steel, SpeedBlade 4.0
Pros: tight turning, great fit out of the box, pump for personalized fit
Cons: some people may not like the pump system
Conclusion: With Reebok rolling over into CCM, CCM has the Ribcor product in it’s line of many skates. The Ribcor is a very interesting skate because it has an air pump that helps with a more customized fit and heat moldable. This brings out one of the most customizable fits in the market. Also some other great things about this skate is not only it’s customization but it’s ability to turn on a dime and great acceleration. Overall this is a great high quality skate.
BAUER VAPOR X700 – Original Price: $399.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: second skin feel
Weight: 880 Grams
Liner: Hydrophobic Quick-Dry
Boot Construction: Pro Level Tech Mesh Nylon
Blade Configuration: Tuuk Lightspeed Edge, TUUK LS1 Stainless Steel
Pros: close fit feel, lightweight, maneuverability
Conclusion: The Vapor fit is known to have a close feel to the feet, and if this is your type of fit I recommend you USE IT. In today’s sport’s, everything’s about efficiency, and you want something that will give you the advantage in that sense. This is a great pair of skates overall for narrow footed players that want to increase their game tremendously.
CCM JETSPEED FT1 – Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
The Jetspeed has CCM’s hyper glide stainless steel blade runners which is a high polish finish that eliminates drag from the runners on the ice. The blade is attached to the SB 4.0 holder with their speed grip technology which gives you every ounce of power that you can get from this holder because it adds stiffness and rigidity while not losing it in the holder itself. Getting into the boot, the skates have a RocketFrame composite with their light frame 360 technology. So there is no outsole on these skates which means that CCM have brought in that one-piece technology with that signature jet speed fit.
Now CCM designed this boot to fit as comfortably around a players foot as possible. The one-piece composite gives you 360 degree contact between your foot and the skate so as you take your stride, you are not losing anything inside of the boot. Also the fact that there is no outsole means that all the power is getting transferred directly into the holder and then into the ice so you feel much more connected when you are out skating. When you put these on, you can really feel the edges hugging around the shape of the foot especially with the high definition heel lock, when you slide it in there, you could almost feel it pinch to give you an awesome heel lock and a great fit from top to bottom.
Now looking into the tongue, there is a nice upgrade there where CCM have gone ahead and added a lace bite guard giving you better protection for the top of the foot and obviously dealing with any lace bite issues that might happen. There’s a thick white felt design which is what they call their TriTech tongue and has injected foams all the way through the center which really help mold to the top of your foot as well.
Now getting into the liner, there are comfort edge wraps on both sides for high ankle abrasion and really help to wick away the moisture to keep your feet dry during the game. Deep into the skates, you’ll find those multi density memory foam ankle pads that give you that great high definition heel lock. Their Total Dry Pro liner which has a really nice soft feel to it but is also one of their premier materials designed to wick away moisture so keeping you dry during the game as well as reducing drying time after the game.
Overall, I think visually CCM have done a fantastic job in terms of its looks top to bottom but as far as performance goes, that’s where these skates really stand out.
Easton Mako II – Original Price: $799.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: Speed and Motion
Weight: 850 Grams
Boot Construction: Reinforced Carbon Composite
Blade Configuration: CXN
Pros: tight turns and cornering, extra padding,
Cons: Challenges to status quo of skate design, pricey
Conclusion: The Mako II’s are definitely agame changer in almost every respect. While most skates are going towards more stiffness, The Mako’s are going for flexibility. To get a more in depth review on these bad boys, check out our review on these at Easton Mako II SR. Skates Review.
BAUER SUPREME 160 – Original Price: $199.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: explosive power
Liner: Hydrophobic Microfiber
Boot Construction: Clear injected TPU
Blade Configuration: Tuuk Lightspeed Edge, Tuuk Super Stainless Steel
Pros: explosive strides, efficient, and light
Cons: lower end model
Conclusion: These are overall a great skate for anyone new to the sport and wants to have quick starts and great strides. With the efficiency and power you get, this is one hell of a skate.
BAUER NEXUS N7000 – Original Price: $199.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: best bang for your buck
Weight: 870 Grams
Liner: Hydrophobic microfiber
Boot Construction: Tech mesh nylon
Blade Configuration: LightSpeed Edge, Super LightSpeed Stainless
Pros: High – end performance for the money, light, strong ankle support
Cons: Some player’s can’t fit the classic fit
Conclusion: These are great skates that give you the best all around value for your dollar. It features the classic fit that let’s your feet sit in the skate deeper and gives you an all around better performance. Overall the best value on our list
GRAF PEAKSPEED PK3300 – Original Price: $449.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: max comfort
Weight: 820 Grams
Liner: Stay-Dry liner
Boot Construction: 2-piece SPEEDFIT composite
Blade Configuration: Graf Attack with replaceable runner
Pros: light, a symmetrical tongue that stays in place, explosive acceleration
Cons: some players may not like that it’s not one of the “bigger” brands
Conclusion:This is an amazing skate in the respects of comfort and reliability. The a-symmetrical tongue that stays in place all game is key to keeping that comfort. Also with comfort comes the great control and explosive acceleration. Overall a great buy.
CCM TACKS 6052 – Original Price: $349.98 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: Explosive acceleration
Weight: 839 Grams
Liner: Durable Clarino
Boot Construction: Carbon Composite
Blade Configuration: SpeedBlade 4.0, SB HyperGlide
Pros: Built for total explosive acceleration, lightweight, well ventilated
Cons: none we could find
Conclusion: This is overall one hell of a skate, everything about it says performance. Whether it’s the vents on the bottom or the mean look of the skate. We’ve already done a full in depth review of this skate so feel free to go check it out at CCM Tacks SR. Skates Review.
Bauer Vapor X400 – Original Price: $159.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Specialty: Speed and transition
Weight: 866 Grams
Liner: Hydrophobic Microfiber
Boot Construction: Sublimated Tech Nylon w/ X-Rib Pattern
Blade Configuration: Tuuk Lightspeed Edge, Tuuk Super Stainless Steel
Pros: Light weight, Agile, bang for your buck
Cons: Tight fit
Conclusion: I personally used these myself in the beginning of my hockey career and have to say they have done a terrific job. If you’d like to see our in depth review of similar skates check it out at Bauer Vapor X60 Skates Review. These skates have that fit like a glove feel to them and really form to your feet like a second skin almost. This helps a lot with transitioning and explosive strides. It also has a great form of protection, overall some great skates.
CCM JETSPEED 260 – Original Price: $149.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
Weight: 700 Grams
Liner: Heavy Duty Microfiber
Boot Construction: Durable Tech Mesh
Blade Configuration: SpeedBlade PRO
Pros: Light weight, comfort, speed
Cons: not heat moldable
Conclusion: The Jetspeed’s are overall built for ridiculous amounts of speed. CCM has eliminated any useless space to give you that glove like feel. Overall this Skate was built for great comfort and speed.
BAUER SUPREME 1N – Original Price: $949.99 Sale Price: Check On Hockey Monkey
The big update this year is the injected stability lacing system which is a little bit softer than what we have seen in the Vapor and Supreme skates. This is their most voluminous, highest instep and widest fitting skates. With that, they want to make sure that you still get the nice anatomical wrap over the top of the foot so that the stability system is going to be a little bit less stiff which gives you that nice wrap while still getting that great energy transfer for each stride.
In to the tongue, this is also a little bit different relative to the other skates. This is going to be a 52/40-ounce hybrid black belt tongue with a curved composite insert down through the centre. As you do go ahead and flex the tongue, it is going to give you a little more kick back designed to improve that stride frequency.
Identical to the 1S, the Nexus 1N uses a 37.5 technology polyester liner to keep the skate at a ridiculously low weight and provide moisture wicking technology using your sweat to dry the liner.
The quarter package is made up of the top end 3D-lasted Curv Composite which provides extreme stiffness and performance while reducing weight in the heel through the eyelets with that one-piece system and all the way through the forefoot too. These are awesome at heat baking so when you go ahead and throw these in the oven, it gives you that personalized fit before you even take your first skate.
As well, Total edge comfort pads line the top of the boot to reduce abrasions against the leg when turning and integrated wear pads on the liner increase overall durability of the skate. This prevents your shin guards from continually wearing in those high wear areas while will help improve the longevity of the skates. Around the ankle on the inside of the boot, lightweight memory foam pads replace traditional anaform foam for a personal fit and mould.
Moving down the skate, an ultra-lightweight vented composite outsole provides stability and reduce torsion of the skate when striding and the Bauer Lightspeed Edge holder sits 3mm taller than the previous Lightspeed 2 holder to tighten the turning radius of the skate. Also that LS4 steel accompanies the holder and offers an elite grade of steel with a superior finish for stronger edges.