Ice skating is one of the most exciting winter activities. It’s a fun group activity and a great form of exercise. If you want to go ice skating this winter, you need a good pair of ice skates.
If you’ve already started shopping, you might have noticed that there are both figure skating and hockey skates. But what will help you achieve your skating dreams? The right skates for you will depend on your goal on the ice, but a few key differences will help you decide which pair you should buy.
Figure skates typically cost between $70 and $200 and differ from regular hockey skates primarily in the toe pick on the front of the blade. They are usually made of leather and have a smaller outer heel with a slimmer design than hockey skates.
A quality pair of figure skates will help the skater maintain balance, making them a good option for beginners. However, they are best suited for experienced skaters or skaters who want to practice skating moves such as jumps and spins.
The sleek design of figure skates and their front toe pick make them ideal for precise moves and jumps. The construction of figure skates also allows for greater flexibility and mobility.
A figure skate’s blade is heavier, longer, and wider, and offers better balance than ice hockey skates. The blade is also mounted to the boot of the skate, making them easy to swap out. Different types of blades are available to suit different types of figure skaters.
Skates offer excellent balance, but they don’t offer much in terms of ankle support, which can make them more dangerous and uncomfortable for inexperienced skaters. They also prioritize precision over speed.
Jackson Ultima Excel Figure Skating: Available at Amazon and Dick’s sporting goods
Suitable for young and adult women, these skates offer a fantastic light grip, making them ideal for beginners. They offer a snug but comfortable fit with the foam-backed padded tongue. They also feature a flex groove for more flexibility with a stylized PVC sole.
Jackson Ultima Softec Vista Women’s Figure Skates: available at Amazon
If you are looking for a pair of durable but lightweight figure skates with a modern look, these are perfect for you. They contain Softec for comfort and support and have a moisture-resistant nylon upper to keep your feet dry longer.
Jackson Ultima Mystique with Mark II Blade: Available at Amazon
These skates have a PVC outsole with a precision Ultima MARK II figure blade. The inner lining and support ensure a comfortable skating experience, making them a great option for beginners and intermediates alike.
Hockey skates can range in price from $70 to $400 and have a more durable construction than ice skates since they are designed for in-game use. Although they don’t offer as much balance, they are still excellent skates for beginners. The blades are narrower than most figure skates. They prioritize ankle support, which makes standing in a stationary position easier.
Ice hockey skates have lighter blades than figure skates, allowing for more mobility at high speeds. They make stopping and changing direction much easier.
Because they are lighter than figure skates, they can be worn for extended periods of time before fatigue sets in. They also offer more ankle support and are generally more comfortable.
Precise movements such as turns and jumps are more of a challenge when wearing ice hockey skates than with figure skating skates because they lack the front toe pick that allows the wearer to perform them with precision.
Because the blade is narrower, hockey skates offer less balance, making figure skates a better option for brand new skaters. Also, unlike ice skates, ice hockey skates have their blades soldered to the shoe, making it impossible to replace the blade if it wears out or breaks.
Bauer Senior Vapor Volt Ice Hockey Skates: Available at Dick’s sporting goods
These men’s hockey skates have a comfortable fleece lining, added protection and a traditional lace-up hockey look with a padded tongue for comfort. These are excellent skates for beginners.
Bauer Senior Supreme S35 Ice Hockey Skates: Available at Dick’s sporting goods
If you’re looking for a durable pair of skates for your recreational hockey league, these won’t let you down. They have a stainless steel blade, a mesh metatarsal tongue for extra protection, a comfortable fit and a stylish design.
CCM Junior Jet Speed FT460 Ice Hockey Skates: Available at Dick’s sporting goods
These skates have a tapered fit with a slightly narrow front. The stiff boot and injected outsole allow efficient energy transfer and more effortless movements to reach top speeds. They also have a quick release for changing blades quickly.
Figure skates are great for beginners because of the balance they provide, but steady progress can be hampered for those looking to increase their speed. Figure skating is best suited for those who want to start figure skating as a sport, or for those more interested in learning and practicing precise movements such as jumps and turns.
If you don’t value precision and style figure skating, hockey skates are your best bet, especially if speed is your number one priority. Hockey skates allow for greater flexibility and mobility, allowing skaters to reach their top speeds faster. They also offer more ankle support, making them feel more secure, and they’re lightweight for comfort.
Kevin Luna is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product reviews company with a unique mission: to simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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