So you’re tired of being a barrier-hugging ice skating beginner. You’re now comfortable enough to venture further out on the ice. You likely have been using rented skates at the ice rink, and the support you’ve been getting out of these skates now feels inadequate. Plus, these rented skates have given you nasty blisters and bruises.
Now, you want to grab a pair of ice skates that’s a little better comfort and performance-wise. But you don’t want to deplete your bank balance just to own skates that won’t outlast your current skating skill level. And, that’s where this American Athlete ice Force 2.0 Skates review comes in.
Product Overview: American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Skates
The American athlete Ice Force 2.0 men’s skates are a good pair of affordable beginner-level rink skating boots. They’re entry-level skates that let you learn basic ice skating tricks such as crossovers. You could also do a little harder stuff such as skating backwards.
If you’ve been skating over the years and know your tricks, don’t replace your broken boots with the American Ice Force 2.0 ice skates.
Why? It’s because these ice rink shoes are meant for beginners, folks just learning to walk away from the barriers. You can’t push these skates to give you impressive performance on the ice no matter how talented a skater you are. They’re just not cut for that kind of thing.
The American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 skates were designed to serve the skating needs of beginning level skaters. These boots can be had on the cheap, but they lack the bells and whistles (and performance) most pro-level skates boast.
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Features and Specs of the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Ice Skates
- Targeted Users: Men, available in men’s sizes (Adult)
- Available sizes on Amazon: 7 to 13
- Runners: Made of stainless steel
- Breathable inner liner for comfort
- Durable white nylon holders for longevity
- 9 Eye Stays for a snug fit
- Fit: True to Size*
- Stiffness Level: Boot super stiff, the tendon guard too
- Rivets: Copper
- Skate Guards Provided?: YES
- Toe Box: Regular width, constructed from tough, high-quality nylon
- Best for: Indoor and outdoor skating. Ideal for pond hockey
Now that I have listed out the specs and features of these beginner rink skating shoes, let’s inspect the product in a little bit more detail.
Skate Construction Quality
Right out of the box, the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 looks great. It seems to be a well-made product devoid of that cheap feel so common with rink boots that are this affordable.
The product appears like it’s designed to provide lots of support rather than performance. It’s a noob’s skate, after all. The boot itself is super stiff. And, the tendon guard on the back is equally inflexible. But that level of stiffness isn’t surprising with a pair of hockey skates designed for folks new to ice skating.
The blade holders seem (and feel) sturdy enough, and they’re crafted from what appears to be good quality, long-lasting nylon. The toe box looks solid, too. I didn’t once doubt the toe box could provide the level of support my feet needed as a beginner skater.
Well, I’m no longer an absolute beginner. And I’d still have considered buying these ones even as an intermediate level skater.
Overall, these definitely aren’t Bauer Vapor skates or CCM Tacks, but they don’t look one bit like the cheap skates they are. But these ice rink shoes aren’t made for any kind of extreme abuse on indoor rinks or on icy, frozen ponds.
Fit and Comfort Right Out of the Box
Whether you’re an ice-rink-falls-fearing beginner or a more experienced skater, you shouldn’t wear poorly fitting skates. Your skates should give your feet a snug fit. Just enough tightness tempered with just enough looseness for optimal performance on the ice.
So, what kind of fit-quality should one expect wearing these rink boots for the first time? I’ve read some reviews that said these skates fit like a glove, but that’s not my experience trying them on initially.
A young man I gifted these skates thought these were the stiffest ice skates they’d ever skated in. The whole ice skate boot felt extremely stiff— the toe box, midfoot, quarter package, and tendon guard. Their toes felt crammed into the overly tight toe box, but that could be because the young man has relatively wider feet.
This skater ended up with a couple blisters on their feet. I appreciate that the padding inside, the felt tongue, and every other part was designed to enhance foot support especially for beginners. But why make the boots that painfully stiff?
Loosening or tightening ice skates should help fit a little, right? Right, except no amount of manipulating the fit through the little-waxed laces seemed to work.
Narrow or Wide Fit?
If you’re wondering whether the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 men’s hockey skates come in wide, wonder no more. These skates aren’t for skaters with extremely narrow feet. Nor are they designed for folks with the widest, flattest feet around. They’re just standard width ice skates for outdoorsy souls with normal width feet.
Some people say they ordered the same size they are in regular shoes, and the fit was perfect. That was not Tony’s experience (the youth I bought these skates for). Tony felt that the boots were way too snug. In his words, “the boots killed my feet.” And, he’s not like the only one that thinks the skates run a little small.
Here’s a little advice. If you’re the kind of person that’s always returning shoes because they were a tad smaller, order a size up. But if you rarely have fit issues, buy the size recommended for your foot measurement on the size chart provided by American Athletic.
Breaking in the Skates Not Easy
Breaking in these skates wasn’t easy, but it’s still doable. Tony skated in them a couple hours each day for two days, but the stiffness was still there, and it hurt his feet. His dad decided to bake these beginner skates for him for use in pond hockey. Luckily, backing them made them fit Tony’s feet comfortably.
But it’s not like you must heat-mold the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 skates to compel them to conform to the shape of your feet. You can choose to grin and bear it — skate in them for a couple days until the stiffness goes away.
Stainless Steel Blades
These skates sit on a pair of stainless steel runners/blades. But you shouldn’t think these are high-quality stainless steel blades like the ones top of the line hockey skates have.
One reason the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 men’s pond hockey skates cost under $100 (as of this writing) is that they use OK-ish quality steel.
Top-quality steel blades enable skaters to pull off jumps, spins, and other complex tricks without falling apart in a day. The best quality blades are super light yet sturdy, and they’re also remarkably durable.
The blades that come with the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 skate boots are built for basic forward skating and gliding backwards. As for doing flips and competitive, Olympic-level jumps such as the lutz, loop, salchow, or axel, these ice skates will prove pretty lame.
But you’re probably just learning the ice skating basics. If that’s case for you, that means these skates not being a great bet for jumps shouldn’t be a bummer.
Performance on the Ice
How well do the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 men’s beginner ice skates perform on the ice? As mentioned earlier, these aren’t pro-level skates and don’t have the chops for impressive performance on the ice.
To get acceptable performance out of these or any other pair of ice skates, you must understand basic stuff like blade radius and hollow profile.
Some reviewers received their skates already sharpened, but it was a noticeably aggressive grind that made gliding on the ice extremely difficult. But the skates I gifted my friend’s son needed a sharpen as they were clearly dull right out of the box.
If you get aggressively sharpened blades, have someone at the local rink tweak the hollow to make it flatter. With a flatter hollow you shouldn’t have much trouble gliding or building up a little speed on the ice. With accurate sharpening, these ice skates should stop making your footwork a thankless struggle.
Power Transfer, Foot and Ankle Support
If you choose the right size for your feet, these skates should feel comfortably snug. And. you should experience a decent level of power transfer when doing strides on the ice. But the tendon guard happens to be extremely stiff, which means it doesn’t let you extend your strides as much as you’d like.
These are beginner ice skates, though, and they’re pretty cheap. They’re just what they are….you’ll have to be OK with the tendon guard not flexing that much.
One great thing is that the sides of the boots are firm enough. That translates into decent midfoot support. An inner soft liner provides additional foot support while enhancing comfort. But the inner liner doesn’t provide as much padding as I’d like.
The tongue is relatively thick, too. The tongue being nicely padded improves the comfort rating a bit while further fine-tuning fit. As for ankle support, you’ll get enough of that from these skates.
Lacing Up the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Skates
One gripe skaters have with these entry-level skates is that lacing them up proves to be somewhat challenging. I guess that comes down to the laces not being waxed up sufficiently. All of the 9 eye stays seem well-made, though.
I’ve learned that the best way to lace up these skates is doing it the over-under-over lace tying style. I’ve also gleaned from various reliable sources that grinding the blades into a flatter hollow could make tying up these skates a bit less challenging.
The Frame: The Skates Feature Plastic Frames
At that price point, is it surprising that the frame on which these skates sit is all plastic? These skates aren’t super heavy or bulky, but with kinds of frames, you bet they’re not the lightest blade holders out there.
These blade holders work, and they hold up pretty well to a light level of abuse. If you’re a casual skater that likes spending cold weekends with your kids pond hockey skating, these frames and blades should be good enough. But if you do any kind of aggressive ice skating, buy something else.
American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Ice Skates Review: Verdict
Overall, the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 men’s skates are a good bang for the buck for beginning level skating. But they’re the kind that falls apart when asked to perform outside their comfort zone.
The upside is that these skates are incredibly cheap. Yet, they look like $300 professional skates. They’re a deal worthy of consideration when transitioning from your barrier-hugging self to someone practicing a few basic moves on the ice.
American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Ice Skates FAQs
1. Are These Ice skates Men’s or Women’s Sizes?
These American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 skates are meant for beginner men skaters.
2. Do These Skates Run True to Size?
These ice skates (and ice skates in general) fit best when they’re one size smaller than the wearer’s regular sneaker size. If you measure your foot length correctly (from heel to the biggest toe) and choose a matching size from the company’s size chart, these skates should fit. So, if you wear size 10 sneakers, order these skates in size 9. But when buying these skates for your child, consider going a half size or one full size up to accommodate those growing feet.
3. Do the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Ice Skates Run Small?
No, these ice skates don’t run small. The boots run true to size for most skaters with normal feet. But remember to order one size smaller than your size in your everyday shoes.
4. What Size Should I Buy If I’m a Woman Skater?
Buy 1.5 sizes smaller than what a man your size would order. For example, if you wear a woman’s size 9 in regular kicks, order a size 8 women’s size of these skates which converts into 6.5 in men’s size.
5. Are These Skates for Indoor or Outdoor Use?
You can use these ice skating boots indoors as well as outdoors.
6. Do These Skates Come with Blade Covers?
Yes, you get basic plastic blade covers as part of the package.
7.How Tall Is the Tendon Guard of the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0?
The tendon guard measures about 9 inches from the heel all the way up to the top.
8.Do the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Skates Fit Wide Feet?
These ice skates work well for regular-width feet rather than extremely flat feet.
10.Do These Ice Skates Come Properly Sharpened?
No, you’ll have to arrange for a decent sharpen after purchasing. Fortunately, a good-quality sharpening costs about $10 or $15 in most places.