The ice skating world provides different types of ice skates. And each type of ice skate works best for a certain kind of skater or ice skating style. So, what kind of a skater are you and what type of ice skate do you need? You can choose recreational skates, or figure skates, or hockey skates, or speed skates. But that’s too much choice already, you quip. In this post, I aim to describe each skate and do it in a way that helps you decide what ice skate type would work best for your skating level or style.
Let’s jump in right away and learn what each kind of ice skate is and what you can do with it.
1. Recreational Ice Skates
Recreational ice skates are just as the name suggests. These are ice skates designed for having a good time on the ice with your loved ones and friends. These skates are purposely designed for leisure ice skating outdoors.
The main thing when skating in recreational figure skates is fun and personal enjoyment. That’s why they focus more on comfort than performance. By the way, recreational ice skates are a type of figure skate. That’s why they’re sometimes called recreational figure skates.
It’s easy to confuse recreational skates with beginner ice skates, but these shoes are two different kinds of ice skates. Recreational skates are typically cheap, significantly cheaper than beginner ice skates. I mean, I’ve seen tons of sub-$50 recreational skates online and in skate shops.
I recently visited Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, with my hubby, Jason. And we saw $28 brand new ice skates being sold in small shops located in several locations around the city. We interviewed three shop owners, and each said the $28 ice skates, all of which unsurprisingly came from China, perform OK.
The traders told us these cheap Chinese ice skates perform as well as any secondhand ice skates that ship in from the U.S. after each ice skating season. Yes, they have artificial ice rinks there. And no, we never saw any hungry lions roaming in the capital ha ha ha.
But why are recreational ice skates cheap? It’s because they’re typically made out of plastic and a bit of textile. And neither plastic nor textile fabrics cost an arm and a leg. You shouldn’t expect much performance, support, or longevity from recreational boots.
But you can expect enough comfort and support for spending many happy hours on the pond, lake, or in a public skate. The best recreational figure skates offer developing ice skaters with enough support and comfort to participate in shows and recitals at rinks and clubs.
2. Figure Skates
Figure skates have existed since the dawn of the 20th century. Figure skates from those days tended to be thin and quite supple rather than thick and rigid as modern figure skates. And in terms of design, figure skates from those early periods went up all the way to somewhere around the middle of the calf.
Today’s figure skates come with ample padding for support and comfort, but not as much padding as in hockey skates. And while today’s figure skates are still kind of thin, they’re nowhere near as thin as what 20th-century figure skaters such as Sonja Heine wore.
Modern boot technology has given the figure skating community boots that offer tons of rigidity that translates into loads of foot and ankle support.
When it comes to doing figure skating jumps and other super-neat, acrobatic movements, figure skaters need a serious level of ankle support. These skaters also need to bend their knees a lot to set up a whole slew of precise moves on the ice.
For these reasons, modern figure skates come with a far-below-the-calf cut. In most figure skates today, the upper part of the boot rarely extends past the ankle. And that design evolution has resulted in lots of boot flex.
If you’re into ice dancing, you need boots with an even lower cut on the back. That’s because ice dancing consists of various moves and maneuvers that necessitate lots of knee bending. I’ve even seen figure skates for ice dancing that feature a bit of elastic on the back to boost the boot’s overall flexibility.
If you’re a beginning figure skater, you can start your ice skating journey with pre-assembled boots that come with the boot and blades pieced together. You can find legions of these kinds of figure skates on Amazon and many other corners online.
In terms of boot colors, men traditionally wear black figure skates while women wear white skates. But it’s not like you can’t wear white if you’re a man or black if you’re a woman. In fact, the market groans under the weight of white figure skating boots for men and black boots for women and girls.
Now, fit is a critical element when choosing figure skates. But fit becomes even more important when shopping for professional figure skates. That’s the main reason professional figure skaters use custom figure skates instead of the cheap, ubiquitous, ready-to-wear boots.
3. Hockey Ice Skates
As the name suggests, hockey skates are ice skates designed for playing hockey. A lot goes on the pitch every single minute during a hockey session. So, the best hockey boot for you is one that meets your needs the entire time.
You need speed and the ability to stop suddenly. You also need to be able to quickly build up acceleration as well as make sharp, quick turns easily. So, the ice hockey skate you eventually settle for should be an option created to handle the rigors of intense hockey sessions.
Protection is another critical consideration when choosing hockey skates. A good hockey skate should be constructed from super tough, durable materials and components that act as a fortress against constant attacks. Why, you ask.
It’s because there’s always hard puck shots flying all over the place all the time. Also, there’s always some agile hockey player that seems to think there’s a way right where your boot is planted. So, they’re gliding hard in your direction, and their steel blades suddenly give your boot a hard slam.
In either situation, you’ll likely experience pain. Plus, your blade may get a nick, dent, crack, or whatever. And it’s not unheard of for hockey players wearing boots made out of low-quality materials to get a broken leg because an extremely momentous puck shot crashed into the boot!
What skater wants to end up on some hospital bed instead of hockey heaven after a successful game? Nobody, that’s who.
Whether you’re looking to buy hockey skates for yourself or your child, you’ll have to order the boot in one of three sizes. These ice hockey skate sizes are junior skate, youth skate, and senior skate sizes.
When sizing hockey skates, considering ordering them in a size and a half smaller than your size in regular street shoes. For example, if you wear size 9.5 in dress shoes, size 8 hockey skates will in most cases fit your feet properly. But you must remember that this is nothing more than a general rule.
Always remember that each hockey player is an individual. And each player’s feet shape and size may not be like everyone else’s. So, always consider picking up hockey skates only after you’ve correctly measured your feet and chosen a fitting size from the model’s skate size chart.
Even better, get properly fitted hockey skates from a skate shop. Or, have the skate fitting expert fit you and recommend a model from a given brand and then leave and order the boot from a cheaper place online or wherever. But if the store offers hockey equipment at great prices, why not support them? By all means do.
4. Speed Ice Skates
Speed skates do one thing and do it really well — glide super fast on the snow. These aren’t the safest ice skates out there. That means you shouldn’t ever skate in race ice skates unless you’ve mastered every skill needed to shuttle around safely in them. These boots are for skaters that have spent tons of hours perfecting their skating form, people that are insiders of the speed skating world.
Typically made of leather and with blades that are longer than any other skate, these boots focus manically on gliding forward at great speeds. Some speed skates have blades as long as 17″, which means that these blades usually extend way past the end of the boot.
Leather is a pretty common material when it comes to speed skates, also known as clap skates. But these boots are also available in other kinds of long-lasting materials (synthetic). When you put on a pair of speed skates, it feels like your feet effortlessly assume a natural running position.
Unlike the speed boots from the 1990’s speed skating scene, the modern speed skate/clap skate doesn’t come with the boot permanently attached to the blades. Instead, today’s speed skates feature some kind of hinge that links the blades to the boot.
The beauty of this skate design is that it lets the blade detach from the skate’s heel during a speed skating session. And when that happens, the skater has an easier time preventing their blade from cutting deep into the ice and potentially slowing them down. But while these ice skates move super fast, you won’t have much control of your ride. Small wonder lots of people think of speed skating as being a little clumsy.
Speed Ice Skates Vs. Regular Ice Skates
The main difference between speed skates and other types of ice skates is that speed skates are built purposely for speed. Hockey skates focus on providing support, protection, accelerating, great stopping, and fast turning ability. As for figure skates, these ones dedicate their structural design to cutting figures with amazing precision.
Another difference between speed skates and other skates is that speed skates have super flat blades. Also, these pieces of steel don’t have grooves as in hockey skates and figure skates.
Unlike hockey skates and figure skates that are hollow-ground, speed skates are flat-ground. While you can use a machine to sharpen other skates, the flat blades of race ice skates are best sharpened by hand.
Why Are Speed Skates Faster Than Other Ice Skates?
Ever wondered why speed skates are faster than either hockey skates or figure skates? It’s because speed skates have a lot of surface area in contact with the ice. But even my rusty high school physics tells me such blades should be slower because more of the blade experiences friction with the ice, you say.
Now, that counterargument sounds great. But the same argument crumbles once you take a closer look at the physics of ice skating.
When skating, you apply tons of pressure on your blades, causing them to push hard against the ice. And when you push against the ice, the ice does precisely the same thing, but in the opposite direction. The ice does that in complete obedience to one of Sir. Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion. For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. That means that the ice pushes equally hard against your stride’s push, giving you an equivalent force that manifests as forward movement.
But, consider this: the more pushing force you can apply on your blades, the more forward motion you can expect from the ice, right? And the more blade you have in contact with the ice, the more pressure you can transfer to the blade and onto the ice, correct? Which in turn means the more reactive force you’ll get from the ice, which then means more forward motion for you.
I’m sure you can now see why flat blades with a lot of surface area touching the ice’s surface translate into tons of forward momentum. You can also see why only professional ice skaters that have built up enough skating skill ridingspeed skates should use racing skates.
5. Rental Ice Skates
Well, rental ice skates aren’t exactly a specific type of skate. But, I’m going to talk about them a bit because people view them as though they were a different type of ice skate.
Rental skates typically aren’t the best quality you can have. For the most part, some rink has decided to invest in a couple ice skates to make a few bucks off of skaters (or aspiring skaters) that don’t own skates, yet.
The rink’s principal aim, of course, is to make as much money out of each asset as possible. And seriously, why buy $500+ hockey/figure skates to rent out for $15 a day when you could charge more or less renting out ridiculously cheap skates?
Most rental skates aren’t the sort of skate you want to use for playing hockey or doing any kind of serious figure skating. That’s because rental skates tend to be low-quality ice shoes that often fit poorly. I keep coming across first-time skaters that say that rental ice skate hurt feet badly, making them almost start looking for a better (less pain-causing) pastime.
Are rental ice skates bad? Well, they aren’t bad, as in they’re a regular pair of cheap skates, just like any other skate you can obtain at ridiculously low prices. But ice rink-owned skates usually aren’t good enough to be called beginner level skates.
For the most part, rental ice skates are just a pair of skates you strap on to build up a bit of confidence on the ice. Usually, you’re not going to be able to do any kind of ice skating tricks on them. Once you’re ready for jumps and spins on the ice, you’ll want to sink a hundred-plus dollars into a good quality beginner or intermediate level skate. Jackson carries quite a few good beginner and intermediate level skates.
Skating forward, skating backward, and building up enough courage to come away from the rink barrier is pretty much the greatest achievement you can expect skating in rented boots.
How much does it cost to rent ice skates? It costs anywhere between $10 to $15 to rent hockey skates or figure skates for a day. If you have a whole week to yourself, you can expect to pay between $45 and $100 for that much fun on the ice.
Some rinks will even let you rent their skates the night before at no extra charge. And if you and your family are all ice-loving souls, hunt around for a rink that offers family rental specials.
If you’re not yet sure whether ice skating is a worthwhile sport or pastime for you, it’s best to start with rental skates. If you end up deciding that spending your free time gliding around on the ice isn’t much fun, you can always quit it all. You can always walk away without having thrown a ton of dollars at expensive skates you’ll never use.
Recreational Ice Skates Vs. Other Ice Skates
In terms of general product design, recreational skates look like figure skates. They’re designed to provide lots of comfort. However, recreational skates don’t boast as much padding as professional figure skates have. I’ve noted that even beginner and intermediate level figure skates tend to have way better quality padding (and more of it) than the best recreational skates.
Since the materials used to create figure skates are much better than those used to make skates for leisure skating or hobby skating, figure skates cost significantly more.
Is there any difference between kids’ recreational skates and adult skates? No, there’s no difference between adult and kids’ hobby ice skates. Having said that, I must mention that kids’ leisure ice skates focus more on providing ankle support than adult skates do. But that’s not surprising considering that children’s ankles are naturally weaker than those of grownups.
For that reason, leisure skates for kiddos feature hard, plastic boots packed with tons of ankle support so kids can skate safely in them. It’s pretty common for kids hobby ice skates to have double blades so young skaters can balance easier. And if you’re wondering how much the cheapest recreational ice skates for adults and kids cost, the cheapest I have seen is $40.
Which Ice Skates Are the Best Ever?
There’s nothing like the best ice skate ever. The best ice skate for you is the one that adequately supports all your skating needs regardless of your skating level or ability. If you’re a recreational ice skater, find something that works great as far as providing you with comfort and support for your leisurely skating sessions.
If you’re a beginner hockey play or figure skater, find an option designed for that ability level. Here’s a list of 5 of the best ice skates for beginners. What if I have big feet? No worries! I’ve invested tons of expertise, research, and personal experience into reviews of 5 ice skates that fit large, flat, wide feet. Here’s the post: Best Ice Skates for Wide Feet.
If you’re a pro figure skater or hockey skater, read reviews online and ask any skaters you may know. You’ll surely find a bet that wins every time. The same goes for speed skates.
Hockey Skates Vs Figure Skates, What’s Better for Kids?
For kids, you want a pair of skates that offers lots of ankle support. Lots of parents have different opinions on whether figure skates or hockey skates are the better option for kids. I’ll give my two cents worth and say that figure skates tend to work better for kids than hockey skates.
That’s because figure skates offer a little better balance due to the blade design which doesn’t have a rocker as prounced as that of hockey skates. The blades are longer and flatter than those on hockey skates, and that means it should be easier for a child to balance on them.
Also, figure skates offer lots of ankle support, plus the toe pick stop prevents them from gliding forward too much. What’s more, figure skates come with a tail designed to prevent the skater from leaning too far back.
You’ve searched high and low and in every nook and cranny for a good hockey skate that fits wide feet. But every supposedly wide hockey skate you’ve ordered online has ended up strangling circulation and hurting your feet like there’s a pain-inflicting medal the boot needs to win! Fortunately, you ended up on this CCM SK80 RBZ senior skate review.
In my review of the CCM SK80 RBZ senior hockey skate, you’ll (hopefully) get more than a glimpse into what makes this wide-feet ice boot tick.
What’s more, you’ll also know every negative thing you should know about this ice shoe before you sink your hard-earned dollars into this investment.
*Affiliate Links Disclosure: This website participates in the Amazon Associates program. And as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This hockey skate features an amazing design and is available in a dark hue tempered with nice, c0ntrasting accents. Provides medium-volume to high-volume feet with a great fit. Has a 7mm felt tongue coupled with a soft, sweat-eating liner for comfort. Offers high-quality carbon blades sprouting off a high-quality tuuk, and the steel demonstrates good edge-holding abilities. As far as nimbleness and performance on the pitch, you'd be hard-pressed to find a switfer boot. Well, the skate is pricey, but you'll get your money's worth with this men's pro hockey skate.
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
CCM SK80 RBZ Senior Hockey SkateFeatures and Specs
I’ll right away hand over to you a little, neat list of this hockey skate’s features and specs. After that, I’ll handhold you through each spec and feature to help you evaluate the deal from a place of accurate information and clear, complete product knowledge. So, here’s the list:
Vectorwear Surlyn quarter package for support and durability
Heat-moldable EPP foam for customizability
A heavy-duty microfiber liner for comfort and moisture control
A 7-mm felt with great anti-lace bite credentials
A lightweight composite sole providing a reactive feel while noticeably boosting energy transfer
Speedblade 4.0 blade runners
Speedblade stainless steel blades
But is the CCM SK80 RBZ 80 really as good as everyone says it is? I’ll answer that question and a couple more a little further down the road.
So, let’s take a closer look at this men’s hockey skate from CCM.
First Impressions of the CCM SK80 Skate
CCM makes pretty decent skates for playing hockey. The super-popular hockey skate manufacturer makes racing skates, hockey skates, figure skates, and a whole slew of other hockey-focused products.
You’ll always meet someone who’s skated in CCM skates since 10 years ago. And the enthusiastic skater will always be a little hesitant to buy from any other skate brand. Because CCM builds superior skates, ice shoes that perform well, and most last many hockey seasons.
Right out of the box, one feels that the company took care when putting together the components this boot consists of. The boots is mainly dark, but white and red accents on the laces, the quarter package, and tendon guard. I’m yet to see a CCM boot that wasn’t dark with accents in contrasting colors to kill monotony in the boot’s design.
The outer shell looks tough and sturdy; it’s like it’s created to provide tons of support. The laces are mostly flat, and they’re white with dark accents. The final look is nowhere near plain or dull, but that doesn’t mean the skate stands out too much.
As for the eyelets, they’re steel and seem well-made, and the tongue amounts to really thick padding. The blades seem like good quality, too, just as are the runner holders.
Even though this skate is manufactured in Thailand, it’s a solid construction that’s resulted from an equally solid product design. Having examined this boot, and hearing my hubby share his experience using it I believe this piece of hockey gear is worth the money.
But appearances can be deceiving, so let’s dive in and examine the deal a little closer.
How Stiff is the CCM RBZ SK80 Skate?
Every hockey skater develops their own idea of how much stiffness is enough for optimized performance on the ice. In general, the stiffer the skate, the better.
But if you’ve been ice skating for a while, you likely have learned that the stiffer boot doesn’t always outperform its less stiff competitor.
In the end, everyone needs a certain amount of support for when striding on the ice. And this boot certainly isn’t the sturdiest my husband’s ever used. However, the CCM SK80 RBZ skate offers as much support as you’ll ever need on the pitch.
All the stiffness and sturdiness this boot provides mostly emanates from its Vectorwrear Surlyn quarter package. The quarter package conceals the skate’s EPP foam core, and this foam strengthens this boot’s construction from the toe box up to the ankle.
This foamy component comes in handy when it comes time to customize the fit. If you want more room inside the shoe because your feet are too big or whatever, you’ll appreciate that this skate is heat-moldable.
If you know what you’re doing, you can easily bake this hockey boot in your oven at home. But I almost always recommend taking your pair to a skate expert. I mean, they’re an expert, and they’re less likely to burn your boot.
How Well Does this CCM Hockey Boot Fit?
The hockey market is awash with ice hockey skates that don’t fit nearly as well as advertised. I can’t count how many times my SO and I have bought a skate shoe or ice skate described as a particular size only to return it because it’s too small, or too narrow. But that sizing doesn’t happen with this skate from CCM’s Nexus skate line.
Once you determine the skate size you need to order, order just that. I can guarantee that you’ll receive a pair of properly fitting skates. Actually, you should go a half size down since these boots are at least a half size larger and roomier than the same size in other ice hockey boots.
If you’re a size 8.5 in most other skates, for example, I’d advise you to purchase this skate in size 8. But even if you got this ice shoe in size 8.5, you can always use thicker socks. But does putting on thicker socks work great for everyone?
This boot comes with a widened forefoot, a medium-width toe box as well as a medium-width ankle area. But remember this boot’s medium width is like E or even EE in quite a few other boot options out there.
And if you ever need a bit more room inside of this ice boot, that’s easy. The moldable foam stretching underneath the entirety of the quarter packages makes it happen. Just be sure to bake your skates properly. Still, fit is a matter of personal preference, and I should probably be focusing almost exclusively on the product’s features and specs.
Here’s a little personal mantra that helps me quickly and accurately decide whether I want to DIY something or pay a pro. If you have any doubt, even a shred of doubt about what you’re about to do, just don’t do it. Instead, learn more of what you need to know to handle the task right, or hire a pro to handle it for you.
So, if you’ve never roasted shoes in the oven, better have a skate expert parch them for you. Unless you’re OK with charring your boot and making another significant debit to your bank account to replace your burned boot!
Let’s talk about this boot’s performance on the ice….
The CCM SK80 RBZ’s Performance on the Ice
If you expect to wear this boot, get in on the ice, and skate the heck out of the session, think again. The skate comes with a blade holder with an extra 4mm. There’s a bit of getting used to as far as blade runner height before you can comfortably squeeze any kind of A-game out of these boots.
My ice hockey-loving hubby noticed this runner height adjustment immediately he stepped on the ice for the usual pre-session warm-ups. The novelty of it all wasn’t altogether uncomfortable, but Jason clearly needed to do something if he’s going to play in this skate.
And what did he do? He invented a couple adjustments to the way he did his strides, and it felt like that improved the situation a bit. But it wasn’t until he’d consistently practiced his newly discovered stride tweaks a couple shifts before he gained perfect control of his skating form.
Having experienced the learning curve associated with playing ice hockey in this skate, my hubby has a thought to share with new owners of this skate.
Jason feels one shouldn’t wear this boot to a play situation unless they’ve practiced in it for quite some time in a public skate. That, he says, is the best (and only) way to form a clear idea of how to maximize the shoe’s performance.
The CCM RBZ SK80 Skate Helps You Skate Faster
So, is the CCM RBZ SK80 the fastest ice hockey skate ever designed? It’s hard to say, but Jason tells me this is one of the most agile boots he’s ever skated in.
My big guy strapped these boots on and got on the ice…and he flew! It felt like he was gliding around in a skate on steroids.
Jason was suddenly catching players he’d never before wearing a competing boot. What’s more, tackling defenders seemed to have become amazingly easier.
Well, users of products such as skates have been known to imagine things, things that elevate the overall performance of the product at hand. Even when the product is just an average performer.
But you certainly can’t fake catching super-fast hockey players, can you? Nor can you manage to pull away from some of the swiftest defenders in the hockey world on a breakaway. You can’t pretend all that was happening unless it was actually happening.
I mean, these skates are quick. Player after player after play has demonstrated that. You, too, will if you ever choose to wear these shoes to a fierce session.
A 7-mm Felt Tongue and Microfiber Liner for Comfort
While this isn’t the stiffest skate in the hockey world, it does still need you to break it in. And we all know nobody really enjoys breaking in their skate.
There’s always going to be a little pain, at least for a while. But the instant you’ve broken in this ice shoe, you’ll always love putting it on and hitting the pitch to show spectators what it’s capable of.
Once you’ve created enough room for your large toes and wide forefoot, you’ll love the soft, cushy feel inside the boot. And you have the skate’s soft and comfortable yet firm clarino microfiber liner to thank for that.
This microfiber liner boasts a great moisture-wicking capacity. And it’s this wicking ability that helps your feet to stay comfortable and relatively dry the entire game.
Now, a 7-mm tongue is a really think one, and that’s what you get with this boot. Have you ever played or just tried having a good time outdoors in poorly padded skates? Then you know what constant pain or unpleasantness feels like … like lace-bite.
But the problem gets worse if you have a foot shape that’s prone to suffering lace-bite. People with big, high-arched feet experience lace-bite more often and more sharply than do skaters with other foot shapes.
One way to solve lace-bite issues is to use sports footwear with proper padding on the tongue. Fortunately, the CCM SK80 RBZ is one of the better-padded skates on the tongue out there. Another way to address the lace-bite problem when using this skate is to leave the last two top eyelets unlaced.
Why Flat-footed Hockey Players Need More Padding
Another kind of skater that needs great padding inside their boot is a hockey player with massive, flat feet. When your foot is up, it’s a certain size and shape. But trouble starts when your foot comes down and sits solidly on the footbed.
A flat foot tends to roll outward, and the foot kind of expands and becomes wider. As all that happens, the sides of the boot are exerting a kind of reactive pressure inward to counter the outward push from the now wider foot.
And what’s the result? It’s foot pain — that’s what happens.
But when you have adequate padding inside the boot, you’ll feel much less pain since the padding doesn’t try to prevent the foot from expanding outward. Instead, the padding provides cushy resistance, allowing the foot to assume its new shape and size without punishing it.
How Much Forward Flex Does the Skate Provide?
While a good hockey skate offers tons of stiffness to a hockey player, too much of it could be counterproductive. The CCM RBZ SK80 is respectably stiff, but it also delivers a moderate amount of boot flex. But what does the shoe’s flex actually feel like?
The kind of forward flex you get out of this boot feels amazing if you’re upgrading from a super stiff boot that offers little flex. But if you’re switching to this skate from a top-end boot, you likely won’t’ notice much of a difference as far as forward boot flex.
In other words, there’s nothing really exceptional about this boot’s flexibility/flex rating. It offers much better flex than low-end skates and more or less the same amount of flex as do top-of-the-line hockey skates.
This boot doesn’t feel excessively restrictive to movement as some competitors. However, the boot still provides enough base (stiffness) from which to launch your moves and strides while playing on the ice. And when it comes to doing the most aggressive turns on the ice, few skates touch the CCM RBZ boot.
How Does the CCM RBZ SK80 Handle Energy Transfer?
The best hockey skate you’ll ever buy is one that allows loads of power transfer between the player’s foot and the runners. And for efficient energy transfer to happen, the outsole needs to be a consistently faithful medium that aids power flow between the foot and the blade.
So, is the CCM RBZ SK80 that amazing option, one that delivers great energy transfer? The product features a super-light but tough and extremely rigid carbon outsole that enables your feet to pass on tons of energy to the runners. This is best the kind of outsole for when you need to do smarter, faster, and more power-packed strides than you’ve ever done.
Have you always skated in cheap hockey skates that have shown no more than a lackluster performance on the pitch? If yes, playing in this boot should feel like hockey skating performance on a whole new level. That’s because the outsole happens to be way more reactive/responsive to pushes than any cheap option you might have used before.
Blade-holders and Blades of the CCM SK80 RBZ Skate
Just as you might expect at this product’s price point (costs north of 500 bucks as of this writing), this skate has in its arsenal pretty good quality steel blades. The kind of quality stainless steel runners you’d expect to have in any high-end skate worth its salt.
CCM uses high-grade steel to craft these blades. Superior-quality steel blades keep an edge noticeably longer than the cheapest options ever. And no, grinding away at the steel won’t leave you without blades as happens with some.
The runners attach to the skate’s Speed Blade 4.0 runner-holders. These holders are sturdy enough, but nothing spectacular. I mean, they’re the kind of blade holders one expects to find on skates of this caliber.
Pretty nimble on the pitch
Good-quality parts and construction
Price’s been dropping while quality hasn’t
Affordable, but pricier than most
Pre-2014 models had serious defects
Pre-2014 Design and Workmanship Issues
My hubby started using this boot post-2014, and that’s why he might say a few positive things about this boot that pre-2014 owners might vehemently disagree with.
Some of the early purchasers of this product complained of a slew of issues, and pretty much all those concerns revolved around design and craftsmanship.
Two product defects reviewers kept surfacing included poorly made eyelets and the boot coming apart at some places. Let’s take a closer look at those issues even though the company has since taken care of them.
Eyelets Splitting With Annoying Frequency
Consumers that complained about defective eyelets almost always said the eyelets seemed to be of low-quality. That was on top of the eyelets being weakly incorporated into the boot.
Some users had their eyelets split within weeks of wearing the skate boot, even when they’d not thrown a whole ton of abuse at their ice shoe. Imagine seeing the eyelets on your skate pop out even though all you did on the pitch was to referee?
Even after replacing the eyelets, the problem happened again within a couple weeks or months of use. In nearly all cases, the splitting happened around the top of the laces. And changing how one laced up their boot didn’t seem to solve the issue.
In some instances, broken-down steel eyelets that’d come out of the boot kept snagging the laces or even cutting them. How annoying having to replace one’s eyelets and laces must have been!
Boot Breaking at Weak Points
Another issue people griped on endlessly about was the boot breaking at some places. It seemed like there’s a gap at the point where the toe-cap met the shoe’s footbed.
I’d have hated being in skates that fell apart around the toe cap or anywhere else. It’d feel like the skate maker just grabbed my money and sent me an expensive piece of crap passed off as high-quality hockey gear.
In some cases, the tendon guard came off and necessitated stitching this part back on. But the tendon guard not being properly stitched on didn’t seem like a widespread issue.
But, here’s the good news! CCM listens, and they definitely heard what the unhappy users of the CCM RBZ SK80 said. But the company didn’t stop there, it acted.
And because the brand took action, today’s version of that reportedly defective boot comes superbly crafted and looks terrific without sacrificing any performance-boosting feature of the pre-2014 CCM hockey skate model.
CCM RBZ SK80 Ice Hockey Skate Review: Verdict?
So, is the CCM SK80 a good ice hockey skate? Yes, this product is one of the finest options in that price range.
In terms of design and construction, little about this pro-level skate needs improvement. What’s more, the boot offers great comfort and fit, and a skater with a beefy foot will definitely love this skate boot.
Performance-wise, the boot moves faster on the ice than most, and its premium stainless runners hold an edge quite well. The skate lasts, too, and the price is attractive.
But the boot used to have design and construction defects pre-2014. However, CCM seems to have rectified the issues since. Overall, this is a great skate, worth every dollar you’ll shell out for it.
Are you a big hockey skater with large, wide feet that have serious trouble fitting properly into any kind of skate? Are you tired of wearing ice skates that feel uncomfortably narrow, skates that consistently squeeze the hell out of your toes, forefoot, and heel? Maybe you should read my previous post Best Ice Skates for wide feetbefore you dive into my review of the men’s hockey skate I’m about to assess, huh?
I’m sure you have tons of pain-packed stories you’ve never shared, yet. But here’s good news: All of that misery ends today. Now. Here. Because in this Bauer Nexus 800 Hockey Skate review, I’ll disassemble this ice skating shoe into its various parts to show you how each component helps make this shoe what it is.
*Affiliate Links Disclosure: This website participates in the Amazon Associates program. And as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Bauer Nexus 800 isn't like the cheapest men's hockey skate that can be had. But the skate's overall construction quality, the quality of its parts, durability, and performance more than justifies that price .
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Bauer Nexus 800 Men’s wide-fitting hockey skate belongs in Bauer’s Nexus lineup of hockey skates. This ice shoe comes in men’s sizes, and the product in the image above is a size 10D.
But while D width means a standard-width fit in most comparable skate boots, width D in the Bauer Nexus 800 is like width EE in regular-width hockey skates. It’s pretty roomy where it matters most — in the toe box (around the forefoot) and around the heel.
Also, the Bauer Nexus 800 skate is well put together. Nothing about the product’s appearance looks cheap or poorly crafted. Its sweat and moisture management liner works quite well, and its insole features a heel stabilizer. The ice shoe offers great ankle and heel support, and its protection abilities against play-related impacts are matchless.
What’s more, this ice boot features a lightweight composite outsole designed to foster responsiveness while boosting energy transfer to the skate’s stainless steel blades. Plus, the boot fits true to size. Overall, it’s a great mid-range ice skatethat performs satisfactorily, and it’s considerably roomy to boot.
Features and Specs of the Bauer 800 Men’s Hockey Skate
1.A compression-moldable EVA quarter package crafted from super-tough Pro-Tech Nylon
2.Liner System: Hydrophobic Retro Tan Clarino Liner
3.Patented Pro-Integrated heel and ankle support that provides an anatomic fit
4.Proper padding around the ankle provided by the skate’s Anafoam ankle pads
6.Form-Fit footbed/insole that offers great grip while promoting moisture control inside the boot. The foot boasts a heel stabilizer as well as toe protection
7.Outsole: Lightweight, full-composite carbon sole
8.Upper: Can be heat-formed
9.Blade Holder: Tuuk Lightspeed 2 (LS2)
10.Runners: LS2 Edge Stainless Steel blades
Yes, that’s a nice little list of every feature and spec the Bauer Nexus 800 hockey skate provides.
But what do all these fancy-sounding features and specifications mean for you, a player with really wide feet? How do all of these aspects come together into this wide-fitting skate boot you’re eyeing?
Well, that’s why I write this review. So, let’s go!
Unboxing the Bauer Nexus 800
My husband’s Bauer Nexus 800 finally arrived. Well, it’s not an Amazon Prime product. At least, it’s not a Prime item as of this writing. Right out of the box, you could tell that Bauer did whatever it takes to create an appealing product that promises great performance and overall user satisfaction.
The boot cuts a clean, neat look, the kind of product you want to receive as a birthday or Xmas gift. It looks every inch like the premium-quality product it is.
Bauer skates have always been exceptional in many respects, and the Bauer Nexus 800 doesn’t deviate one bit from that tradition. You’re going to love this boot the instant you see it, just as we did.
The Quarter Package
This ice skating boot is heat-moldable. Moldable EVA foam starts somewhere behind the boot’s toe box, and it extends through the midfoot all the way to the ankle area. It’s this EVA foam that makes this boot bake-able since the foam has thermo-moldable properties. Thermo-moldability helps skate shop pros to create a custom fit where foam conforms to the wearer’s foot shape.
The quarter package of the Bauer Nexus 800 skate comes reinforced with a layer of high-quality Pro-Tech nylon. When these two durable components come together, they make the boot really stiff and rigid.
But the nylon side of things also gives a little flexibility to the entire boot’s construction. Without having rigidity/stiffness and flexibility in the right proportion, you’ll never achieve complete flow when it comes to launching strides on the ice.
The Comfort Liner System
After you break it in, the Bauer Nexus 800 is among the comfiest pro-level hockey skates on the market. The inner part of the boot features Bauer’s Hydrophobic Retro Tan CLARINO lining.
This moisture-hating liner gives the boot a soft, comfortable fit and also efficiently wicks away moisture and sweat.
But if you think this wide Bauer boot offers great soft-boot comfort by sacrificing performance during play, think again. Some boots can be optimally rigid and stiff while also being super comfortable. And the Bauer Nexus 800 is one of those special skates.
Anafoam Ankle Pads and Heel Support
Powerful strides are rarely a chance event. Rather, great strides on the ice happen when the heel does its job right. Bauer knows that, which is why they included ample ankle support via the seemingly good-quality Anafoam ankle pads.
While the toe box of the Bauer Nexus 800 is pretty wide to accommodate high-volume feet, the heel isn’t as wide. The boot gives skaters a deep V-type heel designed to lock in the heel throughout the game. With the heel locked in like that, you’ll always be in your best skating form in every game.
An Ultra-thick 2-Piece Tongue
Well, the tongue you get with this skate isn’t a 3-piece affair, but it’s still super thick and useful. The upper side of the tongue features a molded plastic guard, the metatarsal guard I mentioned in the Bauer Nexus 800 skate’s specs and features listed out above.
This molded-onto-the-tongue plastic guard serves two critical roles.
First, this component makes sure you never get lace-bite. That means you’ll stop experiencing pain wearing this skate as soon as you break in the boots.
Jason, my significant other, has had many nasty lace-bites while playing in skates from quite a few brands. But when he discovered Bauer’s wide-fit skate boots, he’s never looked back. Second, the metatarsal guard absorbs any kind of impact directed at that area of the foot.
Additionally, the 2-piece felt tongue hugs your foot in a way that’s …just different. Plus, the tongue contributes greatly to the overall quality of the fit you can create with this skate.
FORM-FIT Fitted With Bauer’s ERGOTOE Protection Feature
Let’s talk about the skate’s FORM-FIT footbed a bit. This footbed is a high-quality part that increases the boot’s overall comfort while supercharging its foot protection credentials.
This component is what offers the V-heel lock I mentioned above. The rear part of this insole curves upward in a way that compels the heel to stay stabilized and do its job throughout your play. Then there’s the stabilizer, a feature incorporated into the insole to curb undesirable foot movements.
Another feature the FORM-FIT insole offers is the ERGOTOE toe protection system. If you hold this footbed in your hand with the front facing away from you, you’ll see that the front features barriers designed to shield the forefoot and toes from hard impacts.
The footbed offers tons of grip, too, and that means your foot won’t slide forward all the time. But just in case that happens, the front area of the FORM-FIT footbed prevents your toes from crashing into the sides of the toe box and the toe guard.
But there’s more. The FORM-FIT is designed to work best for low-arch, high-volume feet. If your feet are flat, chances are you have a low foot arch.
As explained in detail in this post: Best Ice Skates for Wide Feet, this type of insole is a great solution for when a skater still gets foot pain even though their boot is the correct width.
I liked that my husband didn’t need to spend extra money buying good quality inserts as is typically the case with certain competing models.
Lightweight, Rigid Carbon Outsole for Maximized Energy Transfer
This skate features a pair of long-lasting outsoles built to provide as much rigidity as needed to improve energy transfer. If the sole is no good, you won’t have anything like power transfer to your blades when doing strides. The outsole is engineered from great-quality carbon. And it lasts.
TUUK Lightspeed 2 Blade Holder And LS2 Steel Runners
There’s a reason most ice skates for hockey players use Tuuk Lightspeed 2 blade runners. It’s because they’re good quality tuuks. Plus, these edge holders work perfectly with Bauer’s LS2 high-grade steel runners.
Do you like premium steel that holds a sharpen long enough so you can make fewer trips to the skate shop? If you said yes, then look no further than these stainless steel runners.
Bauer Nexus 800 Skate Review: Final Thought
Overall, the Bauer Nexus 800 skate is a worthy bet when it comes to packing wide hockey-playing feet. The boot is and looks like really good quality. After all, it’s a Bauer creation. And Bauer shines when it comes to this kind of craftsmanship.
The toe box comes wide enough, and the V-heel-lock coupled with the stabilizer keeps the foot adequately prepped for intense play. Well, the boot isn’t anywhere near cheap. But when you play in the Bauer Nexus 800 skate, it never feels like you’d have netted a better deal.
Purchasing things good ice skates online has never been easy. But choosing hockey skates or figure skates that fit wide feet snugly usually turns out to be even trickier. All too often, figure skaters and hockey players, especially beginners, follow recommendations from random people online.
And what happens? These players end up with a pair of ice skates that crush their feet harder than they’ve ever been squeezed.
As I review 5 of the best ice skates for wide feet, I focus on helping you pick up something that works great for your foot size and shape.
As you near the finish of this review, you’ll find a detailed buying guide where I explain how to choose the right boot for figure skating and hockey playing. At this point, I’ll quickly list out 5 of what I (and many other skaters) consider to be the best wide feet ice skates for tracing out figures and stopping hard pucks.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the best figure skates and hockey skates that come in wide. Whether you’re planning on playing in a rec league or are an accomplished figure/hockey skater, you’ll likely find an option you like.
5 Best Wide Fitting Figure Skates and Hockey Skates
Bauer Nexus 2N (#1 Wide Feet Ice Skates)
Bauer Nexus 800 (A Mid-range, High-Volume Skate)
Jackson Ultima Fusion Elle Freestyle Figure Skate (Best for Beginner Kids)
Men’s CCM SK80 RBZ 80EE Senior Skate (A Decent Pick)
But before I tell you everything you should know before whipping out that credit card (or that wallet), here’s a not-so-deep dive into the greatness (or lack thereof) of each skate.
Wide-foot Ice Skate Reviews & A Super Detailed Buying Guide)
Let’s jump right in….
*Affiliate Links Disclosure: This website participates in the Amazon Associates program. And as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
1.Bauer Nexus 2N Wide Hockey Skate Review
You’re past that point where wide-foot skaters ask which skates are best for wide feet. At this point, you know that Bauer hockey skates are some of the widest on the market. That’s why you’re asking a more specific question: which Bauer ice skates are the widest?
Bauer is among the biggest and most popular hockey brands in the world, alongside True and CCM. The company offers three skate lineups namely Bauer Vapor (Wide fit), Bauer Supreme (Wider than the Vapor fit), and Nexus. Nexus is the widest Bauer wide fit currently.
How Wide is the Bauer Nexus 2N?
The Bauer Nexus 2N hockey skate is a high-quality hockey skate designed specifically to fit players with high-volume and wide feet. But how wide is the Bauer Nexus 2N? It’s really wide, wider than pretty much any other option you’ve ever skated in.
If you wear the Bauer 2N skate in D width, your large feet should feel as comfortable as they would in any EE-width skate in the Bauer Supreme lineup. And if your feet are like some of the widest the skating world’s ever seen, it’d best to choose this Bauer boot in EE width.
I’ll tell you what EE wide in the Bauer Nexus 2N converts into in other skates. It’s equal to an EEE-width skate in other brands and models.
Features and Specs of the Bauer Nexus 2N Hockey Skates
Bauer technologies keep evolving, but it feels like the Bauer Nexus 2N was Bauer’sfinest hour. The company’s Form-Fit+ footbed works with the skate’s textured heel and sturdy toe cup for tons of protection, comfort, durability, and support.
Then there’s Bauer’s Hydra Max 2 liner system designed to tackle sweat besides helping the boot to dry really fast after play.
The product is a carefully crafted boot that lasts hockey seasons thanks to Bauer’s 3D Lasted Curv Composite skate construction system. As for performance, you’d never ask for a better skate.
Many great players have put this shoe to the test again and again. And its peerless performance on the ice has never been in doubt. It looks great, too. Plus, those hard pucks won’t ever break your foot. The skate’s protective credentials make sure that never, ever happens.
Looking for a pair of skates that lets you switch blades super quickly mid-play? Look no further than the Bauer Nexus 2N. The company’s famous proprietary blade-switching technology, the Lightspeed Edge w/ Tuuk LS3 Steel, makes swapping out dull-ish blades for sharper ones a breeze.
The blades are super strong, too. You won’t sharpen them to dust in a season! They’re a premium-quality stainless steel affair handpicked for the finest wide-footed hockey players on the planet.
Did you know that the two-time Olympic gold medalist and NHL All-StarMichael Shea Weber has severally been spotted playing in the Bauer 2N? Well, now you know.
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Here’s another wide-fit hockey-playing skate from Bauer, the men’s Bauer Nexus 800 ice skate. It’s a size 10D men’s size. But a 10D width in this brand is more like 10EE in skates from many other companies. So, yes, the toe box is really spacious, just as it is for all options in Bauer’s Nexus skate lineup.
The boot’s compression-molded EVA quarter package is crafted out of good quality and long-lasting Pro-Tech Nylon. That’s why the skate offers good foot support and longevity. What’s more, the upper part of the boot allows you to heat-mold the skate for that ever-elusive snug fit.
Bauer uses the Hydrophobic Retro Tan Clarino liner as its moisture management system. Now, the liner works well, keeping your feet comfortable and fresh throughout the game. Add the Form Fit+ insert with the integrated heel stabilizer, and sweat management gets even better while grip and support get a noticeable boost.
The skate’s pro-level anatomical heel provides enough foot and ankle support. This heel support mechanism pairs up with the durable composite outsole to make for really good energy transfer.
Then there’s the Anaform foam ankle support pads designed to offer comfort while molding to your foot shape for that perfect fit. Then, a super thick 2-piece felt tongue plus its molded metatarsal guard takes comfort to an even better place.
And no, you won’t get lace-bite because the tongue prevents that. Besides, this is a shoe designed with a lot of foot room to accommodate even the beefiest feet.
Packs hefty feet without killing them
Heat-moldable; allows the creation of a true custom fit
Well-made and durable
Well, this isn’t a cheap hockey skate. And that’s because it’s not a cheaply made skate.
3.Jackson Ultima Fusion Elle Freestyle Figure Skate Review
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Jackson makes good ice skates, and the Jackson Ultima Fusion Elle for freestyle figure skating is no exception. It’s pretty hard to find figure skates with a wide toe box, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a comparable skate that’s roomier than the Jackson Ultima Elle.
With a lightweight microfiber upper and an improved lightweight Fusion sole, this boot doesn’t feel like a ton of bricks. And a slanting cut from the tongue toward the lower calf ensures you get enough support without sacrificing flexibility.
The skate’s steel blades feature a toe pick, and they attach to the outsole via sturdy aluminum plates. You won’t get to enjoy more than simple jumps with this skate, though. It’s a beginner-level figure skate, after all. The laces don’t go all the way up to the top of the well-padded tongue, but heel-lock and support is still great.
But there’s one little fact about this skate’s fit you must know. Even though the Jackson Ultima Fusion Elle features a roomy toe box, its heel area is narrower.
So, be absolutely sure your foot shape will work well with this wide-toe-box-narrow-heel fit. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a pair of skates that’ll squeeze the heck out of your heel.
Do you know why the Jackson Ultima Fusion Elle costs over $250 (as of this writing)? It’s because it’s not constructed using cheap components. That means the shoe performs well and lasts, but not forever. I mean, it’s a beginner figure skate. But it should outlast most of the $60 starting skater boots that online stores are choking on.
This skate looks nice, too, and the added Swarovski crystals make it look elegant. You’ll always get compliments when out there free-styling.
The size you see in the picture above is for kids, though — young girls and boys. You need to explore the drop down menu on the Amazon description to select a larger size if you’re an adult.
Note that these boots are pretty stiff, but isn’t that normal for these kinds of boots? You’ll probably want to heat-mold them to help them break in a little sooner.
But once you pay the price (discomfort and a little pain), all you’ll experience figure-skating in these aesthetically pleasing boots is comfort and satisfaction.
A compliment magnet
Crystals add elegance
Wide at the forefoot, but narrower at the heel
Well-crafted and doesn’t look cheap
Many cheaper alternatives available
Quite stiff before you break it in
This figure skate isn’t designed for pro-level figure skaters. It’s meant for beginner and intermediate level girls, boys, women, and men. And if it wasn’t that stiff, you’d not get as much ankle support as you’d like as a beginner. All ice skates hurt a little at first, you know.
The Bauer Nexus N8000 Senior Hockey Skate recently got redesigned to offer a somewhat closer fit. The tweak focused on the ankle and heel area as well as the forefoot. But if you think the Bauer Nexus N8000 kills its wearer’s feet, you’re wrong!
The redesign may have achieved the intended goal, but the toe box is still what it’s always been — a large toe box that accommodates large toes, a wide forefoot, and heel. One thing the design modification achieved is improving the heel –lock. And that’s a nice thing for every ardent hockey player.
Another improvement to the design is the 3mm-taller Tuuk Lightspeed edge holder. Using this blade holder does take some getting-used-to, but you also get a much better angle of attack playing. The skate comes with the Tuuk LS1 Edge, which is a stock stainless steel blade. But you can change that in no time thanks to Bauer’s Trigger blade switching system.
This lightweight, heat-moldable boot is super stiff, just as it should, thanks to it boasting a lightweight pro-quality nylon quarter package. And being that stiff does enhance performance on the ice quite a bit. You’ll have to break in the boot, of course, and that won’t be tons of fun. But after that, all you’ll experience is unmatched comfort, support, protection, and a lot more.
Comfort-wise, the skate’s 48ozx tongue, the Hydra Max liner, and the Form-Fit+ footbed enhanced with a foot stabilizer step in and do the job. This liner keeps your feet comfortable even when you’re playing really hard and sweating out gallons.
A roomy-toe box men's skate for playing serious hockey. It's a premium skate costing a couple hundred dollars, but the cushy padding, sturdy boot construction, and high-quality frame & blades make for a durable skate that performs exceptionally well.
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
CCM has been in a never-ending contest with Bauer for market dominance for years. It’s a worthy competitor. This hockey brand produces good-quality sporting goods, but it’s best known for its generous ice skates that fit some of the flattest, widest feet out there.
Admittedly, the CCM SK80 RBZ 80EE Senior hockey skate for men is expensive. But with this boot, you sure do get what you pay for. You get great performance, cushy comfort, excellent support, and perfect protection.
It’s a stylish, heat-moldable pair of hockey skates that fits 10.5 EE feet snugly and comfortably. But this 10.5 EE width proves to be much wider than the same width in other brands excluding Bauer. This fit is like 10EEE in other skates — it should work well for even the biggest feet.
The Vectorwear Surlyn outer shell is heat-modifiable, which means each hockey player can customize their fit however they want. The skate also features a customizable EPP foam that further strengthens the boot. This is a high-performance hockey boot, and each stride on the ice feels powerful and complete.
The CCM SK80 RBZ 80 EE provides tons of super thick padding so you can support your team in comfort while staying fully shielded from the dangerous impact of feet-loving pucks.
The liner is a heavy-duty microfiber affair so that you can stop worrying about sweat and focus on the game. As for the 7mm felt-and-foam tongue, it offers matchless lace-bite protection while enhancing comfort and the overall fit.
Also, there’s ultra-thick padding around the ankle and extending all the way to the top back of the shin. As you make those powerful strides, you know you have all the support you’ll ever need to win.
But there’s more.
The skate boasts an exhaust composite outsole, which explains why it’s a surprisingly lightweight boot. This sole allows for amazing energy transfer from the foot to the blades, too.
As for the runner holder, the CCM SK80 RBZ 80EE features the recently improved Speed Blade 4.0 blade holder. This runner holder collaborates with premium-quality stainless steel runners so you can execute turn, and stops swiftly and neatly.
Enables powerful, complete strides
A super sturdy construction made out of premium parts
Provides an extra-wide fit
Stylish and comes with exceptionally thick padding
Do you like stylish things that offer everything you expected and then some while outlasting every other similar product you’ve ever owned?
Are you Ok forking over a couple hundred dollars for a top-of-the-line hockey skate specifically designed for wide-footed players? Then, this wide-toe box CCM skate got you covered.
It’s time to learn everything you should know when shopping for wide ice skates.
4 Different Foot Types
All ice skaters have one of four foot types. Some skaters have narrow feet while others have regular-width feet. Others have wide feet, and the rest have extra-wide feet.
Now, if you don’t know what foot type you are, picking the right skate size can be extremely difficult and confusing.
Unless you want to be the skater that always needs to return their skates because they were too narrow, it’s crucial to know your foot type.
There’s a vast sea of figure skates and hockey skates that fit narrow feet really well but squeeze the heck out of regular-width feet.
And I’ve seen skates from certain brands such as Bauer and CCM, whose regular-width fit (D) provides more room than the Wide fit in comparable skates from other skate companies.
You want to pick up a pair of skates you’ll love wearing and doing drills, scrimmages, or actually playing in. That’s why you must first know how narrow or wide your foot is and what shape it is.
Once you determine your foot shape, you should also know whether the ice skate brand you’re eyeing offers wide fitting lines. For Bauer, the lines include the Vapor, Supreme, and Nexus (the widest) lines.
Do You Really Have Wide Feet?
Let’s pause a second and ask this all-important question: are your feet wide? How do you determine whether your feet are larger than what’s considered normal foot size as far as foot width?
I’ve decided to answer this critical question at this point so you can know whether you have a wide foot problem early enough.
If you develop bunions, that might be a sign your feet are usually flatter and wider than your shoes. Bunions are nasty, and to address them requires a trip to the operation room.
Another way to tell whether you have wide feet is to try and remember the last time you wore a pair that didn’t cause blisters. Blisters are usually an indication that your feet are crammed in, and the sides of your kicks keep rubbing against your skin.
Here’s one more sign you likely have wider feet. If your feet are flatter than any you’ve seen recently, that means they’re becoming wider. Having flat feet (flat feet are usually wider) can result from genetics, habitually walking unshod, being overweight, getting older, or regularly engaging in high-impact pastimes such as technical skateboarding.
A recent study focusing on a U.K. population revealed that people’s feet are getting longer and flatter. Can you believe a whopping 20 percent of the respondents can’t seem to find shoes that are wide enough for their flat, beefy feet?
The researchers argued that the cause is likely ever-expanding waistlines. And, isn’t that what’s happening across the Atlantic in this land of the bold and free?
First, Show Up at Your Local Skate Shop
Maybe you’ve been meaning to buy a certain skate brand but have wider feet and aren’t sure if the company offers wide fitting boots. If that’s what the situation is like for you, here’s what to do.
Make time to walk into a local skate shop and try on in person the particular ice skate model you crave for size. The odds are there’s a guy there that knows skate fitting inside and out.
Also, the shop likely custom fits skaters. They have people who know how to bake ice skates to force them to assume the shape of your feet.
If it has the right people, the shop will examine your feet and recommend something that works great no matter what foot size or shape you are. And if you’re wide-footed, they’ll recommend a boot brand and model that perfectly aligns with your width.
What if there isn’t a skating goods shop around, or you can’t walk in and try boots on for some reason? In that case, I offer an alternative suggestion below.
How to Size Ice Skates at Home
Skate makers size figure skates and hockey skates differently.
That means a foot size chart that works brilliantly for figure skates won’t work for hockey skates.
So, how do you size each kind of skate?
How to Size Figure Skates Properly at Home
When it comes to sizing figure skates, a general rule says to select a skate size that’s 1.5 sizes smaller than a regular dress shoe size. But buying 1.5 sizes smaller doesn’t guarantee anyone a comfortable fit.
For that reason, the best way to size your figure skates is to measure your feet. I describe how to do that below. To complete this task accurately, first, gather what you need. Then, request someone to help measure your feet.
Here’s what you need: A tape measure/ruler/a string, a piece of paper (blank), a pencil (a pen should also do), and socks if you use them when skating. Of course, you also need a hard level surface to support your feet as you measure them. Follow the process that follows:
Step 1: Put a Blank Piece of Paper on a Hard, Firm Surface
Place a blank piece of paper flat on the floor with one edge squarely touching the base of the wall.
Step 2 (Optional): Wear Socks
Put on socks if you prefer to play in socks. Skip this step if you skate sockless. Wearing socks ensures you get super accurate measurements.
Step 3: Step on the Paper
With your heel touching the base of the wall, step on the paper and stand straight up.
Step 4: Draw a Straight Line
Notice where the largest toe reaches and, using a ruler and pencil, draw a straight line across the paper. The line should be parallel to the wall. *Note that this step doesn’t apply to people wanting to purchase non-leather boots for recreational skating.
Step 5: Measure the Widest Part of the Foot
Follow this step only if you’re sizing leather figure Skates. Run the tape or strip over the widest portion of your foot. Typically, the widest part is around the ball of the foot.
If using a string, execute the step above and then straighten the string out along the ruler to read the foot circumference and write it down somewhere, in inches.
Step 6: Read the Length Measurement
Measure the entire length of the foot using a ruler. To take this measurement, place the ruler at a right angle to the horizontal line. Write down the length number.
Step 7: Repeat the Process for the Other Foot
That’s pretty straightforward, right? You can turn the paper upside down, or you can use a fresh one. You should use the longer length of the two feet to pick up an appropriate skate size.
Step 8: Look at a Reliable Foot Size Chart
I always say one can’t always rely on size charts to find the best fitting size. But it’s, for the most part, a reasonably reliable approach to size your ice skates.
Now, look at the skate size chart below from Jackson Ultima. What skate size most closely matches the longer foot measurement? The chart contains men’s sizes and the corresponding women’s sizes. You can use the chart to size skates for your child, boy, or girl.
*If you were sizing leather figure skates (you took both feet’s circumferences, right), it’s time to select a boot with the right width. Again, grab the chart and see the closest width measurement the chart recommends to people with your skate size.
To get this width recommendation, first determine what size you are, which you already did above. Once you determine your size, move your eyes down that size’s column until you find a width measurement that almost coincides with the larger foot circumference. You did it!
How to Size Hockey Skates
When it comes to hockey-playing skates, there are 3 different size categories. These size categories include the junior skate, youth, and senior skate sizes. I explain below what each size band is so you can see where you fit best.
Youth Size, Junior Size, and Senior Size Skates
What’s the difference between junior figure/hockey skates and youth skates? How do junior skates differ from senior skates?
Senior skates have their best fit at a place 1.5 sizes down from men’s regular dress shoe size. As for youth and junior skates, their best fit exists somewhere 1 size smaller than boys’ normal shoe size.
If you’re size 9.5 in men’s everyday shoes, the best fitting skates would be a senior size 8.
But if you’re shopping for a kid with quickly growing feet, it’s advisable to go a half size down (rather than a full size) from the kid’s regular shoe size.
Selecting the right size isn’t always that simple when choosing skates for narrow, regular, or wide feet. But things get a tad more challenging when sizing wide feet.
Here’s a more reliable way to size hockey skates. But this method is more involved than the approach described above. Foot tracing is the main thing when doing hockey skate sizing.
How to Fit Hockey Skates Using the Foot Tracing Method at Home
What makes this hockey skate sizing strategy super accurate? It’s because you get to count on length, foot width, and fit type to determine what boot size would fit your feet best.
You need pretty much the resources you had when sizing your figure skates. That’s a ruler, a measuring tape/string, a pencil or pen, and a blank piece of paper, preferably white. Here are the steps to follow to size your hockey skates right:
1. Step 1: Lay a Blank Piece of Paper on a Hard, Flat Surface
Put the paper on a hard, flat surface such as the wood floor in your living room.
2. Step 2: Wear Socks (Optional)
If you like playing in a pair of socks, slide into those socks now.
Step 3: Step on the Paper
Stand on the blank piece of paper, and make sure to leave a wide enough margin all around the edge of your feet.
Step 4: Trace the Outline of Your Foot
While you can do it without help, it’s better to have someone help you measure your feet. So, grab a pencil or pen and outline your foot. The best way to hold your little tracing tool is perpendicularly (to the paper).
Why hold the pencil at 90 degrees? It’s difficult to trace areas underneath the foot in that position, which could lead to inaccurate and unreliable foot measurements.
Step 5: Measure Your Foot Length
Using a ruler or tape, determine the distance from your heel’s end to the point around the toes that’s farthest from the heel. Note that number down, and that should be your foot length.
Step 6: Measure the Foot Circumference
Now, take the tape measure and wrap it around the widest section of the forefoot. The number you get becomes your foot width measurement.
Step 7: Repeat the Foot Tracing Process for the Other Foot
Follow the foot tracing and width determination method you executed in step 1 through step 6.
Step 8: Calculate Your Foot Width Ratio
It’s time to do a little basic math here. To calculate the right foot’s width ratio, take the right foot length measurement, and divide that by that foot’s width measurement. Repeat the calculation for the left foot to obtain the left foot width ratio.
With these measurements, you’re on your way to sizing your hockey skates pretty accurately. Note that the measurements in this skate size determination process are in centimeters.
At this time, finding an accurate skate size should be pretty easy. Take the greater foot length in centimeters and look at the skate sizing charts below to see what size matches that length. If you measure 25.1 cm or more, use this senior skate size chart. And if your foot length is 24.7 cm or less, use this junior and youth skate size chart.
Types of Hockey Skate Fit (Accurately Determine If You Have Wide Feet)
But what do we do with the width ratios we calculated? This number (width ratio) expresses your foot’s width relative to its length. You can easily use your foot width ratio to decide what type of skate fit would work best for you. But the most important job for this ratio is to help you know for sure if you have wide feet.
Medium-Volume, Low-Volume, and High-Volume Fits
Three skate fits exist, and these fits include the high-volume skate fit, mid-volume fit, and low-volume fit. How do I know for sure if I have wide feet?
You know your feet are wide if your foot width ratio stays lower than 2.5. With such a ratio, you’re likely to have a deep heel and a forefoot that’s quite wide. Solution: order high-volume EE width skates.
But if your ratio is marginally less than 2.5, you likely belong in the medium volume fit category. Solution: order medium-volume EE width skates.
How do you know you have standard width feet? If your width ratio hovers between 2.5 and 3, you have standard width feet, and the best boots for you are D-width, mid-volume boots. And if your ratio is less than 3 by a tiny margin, a low-volume skate in EE width should fit you properly.
What if your ratio is a little bit higher than 2.5? That means your feet are somewhat wider than medium-volume fit. Solution: Choose EE width in medium-volume skates. You could also decide to select high-volume D-width skates. In this fit territory, you have a standard heel and a regular forefoot.
A skater whose width ratio exceeds 3 has a narrow foot that belongs in the low-volume territory. But what width do you choose when your ratio is slightly higher than 3? Select a low-volume EE width hockey skate. Alternatively, choose a D-width mid-volume hockey skate.
What Do Width Sizes C, D, R, E, and EE in Ice Skates?
Here’s one more sizing aspect ice skaters should know, especially those planning on joining a beginner league, also called a hobby league in some places.
I keep hearing those new to ice skating asking, what does width D or width R mean in ice skates? Or, how much wider are EE wide skates compared to E wide skates?
If a boot offers a C width, that skate has a narrow fit. Obviously, a wide-footed person shouldn’t order width C of any ice skating shoe no matter what brand they’re looking at.
Width D means standard width. That’s a regular width boot and may cause an awful lot of foot pain if you’re E or EE wide. As for ice skate width R, that letter size means those skates are a little wider than width D.
E width skates are considered wide skates. If you have a moderately wide foot rather than a standard width one, you may want to try on boots in this size range.
R and E widths aren’t common in ice skates. But that doesn’t mean you won’t come across boots in that width. EE and D happen to be the most common widths when it comes to hockey skates. And, width EE is 3/16″ wider than D width.
D, E, and EE skates should work well for ice skating folks with larger than regular feet. But EE is about the widest fit you can find in these types of skates.
What If I Have Extremely Wide Feet?
You’re asking this question because no shop where you live seems to sell extra wide boots. You own a pair of very, very wide feet, and getting ice skate boots that fit properly has been a perpetual problem that started since forever.
But here’s good news. Some brands sell extra wide fitting ice skates. But he’s not-so-good news: people with feet that are too wide may still have trouble finding something that fits well no matter what skate brand it is.
If you’re one of those unlucky ice skaters with huge feet, the only effective approach would be to find a shop that does custom skate fitting.
The right place can easily make a custom-sized skate for your flat, large feet. Typically, skate makers charge anywhere between $100 and $300 over what you’d shell out for stock skates to craft custom boots.
The upside of using a custom skate shop is that most will fit you accurately. They’ll also pair you up with a skate brand and model that’ll work awesomely for you.
My Skates Are the Right Width, But They Still Hurt Me
One problem ice skaters of all stripes keep griping about is that their boot hurt their feet even though they’re wide enough. But why do hockey skates and figure skates still squeeze a wearer’s feet even when they’re clearly the correct width?
A poorly fitting footbed could be the culprit, at least some of the time. Tons of boots out there, even some that cost up the wazoo, use generic inserts/footbeds. Usually, these inserts cause fit problems because they’re engineered out of cheap, low-quality materials.
Other times, these inserts cause trouble because they’re misaligned with the skater’s foot arch type. For example, if you’re flat-footed and order boots with inserts designed for high-arched skaters, you’ll experience foot pain.
One way to prevent width skates from killing your feet is to use proper insoles — high-quality insoles. CCM and Bauer are some of the best brands for good quality custom fit inserts that work well for large feet.
I highly recommend CCM inserts. And, that’s because CCM insoles are of great quality. Plus, these inserts work across a multiplicity of skate brands and models.
Are your feet wider than most, and your skates still hurt despite having right-width boots? Consider using CCM custom inserts. This company offers its custom footbeds in 3 different styles.
Each style works perfectly with one of 3 different arch types. These three arch types include the low arch type insoles, medium arch insoles, and high-arch ones.
So, what’s the ideal kind of footbed for high-volume feet? The best kind of insert for ice skating enthusiasts with wider-than-usual, high-volume feet is the low arch styled one. Below, see pictures of what these CCM insoles look like.
Can Skates Be Made Wider?
Yes, a good skate fitting pro can tweak the inside of a boot and create a little more space to pack a voluminous foot. Some skate shops will even bump out problematic pressure points for free. Other shops do it pretty cheaply for the skating community.
How the skate shop pro modifies the fit mostly depends on your foot shape. But punching out the toe box is a pretty easy task for experienced skate fitting experts. Often, punching out restrictive toe areas solves the problem, making the boot feel a little roomier and comfier.
Another way to improve skate fit is to have them baked by someone that knows their thing. You can do it yourself at home if you are a borndo-it-yourselfer that rarely makes costly mistakes.
Do you know what else makes boots feel a little wider? Well, it’s putting in all of the hard work required to break them in. That sure sounds a little superfluous, but no one likes endless pain and discomfort. That’s why lots of skaters keep searching for that ever-elusive skate that fits like a glove without hurting one bit.
But wait, is there anything like a super comfortable skate that pampers feet while demonstrating excellent performance on the ice?
Let’s now talk about another not-so-common wide-foot problem….
My Feet Are Wider at the Football, But Narrower at the Heel
If there’s one foot shape that really struggles to get fitting ice skate boots, this is it. People with feet shaped wider around the football than around the heel area have a harder time with fit than skaters with the typical wide foot.
Such people are dismayed to discover they can’t easily get a comfortable fit that enhances their skating form. This problem occurs even when the boot they have ordered is supposed to fit them without issues. For such people, custom sizing is almost always the best way to address the challenge.
Most skate makers should have little difficulty creating a skate that offers split widths. Split widths is a fancy way of saying that a boot comes shaped wider at the football area and narrower at the heel. In other words, there are two separate widths for the same skate. How much better could fit ever get for such skaters?
How Should Hockey Skates and Figure Skates Fit?
You’ve probably asked yourself (and others), how do I know my figure skates/hockey skates are the right fit? How do properly fitting ice skates feel when you get them on?
You know you got the right skate size when your skates fit snugly. They’re not too loose that power transfer to the blades becomes incredibly hampered. Aside from that, well-fitting skate boots aren’t too roomy that they have a hard time providing sufficient foot and ankle support.
Here’s one more loose-skate fact. Wearing ice skates that are too roomy is a surefire way to get broken ankles. Also, properly-fitting ice skates aren’t too tight that they kill your feet while causing blisters and bruises.
So, how do you know you’ve laced up your boots to the perfect fit, a fit that massively enhances your game on the ice? If you’ve laced up your figure skates or hockey skates correctly (and they’re the right fit), your feet shouldn’t uncontrollably slide around the inside of the boots.
But while a skate shouldn’t be too spacious, it shouldn’t be too space-starved that it kills your toes and hurts the sides of your flat, high-volume feet.
Here’s one more thing. The toe area should have enough room so that your toes can stay flat inside the boot instead of staying uncomfortably scrunched.
Are My Ice Skates Too Big?
Yes, your ice skates are too big if your feet are sliding all over inside the boot. Be sure to try on in person the option you’re planning on buying.
That shouldn’t be too hard for someone with even OK-ish people skills. Just show up at the local skate shop or rink shop and request them to fit you and make a recommendation.
If they get you the perfect size and their boot and prices seem reasonable enough, buy the product from them. I’m all about supporting the little skater-owned shop in my area, you know.
But all too often, physical skate shops sell their boots significantly more expensive than online marketplaces such as Amazon and others.
So, if you get a boot that captivates you and hugs your wide feet just right, order it from a trustworthy place. But make sure that the store offers great prices backed by generous return policies.
Men’s Hockey Skate vs. Women’s Hockey Skate Sizes
Men’s hockey skates differ from women’s skates in styling and sizing. Generally, women’s feet are narrower than men’s for the same size. That’s why hockey skates for girls and women tend to be a bit narrower.
A female skater that can’t seem to find a wide enough women’s styled figure skate is highly likely to find an option that fits properly in men’s skates… because men’s options are generally wider.
Men’s Hockey Skate vs. Women’s Figure Skate Sizes
Similarly, men’s and women’s figure skates come styled a little differently. And sizing also works differently between these two skate boots.
But unlike women’s and men’s hockey skates that have different widths, with men’s options being a little wider, men’s figure skates typically come in widths similar to women’s skates.
In other words, a female figure skater can use a man’s figure skate. Likewise, a male skater can use a woman’s skate to do jumps and pivots and stuff. That said, more women than men wear the opposite gender’s figure skates.
How Do Figure Skates and Hockey Skates Differ?
Figure skating and hockey skating are different activities with different demands. Not surprisingly, the boot you use for one sport won’t work as well for the other activity.
The main differences between hockey skates and figure skates revolve around the materials used, stiffness levels, blade design, weight, and protective abilities.
Let’s now look at the differences a little closer.
Hockey Skates and Figure Skates Have Different Areas of Focus
If you look at a hockey skate stood beside a figure skate, you’ll easily notice they’re different pieces of Ice skating equipment. Hockey players need skates that go fast, turn easily, and offer quick acceleration. Additionally, these shoes also need to help the wearer to stop on a dime. That’s why these skate boots need to be lightweight and have their blades cut a certain way.
Figure skating, on the other hand, are all about helping the player achieve neat jumps and pivots as well as carving precise lines and perfect arcs on the ice. That’s why these boots are usually crafted from pliable leather and always feature a toe pick.
Hockey skates also focus on providing adequate protection to players. That’s why they’re constructed on mostly hard plastic and sometimes a bit of leather. As a hockey player, you may have to stop a puck shot with your skates. That’s why you need tank-like armor around your feet.
Or, you may be in the way of another hockey player, and their skates ram right into the sides of your boots. Hockey stick blades are another reality that necessitates wearing the most protective hockey skates money can buy.
If what you’re wearing happens to be not protective enough, you’ll end up with a ton of pain. And if what you have on is a pair of recreational skates or some skates designed to enjoy pond hockey, you might even end up breaking something — often a foot!
Can you now see why hockey skates come with a hard, right boot vs. a more supportive yet pliable boot for figure skates?
Construction Materials Used
In comparison, figure skates are made for speed, spins, turns, jumps, and other kinds of precise maneuvers that require boot support coupled with a bit of flexibility. That’s why figure skates are usually made of leather, often several layers of leather instead of hard, super protective plastic.
Another difference is that hockey skaters need to be comfortable enough during play. For that reason, hockey skates come with quite a bit of nice padding on the inside and the tongue. Figure skaters don’t care much about comfort. All these people want is enough support and agility so they can pull off the most stunning stunts.
But these days, it’s becoming increasingly common for figure skates to feature a liner that can be formed into the shape of the foot. That means quite a few figure skates are heat-moldable.
You want your figure skates to allow you to bend your knees just enough so you can launch your jumps and pivots without hindrance.
Design-wise, figure skates seem to have a slimmer silhouette compared to the bulk-ish look of hockey skates.
But looks can be deceiving. Even though hockey skates may look bulkier/heavier, they’re typically lighter than they seem to be. The typical hockey boot is actually lighter than the typical figure skate.
Hockey Skate vs. Figure Skate, What’s Wider?
Looking at these two boots placed side-by-side, you’d get the impression that hockey skates are wider than ice skates.
But that’s not necessarily true since there are wider and narrower options in both skates to fit feet of varying dimensions.
Figure Skates Vs. Hockey Skates Blade Design
One instantly noticeable difference between figure skates and hockey skates is that the blades of hockey skates lack a toepick. That’s mainly because hockey skates aren’t designed to launch jumps and pivots, both of which need all the help a quality toepick provides.
One blade design difference between figure skates and hockey skates is that the former’s blades attach to the boot via metal plates while the blades in hockey skates link to the boot via a plastic frame called a tuuk.
With hockey skates, the blades are longer, and the curve appears more pronounced than it is for figure skates. The rocker of the blade stays nearer the middle. That means hockey blades curve upward at the back as well as at the front. That blade configuration helps a lot when it comes to making sharp turns and quick stops.
In comparison, figure skate blades are less curved than hockey skate blades, which means they’re a little flatter. Additionally, figure skate blades tend to lie flatter as you approach the heel area. And, the largest curve on these blades is at the front portion of the skate.
Look at the pictures below and notice how a hockey skate differs from a figure skate in all the aspects we’ve just discussed.
What to Look for When Shopping for Wide-fitting Ice Skates
You’ve learned quite a bit at this point, hopefully. Now, all you need is a few practical tips to guide you as you select a well-fitting boot for the coming hockey season.
1.Decide Whether You Need Figure Skates Or Hockey Skates
As discussed above, figure skating doesn’t focus on the same goals as does hockey. Both sports are different, and they require a specific kind of ice skate to perform.
If you lean more toward the hockey side of things, buy a super protective hockey skate as these skates are designed with such players’ needs in mind.
And if you’re planning on doing more of figure skating, it’s best to buy a nice, supportive pair of figure skates.
2.Material Type and Quality
Leather figure skates are quite common, and they’re as pliable as any decent skater would like. But leather does bump up the boot’s cost quite a bit. The upside is that leather looks classy, plus it outlasts most other materials.
Synthetic materials such as vinyl are also used to construct the boot of these skates. Both synthetic and leather figure skates are good enough as far as performance. But I find that leather boots support my ankles more.
Make sure the ice shoe you’re eyeing is crafted out of high-quality components. I bet you don’t want to end up with a cheap-looking and poorly constructed skate that falls apart in a week!
3.Go with Wide Fitting Brands
Yea, I know. Points 1 and 2 above sounded generic and probably not very useful to you as a guy or girl with large feet. But we’ve now come to a section of this wide fit ice skate review post that focuses on your problems and nothing else.
When it comes to ice skate boots that provide more foot room than what a standard-width fit offers, not all skate brands are created equal. So, do we have ice skate brands that accommodate high-volume feet better than the rest?
Yes, a few brands provide wide and extra-wide skates to cater to such skaters’ ice play needs. What’s more, a standard-width option from any of these brands can end up being as wide as R or E width of a similar size skate from a different brand. Obviously, it makes sense to source your skates from brands that care about what wide-footed skaters need.
What brands offer wide fitting skates? Bauer and CCM happen to provide some of the roomiest ice skates ever conceived. Well, it’s not like all options from these companies work well for large feet, but most do. So, starting your search there can make your shopping journey super productive early on.
4.Don’t Cheap Out on Ice Skates
OK, everyone seems to want ice skaters to spend $100 or $200 more past budget. Marketers want you to spend more for obvious reasons, but people like me who are passionate about hockey or figure skating just want you to get great value for your dollar.
But, there’s a reason everyone who’s skated for a while recommends buying higher-ticket skates rather than the cheapest skates ever. For the most part, pricier skates are built from good quality materials and components. That’s why.
But it gets better.
More expensive skates generally are more comfortable, protective, supportive, and durable than cheaper ones. Moreover, pricier skates often have a demonstrably better performance on the ice.
But you’ve got to be on the lookout for premium-priced skates that are nothing more than expensive crap.
If you’re a beginner, you don’t always have to pick a cheap beginner ice skate, such as the Jackson Ultima. Such low-priced products work, but only for a while. At least, that’s my experience buying skates and tons of other outdoor gear.
Plus, you almost always end up splurging on something that offers better performance, aesthetics, and performance, even if the upgrade costs a couple of hundred dollars more!
So, if I recommend a pricey skate that’s great quality and fits your wide feet well, performs awesomely, and evolves with you as you transition from the rec league to advanced level play, grab it.
Make sure to order from a credible shop, though, whether that’s online or a brick-and-motor store. Be sure that the store you order from isn’t a shady online shop that surfaces every bit of fine print in their return policy just to deny you a replacement.
5.Buy Used Ice Skates
Few ever mention this, but some of the widest fitting skates happen to be those others have broken in and used for a while. Naturally, more room happens as you use your boots.
So, if you know a skater that’s planning on holding a garage sale, go there and trying on a few of their old skates. Who knows, you might find something wide that costs close to nothing.
So you’re tired of being a barrier-huggingice 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.
*Affiliate Links Disclosure:This website participates in the Amazon Associates program. And as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Professional quality-looking entry level ice skates whose price point is a steal. Good for the most basic moves on the ice. Ideal for having fun playing recreational pond hockey with family and friends
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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
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.
Technology on the ice skating scene keeps evolving, and now it’s possible to sharpen your ice skates at home using an appropriate machine. Well, there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to machine-sharpening of skate blades, but if everyone in your family and circle of friends skates, it’s an idea worth exploring. In how to sharpen ice skates using a machine, I’ll describe how to do precisely that. I’ll also include a video that’ll explain how to handle the process as well as recommend the perfect device for the job. Stay with me.
Machine-sharpening Requires Precise Skills
Just like it is with learning ice skating, using a good machine to sharpen your blades is a learned skill. And it takes years of focused practice to master this all-important skill.
Have you ever wondered why some skate shops still do a bad job of sharpening skates even though that’s what they do for a living? It’s because machine ice skate sharpening isn’t an easy task. It takes a pair of laser-focused, detail-oriented eyes working with a pair of highly dexterous to do the job correctly.
So, where can you learn how to sharpen ice skates? The best way to learn how to sharpen ice skate blades is at a rink or hockey store. The best sharpening pros I know have been ice skating for years, and they at some point decided to set up a skate shop to help others. They know how hard it is to remove all those dings, cracks, and nicks from the edges and want to help deal with those pain points.
Unless you possess the requisite hands-on ice skate sharpening skills, I strongly advise you to learn first before you attempt to do it. It’s pretty easy to damage your blades using a 4,000 rpm wheel to grind off your steel. Yes, you can choose to be a self-taught blade sharpener, but it’ll probably take you forever to acquire the skills.
Learn from a Sharpening Pro
So, work with an instructor and practice the heck out of your lessons until you perfect the skill. Remember, becoming a pro skate sharpener takes many years of dedicated and constant practice. I asked my sharpening guy at my local store, and they revealed they’ve taken care of thousands of ice skates over the past decade to finally pick up the skill and get the touch.
It’s almost always best to hire someone to do it. Ask other ice skaters in your area who sharpens their blades and they’ll likely recommend a decent service provider.
What about using hand-held devices such as sweet sticks to sharpen skate blades? Yes, that’s doable at home, and pretty much anyone can do it. But that’s hardly sharpening. All you can achieve with a tool is to eliminate burrs and nicks that may still remain after a good traditional sharpening.
Let’s now dive in and learn how you can get those faithful blades into a great shape so they can get even more nimble on the ice. The best machine I know for getting a pro-level sharpening at home without needing to have any sharpening skills is the Sparx Skate Sharpener.
The machine is pretty easy to assemble and use. But it’s not cheap, and buying this machine may not make much economic sense for individual ice skaters who’ll only be using the device on their skates.
But for households with a few members skating regularly, it’s make a lot of sense to own such a machine. If you want to check the machine out, click the link below. The link takes to Amazon, and I may get a small commission should you decide to buy the product. If you’re tired of driving miles to have your skates and your kids’ skates sharpened at a skate shop only to find the shop closed, consider investing in this machine.
Do you hate how the guy at the rink shop never seems to get the sharpening right? Do they always give you an uneven sharpening with one edge done right and the other one badly sharpened? Are your kids loving ice skating more and more and the bills for taking care of their steel are beginning to pile up a little?
Maybe you’re a night owl that gets tons of stuff done at night and would love to be able to sharpen your dull blades at 2.00 a.m. any time you wish? If you answered yes to all these questions, buying this machine should be a no brainer.
Many reviewers are in consensus that the Sparks Skate Sharpener is the only ice skate sharpener for home use that actually does what it’s supposed to do without needing the user to have worked at a hockey shop for years. Lots of hockey families love this recent invention, and even NHL teams use the device.
It works. But how does the Sparx Skate Sharpener work?
How to Use the Sparx Skate Sharpener at Home
Follow these steps to sharpen your ice skates.
Step 1: Use the Correct Blade Grinding Ring
The first and most important thing to do is to choose and install the right grinding ring. The sharpener comes with three grinding rings that enable you to cut ½”and 5/8″hollows. The third ring, the ½” Fire, is designed to help you to create a flat bottom hollow on your blades. Each grinding stone lasts 40 sharpening before needing replacement.
Simply open the case and put in the ring you prefer, and tighten the bolts. And if you decide to have a different hollow, enlighten the bolts and swap out the current grinding ring and attach your preference instead.
Step 2: Set the Grinding Height Properly
Also, be sure to set the right grinding ring height. There’s a red knob in the case that’s included to help you adjust grinding height. Turn the know clockwise or counterclockwise to lower or raise the grinding ring. And yes, you can also sharpen all kinds of traditional skates with this unit, and that includes figure skates. Just adjust the grinding height right, and there’s no blade you can’t take care of.
Step 2: Load Your Ice Skates onto the Slot
There’s a slot on the top of the machine that lets you load your ice skates. The sharpener comes with sturdy, easy-to-use blade holders that keep the skates firmly held throughout the sharpening process.
The machine uses lights to let you know whether your setup has been done correctly or not. If the lights are on after you load the skates, that means the setup isn’t done right.
Your ice skates should sit up at an angle of 90 degrees, and your grinding ring should touch the steel at a 45 degree-ish angle. To make the grinding ring move toward the steel, you’ve got to press the two arrows on the keypad. By the way, be sure to place your boots so that the grinding ring grinds off the front end of the blades and the rest of the blade.
Step 3: Crank Up the Sharpener
There’s a keypad with several features that let you program each sharpening correctly. There’s the power button that illuminates white before you press it, and when you press the button, the light changes to blue.
You can easily choose the number of cycles to perform on your blades. For brand new ice skates that came in unsharpened, dial in 10 cycles. But for blades that need re-sharpening after they’ve been skating for a while, 3 or 4 cycles should be adequate.
When the machine is working, the case has a red LED light, and it produces the same noise like I used to hear when my dad sharpened Mom’s kitchen knives with a manually operated kind of traditional grinder.
During sharpening, the grinding stone moves from one end of the steel blade down the full edge and repeats the movement until all cycles are performed.
Step 4: Inspect Your Blades
After the cycles are all done, the LED light in the boxy case turns green. That means the sharpening process is complete and it’s time to take the blades off the unit and see how well the device did the job.
In just a few minutes, Jason (my spouse) examined the blades he’d sharpened using a friend’s sharpener. And what did he think the overall quality of the sharpening using the Sparx machine was like? It was great, as good as any you might from any hockey shop that know what they’re doing.
Oh, there’s a kind of tray that collects the steel dust that comes from the process. The unit comes with a special filter designed to trap all that dust so you can stay safe. The filter does need to be replaced, but you do that after roughly 180 sharpenings. You’ll want to tidy up the tray and particle filter after every sharpen.
How Much Does the Sparx Sharpen Cost?
The machine costs in the neighborhood of $900. That’s a pretty penny, but if you’re a hard skater and have a whole tribe of skaters in the house, consider buying this sharpening machine. Each grinding stone gives you around 40-60 quality sharpenings. And when the ring needs replacement, the unit has an mechanism that lets you know.
Here’s what you get when the package finally arrives: The machine itself, a honing stone, goalie risers, alignment ring, optical alignment tool, youth skate adapters, and a leather strop. But I must mention that some reviewers said they their purchase didn’t include a quality edge checker and they had to buy that separately. You need a good edge checker so you check whether you got level hollows.
Sparx Sharpening Vs Traditional Sharpening Machines
What’s the difference between the device from Sparx and traditional ice skate sharpening machines such as a Wissota sharpener?
The difference pertains to product cost. An option such as Wissota costs a couple hundred dollars more than the Sparx sharpener. Good regular style sharpening machines last a long time. As for the Sparx unit, it’s not been around long enough so users can’t speak authoritatively about its durability. I know at least two skaters who use their parent’s ancient Wissota to grind off their steel. If you want a product that serves your skating needs for years, definitely go with a traditional pick.
In terms of ease of use, you do require serious blade sharpening skills to use a unit such as the Wissota. In comparison, anyone with a working pair of hands can get the job done on the Spars machine. Your 10-year-old won’t need you every time they want their skates sharpened. They’ll get the task done themselves provided you teach them how to correctly do it.
What about the quality of the sharpening? If you have good sharpening skills and know how to use a traditional sharpening unit, you can get an edge quality as good as you get with the Sparx. With the unit from Sparx, you enjoy consistently accurate sharpening each time. Well, it may not always be a perfect cut, but it’s not like traditional machine sharpening gets it right every single time.
Then there’s the little issue of grinding disks. With a unit such as the Wissota, you never need to buy different kinds of discs to make different hollows. The same disc enables you to make different hollows. All you have to do is set the disc correctly and that’s that. What’s more, the grinding disks in most conventional sharpening machines last much longer than those the Sparx machine uses.
Fi nally, there’s portability. While you can’t carry Daddy’s Wissota around, the Sparx sharpener is quite portable. It’s pretty compact and fits small spaces such as city apartment suitably.
How to Sharpen Ice Skates Using a Machine: Final Word
Sharpening machines are a costly affair, but if used right, they get the job done pretty quickly and accurately. They offer a level of consistency you won’t get with any hand-held sharpening stone.
If you have the skills, you can sharpen your skates at home using your parents’ Wissota or even buy your own. But if you’re like most ice skaters and lack the skills to use such a machine, go for the Sparx Skate Sharpener since it’s cheaper, much easier to use, and produces level hollows pretty much like any traditional sharpener.
In how to sharpen ice skatesby hand at home or at the rink, I explain three simple and easy steps to complete this important task. But can you actually sharpen ice skatesat home without a machine? Yes, you can, but the handheld ice skate sharpening tools available aren’t designed to eliminate professional skate sharpening altogether. Everyone I know that sharpens their blades at home or in the locker room pre-play uses their handheld sharpener as a touch-up tool. The tool I recommend is the V-shaped Sweet-Stick Blade Edge Enhancer. It’s cheap, works well, and is pretty use to use.
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Why Use a Handheld Ice Skates Sharpener?
The most common reason to use a handheld device to give ice skates a sharpening at home is to reduce how often one pays for pro sharpening. Jason, my SO, owns the tool I mentioned above and uses it to give his blades a touch-up moments before hitting the rink.
I’ve seen that using this tool does reduce the number of times he takes his blades to the skate shop for a proper sharpening. The proshop happens to be 50 miles away, and going there seems like a real trip, a trip that necessitates a bit of moving things around the schedule to organize.
Sharpening ice skates with Sweet-Sticks can help knock off 2 to 3 trips to the rink shop or wherever you get your services. And, that also saving about $10 each time he doesn’t pay for a sharpening. Considering the low cost of the tool, it really makes sense to own one.
How to Use Sweet-Sticks to Sharpen Ice Skates
One thing I love about my partner’s handheld sharpening tool is that it’s pretty easy to use. The tool comes with a V-shaped sharpening stone on one end which does the job.
Here’s how to use Sweet-Sticks to enhance the edges of your hockey skates, goalie skates, and figure skates to optimize skate performance. You don’t need any special skills to use this tool, by the way.
Step 1: Hold the Tool Right
Be sure to hold the Sweet-Stick properly before you start the sharpening process.
So, what’s the right way to hold the tool? Hold the little piece of equipment between the thumb and forefinger of one of your hands. The thumb should be on top.
Use the right hand to grip the tool if you’re right-handed and the left one if you’re left-handed. But if you’re ambidextrous and can use both hands equally well, then it doesn’t matter which hand holds what.
The Sweet-Stick shouldn’t be held precisely perpendicularly. Rather, the tool should be held at some angle as the job does feel easier that way.
Step 2: Grab Your Ice Skates
Using the other hand, turn your skates upside down so that the blades face up. Make sure the skate’s toe faces away from you.
Step 3: Give Your Ice Skates 2-3 Passes
Now, it’s time to do the real work. And the work isn’t much at all.
Point the V of the tool to the toe. Next, apply light pressure to run the tool forward and backward down the entire length of your blade. Give the skate 2 or 3 strokes and repeat the process with the other skate.
You just did!
Note that applying too much pressure on the handheld tool can end up breaking it. Knowing how much force you need to use is a matter of practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it. As they say, practice makes perfect.
Do the V-Shaped Sweet-Sticks Last?
They may or they may not. It all depends on how carefully you handle and use the tool. Unless you’re dropping it on the floor all the time, it should last. Jason’s V-shaped Sweet-Sticks haven’t broken, yet, but I’ve come across a few unhappy users of the product.
The disgruntled users complained that their Sweet-Sticks didn’t last more than a season before breaking. I think the head of the tool could be more durable. Some reviewers said that their tool didn’t survive more a single fall on the floor during use.
But proper handling should definitely prolong the small skate sharpening device’s usefulness. As mentioned above, not applying too much pressure while sharpening can help minimize the odds the tool will break after one sharpening.
The Downside of Sharpening Ice Skates By Hand
While you could save yourself two time-and-money-consuming trips to some far-away skate shop for a sharpening, there’s a downside to it. Jason has noticed that using the Sweet-Sticks to touch up his blades before skating tends to push the skates’ edges in toward each other. The blades do feel noticeably sharper afterward, but the extra sharpness comes at a price.
In Jason’s case, the guy at the skate shop ended up needing to grind more steel off the blades than they otherwise would have had manual sharpening not happened. What more blade grinding means is that longevity of the blades gets drastically reduced. Who wants to replace expensive ice skates every other season just because they saved a few bucks hand-sharpening?
It’s Best to Get a Pro Sharpening
I’ve talked to quite a few ice skaters concerning the issue of giving skates a manual sharpen at home. And pretty much everyone tells me it’s best to pay for a pro sharpening. As long as you can get someone that knows how to correctly and precise make the required hollows/grooves on blades, getting a $5-$10 sharpening shouldn’t ruin your finances.
A pair of trained, dexterous hands get to sharpen your blades as per your specific instructions. And, your blades will last longer because the guy at the skate shop won’t need to grind off the edges more.
Is Hand Sharpening of Ice Skates at Home Worth it?
Here’s the takeaway message of this post: using a handheld grind stone does help keep edges sharp after a sharpening so you can reduce your trips to the skate shop. It’s easy-to-do, and the tool for the task is pretty inexpensive.
But using your hands to sharpen your blades shouldn’t be a way to replace professional blade sharpening. Rather, hand sharpening should be used as a general maintenance practice aimed at fixing tiny nicks when you can’t get a pro sharpening.
If smoothing out a new sharpening to keep your blades sharp for longer is what you want, then sharpening your skates by hand could be a good idea. But keep in mind that any kind of sharpening without using a specialized machine could end up being counterproductive.
Ice skating often seems graceful and effortless, and it’s beautiful to watch ice skaters waltzing on the ice. It makes you want to skate, too. But you’re going to need to learn ice skating first. And for every skating level, you’re going to need the right ice skating gear. At that point, you begin asking your coach and everyone else, what are the best ice skates for beginners like me? Do I start with cheap, entry-level ice skating boots that’ll need upgrading or replacement 3 months in? Or, do I splash and get skates that grow with my evolving skating prowess?
So, which boots do you pick as pretty much all of the recommendations you get seem similar as far as features and even appearance? Not to worry, here are a few tips on how to choose the best ice skates for adult beginners.
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Two Main Types of Ice Skates
The ice skating market offers two main types of ice skates namely figure skates and hockey skates. Each type of ice skate is built to facilitate a different kind of motion on the ice in line with the corresponding sport. So, what’s the difference between hockey skates and figure skates? Should a beginner go for hockey skates or choose figure skates instead?
Figure Skates Vs Hockey Skates
Figure skates tend to be lighter than hockey skates and usually feature a toe pick. Figure skating boots allow more foot movement than do hockey skates, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the better choice for starters. By comparison, hockey skates have better symmetry and generally provide noticeably better ankle support than do figure skates.
Figure Skates or Hockey Skates for Beginners?
As for what ice skates are better for a beginner, hockey skates are a better option in my experience and that of many ice skaters. Do you know why hockey skates are a great choice for ice skating beginners? It’s because hockey skates offer more support to the wearer’s ankles. Additionally, hokey ice skates offer more maneuverability than do figure skates.
Rent Both Ice Skate Types at the Rink and Test Out Each
Here’s a little advice for you: visit the local rink and try both skates. See what you like better and go with that. In the end, the best option for a beginning adult ice skater is a matter of personal preference.
Once you’re comfortable skating around the rink, though, you’ll find that both figure skates and hockey skates are quite easy to skate on.
Now that we’ve grasped the basics, let us focus on what you need to look for as a beginner shopping for a worthy pair of ice skating boots.
Factors to consider When Choosing Ice Skates for Beginners
In this brief entry level ice skate buying guide, I point out a couple factors to Keep in mind as you shop around:
1.Be Sure the Ice Skate Boots Fit Just Right
Ice skates should have a snug fit. If the fit is either too tight, that can cause injuries to your ankles while skating. And if too loose, controlling your skates becomes more difficult. If you can move your feet in more ways than wiggling your toes, the fit is probably too loose.
Are ice skate sizes the same as shoe sizes? How do you know your ice skates fit well? No, ice skates aren’t the same size as regular shoes. Ice skates (hockey skates and figure skates) are typically 1 to 1.5 size smaller than your regular sneakers. As far as fit, your toes shouldn’t be crammed into the toe cap; rather, your toes should barely touch it. Heel room should be adequate but no more than a 1/4.” Once you’ve correctly lace up your skates, they should feel snug with your feet resting comfortably on the the footbed.
If your skates are too tight (maybe they’re a smaller size or you’ve tied the laces too tight?), that can dramatically reduce ankle flexion. Too much tightness makes it that you can’t achieve full extension when striding on the ice. That’s because you can’t bend your ankles as you’d like. And that means you can’t bend your knees properly either. Properly fitting beginning skates don’t feel too tight nor too loose.
But, There’s ALWAYS a Break-in Period
Even though well-fitting ice skates should fit like a glove, you need to have a bit of room at the heel area (no more 0.25″). Here’s one more thing. Skates with a great fit hurt a little at first no matter how comfortable they supposedly are. In fact, it’s normal for pro skaters to expect their boots to cause pain when worn for the first time and a couple days afterward. So, expect to do some work to break your ice skates in. Everyone’s gotta break in their skates.
Choose Adjustable Skates for Your Kid
Most brands have a size chart to help you find the pair of ice skating boots that
will fit you best. For growing children, there are adjustable boots to
accommodate growth, which saves you money.
2. What Skating Level Have You Achieved?
So you are interested in doing skating, but you are very new to this exciting indoor activity.
The first question you may want to answer is, what type of ice skating do I intend to take up?
As a beginner, you’re not looking for skates designed for jumps, spins, and other complicated stunts. That means you’re not looking for the stiffest ice skates on the market. Super stiff boots are for intermediate and advance level ice skating. Beginners need soft, comfortable entry level boots or mildly stiff vinyl or leather boots that offer a decent level of comfort and support.
Fortunately, most ice skate brands have a guide to help skaters at all levels get an idea of what kind of boot they need at each skating level.
Tip: The common advice thrown around by pretty much everyone is get ice skates designed for your current skating level. But I have a different opinion. I say buy something one level or even more above your current skating level. Pick up ice skates that’ll serve your current level adequately and still be useful when you’re 6 months in.
3. Boot Material
In this context, material refers to what constitutes the boot portion
of the ice skates. For a beginner, there’s a wide range of leather and vinyl boots to choose. Leather boots tend to be pricier and more durable than vinyl boots. If you can afford it, go for a leather boot as a beginner as leather tends to be softer and offers more flexibility. But if you favor a more vegan lifestyle, you’d be better served by vinyl boot skates.
And, unless you are skating outside, it’s best to avoid fleece boots. That’s because fleece skates tend to reduce the control you have over your feet and that can’t be nice.
4. Know Your Blades
Blade may come with the boots for some beginning level skates, but more advanced skaters prefer to buy them separately. Whether you buy a complete boot-blade package or buy separate components, you must know a few critical things about ice skate blades.
The best quality beginner skates have great blades, blades that give great performance while needing sharpening less often. Such skates are low maintenance skates that win on all critical fronts.
Skating Blades that require constant sharpening not only waste your precious time and money, but they also nick pretty easily. Generally, beginner level ice skates typically have lower-quality stainless steel blades while advanced level skates feature high-quality stainless steel blades with lots of carbon. But they’re going to be pricier.
Blade Construction Technology
In the past, beginner skates came with nickel-plated steel blades. But increasingly, beginner blades are being made of good quality chrome-coated stainless steel. The thing with high-quality blades is that they don’t necessitate sharpening as often as beginner blades. Additionally, the best quality ones translate into noticeably smoother flow over the ice, better jumps and spins.
Aside from that, better quality blades resist damage and rust better than cheaper, nickel-plated steel blades. Many modern skates boast aluminum alloy frame which reduce blade weight considerably. But the best of the best blades are constructed from carbon fiber technology, a technology that dramatically reduces weight while increasing lift (higher jumps).
You get to choose between side honed, parabolic, parallel/standard, or tapered blade styles. With parallel blades, the blades have the same width and the edges are parallel. Tapered blades aren’t parallel at all. These ones come in thinner at the tail and thicker around the toe pick, and this design strategy helps reduce drag during skating sessions. Parabolic blades are made narrower around the middle while having a thicker front and tail.
As for side honed styled ice skate blades, these ones are designed thicker around the stanchions and edge stripe while staying thinner between these two areas. Identifying this blade style can be a little tricky, but if you really look at the blades, you’ll notice that the reflections are inverted.
All these blade styles except the parallel one are for advanced level skating souls. Unless you’re a dance and synchro pro or some other high-level skater, parallel/standard blades should suffice. Not surprisingly, pretty much all beginner blades are standard or parallel, even-width blades.
Other Important Ice Skate Blade Selection Considerations
No one likes sounding like a clown when conversing with a knowledgeable person, and I bet you’re no different. To sound intelligent enough (or at least seem like you’re a real skating enthusiast), know the following ice skating terms:
Radius and Rocker
The radius of a blade is the amount of curvature it boasts. In plain language, radius refers to how much of the blade actually is in contact with the ice. Note that a blade can have a front radius that’s higher or lower than its back radius. 12″ 17″ and 27″ happen to be pretty common front profile radiuses (radii, huh?). Most of the jumping and spinning you’ll learn as you advance in your skating should happen at the front radius.
The radius toward the back of a blade is known as the rocker in proper ice skating lingo. Another distinction between blade radius and rocker is that the front radius is expressed in inches while the rocker is expressed/measured in feet.
Generally, the larger the radius, the more contact between the blade and the ice and the flatter the blade. A large-radius blade offers more speed than a small-radius option because there’s less clearance toe pick-ice clearance.
A flatter blade also does double jumps and triple jumps really well. What’s more, a flatter blade offers pro skaters better edge control plus increased speed and glide. They’re also somewhat safer since the skater falls off their edge less frequently
In contrast, blades with more curvature provide more clearance between the toe pick and the ice. These kinds of skate blades enable beginner and intermediate level skater to launch better spins. The skater also benefits from much smoother turns and and more efficient footwork.
Blade Back-end Radius (Rocker Profile)
The rocker is where most of the stroking and gliding your advanced skating self will ever do should happen. Suppose you draw a straight line 14 feet long and then draw a circle that closes both ends. That circle would have a radius of 7 feet. If you placed a 7-foot blade along the inner side of the circle, you’d see perfect alignment.
Best Rocker Profile for Beginning Skaters
So, What’s the Best Blade Radius/Rocker for Beginner Ice Skaters? As a beginner you want to turn easily and smoothly while doing more intense footwork. That’s why most pro skaters (I’m not there yet, OK?) recommend a blade radius of 7 feet for smaller skaters such as children as well as adult beginners. For more advanced skaters, an 8-foot blade would work best.
A toe pick is a metallic, jagged structure or component incorporated to facilitate jumps and tricks of various kinds. I won’t go into how to choose the right toe pick here, but I will in a short post coming soon.
Just as you must choose your blade right before getting on the ice, you must also use skates with a toe pick designed for your skating level and style. Two main kinds of toe picks exist namely cross-cut style toe picks and straight-cut toe picks.
A straight-cut toe pick enables the skater to cut deeper into the ice, which means higher jumps. But there’s also a likelihood of losing some of your momentum. By comparison, cross-cut toe picks don’t cut as deep into the ice, but the skater experiences less sliding since the toes grip the ice a little better.
As a beginner, a cross-cut toe pick should work better since you’re not much jumps-focused. Also, beginners should go with smaller toe picks as these don’t bog down their evolving basic skating skills.
Each blade features a groove that runs right down in the blade’s middle. This groove typically measures 0.635″ on most blades, but the measurement ranges between 0.5″ – 0.75.” Now, the hollow can be deep or shallow.
Should the hollow be shallow or deep for entry level ice skaters? Shallow edges are the better option for beginning level ice skaters because they offer increased glide and speed. The skater also gets greater maneuverability and stopping ability. However, the noob skater ends up with less secure edges.
In contrast, a deeper hollow equates to less sideways sliding, which means more secure edges. But a deep-hollow blade also gets more friction on the ice and slows down a bit. The upside is that it’s easier to accelerate with deep-hollow blades, which means controlling them and stopping becomes a little challenging.
How to Size Skate Blades
Your blades need to fit your boots just right. For beginner adult skaters, blades should be between 0.125″ – 0.25″ shorter than the boot’s entire sole length. If the soles are 9.25″ long, the blades should be 9.0″ long.
However, when buying beginner ice skates for growing children’s feet, select blades that run end-to-end. Such blades are referred to as a “growth mount” because they can be swapped out and used on the next upgraded pair of kid’s skates.
5.Cheap Ice Skates Vs Expensive Options
I get it. You don’t want to splurge on ice skates at this point because you’re not sure whether you love the activity all that much. And, you’ve pondered grabbing a cheap ice skates with the good intention of skating them to the ground and buying more expensive ones down the road as your skating skill level grows. Now, that definitely sounds like a great idea. But is that always the best approach? Nope. At least not in my experience.
A young friend of mine recently bought (3 months ago) $60 ice skates to learn ice skating on. And everything was fine…at first. Three months later, my friend realizes they can’t do much beyond the very basics of ice skating. But it gets even worse. The boots are broken, and now they need a new pair!
My friends is planning on buying mid-range skates that’ll accommodate his improved skating abilities. They’re considering shelling out $120 for the shoes. But I’m trying to have the person spend a bit more for a pair of skates that’ll last jumps, spins, and all sorts of tricks for seasons. Maybe I’ll win, maybe I won’t. But should they ignore my advice, I’m seeing them needing to spend $180 or even $200 for a decent pair pretty soon! That’s how it ends…almost always.
In my experience, it almost always pays to spend more right off the bat and get skates that tough it out through the entire learning phase and beyond. Whether you’re a beginner or not, please don’t skimp on skates. At least, don’t cheap out on blades (in case you choose to buy the boots and blades separately).
The cheapest ice skates available are usually recreational skates. And while they may be comfortable enough for untrained beginner ankles, they don’t offer anywhere near enough ankle support.
Oftentimes, recreational skates aren’t designed for any level of play beyond the basics. Try doing a waltz jump on some of those kinds of cheapo boots, and you’re going to end up with ankle tendonitis.
6.Best Beginner Ice Skate Brands?
Riendell, Jackson, Graf Davos, and EDEA are all good brands when it comes to ice skates. Riendell ice skates tend to have a narrow fit and would be a good bet for beginner level skating enthusiasts with narrower feet.
My first skates were the Jackson Artiste, and they were good enough for me and what I had to do. They lasted through the basics, and I could do spins and even waltz jumps.
Well, they did need some breaking-in. But they were pretty decent skates for a new ice skater like me. For beginners, I recommend the Jackson Artistes for the reasons I just explained.
Let us now take your journey towards owning a pair of ice skating boots a step further. I’ve highlighted 5 ice skates here that I think are functional yet cool to make your search for the best ice skates for beginner adults and children that much easier.
Best Ice Skates For Beginners (Reviews)
Let’s now see how these 5 good beginner level ice skates stack up.
1.American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 Beginner Level Skates
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The construction structure of the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 skates makes it right for the beginner. First off, unlike other skates, these guys are designed to fit like a regular shoe. But that doesn’t mean they’re the same size as your regular sneaker size.
The shoes I received had a professional feel not common with options in that price range. But they were a little too stiff, and my feet hurt a little. In fact, these shoes were too stiff that I had to bake them. They arrived with plastic skate guards, too, and these guards allowed me to wear them around my house until I broke them in. Afterward, I was quite happy with how great they worked.
One cool structural feature of the American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 is its customizable PVC injection padding. This padding is designed to mold onto your feet for the perfect fit, and it makes baking the skates possible.
Are these skates comfortable? The American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 skating boots are lined with a breathable, comfortable lining that is also absorbent. You won’t experience wet or sweaty feet. There’s also a nylon toe box for safety and comfort. But as explained already, they’re not super comfy right out of the box.
A great fit, comfort, and extra support are what make American Athlete Ice Force 2.0 the best ice skates for beginners. And, they are reasonably priced to boot. They usually come in black, and that makes them a perfect pick for any carefree lad or guy that likes playing on the ice. Buy these if you’re a casual skater. If you’re an avid skater, please pick up something else as these likely won’t hold up.
Brand: American Athlete For who: Beginner and intermediate level men
Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Jackson company are veterans when it comes to making skating gear. They design their skates to not only allow noob skaters to learn how to skate but also to have them thoroughly enjoy this thrilling sport.
These Jackson Ultima Softec Vista ST3201 beginner ice skates for women have their collar padded with thick, soft nylex lining that give them a velvety feel. They’re comfy, and the padding also allows for easier turns and movement for the amateur skater. And the memory foam along
the tongue also increases comfort and support.
Another great feature is the Ultima Mark 1 blade. The blade has a more secure edge that helps the new skater stay solidly in position. It also accommodates primary skills and footwork making it easier for skating beginners to try new moves and gain confidence in their skating.
There’s one more important feature: the boots’ anti-bacterial properties. The Jackson Ultima ST3201 ice skates have an anti-bacterial microfiber lining that protect the foot against infection. More importantly, they are hygienic.
With these skates, you’re assured of comfort, balance, and a great design. These are modern looking girlie ice skating boots that promise to get you skating in no time. One more thing: they’re sold in at least 4 colors include white/purpose, black, snazzy blue, and of course pink. Lest I forget, these ones come sharpened so you can get on the rink right away.
Brand: Jackson Material:Leather For who:Women Rating:See Amazon customer ratings for the boot
Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Riedell 615 Soar ice skates are practically designed for the recreational
pleasure of young amateur skaters. As a parent, some of the many things
you want for your children is for them to be comfortable, safe, and happy.
The Riedell 615 Soar ice skates have plush foam-backed velvet lining coupled
with durable maintenance-free uppers for comfort and to cushion your little
Another comfort-oriented feature in these ice skates is the 3M Thinsulate
insulation. Thinsulate technology allows the fabric to be warm even when
wet. Back to our Riedell 615 ice skates, the Thinsulate insulation keeps your
little ones warm even when their feet sweat.
Lightweight PVC soles keep your child’s feet dry. The insoles are also low
maintenance hence perfect for kids. The ice skates have a stainless steel spiral blade, which is durable. The Riedell 615’s Soar Skates are light to support and keep junior katers on the ice. Their split tongue design also aids with
Finally, the skates have a Velcro closure, which is not only comfortable for
kids to close but also increase stability and remind the junior skaters that
they are not all grown up yet. Riedell 615 Soar ice skates are available in cool
colors and you can be sure that your kids will look forward to rocking.
Brand: Riedell For who: Girls and Women Rating:See Amazon customer ratings for the boot
Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
EDEA is a renowned ice skating brand and has produced skates worn by world skating champions. The same technology applied to make high- performance ice skates is manipulated to suit beginners in EDEA Brio ice skates.
The skates have a unique fiberglass & nylon insole for better power transmission and stability.
The thin insole creates some wriggle room for the toes. EDEA Brio skates also have slim outer soles that function to lower the skater’s center of gravity for stability and control.
The skating boots’ heels are also uniquely designed for weight distribution. Eyelets are fixed onto the heels for easier lacing.
Let us switch gears from the technicalities of balance to comfort. EDEA Brio ice skating boots are padded along the cuffs and on the tongue for acomfortable feel. They are also made from thermo insulating material to keep your feet warm and snug. Skaters say that EDEA Brio skates are among the easiest to break in the market.
Last but not least, these skating boots have an anti-bacterial lining for hygiene purposes. That is why I’ve have crowned
them as the best ice skates for the entire family. Check them out at Amazon.
For who: Women
Rating: See Amazon customer ratings for the boot
Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Riedell 33 Diamond ice skates are another good pick for beginners. They have double
reinforcement for support because beginners need plenty of support. They
are also made of leather, which is great for movement compared to synthetic
material. Plus, leather lasts long.
Their design aesthetic is practical with a high neck to accommodate
a broader lacing pattern for a good fit.
The boots have a PVC maintenance-free insole with lex lining in the boots to
keep the dry even when they get sweaty. These skates take the cake on comfort. They have a hand-rolled
collar for comfy ankles and an excellent fit.
The collar also provides lower
leg support. The boots also have a high toe box to allow your toes some
comfort and safety too.
Riedell 33 Diamond skates have a Capri argon welded stainless steel blade.
The blade, coupled with a flex notch allows the skating boots to flex forward
while maintaining lateral support. They come in a unique black color for that
man willing to dare to ice skate.
For who: Girls
Ratings: See Amazon customer ratings for the boot
The bottom line is that comfort and stability are crucial in a good pair of ice
skates. Whether you need skates for recreation or to jumpstart a passion, you
need those that will last. A pair of ice skates that checks all the boxes may
cost you a pretty sum, but it, of course, is a worthwhile investment.
So you want to learn how to ice skate. You’re a complete beginner. Or maybe you used to skate, but you’ve not practiced for ages. Fortunately, you bumped into this post on how to ice skate for beginners. Lucky you! Here, you’ll learn the fundamentals or basics of ice skating and more. Of course, you won’t instantly become Nathan Chen. But at least, you’ll know where to start.
You’ll learn various beginning ice skating moves. In the end, though, ice skating is more about doing and less about reading or even thinking about it! So, read this. Watch a couple videos. Buy the gear you need, or rent it if possible. Most importantly, start practicing earliest you can. And remember to wear protective gear for ice skating including a helmet and protective pads.
Skating is a hobby or sport where people use skates or wheeled-shoes to glide on ice or other surfaces. It’s an all all-embracing term referring to a smorgasbord of different types of activities.
Someone may say “I’m going skating,” but they mean they’re actually going electric skateboarding or just street skating rather than ice skating. Or maybe they’re going roller skating. In the end, it’s a question of context. Skating means whatever version of gliding around the speaker practices.
By the way, ice skating isn’t the same as roller skating. Typical roller skates have wheels while regular ice skates feature a metallic blade on the underside. Take a look.
Science-backed Benefits of Ice Skating
You’ve probably wondered whether ice skating delivers any real benefits. Can skating really help me lose weight, you ask.
Now, here’s good news:
Skating can help a 125-pound person burn as much as 210 calories in just 30 minutes according to Harvard Medical School. By comparison, the same person would burn just 90 calories if they did general weightlifting for 30 minutes.
As you can see, ice skating actually burns 57 percent more calories thanweightlifting! Evidently, ice skating can help you lose weight. It’s a great way to regain one’s self-esteem and confidence.
Another great advantage of skating is that it can help you develop a leaner, well-toned body. As you stretch your muscles and various body parts such as hands and legs, your overall body shape will improve. Your ability to endure will soar, and you’ll become stronger.
Finally, skating can do wonders for your mental health according to Healthline. The activity is a great way to push one’s body and mind beyond their comfort zones, boosting clarity and mental control. Isn’t this something you’d want to learn with your significant other or friends?
Enough of that. Now, let’s start……
Prepping for Ice Skating
Let’s start at the beginning. You don’t need any kind of fancy equipment to get started. Pretty much anyone can afford this hobby.
First off, you need good skates — probably the best ice skates you can afford. But who says you can’t rent? Renting lets you learn the sport cheaply. It gives you sufficient time to decide whether you really love ice skating without spending a whole boatload of money. Get skates that’ll fit just right. Choose those that’ll offer you enough foot and ankle support.
Of course, you should wrap up warm for the activity. Also, have several pairs of socks whether you’re renting skates or using your own. It does get cold out there, and you want to stay warm. Plus, socks make your skates less roomy, and that helps you avoid nasty blisters.
And before you strap those skates on, wear something that covers your legs entirely. Wearing shorts is just a bad idea. There’s always a chance you might fall, leaving a layer of your skin on the ice! So, grab a pair of warm-up pants or sweatpants. They should be close-fitting rather than too tight. Also, have knee pads as well as shin pads.
In addition, wear a safety helmet. Figure skating pros say that all beginners regardless of age should have protective gear for the head. Your helmet should be snug and comfortable. It shouldn’t move or fall off at any time during practicing. So, buckle your helmet’s chin strap properly.
Don’t tilt the helmet too far back on the top of your head. Or pull it too low over your forehead. And before you get onto the ice, test the safety helmet to ensure it’s a good fit. Here’s one more thing. Make sure the helmet doesn’t have any cracks or other signs of damage.
Lest I forget, you should also wear cut-proof skating gloves. Gloves or mittens keep your hands warm. And in the event of a fall, you can avoid getting cut. It’s also nice to have elbow pads and wrist guards. Pads minimize impact in case you fall.
Let’s now put the skates on….
How to Lace Up Your Skates
Have your heels as far back into the boot as possible. At that point, hold the tongue and gently pull it up. Next, tuck the tongue on either side of the foot. Then, start pulling the laces, starting at the second set/pair of laces.
Ensure each boot closes well over the front of each foot. The first two sets of laces and those meant to support the ankles should be snug. The last two laces should be somewhat looser, allowing you adequate flexibility. Finally, cross the ends nicely over the last two hooks, tying them tightly.
Note: make sure you have no loose flying bows. Why? It’s because they can cause accidents.
How do you know you’ve done the job correctly? Put a finger between each leg and the back of the boot. If you tied the laces right, your finger should fit without too much work. But you shouldn’t be able to stick it in effortlessly. Also, your feet should feel comfortable. They shouldn’t hurt at all. If that’s not the kind of fit you have, make adjustments until you get it right.
Let’s Start Skating
Want to see a real pro doing it rather than read how to ice skate? Here’s a video for you so you can learn the basics quickly and hit the rink.
Ice Skating Video (You won’t find a better trainer!)
This video explains in clear detail various fundamental ice skating moves. Watch it, understand it, and most important, practice the moves. Happy gliding!
Gliding successfully on ice is a function of how well you can command balance and control. So, learn how to achieve and maintain your balance. How do you do this? Get into the correct ice skating posture from the get-go. And maintain that posture throughout each session.
Your knees should always stay slightly bent. That position lowers your center of gravity, stabilizing you. It also helps you to skate without falling. Also, you should always have your weight positioned over your skating leg.
One time you’re skating on the right leg, and the next moment on the left one. Every time you switch legs, you must shift your weight so that it’s over the skating leg. Here’s one more thing. Your hands should stay stretched out to the front. Picture someone riding a scooter, with their hands holding onto the bars.
But before you get onto the ice…..
Learn How to Fall, Too
While falls rarely cause severe injuries or death, they happen. It’s critical to learn how to fall right.
As a kid, you fell many times before you learned to walk. A couple years later, you fell of the bike several times before you learned how to cycle without falling. The same goes for ice skating. No matter how well you know the art, you’ll fall.
Note: If it feels like you’re falling, do what you can to fall to the side rather than backward or forward. That’s why it’s advisable to practice for some time off the ice.
Here’s the secret of falling right. ALWAYS lower your center of gravity before a fall. Maybe your high school physics is a little rusty, huh? Don’t worry; it doesn’t matter.
So, bend your knees. That reduces the distance between you and the ice, minimizing the odds of getting hurt. And don’t use your hands to catch yourself, no matter how natural that feels. You don’t want to end up with broken arms, do you?
As stated elsewhere, most bad ice skating falls happen to folks who try to break the fall using their hands. Keep your hands out of the way so you don’t crush them. Then, fall on the side. As you fall, make sure to tuck your chin to your body. You never want to bash your head against the ground.
Do Ice Skating Falls Hurt?
Many beginners wonder what it’s like to fall while skating. They can’t stop imagining all the pain they’d feel if they took a bad fall. But here’s good news. Even though beginners and pros fall a lot, bad falls aren’t scarily common. Especially if you’ve learned how to fall properly. By default, your knees are bent, and you’re always comfortably close to the ground.
One studyshows that most ice skating falls happen when people fall the “wrong way.” The study focused on an ice rink in Cambridge, but it can be assumed the same goes for most rinks. The vast majority of falls occur because people tried to break the fall using their outstretched hands. That’s most likely why fully 98% of all accidents affect the upper limbs.
How to Get Up
If you fall, try to get back up as quickly as possible. Get out of the way, or you’ll stop a speeding skater!
To get back up, roll onto your hands and knees. Set one of your feet, preferably your dominant one, on the ice — between your hands. After that, quickly get the other foot on the ice, also between your hands. At that point, stand up, and keep your knees slightly bent. Once you’re back up, regain your balance and you’re good.
Ready? Let’s start gliding…
1. Skate Forward
It’s time to march forward. With your toes pointing in the direction you’re heading to, take one step forward. Then, repeat the action with the other foot. Afraid? Hold onto the wall first as you build up your confidence. Oh, and stop looking down to see whether you’re doing it right, or you’ll collide with someone and get injured. Next, try to push a little harder, doing two-foot glides. As your confidence grows, you’ll do longer glides faster.
2. Backward Skating
Keep your feet parallel to each other, knees bent, and chest up. Then, shift your weight to some position between your feet, and push outward, one foot at a time. To maintain your balance, work off the balls of your feet, pushing backward gently. Not going anywhere? No worries. Try this: with your toes turned in, try to walk backward slowly. As you do that, shift your weight until you find that sweet spot where balance happens almost effortlessly.
3. Forward Swizzles (Scissors)
This move starts with you standing in a V-shaped position, your heels touching and toes turned out. Of course, you should bend your knees a little. Now, use the inside edges of your skates to push outward and forward. Keep going until your blades are one foot apart.
At that point, with your knees straightened, form an inverted V by bringing your toes together. When you complete this move, you’ll have done a circular move, like the letter O.
4. Backward Swizzles
For many people, backward swizzles are more difficult than forward swizzles. You may have done the forward wiggles without much difficulty, but you may find you have trouble doing backward swizzles.
Fundamentally, backward swizzles are similar to their forward counterparts. Except that in this case, you’re moving backward.
Backward swizzles have you starting the glide in an inverted V position. So, bend your knees. And your toes should stay together. Next, use your inside edges to press your heels outward. At that point, your skates should start gliding apart. Continue moving until your feet are at roughly one foot apart.
Next, start straightening your knees as you rise up. Simultaneously, put your heels together as if you’re prepping for a two-foot backward glide. Do this again and again, about 6-8 times.
Backward swizzles (and wiggles) are very important. Without them, you won’t do backward crossovers successfully.
5. One-foot Glide (Forward)
To do this one, start with forward marching or swizzles as per your preference. Then, get into a two-foot glide. Next, pick one of your feet up, placing the foot close and parallel to the skating one.
Remember to keep the hip on the free foot a little raised. At the same time, have your arms extended forward, parallel to the ice in the direction you’re heading.
Also, position your shoulders parallel to the direction you’re gliding in. Want a really strong glide? Learn to balance on your foot for about 3 or more counts. Or, glide a over distance that equates to your height.
6. Learn the Dip
Let’s now do the dip. It’s a basic ice skating lesson taught in all beginning classes.
Here’s how to do the dip:
Start with your arms extended sideways, one to the right and the other to the left. Then, start marching slowly to build momentum. Finally, push off into a 2-foot glide. Next, bend both knees in a dip. Meanwhile, your arms should be extended forward, parallel to the ice and over your knees. Your upper body and chin should stay straight up.
We have forward crossovers and backward crossovers. These elements help skaters immensely when it comes to maneuvering corners. They require you to place your outside skate (assuming you’re practicing in a hockey circle) over the inside skate.
Crossovers are something you must practice frequently. They’re a fundamental move, and while they can be quite tough for a beginner, you won’t make much progress without learn them.
Here’s how to do the forward crossovers. First, stand with your feet parallel to each other, one arm in the front, and the other stretching backward. Then, try crossing the right foot over the left one, searching for your balance in the process.
Next, lift the left leg and put it next to the right, assuming your starting position once again. To make sure you’re moving straight, follow one of the hockey lines. And as you do all this, be sure not to turn your hip as this will have you walking in a new direction.
You can also try to do sidesteps, one arm in the back and the other extended to the front. As you do that, you’ll feel like there’s a bit of a twist between your hips and shoulders. That’s because your shoulders and hips won’t be square.
Next, learn the edges you’ll be using to do the forward crossovers. As you cross your right leg over the left, bend the left one a bit, dropping it over to the outside edge, toward the smallest toe. Doing that allows you to cross over the left leg without a problem. It also helps avoid toe pushing later in the process.
And as you put the right foot down, bend the ankle a little, stepping on the outside edge. Finally, pick the left foot and position it parallel to the other foot. Note: as you cross one foot over the other, shift your weight in alignment with that move.
At this point, you’re ready to start practicing in a circle. Now, start pushing with the right foot. Note that this foot is on the outside of the circle. At first, bring the right foot to the left one without crossing over. As your confidence grows, start doing the crossovers as detailed above.
Keep this in mind: The first push should be done on the inside edge, the second one on the outside edge. Always start a new push with an edge opposite to the previous one.
Here’s another important thing. As you do the crossovers, keep your knees somewhat bent. A common beginner mistake is to play as if they’re walking rather than skating. You won’t get skating flow unless your knees remain fluid.
Another reason to bend your knees a little is to avoid tripping yourself by your toe picks. Once you’re comfortable doing forward crossovers in one direction, start practicing in the opposite direction.
By now, you can skate backward or do backward swizzles and wiggles without issues (hopefully).
Now, start with backward wiggles or swizzles. Then, lift one foot up, find your balance, and glide in that position. Then, resume the backward wiggles or swizzles and lift the other foot up. Now, move over to a hockey circle (there are usually many such circles in an indoor ice rink).
Next, do one-foot backward glides around the circle until you can do it smoothly. Note: turn your head over your shoulder so you’re facing the direction of travel. A common mistake is to face the direction you’re gliding from, thinking it’s the best way to avoid collision! Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But beginners do that all the time.
Push with the foot outside the circle, using the inside backward edge. Next, lift the same foot (the one you pushed with) and cross it over the other foot. Then, pick the skating foot and place it next to the other foot, just like you did for forward crossovers.
Remember to bend your knees as you do a crossover so you can have smooth moves and avoid tripping. One arm should extend to the front while the other should stretch out to the back, helping you maintain balance. Once you’re comfortable moving in one direction, start practicing in the opposite direction.
This is another trick you should learn. The good thing with the shoot-the-duck move is that it’s quite hard to fall while practicing it. Normally, your backside stays pretty close to the ice. If you fall, it likely won’t be a thud! You most likely won’t get hurt.
Start by deeply bending one leg so that your knee stays close to your chest. At the same time, have the other leg out to the front. Pretend you’re prepping to aim and shoot at some unlucky duck. Now, in that position, push off and have fun.
Ice skating jumps involve actually jumping off the ice and rotating in the air. There are 6 different elements (rotational jumps) you’ll learn (eventually).
The salchow is the easiest jump, followed by the toe loop. Then there’s the loop jump, the flip jump, and the lutz jump. Finally, we have the axel jump, the toughest of them all.
Even though I said the salchow is the easiest, ALL these jumps are hard to learn for a beginner. And you can easily get hurt. So, I strongly suggest you get a professional trainer to guide you.
Some people land the salchow jump after a month or two of practice. Others take 2+ years to learn the same jump. Not everyone in school gets what the instructor is saying the first time around. Similarly, there’ll always be differences in learning speed when it comes to ice skating.
There’s academic intelligence, and then there’s kinesthetic intelligence. To become a professional skater, you must consistently and passionately increase your kinesthetic intelligence.
Before you start with these 6 jumps, learn to hop. A hop is a simple jump where you leap into the air without rotating. Once you learn that, you can try practicing these 6 ice skating jumps from the simplest to the hardest.
How to Stop When Ice Skating
You can’t glide forever, certainly. Learning to stop is a vitally important skill. The T-stop and Snowplow stop are two essential stopping tricks you should grasp.
How to do a Snowplow Stop
To do a snowplow stop, start by reducing your speed by assuming a two-foot glide position. Next, bend your knees and ankles. Then, apply sufficient pressure (not too little or too much) to your stakes’ inside edges. When you do that, your heels will naturally begin to angle out. And that’ll have you skidding rather than gliding, bringing you to a successful, safe stop.
How to do a T-stop
You can do either the right foot T-stop or the left foot T-stop.
Let’s do the right foot T-stop. First, assume the T-position with your skates, the right one meeting the left one, forming the letter T. As you do that, stretch your right arm to the front while putting the left one to the back. Then, stand and achieve balance while in this position. Practice this until you can maintain that T-position without moving.
Now, you’re all set.
Next, use your left foot to push off and do a nice glide, holding the right foot (the stopping foot) up. The free foot should help you control the glide. At this juncture, you’re ready to start putting the foot down.
Avoid dragging the stopping foot on the inside edge. Instead, use the skate’s outer edge to push the foot toward the left foot’s heel. Take care not to step on the left blade. Then, angle your blade (of the right foot) to the outside edge while bending your knees all the way to a fine stop. And to do the left foot T stop, repeat this move, starting with the left foot.
How to Ice Skate for Beginners: The Dos and Don’ts
I’ll start with the Dos.
7 Ice Skating Dos to Keep in Mind:
Get a decent pair of blades if you intend to practice this fun sport for years. Wearing ill-fitting ones most often hurts your feet. But if you’re not planning on doing it frequently, you can use rented skates.
Lace up the skates correctly.
Warm up before you step onto the ice so your body won’t react adversely to cold water.
Always lean forward, knees bent and arms stretched forward for balance.
Pay someone to teach you the basics if you’re an absolute beginner. It helps.
Practice, practice, practice.
ALWAYS finish a move like you’re the best ice skater the world’s ever seen.
5 Ice Skating Don’ts
Don’t look at your toe picks. Avoid collisions with strangers!
Don’t lean backward while gliding. Avoid those not-always-funny falls on your backside.
Don’t try the 6 jumps mentioned above without professional guidance.
Don’t feel too bad if you’re not progressing as fast as you’d hoped. Learning something worth learning takes time.
Don’t practice excessively.
Pain After Ice Skating
Many beginners ask, “Is it normal to experience pain or have blisters after a skating session? As a skating beginner, you may feel a bit of discomfort as you learn the ropes. And yes, be ready for a blister or two before your feet get used to wearing ice skates.
But how do you deal with skating-related pain? A certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lance Silverman answers that question best. According to Dr. Silverman, it’s common for beginners in skating to hurt their ankles. It’s normal to wake up to aching, sore feet.
That’s because ice skating involves loads of footwork, and your foot and ankle muscles work hard.
One way to deal with the pain is to build ankle-strengthening exercises. A wobble board is another proven way to minimize ankle pain. Wobble boards help you balance your body better. And as you do that, your muscles become stronger and hurt much less.
Another common cause of ankle pain is wearing ill-fitting skates. It’s a common problem with people who rent skates. If your feet slide right in, you most likely have the wrong size. Skates with too much room — more than you need — end up hurting your ankles. They pile a ton of pressure on your ankle ligaments (outer), and you’ll experience pain upon waking up.
So, before picking that pair of rented skates at the rink, ask an experienced staffer to help you choose the right fit.
You can take the pain. It’s a small price to pay to learn a skill that’ll thrill you for a lifetime.
Lastly, DON’T overdo it. Don’t over-practice. In golfing, you don’t practice for a day and suddenly morph into legendary Tiger Woods. Similarly, you shouldn’t try to master ice skating in a day. Learning anything requires patience and persistence. And skating is no exception.
Final Thoughts on How to Ice Stake for Beginners
You’ve learned the basics of ice skating. Now, what remains is to overcome the fear of falling. Go out there and start skating. It’ll be hard and painfully slow at the start. And you may fall a few times, but be persistent. You’ll soon mesmerize everyone with the jumps, spins, glides, and glides you’ll effortlessly do. Here’s the thing: grab those skates and rush out. Happy skating!
Skating costume forms a vital part of your ice skating performance. Finding the best cheap figure skating dresses should be a prominent phase of the preparation process for your next ice skating competition.
When shopping for the best ice skating costume, there are a few aspects to consider including comfort, fit, fabric, lace, style, and of course, price.
But searching online for good ice skating dresses with free shipping can feel overwhelming. There are hundreds of sellers and products to consider. I have reviewed 5 cheap but decent ice skating dresses to help you pick up costume that looks stunning while flattering your athletic body.
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The Sagester #137 offers an awe-inspiring design that not only draws the attention of your fans, but also that of the judges. Additionally, this dress gives you enough confidence and comfort so you can invest 100% of yourself into your performance.
Although available in an affordable price range, the dress is handmade in Italy. Now, there’s a lot to be said about Italian fashion.
The item consists of 80% polyamide and 20% elastin, a combination that offers both strength and elasticity. The fabric is lightweight (1 lbs), pleasant to touch, and is available in six nice colors namely bay blue, red, bordo, black, fuschia purple, and white.
This dress fits well, and the right wearer would look stunning in it. It’s stretchy, too, and its sleeveless design allows even more flexibility and freedom, powering effortless maneuvers. Additionally, these ice skating dresses feature a V-shaped floral lace that accentuates the skater’s back.
The dress reflects lots of light back to the audience thanks to the shinning rhinestones on the lace, further amplifying your moves. And if you prefer skating dresses that don’t reveal too much skin, the Sagester #137 is a great choice.
With this option, constriction is minimal as its bottom flares out, allowing ultra-free multi-directional movement. Impressed? You can buy the dress now at Amazon or any other place, especially one that offers free shipping.
Second on the list of affordable dresses for ice skating in the United Kingdom or wherever you plan on competing is the Chloe Noel DLV04 Skating Dress. Available in black and red, these ice skating dresses give you an unforgettable look and great functionality. The best part? The option comes with free shipping, and it’s sold in 8 different sizes.
Ice skating sometimes involves athletic performances, and flexibility is vital. Luckily, the dress’ velvet fabric comprising of 10% spandex and 90% polyester is stretchy enough. And the double-layered skirt dress ensures unrestricted movement while also making a style statement.
But it gets even better. Long velvet sleeves and crystal beads on the front sparkle as you execute your moves.
This is the skater dress you want for performing the most mesmerizing spins. You know, the kind of crazy spins that make your SO and fans think you’re the coolest girl in the whole world. Its comfortable and fit well, too.
The main material on these dresses is relatively thick, making them a suitable option for cold rinks. Finally, the product comes at a great price with free shipping to various locations.
But I doubt any seller at Amazon offers free shipping to skating destinations such as Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, the Netherlands Antilles, and many others.
Also offered with free shipping at an affordable price, the Girl’s MiDee V-Neck Sequined high-low lyrical dance dress offers more at the same price. Its asymmetrical design includes a half-pleated and half-sequined V-neck, a high-low waist and a slanting skirt section so you can show a bit of flesh to your modern audience, huh? It’s available in 4 color choices and multiple sizes.
The main fabric is made of 87% polyester and 13% spandex, a combination that results in a stretchy, comfortable material. There’s also a soft mesh comprising of 93% nylon and 7% spandex. This mesh further helps improve fit, making sure nothing impedes your moves.
Although the dress is pretty cheap, it performs almost as well as options with a higher price tag. Most reviewers say the dress feels nice and is light, which is good for a sport that involves endless moves like ice skating.
You can order these skating dresses and other skating products from Amazon whether you live in South Africa, Costa Rica,Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, French Guiana, or wherever, all with free shipping.
Made from 100% spandex, the dress is considerably light and stretchy. You want to sport this dress for practicing and even skating competitions. The material is breathable (not that breathability matters a whole lot in ice skating), soft, comfortable, and fits with ease.
These ice skating dresses feature a mesh that covers the top chest area and arms. Regardless of age, you’ll find the price affordable across the 10 sizes available on Amazon.
The fabric feels good and gives you all the confidence boost you need to win the toughest competitions. Despite being affordable, you also get free shipping. I couldn’t believe it’s a hand-sewn product when I saw its irresistible price point at Amazon.
Overall, the dress is well-made and looks amazing. You’ll likely get many compliments from your fans with this costume. However, some skaters may find the neck a little too tight. The item is offered in 10 sizes, but you can only buy white.
You want to look elegant while performing in an ice skating competition or just practice, and this dress makes it happen. The BINGHUOZHIWU yellow sleeveless ice skating dress lets you effortless express the freshness, energy, optimism, and joy inherent in your practiced skating moves.Yellow radiates happiness and positivity, and only a blind judge wouldn’t notice the loyalty feel that adorns your appearance and skill demonstration.
But you don’t need to pay out the wazoo to own this yellow option. It’s fashioned from high quality spandex and features long, fingertip sleeves, giving sufficient flexibility around your shoulders and arms.
Also,the fabric used is soft and stretchy, and that makes for a super comfortable fit. In a skating environment that’s likely to get warm, this yellow dress is the ideal option as it offers lots of breathability. The item also adds flame to your performance with its unmissable color and design. But this isn’t the most long-lasting rink dress; there’s way more lace than fabric. Embellishment somewhat excessive, too.
The dress is hand-sewn, and hand washing is best for protecting the item’s intricate beadwork, sequins, rhinestones, and whatnot. For orders made online, you not only enjoy attractive prices, but you might also get free shipping. It’s available in 10 yellow sizes including small, X-Small, medium, Large, X-Large, and others.
But how do you choose the perfect dress for figure skating? I explain that and more in the brief sections that follow.
First things first, though…
What is a Skater Dress?
Everyone on Instagram incessantly talks about skate dress styles. But what is a skater dress? A skater dress is basically an A-line dress, and even though this dress features the same silhouette as a figure skating option, but it doesn’t typically feature lace.
The silhouette of a skater dress starts off narrow at the top and progressively bottoms out as you near the hem. The A-line shape derives its name from its similarity to the letter A.
So, are skater dresses used for rink skating? Why not? I mean, there’s no universal consensus on what’s appropriate ice skating attire. But jeans? Very few skaters enter the rink in jeans.
How to Dress for a Figure Skating Competition
A good outfit not only impresses the judges and audience, but also bolsters the skater’s confidence levels throughout the session. Here’s what to consider when shopping for good ice skating dresses.
•Fit: Size is a critical factor when choosing the right dress. It should fit you well, flattering your and making you look stunning. When you have a comfortable outfit, you know it and your audience and judge know it too.
• Color: Color is also a key factor. You can go with your favorite color, but it needs to be a color that gives you a confidence boost.
• Talk to your trainer: Your trainer or mentor knows a thing or two about these sorts of dresses, and they could help you pick a really cool one. There are guidelines regarding about how a figure skater should dress, and your coach should ensure you dress right. They’ll also let you know if you’re free to decide what to wear.
• Music: The type of program music that’ll play is also an important factor. It should help you choose a style and colors that fit the music.
Style: Decide if a low neckline rather than a high one would flatter you better. A slanted skirt works best for a short skater, and layered skirts let you spice up things a bit. Thin hips? Choose a bell-shaped skirt.
Other Essentials Every Ice Skater Needs: Aside from having a great dress, you may also need a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm, sweat pants (no jeans, please), a bag for carrying your ice skates, blade guards for when you’re exiting the rink, soakers and towel for drying your blades, and think socks.
Never assume you know your size while ordering online. The surest way to get skating dress sizing right is to use the size chart provided by the manufacturer.
Follow these steps to measure yourself for sizing a figure skating dress:
• Measure your bust: Take your chest’s measurement with a deep breath and your arms stretched out. Wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your chest.
• Take your waist measurement: When measuring your waist, place one end of the tape from your belly button. Then, wrap the tape all around, ending at the belly button, again.
• Take your torso measurement correctly. How do you take your torso measurement correctly? It’s easy. First, place your tape on the inner shoulder. Then, bring the tape down over the torso, passing it between your legs and finally up the back to where you started.
• Measuring the hips: When taking your hip measurement, take the reading for the fullest part of your hips and butts.
Pro tip: Please ask your friend to help out with the measurements.
How to Know Your Figure Skating Competition Dress Fits Well
A properly fitting figure skating dress fits snugly. However, the dress shouldn’t feel too tight. If you try on a dress and it constricts and pulls enough to restrict movement, that’s not a good fit. Similarly, if the dress forms wrinkles and ripples when you wear it, it’s like too big for you.
Here’s simple but actionable advice:
If the costume feels too tight or restrictive, go a size up. And if it feels a little too loose, go one size down.
Where to buy Good Cheap Figure Skating Dresses
There are plenty of places you can buy really nice skating dresses without spending all of your life’s savings. From your local offline skating shop to online skating shops, you have endless options. And of course there’s Amazon and Ebay, massively reputable online marketplaces if you deem customer reviews, shipping information, and price comparisons to be important.
You may or may not enjoy free shipping for your dresses. It all depends on where you’re located. Amazon, for example may deliver affordable skating dresses for free around the U.S., but a skater based out in the Falkland Islands or Burkina Faso may not enjoy free shipping.
How Much Are Figure Skating Dresses?
Honestly, the best figure skating dresses for women and girls aren’t typically the cheapest deal on the market. Actually, the best options are almost always expensive. That’s because tons of high-quality fabrics and embellishment such as sequins, beads, and rhinestones (and increasingly embroidery), are poured into the creation. And there’s the designer’s creativity and time, and believe me, their time and creativity can be insanely expensive!
Final Thoughts On Affordable Dresses for Skating
Generally, pricing of ice skating dresses varies on the basis of the quality of the fabric and other materials used, craftsmanship, and the manufacturer’s pricing policy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find well-made skating dresses offered at really attractive price points.
Read reviews like mine, or head over to Amazon to learn what other skaters are saying about various affordable dresses. All of the 5 options reviewed above are good enough for the price-conscious skater, and it shouldn’t be that hard to pick the one you like best.