Getting started with ice hockey can be a ton of fun but it also comes with some challenges. Especially when it comes to finding the right gear. With so many types of skates in all different styles and price ranges, it can be hard to find the best hockey skates for beginners.
If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together a list of the best skates to take the guesswork out of it. Finding the best beginner hockey skates doesn’t have to feel like getting slammed into the boards. Save that for the ice!
Our Top Picks
Bauer X-LP Ice Hockey Skates
American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate
Best for Speed
Bauer Vapor X3.7 Ice Hockey Skates
Bauer X-LP Ice Hockey Skates
Bauer is a great brand with a long history of making top-quality hockey gear. They have a wide range of innovative products designed to meet the needs of every hockey player at every stage of the game. Including gear that’s uniquely suited for players who are just getting started.
The X-LP skates from Bauer are some of the best hockey skates for beginners because they’re strategically designed with beginners in mind.
Several key features make this pair great for learning on. The skates are comfortable and flexible which makes them easier for a beginner to move around in. And even though they’re flexible, the boot still has enough stiffness to give you good control.
The construction of the runners on this pair of skates makes balancing easier whether you’re taking a faceoff or skating after the puck. The price point is really reasonable too, especially considering the high quality of the skates.
- Comfortable fit
- Great Price
- Easy to balance in
- The ankle piece can feel a bit rigid, especially at first
- Not ideal for narrow feet
American Ice Force 2.0 Hockey Skate
If you want to get started with ice hockey without spending a ton of money, an inexpensive pair of beginner hockey skates like the American Ice Force 2.0 is a good way to go. These skates are perfect for someone who wants to get a feel for the game without making a big investment.
Even though they’re inexpensive, these skates don’t look or feel cheap. The construction is durable enough to handle recreational use, but keep in mind these skates aren’t meant to be used every day. For a beginner skating a few times a week, these will do just fine and they won’t wear out after the first season.
These skates are comfortable and easy to take on and off. The lightweight construction and steel blade improve skating speed and performance.
Most of the time, your skate size won’t be the same as your shoe size but the American Ice Force brand keeps it simple. These skates are sized so that you can order your regular shoe size and they’ll fit nice and snug like a hockey skate should.
- Awesome price
- Good for speed
- Sizing is simple, just order your regular shoe size
- Ankle support could be better
- A bit stiff for beginners
- Not as durable as other brands
Best for Speed
Bauer Vapor X3.7 Ice Hockey Skates
When it comes to speed, the Bauer Vapor X3.7 are hands down some of the best hockey skates for beginners. This model is designed for speed and gives novice skaters a great balance between comfort and performance.
The skates have soft microfiber padding and memory foam ankle padding to keep your feet comfortable and prevent rubbing. The material is flexible enough to keep you comfortable but stiff enough to give you good control which improves performance and speed.
The boot is made with a 3D-injected composite which makes it incredibly lightweight- good for both comfort and speed. This is a higher-end pair of beginner hockey skates and the price reflects that, but it’s a fantastic skate for the price.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- High performing
- Pricier than other options
- Stiffer than other models, which helps improve speed but is trickier to learn on for beginners
Best for Goalies
CCM Super Tacks 9370 Ice Hockey Goalie Skates
Goaltenders have different needs from forwards and defensemen so they need a specialized skate. The CCM Super Tacks 9370 is built with goalies in mind. It’s a great beginner’s hockey skate for someone playing goal.
When it comes to playing goal, it’s important to be able to make quick, short movements rather than lengthy strides. The boot of this skate is designed to help you get up and down quickly so you don’t miss those saves.
Stiff construction provides excellent performance and good protection from flying pucks.
High-performance blades can handle all kinds of movement and don’t need to be sharpened as often. Reinforced layers make the skate extra durable while the microfiber liner gives you a comfortable fit.
- Blades last a long time
- Sizes can sometimes be hard to find
- Stiff construction is good for performance but harder to learn on for a beginner
Best for Kids
Bauer X-LP Ice Hockey Skates Youth
Young players need a good pair of beginner friendly hockey skates too. The Bauer X-LP youth hockey skates provide all the same great features as the X-LP senior skates but in kids’ sizes.
This skate is perfect for young players just getting started with the game. The entry-level price is affordable while the skates still perform well for your young skater. A fleece liner keeps little feet warm and comfortable on the ice.
The blade of the skate is specially designed to be easy to balance on, making it a great learning skate for first-time players. The skate has a good balance between stiffness and flexibility. This makes them easier to move in while still providing good support.
- Comfortable for little feet
- Provides good support
- Great price
- Half sizes can be hard to find
- Not the best fit for narrow feet
Hockey Skates for Beginners Buyer’s Guide
What to Look for in the Best Hockey Skates for Beginners
For a beginner, comfort is one of the top priorities. If your skates aren’t comfortable, you won’t want to get out there. Choose a skate that feels good and you’ll be that much more excited to hit the ice and play.
Even as a beginner, you want your skates to perform well. Skates that slow you down or aren’t easy to move in are no good for anybody.
That doesn’t mean you need elite-level skates. There are plenty of beginner friendly hockey skates that perform well, including any of those on this list of the best hockey skates for beginners.
Some beginner hockey skates are designed for daily play while others just aren’t. Choose a pair of skates that’s suitable for how often you plan to use them.
For most beginners, you probably aren’t playing every day so a pair of skates designed for occasional use should be fine. If you plan to play more than a couple of times each week, make sure you look for a durable pair that can handle the extra wear.
After a couple of seasons, you may want to upgrade your beginner hockey skates to a more elite model, but you don’t want to have to make that change because your skates are falling apart. A good pair of skates should last for several years, even with regular use.
How to Find the Right Fit
Getting the right fit is one of the most important steps when it comes to picking out the best pair of hockey skates for a beginner.
Poorly fitting skates aren’t just uncomfortable, resulting in blisters and sore feet. They can also reduce your performance on the ice and increase the risk of injury.
Shoe Size Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Skate Size
Ordering your regular shoe size may seem like the natural choice when it comes to ordering your first pair of hockey skates, but it’s actually not the best course of action for most skate brands. Hockey skates are designed to be much more fitted than regular shoes so you may need a smaller size than you think.
Check the sizing chart for your preferred skate and measure your foot to get a good idea of what size will fit best.
Wear the Right Socks
When trying on hockey skates, wear the socks you plan to wear in the game. Whether it’s a pair of hockey socks or other athletic socks, the thickness of the socks can impact the fit of the skates. Your everyday socks may be thicker or thinner than you realize, resulting in an improper fit if you use them to try on your skates.
How Hockey Skates Should Fit
The proper fit in the best hockey skates for beginners should be snug, but not uncomfortably tight. This isn’t like trying to squeeze into last year’s skinny jeans!
Your foot should feel fitted in the boot without excess room to move around. Your toes don’t need to be smashed into the front and your foot shouldn’t feel like it’s being tightly squeezed. If the fit is uncomfortably tight, go up a size. If your foot can move around inside the boot, it’s too big and you need to go down a size.
Get Your Skates Sharpened
Most hockey skates need to be sharpened before you hit the ice. That’s because they usually don’t come pre-sharpened, even the best ones on the market. If your skate blades feel dull that doesn’t mean you got a bad skate! It’s totally normal.
Your new skates may be good for one test run on the ice, but after that make sure to have them sharpened for optimal performance.
Practicing With Your New Hockey Skates
The best way to get comfortable with your new beginner hockey skates is to practice. After you’ve found the right fit and had your skates sharpened it’s time to hit the ice!
Whether you go alone or with your hockey team, don’t be afraid to get out there and get comfortable with your new skates.
Try Synthetic Ice
Unfortunately, it’s not always practical to find ice to practice on, especially during the off-season.
The great thing about synthetic ice is that you can use it anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to have access to the ice rink or a frozen pond. You can practice on synthetic ice at home, any time of the year!
PolyGlide synthetic ice is a great way to get some practice with your new hockey skates. Keep up the practice during the off-season to keep your new skills sharp.
Best Hockey Skates for Beginners Frequently Asked Questions
How are hockey skates different from other types of ice skates?
Each type of ice skate is specially designed for the sport it’s used in.
Hockey skate blades are designed for speed and quick strides. The blades are shorter and more curved than other types of ice skates and they don’t have a toe pick at the front.
Which skates are best to learn on?
Entry-level hockey skates are designed to help beginners learn the sport. They’re usually softer and more flexible than intermediate or elite-level skates which makes them easier to move in while learning the game.
For a complete beginner, an ice skating trainer is a good way to practice as you improve balance and gain speed.
I play goalie, do I need special skates?
Yes, goalie skates are different from standard beginner’s hockey skates. They have several features that make them better suited to meet the unique needs of that position.
The blades on goalie skates are longer, thicker, and flatter. These features allow goalies to move easily from side to side as they’re protecting the net. The blades are also built tougher to be able to withstand pucks hitting them over and over again.
Time to Get Skating With a Pair of the Best Hockey Skates for Beginners
When you’re ready to start playing ice hockey, one of the first things you’ll need is a good pair of skates. The Bauer X-LP ice hockey skate is truly one of the best hockey skates for beginners that you can get. It’s comfortable, affordable, and provides great performance.
If you want to get started right away, check out The Best Synthetic Ice so you can start practicing at home. For tips on what to wear while you’re learning to skate, check out What to Wear Ice Skating.
Still want more hockey content? Then check out our hockey page for training guides, equipment rankings, and fun facts about our favorite sport!
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.