It’s time to buy new hockey skates, and you probably have a lot of questions in your head. You’re browsing the web and feel bombarded with the vast array of models and prices out there. Hockey skates are a vital component of your game, but they can also cost a lot.
Hockey skates are expensive because their components, including the blade, protective sections, padded sections, and structural support, are required to be extremely durable and allow a hockey player to perform well on the ice. As the quality of the parts are better, the skates are more expensive. An entry-level skate can begin at $50, and a more expensive skate can go for $700 to $900.
Your skates are the most expensive piece of equipment of all your hockey gear, so choosing the right one is vital. In this article, we tell you all that you need to make the right choice. So, let’s dig in.
How much do hockey skates cost?
Hockey skates cost between $50 and $900 (or more), based on their category, which ranges from cheap, entry-level to top-tier models. Their price depends on the quality of the materials, features, and design. Expensive skates are lighter and more durable while offering more protection against pucks and support for the ankle and foot.
Here is a chart of the price ranges you can expect for a pair of hockey skates, depending on their category.
Hockey Skate Costs
The most important components on a hockey skate and why they matter.
There is a part called the “quarter package” in a hockey skate, which is the main part of the skate boot. It goes from the top cap to the heel and around the ankle. The quarter package matters because the cheapest skates don’t offer any support in it.
More expensive skates offer support inside the quarter package, ranging from plastic to much more advanced composites.
Boot liners and footbeds also vary by price. The most expensive options offer moisture management, odor protection, and protection around the ankle.
The tongue protects the front of the foot. Traditionally, and still, in use, these tongues have felt as a liner. As the price goes up, you can see other tongue liners, such as foam and breathable materials, which allow for more breathing and comfort.
How much is a good pair of hockey skates?
A usual rule-of-thumb is that the more expensive the skate, the better it is. But, before you make a hefty investment, you can take into consideration what you need in your skate. According to the website Discount Hockey, if you are playing at an adult league and want comfort and support, upper-mid-range skates are ideal for you, ranging from $199 to $399.
Upper-mid-range skates are also where manufacturers present some, but not all, of the newest designs and features available for the general public. These skates offer support and comfort, which are key because you still have your skates on for a long time.
The website Honest Hockey recommends that beginner and intermediate players playing a few times a week stick to skates with prices under $400, while advanced and pro-level skaters, continually playing throughout the week, aim for skates above the $400 price tag.
Do expensive hockey skates make a difference?
In short, yes. Expensive skates, especially top-of-the-line skates, will have the latest features, including a lighter boot, which reduces fatigue, stiffer support around the ankle, and more durable materials. They last longer and provide the best performance.
One example of expensive skates making a difference is using carbon composites in the quarter package. These composites allow for a stiff boot with a very lightweight and comfortable fit.
What are some differences between cheap and expensive hockey skates?
The big difference between cheap and expensive hockey skates is durability. Cheaper skates have plastic materials in their quarter package, which leads to a soft support structure. These skates will wear out quickly, and players replace them frequently.
When it comes to fitting, you have to feel comfortable in your boots. More expensive skates can be baked to mold around your foot and provide more support, while cheaper skates can’t go through a baking process.
In the upper price range, second-tier skates also have features like brass eyelets to make tying them easier. Their blades are also of more durable steel, which means their edge holds on for longer. NHL players prefer second-tier skates, as they can provide excellent performance for a few hundred dollars less.
How much should I spend on hockey skates?
Upper-entry-level skates, topping out at about $150, are ideal for beginners and occasional skaters. They will last a bit longer than the entry-level and provide some support.
If your son or daughter plays competitively but is in the middle of a growing process, then opt for lower-mid-range as you will replace them frequently. These cost a max of $200.
Adult league players who need comfort and support should go for upper-mid-range skates. Their prices top out at about $400. Experienced and high-performance players can expect their skates to cost more than $500.
Some manufacturers, like CCM and Bauer, have partnered with major hockey equipment providers to create Special Make Up skates, called SMU for short. These skates combine top and bottom tier features to provide high-end features at an affordable price.
Should I buy expensive hockey skates?
Hockey sites like Pure Hockey are explicit: your skates are the single most crucial piece of equipment you need to play hockey. But, before you dish out hundreds of dollars for a skate, take into consideration how much you skate.
If you are a competitive player, buying expensive skates can be seen as an investment rather than an expense, because you will use them frequently. If your budget is tighter, then look for the most comfortable price and begin shopping from there.
And, if a cheaper model fits and feels great on your feet, then there’s no problem with buying it. Just because there more expensive skates out there, it doesn’t mean that they are ideal for you.
Should I buy used hockey skates?
Because cheaper skates have less rigidity and can wear out fast, don’t buy used more inexpensive skates, as they will not last long. There is a market for used, expensive skates, in which you will find third, second, or even top tier options at discounted rates.
However, keep in mind that more expensive skates usually come molded to the first owner’s foot, which can be uncomfortable for you. If the past owner was a professional, or semi-professional, skater, then chances are those skates fit his feet perfectly, but not yours. You can try to bake out some of the fittings, but not all.
While there are economic advantages to buying used skates—for example, if you are a heavier skater who needs more support but has a tight budget—there’s no better option for a perfect fit than a new skate that you can mold to your foot.
Multiple sites and references can help you sort out details. You can research skates for wider feet, more robust support, and more durable components. Hockey skates are the one piece of equipment you need to take your time when buying, so take your time and shop around.