Choosing the right ice hockey skates will determine the level of your performance. You don't just need the ones that fit well, but also serve the purpose. Here, we segregate buying hockey skates for three different purposes.
Choosing ice skates according to the level of play
The list will help you choose the perfect pair according to your requirements:
For beginners learning ice skating or ones who skate for recreation should look for casual skaters. These are affordable and perfect for trial and error processes in learning.
The size of your feet and the weight of your body are two things to consider here. Most recreational skates are for young people. Thus, adults or people with a heavier built must determine their weight before buying a pair. Not buying the right pair can lead to premature breakdown and reduce the utility level of the product.
If you are on the heavier side, you can go for performance level ice skates. These will last longer, so you don't need to buy newer ones soon.
New hockey skaters should choose a softer quarter package (skate's boot) for more comfort. It is perfect for people learning skating strides. If you select a pair of stiff boots, it will be uncomfortable and disrupt the learning process. Similarly, the outsole should be softer at the initial level for the perfect flex.
Most recreational skates don't have removable runners/blades. Thus, they have a better grip and last till you move to the next level of skating.
Skaters in the performance level are confident with their strides and want to try complexities in the sport. Once you reach this level, you will want to play at least twice a week to expert the art.
When choosing a performance level skates, you will want a stiffer quarter package. It will give you agility and power. More rigid boots have more protection, which you need at this level. These pairs are heat-moldable and allow your shoes to offer a custom mold around your foot. The process creates an easier break-in.
Many like to keep these skates near their oven or have a skate oven to keep them warm. The warmth helps the boot fit better and give you the perfect grip.
The skates have removable runners for times when the steel breaks or has worn down. Runners come with high-quality steel and offer better edge and resistance to burrs.
If skating is what you love and ice hockey is your passion, you will escalate to pro-level soon. For best performance, durability, protection, and comfort, you need to get a pair that meets all these demands. If you play the sport more than thrice a week or professionally, you need such a pair of skates.
Most professional ice hockey boots will be light, responsive, heat-moldable, and protective. Nowadays, there are new features like full one-piece boots, one-piece facing systems, asymmetrical designs, and more. Professional boots will have excellent durability and allow wear-and-tear.
Unlike skates perfect for performance levels, the outsoles of the pro-level are composite and not plastic. It ensures better airflow and reduces drying time after usage. The tongue is reinforced and offers protection to the toes. Thus, it improves your agility and makes movements faster. You can aggressively slash with your stick just the way professionals play.
Runners are taller for this level of play. It improves sharpening life, turning radius, and profiling options. The skates also have an extra coating to hold the edge longer and prevent corrosion.
Consider buying your ice skates by determining these aspects, and you will soon have the perfect pair to start your game!