Which men’s ice skates are best?
When the weather begins to cool, our thoughts turn to activities like making snowmen, sledding, and, of course, ice skating. An excellent way to stay in shape and strengthen your core, ice skating can be a great deal of fun once you learn how to stay on your feet.
But whether you’re playing pickup hockey or gliding around on the ice with your family, it’s best to wear quality ice skates. A top pick is the Bauer Senior Vapor X3.5 Hockey Skates, which skaters love for their comfort and enhanced mobility.
What to know before you buy men’s ice skates
Figure skates vs. hockey skates
A distinction between figure and hockey skates is notable in their build and performance. Figure skates have a longer blade with a toe pick at the front that’s used to execute figure skating moves with precision and technique. Hockey skates have thinner blades curved at the front and rear to increase speed and agility.
The parts of an ice skate
Ice skates consist of two parts:
- The boot should be rigid and provide enough protection from accidental falling or tripping. Hockey skates have a robust build that helps protect against pucks, sticks, and other players’ skates.
- The blade is usually durable carbon steel and often has a grooved bottom. It’s usually 4 millimeters thick but can be more pronounced depending on skill level and preference.
It’s essential to wear the correct size skate to feel comfortable and prevent injury. Skates that are too big will feel awkward, and you may find yourself often falling, while those that are too small can constrict your feet and cause discomfort, pain or swelling. Unlike shoes, many skates tend to run large, so if you’re unsure what size to purchase, it’s best to measure your foot length and consult a sizing chart.
What to look for in quality men’s ice skates
You want to ensure the boot is made of authentic leather or synthetic material for high-quality skates. Leather skates are more durable than synthetic skates, but they’re more expensive and take longer to break in. Synthetic skates are generally more comfortable and ready to go right out of the box, but they don’t offer the same longevity as leather skates.
Even if skates are designed to provide elite performance, they won’t be worth anything if you don’t find them comfortable. In addition to wearing the correct size, the boot’s interior should be lined with soft microfiber material, and the footbed should be packed with plenty of cushioning. The tongue should also have sufficient padding to give your ankle the support it needs.
You may not feel while skating in cold weather, but your feet and ankles will sweat significantly. A buildup of moisture in your boots and socks can make it uncomfortable, and if you’re an ice skater or hockey player who takes your craft seriously, it may noticeably affect your performance. For those reasons, it’s crucial to look for skates with moisture-wicking fabric along the tongue and near the ankles to help you stay dry as you skate.
How much you can expect to spend on men’s ice skates
If you’re looking for recreational ice skates, you can find a quality pair for $50-$120. However, if you’re a hockey player who wants high-performance skates, you can expect to spend up to $300.
Men’s ice skates FAQ
What kind of skates should I look for as a casual skater?
A. Assuming you don’t plan on playing hockey with your skates, you should look for a pair made with flexible materials that have plenty of padding in the boot.
How long does it take to break in a new pair of skates?
A. It depends on how often you use them and what materials they’re made with. Skates with boots made from rigid materials will take longer to break in, but on average, they should be in optimal condition within one to two months of regular use.
What are the best men’s ice skates to buy?
Top men’s ice skates
Bauer Senior Vapor X3.5 Hockey Skates
What you need to know: These skates deliver elite performance for recreational hockey players but are also great for casual ice skating.
What you’ll love: Every stride you take with these skates delivers comfortable flex thanks to a microfiber lining and memory foam ankle padding. The Form Fit footbed helps enhance player mobility and flexibility, and the durable toe cap and thermoformable outsole add an extra layer of protection.
What you should consider: They don’t offer as much arch support as other skates, and some users find them stiff or rigid. Also, they run big, so it’s a good idea to consider going one size down.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Top men’s ice skates for the money
What you need to know: These ice skates are excellent for recreational skating and casual pickup hockey games.
What you’ll love: These skates have a reinforced synthetic upper, a padded footbed for long-lasting comfort and a durable carbon steel hockey blade. They have a sleek design with a hook-and-loop closure for a secure fit and enhanced stability.
What you should consider: They only come in all-black, and the basic design may be unappealing for more experienced skaters.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Worth checking out
Men’s Jackson Black Finesse Series Recreational Ice Skates
What you need to know: These skates offer excellent support and flexibility. They are ideal for skaters of all skill levels.
What you’ll love: These vinyl-coated skates are built to last and have a padded felt-covered tongue for a comfortable feel. The maintenance-free sole provides superior stability, and the attached Ultima Mark 1 figure blade is made of quality stainless steel, offering skaters high-performance durability and usage.
What you should consider: They may require breaking in, as some users found them uncomfortable the first few times they wore them.
Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s
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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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