If you are looking for ice hockey skates and plan to skate only occasionally, do not select professional models: regular ones will suffice. Men’s hockey skates are divided into three main categories: for defenders, attackers, or goalkeepers.
Choosing hockey skates based on types
Characterization applies only to professional skates:
- Attacker skates are a lightweight option that has good manoeuvrability and allows you to develop high speed. Weight and protection are in balance.
- Those intended for defenders are considered “strong”. Yes, they will not be able to create the same manoeuvres with them as with the attackers, but they have improved protection, aimed at preventing damage from the stick and puck as much as possible.
- Goalie skates even visually look a little different due to the reinforcement of individual parts of the boot that are subjected to the greatest number of impacts.
There are 3 main elements in the design of any skates:
- a boot covering the foot;
- a holder, which is a rigid part and connects the boot to the skid;
- a blade – a plate of metal, thanks to which sliding occurs.
The task of the boot is to cover the foot from blows with a club and blades. The cost of hockey skates depends not only on the brand name, but also on additional elements that increase comfort. So, some companies use thermoforming: a material that, when heated, takes the shape of the foot, which guarantees a better fit on the leg. A similar approach is used in both amateur and professional models. To fix the form, you will need to put on the boots, lace up, and just wait a bit. Yes, the same result can be achieved by simply putting them on and going for a ride, but it will take more time.
In women’s, men’s, and children’s products, there is always an automatic tongue and lacing locks. Some brands resort to a trick: they add an air chamber to the design. When filled, it fixes the heel and lower leg. This method is used by the well-known company Reebok.
All professional products use a stainless steel blade. It differs in the degree of hardening: the harder it is, the longer the blade will be sharp. It is convenient when the possibility of replacing the blade is provided: you can quickly put in a set of freshly sharpened steel or take the option of the blades that corresponds to the chosen strategy of the game at the moment.
What are the sizes of hockey skates?
Although the skate boot is visually similar to ordinary shoes, the dimensional system does not at all correspond to the gradation we are used to. The downside is that each manufacturer displays its own lookup table. To choose an adult model, you should know your “everyday” shoe size, and then correlate these numbers with data from a particular brand.
Another difference from the characteristics of ordinary shoes is the shoe width. Manufacturers offer three width standards: narrow (C), standard (DE) and wide (EE).
And only hockey skates for children can boast a special “trick”. Knowing that a child’s foot grows very quickly, and most parents are not ready to change old skates for new ones every year, a system of changing the size by 1-2 points was invented. We are talking about sliding skates. In them, as in other children’s models, there are no notches on the blade: this is necessary in order to teach the correct skating technique to a child.
The best hockey skate companies according to users
We have selected the top 10 hockey skates of different budgets and characteristics:
- The Bauer NSX S18 of the American manufacturer is amateur, but the workmanship and materials are clearly of a higher level. At the same time, the weight is small. There is a microfiber lining that absorbs moisture.
- CCM Tacks 9060 from the company that made Canadians famous is back on store shelves. The reincarnation of the legendary “Tex” that most experts recommend. There is thermoforming, the boot is hard, and the heel has a slope.
- The CK Senator RT has a wide range of sizes from 27 to 47. Not suitable for professionals, but amateurs will like the low price.
- For outfield players, there’s the GRAF Super G with a hard boot, a cold-resistant toe and a blade changer. The last aspect is very attractive, since not all amateur products have such an option.
- Budget CK Leader is a frequent “guest” at rental points. And this is an excellent advertisement for their durability and practicality, which is proved by their performance even after several seasons of aggressive play.
- Novus AHSK-17.01 Blade uses frost-resistant leather, which is suitable for -20 degrees. The insole is made from EVA.
- Larsen Force will appeal to those who are looking for something cheap and unpretentious. If hard collisions are not planned, then this is your option. There are not only the usual black, but also white skates.
- Bauer introduced the semi-professional Supreme S29 S18, which fit perfectly on the leg due to thermoforming.
- If you are looking for a product from the cheap category, we advise you to take Action PW-217. They are ideal for those who want to run on the ice, and only occasionally take a stick with them.
- Nordway NDW500 are notable for the presence of narrow and wide moulding. Toe protection is at the level of semi-professional options.
The market is dominated by Canadian and American products. But this is not surprising: these countries are leaders in hockey, and they are not far behind in the production of equipment.
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