Ice Skate Reviews:
We have all watched Olympic ice skaters make skating on ice look so easy. Ice skating is a beautiful sport with fluid movements and acrobatic jumps that make us all wonder how they do it. If you watch an NHL game the hockey players make such sharp, aggressive moves on the ice it's as if they are not wearing skates. There are quite a few categories for ice skates - ice figure skates, ice hockey skates, recreational ice skates, speed skates, and children's ice skates. The top brands are Riedell, Dominion, K2, Lange, Daoust, and Bauer. You can even buy the ice skate boots seperate from the ice skate blades if you have a preference that is not produced. Much like swimming, riding a bike, or skiing, it's best to learn how to ice skate when you are young and don't have too far to fall. Kids seem to pick up ice skating pretty fast and most of the time you don't even need a lesson, just head down to your local ice rink and get on the ice with a decent pair of ice skates. You will want to make sure the ice skates are comfortable, tight fitting, and have dull blades (easier to balance and less dangerous for beginners).
Ice skates for children are fairly cheap so it's a judgement call on whether to buy new or just rent. Kids do grow out of their shoes so fast that buying may not make sense unless your child is involved in some kind of organized ice skating program where they are constantly on the ice. If you go every few months, it's may be worth renting the ice skates until your child is older and their feet have stopped growing. When and if you decide to buy new ice skates consider the top sellers like Lake Placid Double Runner Boy's Ice Skates ($17) or the Girls' Lake Placid Glider GT 500 Figure Skates
- both offer the training blade that works in tandem with the first blade to enable balance and stability. Dominion ice skates
(for both boys/girls) are about $60 and have a reputation for being very comfortable. The Riedell Ice skates - Red Ribbon 17 (girls) and the Riedell Red Ribbon 17 Black Ice skates - Spiral blade (boys) are excellent entry level figure skates. The Italian made Roces J Due JR Girls F Adjustable Ice Skates sell for $130 are made for recreational and figure skating purposes and fits up to 4 sizes of shoes to ensure you child won't outgrow this skate. The Roces J Due Adjustable Ice Skates Boy's Hockey for $130 is a great hockey skate for boys just getting started in the sport and is durable enough to last through several seasons. It too adjust to four different sizes. The most popular womens figure skates are the Riedell Gold Medallion 300 Figure skates White ($250), Riedell Ice skates - Bronze Medallion 280 W ($169) and the Riedell Ice skates - Blue Ribbon 121 W ($119). The best mens figure skate is the Riedell Blue Ribbon 121 Ice skates mens in black - Sapphire blade for $121. You can browse the up-to-date list of best-selling ice skates here
. You can find all these ice skates and other equipment online at Skates.com
Hockey Ice Skates:
When looking for a quality pair of ice hockey skates, keep in mind that they should fit snuggly (don't ever buy a pair so that you can grow into them) but so tight they are painful. If you have narrow feet, go with the Bauer's Supreme (X000 models), Vapor line or Mission skates. Bauer's Classic (X090 models) fit wider feet or those with a high instep (browse all Bauer skates here
). Graf's 609 and 727 models are very popular and are offered in 3 different widths to help give you a snug fit. Graf hockey skates are like CCM or Easton (CCM skate models here
). CCM's Vector skates are for intermediate width feet while the CCM Tacks and Easton skates fit best on wider feet. RBK hockey skates also offer 3 widths and they are good for players with higher insteps that have wider feet. Nike has recently moved into the ice hockey skate market and their Quest line had a narrow heel and wide forefoot but the newer V series are wider than almost any other brand and only meant for those with extra wide feet. A decent pair of ice hockey skates will cost around $150 and a high end pair will be closer to $400. When selecting the boot stiffness, keep in mind 3 important factors - average hours of time on the ice each week, players ability level, and players weight. Also, keep in mind that new skates will need to broken in for about 2 to 5 hours (of ice time) before you can feel the true stiffness to the boot. Novice skaters should consider the Bauer 1000 or CCM 252 with nothing higher than the CCM 452 or Bauer 4000 which could be used for intermediate skaters as well. Advanced skaters will find that the Bauer 6000 or CCM 852 work just fine and that the CCM 852 or Bauer 8000 or necessary only if they are playing more often than a few hours each week. The best selling ice hockey skates are the Roces RX 2 DUE Ice skates ($130), Bauer Professional 76 ($80), and the Riedell 830 Soft Boot Ice Skates - White Hockey Blade ($59). A good recreational skate is the Lake Placid Elite Leather Ice Skates ($50) - intermediate ice skates for women with extended counters for extra ankle support and waterproof sole. See listing of best hockey skates here
. You can also buy the latest ice hockey skates online at Hockeymonkey.com
Sharpening Ice Skates:
We hear a common question from our users "how often should I get my skates sharpened?". The answer depends on how often you actually use them. Much like the feeling of worn out tires (your car slides a bit more), ice skates will have that same feeling of not being sharp and the edges won't feel secure. New blades can last up to 8 years with monthly sharpenings. A quality set of ice skating blades go for $20-$50 and are a sound investment. Many people like a particular style of blades that they buy new skates and immediately replace the blades with their favorite brand. It's all about feel and comfort on the ice so go with whatever works best. Take care of your blades off the ice as well for the longest lasting ice skating blades. As we read reviews online on the best way to keep your blades in shape, most experts recommend taking them to a recognized blade sharpener and not using automatic machines that you find at skating rinks sometimes. Figure skates will need to be sharpened different that ice hockey skates since the performance the skater is looking for is completely different for both types of skates.