The Best Hockey Skates of 2020

So last year’s hockey season came to an abrupt halt, a global pandemic shutting down sports and industry alike.  After months of quarantining and social distancing, we at Going Bar Down hope you and yours are safe and healthy, and ready to tackle the 2020 / 2021 hockey season!  

A release that in any other time would have garnered more attention, Bauer dropped the Supreme Ultrasonic skates and they are being spotted all over the NHL right now.  They have quickly taken over our spot as the hottest skates of the year.  Bauer has done a complete redesign of these skates and they include a Unibody Sole, Bauer’s power profile known as Quad profile, and the top blades even have a Titanium coating to hold an edge better!

Read on for our top picks, and see our in depth breakdowns further below!

Our Pick

The Best Overall Skate

Brand new for 2020/2021 and popping up all over the NHL, Bauer’s new flagship Supreme skate is the one to beat!

How off the press this year is the Bauer Supreme UltraSonic skates.  Popping up in the play in round and being seen more and more in the NHL playoffs, these skates are taking the league by storm!  Featuring Bauer’s new performance fit system, it maximizes power transfer from your leg to the ground.  Add in a full 3D lasted Carbon Curb composite, Tuuk LS Pulse Titanium blades, and the Reflex PRO tongue, and you have a package that will have you cruising past opponents all season long

Photo of Jason Zucker in the Supreme Ultra Sonics

Looking to get that special hockey player in your life a gift?  Click here to see our comprehensive list of the best gifts for hockey players!

Runner-Up

The Best CCM Skate

CCM has just released the FT2 and it is a serious performer.  From a one piece boot and frame, to their new black XS1 runner, these skates are built to give the Vapor 1X a run for it’s money

CCM looks to take the skate crown with its new SuperTacks AS3.  Building off the success of the AS2’s CCM has added several key top line features to its flagship skate.  Interchangeable, custom feeling XChange tongues coming in at 4, 7, and 10 millimeters allow you go have the exact feel you want every stride.  Their OrthoLite footbed supports your foot amazingly and ensures maximum energy transfer, while the TotalDri Pro+ liner makes sure your skates air out quickly to be ready for the next skate.  CCM has introduced the Speedblade XS holder so you can swap blades out on the fly in case of losing an edge.  The arms race between CCM and Bauer continues to the benefit of consumers and you really can’t go wrong with either offering.

Speed On A Budget

Best Hockey Skates For The Money

Bauer’s top of the line model from 2019 offers tons of top of the line technology and can now be had at 30% off or more from its original retail.  If you can grab it, grab it quick!

Bauer’s Supreme line has always been known for those trying to get the best flat out speed.  Whether you are a winger burning down the wing or a D man going coast to coast, the Supreme line has you covered.  The Bauer Supreme 2S has Bauer’s speedplate insoles, Curv Composite boot for fitment, strong LS4 steel on the bottom, and Bauer’s well known 37.5 liner system for fast drying.   Being a few years old, you can usually find this skate for an unreal bargain, but you have to act fast before they are all gone!

Our Recommendations

CCM's New Top Dog

Bursting at the seams with features, CCM takes aim at Bauer to try and claim top skate in the NHL.  And with the SuperTacks AS2, they just might have a shot.

Buying Options

The Player's Choice

Brand new and taking the NHL by storm, this amazing fitting skate is designed for all out speed, and it delivers !

Buying Options

Budget Friendly Speed Demon

Bauer’s previous top of the line supreme skate isn’t far off from this year’s 3S and offers unbeatable bang for the buck in the skate game

Buying Options

Our Research and Findings

Hockey skates have to be tailored to each individual player to maximize your on ice performance and we are going to help you find your pair by going into detail about some of the best hockey skates released this year. Hockey skates are one of the most important piece of equipment a player owns and there is nothing worse than having your skates hold you back. Read on for reviews that break down everything you need to know like manufacturers specs, strengths of the equipment, possible weaknesses, and overall consumer value.

We will be reviewing the best senior hockey skates from all the major brands including CCM, Bauer, and True to help you get peak performance and go bar down all the time. We will layout the skates and rank them for durability, fit, weight, and cost. These skates are all top of the line and are sure to help your game, but we need you to read through our best hockey skates of 2020 article in order to make the choice that gives the best set of skates for your game.  

At the bottom of our article we have a guide on skate fitting and buying basics, you will see it right after our last skate review.

Directly below is our comparison table of all the skates we looked at.  Click on the skate name to jump to the review, or click the flag to find the best price in your country!

What Are The Best Hockey Skate Brands?

The Hockey skate landscape is currently dominated by a few main players, as you can see in our reviews.  Bauer, CCM (Reebok), and True are currently the biggest companies in the skate market, and pour tens of thousands of dollars every year into material research and engineering in their skates.  Easton once made very advanced skates and pioneered one piece skates, but Bauer purchased them several years ago and integrated their technologies into their lineup.

Bauer currently has three skate lineups.  The Vapor lineup is an anatomical fit, designed to get players up on their forefoot for quick cornering and ultimate maneuverability.  The line is also designed for players with a low arch.  The Supreme lineup is designed with straight line speed and maximum power transfer in mind, and for players with a medium arch.  The Nexus line blends the Supreme and Vapor technologies, and is built for players with high arches and wider feet.

CCM also has three distinct lineups to go head to head with Bauer.  CCM’s lineups in our opinion aren’t quite as distinct as Bauer’s, sharing many technologies, but still each have their own specialty.  The Jetspeed lineup boasts a one piece boot for a super lightweight skate and great power transfer.  The Ribcor lineup has just been revamped for this year and we will have to wait to see some reviews before we dive into detail too much.  The Super Tacks lineup is more about comfort and fit but still delivers amazing performance.

True hockey is relatively new to the skate game, but the skates they produce aren’t.  They purchased VH skates, who make completely custom top of the line skates.  These skates are the most expensive skates you can buy (but not by as much as you might think) and will offer the best fit you have ever experienced.  Many NHL’ers are starting to embrace the true skates, one standout being Dustin Byfuglien.

The Best Hockey Skates of 2020

1. Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic - Best Overall and Best New Skate

Top Features:

  • 3D Lasted Carbon Construction – A highly advanced carbon fiber boot that maximizes energy transfer with every stride
  • Tuuk LS Pulse TI – A totally new blade that has a titanium coating for the ultimate in sharpness and edge holding
  • Quad Profile – Bauer has identified 4 zones where the blades can be tailored to a skaters stride, and in the case of the Ultrasonic they have built this blade for flat out speed!

Advantages:

  • Supportive Boot – The Ultrasonic boasts the most supportive boot in Bauer’s lineup, being stiffer than most and offering amazing energy transfer into your stride
  • Four Zone Titanium Blade – Bauer’s Quad zone blade has a toe zone, transition zone, speed zone, and heel zone in order of front to back.  They tailor these zones for the skates intention, and for the Ultrasonic, it is for top speed!
  • Reflex Pro Tongue – Featuring inserts of various stiffness, so you can have the exact amount of resistance you like in every stride!  The stiffer the insert, the more energy return you get!

Disadvantages:

Since the Ultrasonic is designed for flat out speed, you might miss out on a tad of maneuverability in the corners compared to a Vapor skate.  However, with the speed gains you should get maybe you won’t even need to be in the corners at all!

BOTTOM LINE:

Brand new for this year, the Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic backs up its bold and aggressive graphics with massive performance!  Sticking true to the supreme line’s goal of top speed, Bauer has focused in on power transfer optimization with the reflex pro tongue and reflex tendon guard – conserving your energy and helping you put 110% into every stride!  If you play hockey with speed and power, this is the skate for you! 

2. CCM Super Tacks AS3 Pro - Best Overall and Best New Skate

Top Features:

  • One Piece Carbon Monoframe – A single piece boot, with carbon wrapping under the boot to avoid glue or nails where energy can be lost
  • Anatomical Fit – A 360 degree supportive footbed to lock your foot down
  • Swappable Tongues – Avaiable additional tongues coming in different thicknesses allow you to have as much or as little recoil in the front of your foot as you want

Advantages:

  • No Glue, Fewer Nails – CCM has eliminated 30g of glue and 20 nails in order to maximize energy transfer via the one piece boot!
  • Three Tongue Choices – XS Slim, Regular, or Extra made out of D30 smart material.  The slim tongue is well suited to forwards, whereas the thick tongue adds some beef for defenders who might be blocking more shots
  • Step Steel Blades – CCM recently purchased Step, who were a premier maker of premium blades made out of strong and exotic steel blends.  The AS3 comes equipped with Black Steel which is their top of the line blade

Disadvantages:

This skate has very few real disadvantages.  When you put every bit of technology under your companies umbrella in a skate, there are no technical shortcomings – but you have to pay a premium for the skate!

BOTTOM LINE:

Built to compete with Bauer’s Supreme line, the Super Tacks line offers a tempting alternative for players looking for top of the line speed.  CCM hasn’t held anything back with this skate, loading it with all its top features like the carbon monoframe, total dri pro liner, interchangeable tongues, and the new Step Steel.  If you are deciding between a new skate and are a fast skater, consider this one to give you that extra boost!

3. Bauer Vapor 2X Pro - Best Skate For Agility

Top Features:

  • Recoil Pro Tongue – Dual Injected tongue for flexibility and helping you gain a low, long skating stride
  • Lock-Fit Pro Liner – Carried over from the 1X, This new liner system by Bauer keeps your foot dry and locked in place the entire game
  • Asymmetrical Fit– A redesigned boot has helped to mimic the natural ankle position for better support without increased stiffness.  The Vapor lineup is designed for players with smaller foot volumes
  • DYNAFLEX – Bauer’s fitment system for the Vapor 2X Pro works to give you amazing fitment and the best energy transfer on the market  

Advantages:

  • Amazing Fitment – Bauer’s DYNAFLEX system incorporates a snug toe cap, a unique foot wrap liner, and the recoil pro tongue to maximize energy transfer like never before
  • Aero Foam Padding – Bauer’s newest interior liner, this new padding system is designed to give you a custom feeling fit on the inside of your skate
  • Top Line Holder / Runner – The 2X Pro gets Bauer’s Lightspeed EDGE holder for hot swapping blades incase you lose an edge, and also feature their carbon black LS5 runner for the ultimate in edge life.

Disadvantages:

Staying true to the Vapor lines fit, the 2X Pro has an assymetrical fitment profile (small ankle area increasing in area slightly towards the toe).  If your foot is a bit more slender this means an unbeatable fit, but if you have a larger foot this hockey skate might not work for you.

BOTTOM LINE:

Following up on the massive success that was the Vapor 1X, the 2X Pro comes update with a super clean silver / black boot, an attractive black runner, and fitment upgrades that will make this skate feel truly custom.  True to the Vapor series values, this skate really helps boost your acceleration and quick turns, making it nearly impossible for your opponents to catch you on the ice!

4. Bauer Vapor 1X - Best 2019 Hockey Skate

Top Features:

  • Flex-Lock Pro Tongue – Bauer has incorporated a thermoforming inset into the tongue which creates a snug fit with a comfortable forward flex.
  • Lock-Fit Pro Liner – This new liner system by Bauer keeps your foot dry and locked in place the entire game reducing in boot movement and increasing energy transfer.
  • Asymmetrical Fit– A redesigned boot has helped to mimic the natural ankle position for better support without increased stiffness.  
  • Curv Composite Material – This proprietary technology from Bauers OD1N performance lab provides exceptional ankle and heel support for better comfort and performance.  

Advantages:

  • Perfectly Molded Fit – Bauer has made major strides in ensuring your foot is held in place comfortably all game. The Lock-Fit Pro Liner and Flex-Lock Pro Tongue combine to provide the most responsive flex and feel from any skate I’ve ever tried.
  • Paramount Protection – The Curv Composite material and X-rib support yield second to none protection for the heel and ankle when blocking shots and taking slashes. This is one of the best skates for blocking shots and not having to worry about getting sidelined with a foot injury.
  • Increased Agility – The Vapor skate is hands down one of the best for agile players.  The Speed Plate molds to your foot, increasing your agility and stability. Having such good contact with the base of the skate, you will accelerate quicker laterally and horizontally than you ever have before.

Disadvantages:

This is a tapered fit which means its ideal for players with low profile feet who like a shallow heal and low instep. Fit and comfort is the most important factor when choosing a skate and this Bauer model is the best skate for players who prefer a flatter boot. 

BOTTOM LINE:

This is one of the best skates on the market in 2019, and this fact is backed up by the fact that nearly 20% of NHLers are using it.  If you’re a skilled player who relies on agility and quickness for your game then these are the best skates for you. Bauer has improved the fit and flex of the skate which is perfect for quick acceleration and tight turns. Bauer started the reign of the Vapor models all the way back in the day with the creation of the now classic Vapor XX and these skates carry on that legacy of ultimate performance.


5. TRUE PRO CUSTOM - Most Comfortable Hockey Skate

Top Features:

  • Thermoformed Custom Boot – True hockey puts a huge emphasis on customizing the skate to meet the needs of the individual player, and their thermoformed boot is shaped exactly to the players foot. This ensures your foot is always locked in place, eliminating and loss of energy transfer and maximizing comfort. 
  • True Tendon Guard – This piece of proprietary technology from True ensures optimal flexibility and stability with every stride you take. This can be customized for each player and helps improve comfort and increase power transfer with each stride. 
  • True ToeCap – Instead of the typical toe cap which is an extra “piece” fastened to the skate, True has made a monocoque shell that is integrated into the boot of the skate. This provides a superior comfort with the custom fitted boot and does not give up anything in terms of construction. 
  • Hydrophobic Liner –  True has included a hydrophobic liner which wicks all the moisture in your boot to the venting holes in the liner to keep your feet dry and your foot locked in place. 
Photo of the True Pro Custom Hockey Skate

Advantages:

  • Truly Customizable – True has made their name in hockey skates by making a completely customizable skate to improve your game and comfort all in one. They will create a 3D foot last your foot to give you the ultimate in personalized measurements. With the in-depth processes used in fitting the skates, this product will never disappoint.     
  • Exceptional Durability – True has one of the most durable hockey skates on the market due to a design with no weak points, as the toe and boot are one piece. They also offer an “Enhanced Impact Protection” option which includes added carbon fiber layering over the ankle plate and side of the foot, which improves protection and durability. 
  • Perfect Skate Alignment – True has made some innovative strides in making sure your skate does not hinder your stride in any way. They have placed the eyelets to strategically give you an optimal knee-forward position which allows for direct energy transfer between your legs and the ice with every stride. The tendon guard also gives you optimal flexibility making this one of the best skates in terms of skating alignment. 
  • This video will give you a quick breakdown of all the different things you can customize to make this skate perfect for YOUR game.
Play Video

Disadvantages:

Since this is the only completely customizable hockey skate on the market, the price can get up there if you go all out and add every single detail you want. This being said, no other skate company offers a custom fit skate with personalization options such as embroidery, coloring, and carbon fiber layering.  This is truly the Lamborghini of skates. 

BOTTOM LINE:

I can’t say enough about the True skates after trying them out, everyone knows the worst part about getting a new pair of skates is the pain you have to go through to break them in. True has completely eliminated this painful experience with the custom fit to your foot, and I guarantee these skates will feel amazing the first time you put them on. The ability to add extra protection goes a long way in terms of durability and more importantly keeping you off the injured reserve. True as a company is relatively new to skates, but the technology they implement is not.  They purchased VH Hockey outright to add top of the line skates to their already impressive equipment lineup.  To further bolster credibility, already 12% of players in the NHL are opting for the True Pro Customs. From skilled players such as Mitch Marner to bruising defencemen like Dustin Byfuglien, NHL players are loving these hockey skates and proving they are for every style of play. 


6. Bauer Supreme 2S Pro - The Lightest Hockey Skate

Top Features:

  • Reflex Tongue – Bauer has gone to a three piece, lightweight felt tongue with an injected metatarsal gaurd for added protection.
  • 37.5 Liner – This revolutionary new liner system evaporates sweat and is the fastest drying fabric used in hockey. The liner is made up of tiny particles that pulls sweat from your foot and evaporates it as soon as the skate warms up.
  • Speed Plate – Bauer has designed a thermoformable (Via skate oven heating) Speed Plate foot bed that creates a fully custom formed fit between your foot and skate. The increased surface contact increases overall balance making you faster and stronger on the ice.
  • 3D Lasted Construction – This method of construction creates a closer fit locking in the heel and the ankle, ensuring maximum power transfer with each stride. 

Advantages:

  • Flexible Fit – Bauer gives the skate the flexibility to match each individual players game and desired range of motion with its anatomical construction. This brand new technology lets you try out different degrees of flex in the tongue and tendon guard, letting you pick the exact flex that gives you the best feel and optimal tongue flexion. 
  • Intense Cooling – You may not think the 37.5 technology liner would help out your game until you try it, but your foot will feel cool and dry all game with the sweat evaporating as you warm up. This really helps keeping your foot locked in and prevents it from sliding around after a few periods, letting you burn that defenseman and go bar down in the third with ease.
  • Improved Stability – Bauer’s injected stability lacing system gives you an increased forward flex without decreasing the stability of the foot in the skate. The lace locking eyelets give you the perfect feel when you lace up your skates and take the ice every single time. 

Disadvantages:

The ankle is equipped with memory foam pads to create a softer feel of the foot inside the skate which form fits every single time. This is quite new to hockey skates and if you are currently using an older model this might take a few skates to get used to. 

BOTTOM LINE:

If you’re the type of player that isn’t entirely sure what kind of fit you need, this hockey skate provides the flexibility to try out a number of different configurations to personalize it to your game. With the adjustable tongue stiffness, this skate will suit any players, from the fast and agile forward to the tough and gritty defenseman. One of thing I like most about this skate that is somewhat underrated is how quickly you are able to feel comfortable in these skates. The issue of “breaking in” a new set of skates is completely eliminated with Bauer’s emphasis on creating a top of the line skate with a comfortable fit. Lets put it this way – if these skates are good enough for Erik Karlsson to wheel coast to coast, you know they are worth the price of admission. 


7. CCM JETSPEED FT2 - Best One Piece Boot

Specifications and Features:

  • Liteframe 360 Boot –Similar to the SuperTacks AS1, the new JetSpeed model yields one piece construction and an extremely lightweight boot. This composite skate frame gives you a very responsive feel and provides optimal energy transfer. 
  • Hyperglide Steel – CCM’s polished steel blade is extremely fast and durable, helping improve your edge life and keep you at the peak of your game each skate. 
  • Tritech Tongue Technology – CCM has come at this years model with a new tongue design equipped with a Lacebite Pad. The lacebite pade is heat-moldable and fits your foot perfectly every time you do up the laces, eliminating the dreaded lace bite that some players suffer from.
  • TotalDri Pro Liner – Same as the new SuperTacks, the JetSpeed has the same re-engineered liner material built right into the boot. It has moisture-wicking technology and Durazone abrasion protection to keep your feet dry and avoid breaking down over time.

Advantages:

  • Superior Quickness – I thought the SuperTacks AS1 were the lightest and fastest skate on the market, but the new JetSpeed FT1 give them a run for their money. The improved blade technology and lightweight frame will improve your speed and acceleration. 
  • Impressive Durability – With CCM going to all these lengths to make their hockey skates lighter and faster, the LiteFrame and Tritech tongue combine to give it some extra protection and durability over last years JetSpeed. I also really like the polished steel blade, as they still have a really sharp feel even after a few skates. 
  • Lightweight Comfort – The one-piece boot make these skates amazingly light and they have a great feel on your feet right off the bat. These took almost no time to break in and the boot provides a really nice responsive flex to get the most power out of your stride. 

Disadvantages:

The TriTech tongue is a bit thicker than the previous JetSpeed model, and it took a little bit to get used to for me. That being said, it provides more protection and a tighter fit on your skate so it’s worth getting used to. 

BOTTOM LINE:

The JetSpeed lineup is designed to slot right below CCM’s SuperTacks skates.  It is almost completely equivilant in technologies, but usually comes in at $50-$100 less comparing top models.  The boot itself is also a bit more tapered, so it is for smaller volume feet.  If you are looking for a slightly more affordable skate while sticking to the CCM brand, the JetSpeed is what you may be looking for.  Combining one piece construction with a moldable toungue and liner, and some high strength steel on the bottom, this hockey skate has pretty much everything at an excellent price point.

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8. Bauer Nexus 2N - Best Skate For Wide Feet

Specifications and Features:

  • Speed Plate – Bauer has designed a thermoformable Speed Plate foot bed with rave reviews that creates a perfect forming fit between your foot and skate. The increased foot bed contact improves overall balance making you faster and stronger on the ice.  
  • 37.5 Liner – This revolutionary new liner system evaporates sweat and is the fastest drying fabric used in hockey. This is also incoporated in the Supreme 2S skate and the liner is made up of tiny particles that attract sweat and evaporate it as soon as your skate boot warms up. 
  • Lightspeed Edge – Bauer’s proprietary blade changing technology makes switching blades during the game faster and easier than ever. Losing an edge from stepping on a stick or hitting the post can completely throw you off your game, this technology lets you get on the bench and put a fresh blade in easily. Watch the video below to hear some NHL players talk about the benefits. 
  • 3D Lasted Construction – This method of construction is the same as some of the other Bauer models, but the Nexus 2N features a deep heel pocket to ensure your foot stays locked in place all game. 

Advantages:

  • Improved Power Transfer – Bauer’s 3D construction with the deeper heel give your skate a better fit and improves the blade angle and power transfer of your stride. Your foot hugs literally every inch of this skate giving you one of the closest fits imaginable making accelerating out of a tight turn easier than ever.  
  • Superior Durability – There are a couple aspects in which Bauer has improved the durability of the Nexus 2N model, and one of those is the 37.5 technology which evaporates sweat and saves your rivets from rust.  The hollow injected stability facings also give you added stability and protection. 
  • Extremely Lightweight – When you lace up the Bauer Nexus 2N, you’ll notice a night and day difference from your last hockey skate just in terms of the weight. This is one of the lightest skates on the market and it will show as you can push harder and longer before fatiguing.
Play Video

Disadvantages:

  • This skate is designed for wide footed hockey players.  It splits the difference in terms of foot shape between the Vapor and Supreme line to deliver a product for people who could previously never find the right skate.  Its not the best hockey skate for agility (Vapor line), nor the best skate for power (Supreme line), but splits the difference and is an amazing product regardless.

BOTTOM LINE:

This is one of the best and most versatile skates on the market, and it was designed in mind of all players out there. The lightweight feel of this skate makes it perfect for highly skilled forwards, but the 3D lasted construction and hollow injected facings give it superior protection and durability. For me, this is one of the best value picks for players wanting a bit of a lighter skate but don’t’ want to give up anything in terms of performance and protection. The light speed edge also makes it easier to cut down on the number of trips to the sports store for sharpenings since you can carry a few extra blades in your bag. In my opinion, this is easily one of the best hockey skates on the market and its sure to help improve your game. This skate is also well represented in the NHL with 10% of all players using it including Jonathan Toews. 


9. CCM Ribcor 80k

Top Features:

  • FlexFrame Technology – Designed with top NHL players, this skate offers excellent forward flexion and lateral stability to maximize energy transfer for every stride.  
  • Lightweight Construction – CCM has managed to reduce the weight of this skate by 70 grams compared to the last model by use of advanced lightweight materials
  • Contoured Heel Lock Design – By creating a high definition and precision ankle boot, CCM has removed the need for the classic Reebok pump, which contributes to the weight savings 

Advantages:

  • CCM’s FlexFrame technology was designed with top pro’s such as Sidney Crosby and Matt Duchene to provide the best in skate feel and stability.  Anyone who has seen Crosby’s edge work or Duchene’s defense man burning speed can attest that these are two people who you want to have input on your skate design
  • CCM has oncluded its TOTALDRI liner with abrasion protection as well as multi density memory foam.  What does this mean for you?  No blisters, and extreme comfort while still getting a top performing hockey skate.  They also tossed in a felt tongue with a molded lace bite protection system to protect every part of your foot
  • Extremely Lightweight – With the removal of the classic Reebok pump system, CCM has managed to shave 70 grams off of these skates (roughly 10 percent of its weight).  Your legs will feel light as a feather as you wheel around the ice all game long

Disadvantages:

CCM has improved this hockey skate in many ways, and it has negated the need for a pump system for foot support.  Some people I know live and die by the Reebok pump system on their skates, and it will be a sad day for them as the Ribcor line moves on without a pump

BOTTOM LINE:

A hockey skate designed in part by Sidney Crosby and Matt Duchene, with advanced liner and tongue materials thrown in to make your foot feel like its in a slipper?  Sign me up!  This skate is at the bottom of our list not because of it’s ranking, but because it is the newest member to CCM’s hockey skate family.  When you combine excellent power transfer, stability, lightweight, and space age materials in the liner, this skate is a winner in all aspects.


10. CCM Tacks 9090

Top Features:

  • SpeedBlade Black Runners – The runners are coated in Oxide which helps the blades stay sharper long and also prevents corrosion. 
  • Speedcore III – CMM Tacks 9090 feature Speedcore III technology which keeps the skates very lightweight, and give them pro level stiffness for peak performance.
  • Abrasion Protection – CCM has added extra material within the boot to help protect against internal wear from friction.
  • TotalDri Liner – This skate comes equipped with TotalDri technology which wicks away moisture and maximizes ventilation allowing your skates to stay dry and fresh all game. 

Advantages:

  • Extreme Comfort – The CCM Tacks 9090 is a skate made for comfort featuring extra padding and additional foam inserts to keep your foot firmly locked in the boot.
  • Better Performance – This skate was also designed for anyone hoping to add a little extra power in their stride, the skate is made to have an anatomical fit around your foot providing great energy transfer from your skates to the ice.
  • Improved Durability – All of the materials used were to ensure the CCM Tacks 9090 has best in class durability and will last you a number of seasons without having to get a new pair.

Disadvantages:

These have a higher price point than other skates that have made this list, they won’t cost you as much as the top of the line models and you’ll still feel like you’re wearing pro stock gear. 

BOTTOM LINE:

These may not be the $200 budget hockey skates like some of the other options but these offer unreal value and durability. These are lightweight, offer exceptional protection and fit very comfortably. The core of the CCM Tacks 9090 skates is made with Speedcore III technology, keeping the skates stiffer for longer and preventing any fatigue. The difference between these and the top of the line CCM model isn’t as big as you think, but the difference in price is huge!


11. Bauer X2.9 Hockey Skate

Specifications and Features:

  • HYDRA MAX Mesh Liner – Great for keeping moisture to a minimum and also increases the durability of the skate.
  • Tuuk Lightspeed 2 Holder – The Bauer Vapor X900 features the Tuuk Lightspeed 2 holder which allows you to not only change your blade in a matter of seconds but also will enable skaters to get lower to the ice for sharper turns.
  • X-Rib Pattern – Not only provides increased structural support but also improves heel and ankle lock.
  • Lock-Fit Systems – The footbed and lock-fit additions ensure that the skate is tightly fitted around your foot and that you’re in total control during tight turns and stopping.

Advantages:

  • Improved Speed- The Bauer Vapor X900 is a very versatile skate and provides superior acceleration with its anatomical design and fit for players.
  • Enhanced comfort – Bauer also made sure to include Curv Composite built to balance lateral support and forward flexibility. 
  • Superior Dependability – There’s not much more you ask for in this Bauer product as it covers a lot of the concerns of hockey players when looking for a protective and comfortable fitting skate.

Disadvantages:

Although the Vapor fit may not work for all foot types, for those it does fit it’s a match made in heaven and you won’t find anything more natural.

BOTTOM LINE:

The Bauer X900 hockey skates come complete with some of the technologies featured in the top of the line models, with the Curv Composite construction and the Tuuk Lightspeed holder. Bauer is a premium hockey brand and the X900 lives up to that standard, giving you excellent mobility and comfort. The internal construction makes these very easy to break in and feel like you’ve been wearing them for a full season. 


12. CCM JETSPEED FT480

Top Features:

  • SpeedCore 2 – The Speedcore technology built into the skates ensure they are lightweight, thermoformable, and stiff to help boost overall performance for players.
  • TotalDri Liner – The CCM Jetspeed FT380 also comes with TotalDri Liner which has a moisture-wicking material and even offers abrasion resistance.
  • Rocketframe Composite Quarter Package – A lightweight frame that also features a tapered fit to ensure added comfortability and a great fit.
  • SpeedBlade 4.0 Holder – The holder adds 4mm onto your height and allows for greater control when turning and accelerating.

Advantages:

  • Increased Speed – These hockey skates features heat-moldable and high quality materials that will enhance the fit of your skate and give players increased speed and control.
  • Anatomical Fit – The Rocketframe composite offers a tailored fit for every player and also helps increase the durability of the skate.
  • Excellent Support- The CCM Jetspeed FT380 offers excellent support through its tongue and soft comfortable padding on the inside of the skate. Your foot and ankles will thank you after a long grueling game wearing these skates.

Disadvantages:

The fit of the skate may take some getting used to if you’re buying you first pair of CCM skates, but overall the boot is very lightweight and comfortable.

BOTTOM LINE:

The Jetspeed FT380 skate is a great pick for your budget, falling in the middle of the price range for Going Bar Downs budget skates but it definitely does not let you down in performance. The top of the line model is lighter but the CCM FT380 skate is extremely durable for those who want their money to go a long way. The boot is very comfortable and while the rocker is different than a Bauer, I really can’t say anything negative about this skate. 

How To Fit Hockey Skates

Below you will find some basic information on the parts of a hockey skate and how to fit them properly. We will be writing a more in depth article on how to fit skates at a later date so keep a look out for it!  Until then the guide below can point you in the right direction to get a great fit!

SKATE LENGTH

The first question everyone asks is ‘How does my shoe size correlate to hockey skate size?’.  A hockey skate is usually 1.5 (US) sizes smaller than your shoe size for an adult, and closer to 1 full size down for a child.  An adult wearing a 10 US size shoe would start off trying on a size 8.5 skate.

SKATE WIDTH

Hockey skate widths are measured in letters and can belong to one of two width nomenclature systems.  The sizing is ranked from narrowest to widest.  The classic ranking system is C, D, E, EE, and an alternative system is N, R, and W meaning narrow, regular, and wide.  The majority of players will fit into D or R width skates. 

Heat Molding Skates

Heat molding hockey skates became standard in the early 2000’s.  Before heat molding, hockey players had to find a skate that fit them as best it could out of the box, and then literally through blood, sweat, and tears, break the skates in over a period of 10-20 skates.  Massive blisters, foot cramps, and bleeding were not uncommon.  Thankfully the manufacturers upped the tech in the skates and it became standard to put advanced materials in a hockey boot which allowed it to be put in a small oven for a few minutes to allow the boot to soften up.  Once the boot comes out of the oven, you put your foot in it for 5-10 minutes and allow it to form to your foot.  This doesn’t guarantee there will be no break in period, but take it from me, it will drastically reduce the time it takes for the skates to feel perfect on your feet and if done properly can usually make it a blister free affair.

Parts of the Hockey Skate

The hockey skate can be broken down into three main components:

Boot – This part of the hockey skate that you put your foot into and is comprised of an Achilles guard, heel cup, quarter panel (the sides), and a toe cap.  Some companies manufacture these pieces separately and then assemble them into the final product.  Other newer and more advanced skates have several or all of these pieces manufactured as one striving for a more ‘one piece’ construction which creates a stronger skate with better energy transfer.  
Runner – This is the part of the skate that is screwed into the boot at the top and holds the blade at the bottom.  Although this part of the skate doesn’t get the same attention as new lightweight boots or fancy carbon coated blades, it is an integral part of the skate.  Some players will remember the infamous ‘T Blades’ and their 5 circle unique runners from the 2000’s and how drastically different they looked compared to conventional runners.
Blade – The steel that connects you to the ice.  This is the part you get sharpened, and you are extra careful not to step on anything on the way to the ice lest you lose an edge.  One of the most symbolic parts of a hockey skate, which has also begun undergoing technological advances of late with companies making harder steels, or coating it with a fine layer of carbon for a stronger edge.

Conclusion

We have talked about some of the best hockey skates on the market today, and really it’s all about finding the most comfortable fit for your game. Trust me, I have tried all the skates mentioned above and I love each and every one of them in their own way. This is the most important piece of equipment you play with and it directly impacts your ability to be effective and dominant on the ice. My personal favorite is the Bauer Vapor 1X, this model has always felt extremely comfortable on my feet and never disappoints in terms of performance. If anyone has an opinion or question on any of the skates I have talked about, we’d love to hear from you. 

Check out some of our other reviews!