True Hockey Skates – The Best Skate in the Game?

Alright so everyone has heard of the True Pro Custom skates where you can choose different colors, tongues, and even additional protection but are they worth the investment? It’s almost like a black box product that everyone wants but no one really knows what they’re going to get since they are built unique to each players foot. The one X-factor with these skates is Scott Van Horne the owner of True Hockey (formerly VH), a bonafide skate lover who was making these works of art out of his basement up until four years ago. His product has obviously exploded in popularity if we’re writing about it here so lets fast forward to the real question, are True skates better than Bauer? In this article we’re going to do a deep dive into the True hockey skates and their fit, protection, durability, and price. 

True Pro Custom Senior Hockey Skate

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True Skates Fit

Built From The Inside Out

Ok so you know that if you get a new pair of skates heat molding them is a crucial step, or you’re going to spend way more time and suffer unnecessary pain breaking them in. With True skates, they are custom build from the inside out based on your foot. It is innovative in the world of skates since no one else is doing this, but True will capture all the details of your foot in 3D using patented technologies. So if there is any place in your foot that always hurt in regular skates, True can literally build the skate to include these features and give you an unmatched comfortable fit. I should also mention that every single True skate is HAND MADE!

True will look at the pressure your feet exert on the ground and will be able to effectively design a skate perfect for each individual player and foot such that it won’t need any breaking in. 

If you’re buying a skate from Bauer, they make a generic skate boot that should make 90% of players, but it’s the players that can never seem to find the perfect fitting skate that the True hockey skates really cater to.

foot heatmap

Custom Liner Material

When was the last time you were looking at skates and someone asked what kind of liner you wanted? True actually cares about this and gives you two options:
1. Clarino Liner – This is the traditional skate liner that most companies use for its comfort and durability. When the Clarino liner gets wet it almost becomes sticky therefor helping your foot stay in place.
2. Moisture Wicking – This is a new style of skate liner that actually repels moisture from soaking into the liner keeping the skates lighter. In skates that aren’t custom made to your foot, this liner can almost become slippery but since the True skates fit so well this really isn’t an issue. 


Custom Skate Tongue

Two options for the True skate tongue, with the standard T-Guard tongue or a smaller and thinner Low Profile skate tongue. 
1. T-Guard Skate Tongue – A traditional thick style tongue that offers great protection and the support you’re used to unless you’ve gotten custom skate tongues made before.
2. Slim/Low Profile Skate Tongue – A new design that doesn’t extend as high up the skate and is also slimmer for a little bit more flexibility in the skates. Probably not the option you want if you plan on blocking a lot of shots but its really a player preference.

True skates tend to be very stiff but the all the True Skate tongue designs give you a great forward flex so your really don’t feel the stiffness that way. You feel it more as you stride the boot doesn’t move at all on your feet, which helps optimize the power transfer to the ice.

True has an awesome page on how they go about fitting skates at their fitment center.  Check out their post on True Skates Fitment here!

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True Skates Protection

Hockey Player Blocking Shot

You don’t really think about protection in hockey skates until you take a slap shot right off the toe of the outdated skate you’re wearing. I personally have taken a puck off the toe cap and had it explode on me.  I was excited to get new skates sure…. but my savings account took a pretty big hit!  True hockey skates have covered all the bases with their innovative monocoque shell and you can even get additional add-ons for increased protection.

Monocoque Shell – So what is a monocoque shell you’re likely asking, and the easiest way to explain it is to think of an egg shell. Monocoque is a structural design where all the loads are supported through its own “Shell”. As you know its extremely hard to break and egg from top to bottom, and that is exactly what the True hockey skates go for with this design.

Enhanced Impact Protection – This is exactly how it sounds, an additional option to add increased protection to the ankle area and along the side of the skate. True does this with additional aerospace grade carbon fiber layering, which does add some extra weight to the skate but is essential if you’re going to be laying down and blocking shots.

Even without the Enhanced Impact Protection, the boot of the skate is built to take all the abuse without any of the pain for you. Part of this is the attention to detail on the fit of the skate goes a long way in making sure your gear protects you as it should. True also has a patented toe cap design which goes a LONG way in reducing any pain from sticks or pucks, yet is still super comfortable.

Looking for one of the best off ice skating tools? Check out our Marsblade Review!

True Skates Durability

The one thing that players are always talking about with True skates is how tough of a skate this is. And when I say tough I mean they can hold up to the abuse game in and game out. NHL players will even use them multiple seasons and that’s rare for any kind of skate considering the beating your skates take over a full professional hockey season regardless of what kind of player you are. 

Like with every skate, they are going to go through normal wear and tear as you get nicked by a skate blade but they hold up as good or better than any skate you can find and i’ll accept your challenge on this. 

The Goalie Center has a great writerup on how True builds their skates, which will help you learn more about the durability of their awesome custom skates!

True Skates Price

By now you’re wondering how much do these god given hand made skates cost, and the answer isn’t as bad as you’re expecting. They will run you the same price as pretty much any other top of the line model from Bauer and CCM, but you can add in some extras too. We’ve got it broken down for you below. 

So if you go for the full suite of add-ons you could be looking at a 10-15% premium over top of the line Bauer or CCM skates. 

Reddits r/HockeyPlayers subreddit has a great breakdown on True Custom Skate Prices, the post is a bit dated, but the prices should give you ballpark numbers!

The New True TF9 and TF7 Skates

Realizing that not everyone can afford a thousand dollar pair of totally custom skates, True has released the TF9 and TF7 skates to compete with mid range Bauer and CCM’s.  As you can see from the photo’s below, they are almost identical in looks, so it’s what is beneath the hood that makes the difference!

True TF9 Senior Hockey Skates
The True TF9 - The Elite Level Stock Skate
True TF7 Senior Hockey Skate
The True TF7 - Mid Range or 'Dynamic Performance'

These will both slot in at significantly less money than the True Pro Custom skates and will really focus on True’s values – a high performing skate that feels amazing without sacrificing performance

True Hockey Skates: In Review

The moment of truth (no pun intended) are True skates really better than Bauer? In my honest opinion they top Bauer solely because of the personal fit they give each player. These skates fit as though you’re slipping on a pair of socks, and to even get them on and off you have to undo the top 2 eyelets. The comfort and fit of these skates simply cannot be match, and you will never avoid a breaking in period with a new pair of Bauer skates. The feel of the skate is very stiff and the rocker is more forward than Tuuk but its built for high performance speed. No energy is wasted from your foot slipping in your boot or the improper rocker on your skate. Everything was though of in these True skates and you definitely get what you pay for here. If you want to learn more check the video below!

If you have any opinions or even question on the True hockey skates we would love to hear from you!

37 thoughts on “True Hockey Skates – The Best Skate in the Game?”

  1. In my personal opinion, the True Hockey Skates are no doubt the best in the game! I have tried both, True and Bauer. I have always found True Hockey Skates better that any other brand!

    • No doubt True has innovated and changed the game with their custom skate. Thanks for leaving your feedback!

  2. My 14 year old just started using True skates last month after skating in Baur skates for years. The difference has been overwhelming. The break-in period was quicker and his edges are a lot crisper, not to mention the protective shell (best I have seen so far)of the skate allowing him to block shots without residual pain. He usually skates 8-10 hours a week so we will see in about 4 months about the durability but I imagine it will be pretty good. I am a foot doctor and make custom molded inserts/ shoes for a living for the past 20 years so I can tell you from an expert point of view that the fit to the foot is superior than any skate on the market, period! Will be getting them for my younger boys as their next pair.

    • Ed, Thanks for the response! There’s definitely a step change going from a moldable foot bed and boot to a 3d scanned custom boot. Glad to hear your kids are having success with them!

    • Thanks for the comment! We definitely have to grab a few of their new sticks this season and see what all the fuss is about!

  3. My laces are long enough that the laces don’t need to be taken out of the top two eyelets to get the True skates on and off. Push the tongue far enough forward and the skates come off easily.

  4. Any input on how their sizes run compared to other brands? I wear a 7.5 Bauer Vapor, and a 10 running shoe…what size would I be looking at in True?

    • Thanks for the comment John! Based on your shoe size you would fit to an 8 in a True Pro Stock skate but if you go for the Pro Custom it’s really designed uniquely for your foot so hard to compare to other brands. Bauer skates seem to fit about a 0.5 size smaller than other brands so for True i’d go a half size up from what you’re currently using with the Bauer Vapors!

  5. I received my True Skates a few days ago. They were baked in the shop. When I wanted to use them for the first time the next day, I almost couldn’t get into the shoe. I was told that this is normal at the beginning. I wore them for about 60 minutes and, as recommended by my pro shop, I tied the shoes very gently. The handling/skating on ice was great! But I have pressure on the whole foot, even if I put on the shoes just like that and don’t tie them at all. After this hour I had almost no more blood in my big toe and I am far away from painless skating! That doesn’t seem to be usual. Everyone writes about a feeling, like in socks. But still the question, does anyone know such feedback from customers and what have they done about it?

    • Hey Nic,
      Thanks for commenting, honestly we rarely hear these kinds of reviews about True skates – but nothing is ever perfect! Did you go for the full Customs? We’d recommend first talking to the shop you baked them at, and then contacting True. They have excellent customer service and should make things right for you and your set of skates!

  6. Thanks for you answer. Yes I have the full Customs Skates (model 2019). My shop where I got them, is very far away, so I was looking for a solution that I could control myself. I was so disappointed that I searched almost the entire Internet for solutions. 🙂 Often there are no such problems written about, but I have now done three things I found in different sources. Maybe it helps others who have this problem. 1) I have removed the red insole (but it was only very thin). In one skate 0.25-0.75 mm and in the other possibly 1-1.5 mm.)
    2) I removed the toe cap (extra space).
    3) I baked the skates at home, like in the instructions of True, and put on thick socks (which I usually never wear for playing). In addition, I have covered the areas on the foot that hurt with plaster pads. Then I put on the shoes and tied them very loosely. I waited 20 minutes (sitting, knees at the height of the toes) until everything was cooled down.
    Today I had a game and I thought for a long time whether I should put on the shoes or not. After I put on my skates at home in the afternoon and had no pain, I risked it at the game. In the second third I had a short time of pain (in my big toe was a little bit less of blood :-)). But it passed and the experience was 100% better then at the first time. Not perfect yet, but it’s going in the right direction. I’ll test it two or three more times and depending on that I would go your suggested way.

  7. Nic, please keep us posted. I am contemplating purchasing a pair so I’m anxious to hear how they work out for you.

  8. Hi Mack.
    Thank you for your interest, I am happy to write you the experiences of the last days.

    Two more training sessions are through. I have not changed anything since the setup described above. It is somehow strange. I don’t have any pain points but still the blood circulation in the big toe is often interrupted. Especially on the left foot. Sometimes it feels very good. e.g. if I do some stretching exercises while warming up, it feels like wearing sneakers. In the training itself is different. At the moment I am very convinced of the skate in general with the original holders and the STEP Steel blades in terms of handling and power transmission. I will try to influence the problems with the blood circulation. I will try to influence the problems with the blood circulation by (more or less) tying the shoelaces. Let’s see what that brings. In general, the skate is much lower (around the ankle) than my former skate, which I had to take too big because of my extremely wide feets, that was a big change. What disappoints me a bit is the inner life of the skate. The insole is standard and has nothing with customizing, my foot is about 1/3 bigger than the front part of the insole.

    It’s a bit experimental, but I’m used to it from previous skates. 🙂
    I’ll keep you posted…

  9. I have a shoe width of 4E. I for years I have suffered from sore feet due to my skates never being wide enough. Over the years I have tried CCM, Bauer, and Graf. Bauer was always my good to skates, until I recently bought a pair of True Skates. I did have some slight discomfort the first time I wore them on the ice because they are very snug. However the discomfort quickly disappeared and these are the best fitting skates I have ever owned. I quickly noticed my strides were faster, and that I had a lot more control. Super happy with my True skates.

  10. Hands down the most comfortable skates.

    My 13 year old son started skating in September 2016, skates an average of 10 hours a week all year and plays Maj Bantam AAA (birth year 2006). Since 2016, he has played with CCM, Bauer and True. In the past year, due to growth, he played with Bauer 1X, Custom Bauer and Custom True.

    True vs Bauer. Again, when comparing apples with apples, True is the best custom option.

  11. For this specific skate, it can be heat molded to provide the perfect fit to the player’s foot. We recommend baking the skates a second or third time to provide the absolute perfect fit and creating the custom fit the player desires.

  12. Bought True skates, from Manhattan store. 1st pair was super big. My foot was sliding back and force. Second pair they sent me , was a bit shorter, got somewhat heel lock on left. Not enough instep volume, whatever on right. No heel lock. Lots of pain. Waisted 1200.
    Keep advertising…full me once..

    • Hey Dima,
      Sorry to hear. As you can see most reviews are overwhelmingly positive but things can always go astray! Hopefully you got everything sorted in the end.

  13. Hello,
    My current goalie skate size is 12.5 and they are feeling a bit small, my toes are touching the edge and a bit painful. I am wondering if you do custom skate size 13 or 13.5? Thanks.

  14. Hello,

    My son just got the TF7 and he loves the fit. He is 11 years old, weights about 110lb, and plays AA at a Pee Wee level. What I am confused about and trying to understand is what is the best sharpening he should get with these skates. He has always gotten ½, but the sale person advised to get 5/8. Not sure if the person did a good job, because my son cannot stop or make smooth transitions. Skating is fine and faster, so I am assuming the person did not do a good job and I should have them done again. Question is, can he stay with the ½ or should I go lower cut like ¾ or 1”? To be honest I was against him getting these skates and right now, he is getting discouraged. I do hope it is just a bad cut.

    Thank you for help on this matter.

    • Hey Anthony,

      Thanks for checking our article out! In response to your question, typically players will use as large of a hollow as possible that still allows them to get decent ‘bite’ when they initiate a stride, stop, or during turns. Many NHL’ers do use a 3/4″ or larger.

      As for your son, at 11 years old and 110 lb, larger than 5/8″ might be a bit much. He simply does not have the weight or power at his age to effectively utilize a larger hollow like 5/8″ and up. If you think the 5/8″ you received might have been a bad sharpen, get them done again to make sure. If your son still doesn’t like it, I would 100% move him back to 1/2″

      For reference, I am 220lb and use 1/2″, and for all of my youth used a 3/8″. I’ve experimented with 5/8″ but similar to your son found it just wasn’t sharp enough for me personally.

      I hope this helps!

      • If he knows his edges well 5/8 is a great sharpening. Im a power skating and skills coach in NJ and I use 5/8. If he feels like hes sliding around he may not be engaging his edges enough, though it is still possible whoever sharpened his skates didn’t do a great job, as not everyone is created equal. Previously, I worked in a pro shop for 3 years sharpening skates and fitting equipment.

  15. Love the skates but have a horrible time (very time consuming too) getting them on and off, the fit is so perfect. Can I put dubbin or mink oil inside? Any tips?

    • Hey Al,
      Mink oil may help a little but it is really designed to condition and improve the longevity of the leather, so while it might soften the inside of the boot I can’t be positive it will help getting them on and off. This is really a byproduct of how True skates are made, since they fit so perfectly to your foot they will definitely be more snug and tougher to get on and off. I guess it is the price you pay for getting the best fitting skate on the market!

  16. Hello I just received my TF7 skates in a EE and when I tried the on without baking them the outside part of the skate is pushing on my pinky toe. Just wondering if this is normal and if baking the skate will help with the problem. thanks in advance.

    • Hello Allan,

      It is definitely normal to have some pains with any new skate as you are breaking them in, and baking them always helps speed up the process. I would recommend if you’re still feeling discomfort after 2-3 skates, get them baked. If that doesn’t completely solve the problem, you can always get them punched out in the specific spot to give your foot a bit more room where it is causing you pain. Every player has a love/hate relationship with new skates as breaking them in is always a painful process!

  17. True skates definitely made a name for themselves and my son was very excited to get his first pair this year. Loves the fit, feel…etc. So now for the rest of the story – they are goalie skates. He has broken 2 blades from getting shots taken off them. True has yet to replace them and we are going on about 4 months now? We purchased them through Pure Hockey in Livonia. Now we have had to adapt and are potentially going to have to change the blade holders and blades all because True won’t get the warranted parts to us. They may be the best skate out there, but their customer service is garbage.

    • Hey Jim. That sucks to hear. As a player I’ve definitely had many a blade break from blocking shots, but I hadn’t heard of our goalies blades breaking very often. We wish we could help you out somehow – We hope True makes things right with you!

  18. Worst skates I have ever worn. I am a big guy, that used to play in the minors. I was looking for a pair of custom skates and after I saw Chara wear them, and I thought I would give them a chance. The price point was great but the skates were so tight on my feet that I had a hard time getting them on and off. They were so uncomfortable that I actually avoided playing hockey because of them. I ended up giving them away and gladly going back to a pair of Bauers. If you want a pair of skates you can throw on to play shinny or casual hockey, these are not them. I have never disliked skates more. During my playing time I have worn, CCM, Grafs, Reeboks, Eastons, and Bauers. Although the only skate I ever really loved was my Bauer 3000s, the only skate I have ever hated were my custom Trues.

    • Hey Lee, that sucks to hear about your pair of True Customs. The only pair I ever had that hurt my feet were an old pair of Supreme Total One’s – My feet bled after skating until I finally got the trouble spots punched in. Did you contact True or have any experience remedying the situation?

  19. So far so good in SF via Chicago. We’ve had an over the top “lock down” because of the “Plandemic”, meaning from the time my skates were built to an actual spin on the rink, the time passed was almost 15 months after the baking. Before hitting the ice for the 1st time a month ago on May 22nd, I was having an awful time getting the skates on at the house. I mean I had to battle to get them on!

    Thankfully now 4 skates in with sessions going nonstop 90 minutes or more, the True brand feel great. I threw down for the NHL version and I’m not looking back. I plan on doing a Tuuk holder & blade conversion but no one seems to want to do that in the Bay area. Any suggestions folks? Here’s my email info: “”

    Yep if yer serious about skating you may find the “true” brand to be your cup of tea. I’m relieved & very happy with them as I didn’t want to eat a thousand dollars (cost) or get into any drama shipping them back & forth for adjustments!

    • Good to hear the skates are treating you well! Any local skate shop would be my first recommendation for getting custom modifications done to your skate, however with True buying out Step Steel, I’d investigate upgrading your existing blades before swapping holders. Just my 2 cents!

  20. Bought the tf9 goalie for my son in size 9W, according to some review they fit very big and wide. So coming from a vapor 2x 8.5ee shouldn’t be a problem…but then reality kicked in. Lengthwise, al fine, but toes were jammed completely, so baked them , no result toes remain jammed… Altho they look and feel very high level, they just don’t do it for him. Custom no option as we don’t have a dealer close to us here.
    Back to bauer it is 🙁

  21. Hey. Picked up a pair of True Tf7’s recently. Firstborn time on the ice forward skating was alright but when I tried to stop they skitter across the ice and don’t bite in. I’m thinking I’m in a size too large. I wear a 7.5 in a Bauer Vapor and have a 7.5 in a True. I’ll be in Winnipeg next week. Is there a chance I can stop in to have my feet scoped to see if I’m in the right size skate?


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