If you are new to skating and are looking to purchase skates, searching for the best ice skates for beginners can be daunting.
The growth of online retail combined with the global popularity of hockey and figure skating has meant a vast range of skates are easily accessible – but knowing the good quality for the poor quality is tricky.
According to the Ice Hockey Federation, it is estimated that 1.64 million people play organized hockey globally, representing a 20% increase since 2000.
This growth is accompanied by technological innovation by skate manufacturers such as Bauer or Jackson, to provide players of all levels and abilities with a vast range of options. This has somewhat saturated the market.
Thankfully, we are here to help. In this article, we provide product reviews on the best ice skates for beginners in 2022.
We also provide a brief buying guide, outlining factors you should consider before purchasing skates.
Our choice for the best men’s beginner ice skates is Bauer Vapor X3.7 skates. These skates equip beginner skaters with high-quality skating technology for an accessible price. These skates support acceleration by their lightweight feel and ensure great ankle protection with memory foam padding.
Our choice for the best women’s beginner ice skates is Jackson Excel skates. Available at a bargain price, these skates provide the feel of a professional pair of skates. The slick one-color boot design, synthetic liner and internal foam construction provide high levels of comfort and warmth for beginner skaters.
Our choice for the best budget-friendly beginner skates is the Bauer Supreme M1. These skates provide high levels of comfort through the microfiber liner and memory foam ankle protection, while also supporting skater flexibility through carbon boot design and TPR outsole.
8 Best Ice Skates For Beginners (2022)
Finding the best ice skates for beginners is a challenge if you don’t know the range of products available.
In the section below, we review eight of the best options in the market in 2022, covering the design, performance, pros and cons.
The skates covered include the best options for men and women, budget-friendly and junior options.
Also note that some skates mentioned such as the Bauer range are designed for hockey, while others such as the Jackson range are designed for figure skating.
1. Bauer Vapor x3.7 Ice Hockey Skates
Best Ice Skates For Beginners (Editor’s Choice – Men)
Bauer Vapor x3.7 hockey skates are a good option for a weekly player looking for performance and comfort at a great value.
Bauer X3.7 focused on the value of graphic appeal and comfort.
Bauer capitalized on digital printing capabilities to strengthen the visual richness of the skate. It is approximately 4% lighter because of the 3D composite boot.
Bauer combines the microfiber liner with memory foam padding inside the boot. The bottom of the boot has the Form-Fit footbed for feel and good support.
The top of the skate has a 40oz two-piece tongue with a liner for added flexibility and comfort.
The Bauer Vapor X3.7 offer quality features that give the player flexibility and comfort especially if they skate 1-2 times a week.
This X3.7 skate includes highly recommended Tuuk Lightspeed EDGE holder with the LS1 runner for superb durability for the blade.
This Bauer Vapor X3.7 has great benefits for anyone who wants a high-end model especially when you are looking for more technologies to help your performance.
The Bauer Vapor X3.7 delivers high-quality performance because of its lightweight feel. This is enabled through a 3D injected Composite outsole that has a composite material that is 4% lighter.
The outsole material also ensures boot flexibility and sufficient ankle support. Overall foot support is guaranteed by the 40oz two-piece tongue with liner.
The TUUK lightspeed Edge holder has an LS1 runner for good edge life and durability. The Memory foam padding in this skate has a soft microfiber liner hence good comfort and support throughout the skate.
The form-fit footbed provides great support and feels to keep the feet comfortable throughout the game.
- Comfortable and good support for the ankle.
- High-quality materials for an accessible price.
- Good boot flexibility.
2. Jackson Excel Figure Skates
Editor’s Choice – Women
Jackson is globally recognized for its figure skates’ blades, boots, and complete skates.
The Jackson Excel Figure skate is designed for beginner figure skaters. The quality design also makes them suitable for intermediate skaters.
This specific model is made for women. Although available at an affordable price, the slick one-color boot design, accompanied by high levels of comfort and warmth, enables the boots to feel like premium professional skates.
For those interested in customizing their skate, Jackson provides a custom program that will allow the skater to personalize their skates in these three ways: the Rapid custom process, the 500 series, and custom fits of stock skates.
The Jackson Excel Figure skate will allow a young skater to practice her footwork with great comfort. It is made of a high-quality chrome bade that is suitable for all beginner skaters.
The Excel skates are easy to maintain thanks to the stylized PVC and vinyl coated upper outsole, a particularly helpful performance feature for parents.
The skates also have a foam-backed mesh tongue that offers added comfort from practice to performance.
Ankle protection is key for any figure skate. The Excel skates include extra memory foam to provide full ankle wrap support.
This aids performance by allowing skaters to trust their movements and push the boundaries on the ice.
- Maximum ankle support with extra foam
- Good quality stainless steel blades
- Highly durable
- Constructed from man-made materials so cannot be baked to fit.
3. Bauer Supreme M1 Ice Hockey Skates
The Bauer Supreme M1 is your budget choice for a skate designed with comfort in mind.
It is one of the most affordable skates on the market but still contains quality Bauer construction. The M1 boot is a recreational skate with a wider and softer fit, making it easier to flex.
The new Bauer Supreme M1 Senior Ice skates provide the ultimate comfort for the skater to focus on finding their strides.
The boot design is made of 3D poly-carb quarter package designed for flexibility and an easy fit. It has a softer boot that makes recreational skating feel like a breeze when just out of the box.
This skate is designed with a longer radius on the steel for improved and thicker ankle pads for ultimate comfort.
The 30oz Felt Tongue provides a soft feel, particularly important for beginner skaters. It also has an LS PRO II holder and steel with a 13ft radius for stability and balance.
Bauer has been pushing innovation with their skates constantly and they designed a new Bauer Supreme M1 skate for 2022.
The Supreme M1 skate features a standard symmetrical facing flex that will help players to find comfort and flex easily without being too stiff.
It also helps with energy transfer. The flexibility of the Supreme M1 boot goes with a 30oz felt tongue with a mesh. The tongue is tried and tested on other Bauer models.
The Supreme M1 ice skate has a microfiber liner designed to keep the feet locked into place. These skates can also wick away sweat quickly hence providing a good feel and control while ice skating.
The Supreme M1 skates have a Blade Holder that is popularly known as the TUUK LS Pro II holder.
There are also stainless-steel runners with a 13ft radius that will improve the stability and balance while on ice.
- Heat moldable for a perfect fit
- Enhanced stability
- Flexible and comfortable
4. Bauer Vapor 3X Ice Hockey Skates
Bauer has recently shifted focus to separate the performance attributes of the Vapor models, focusing on the feel and on-ice performance.
The Vapor 3X is a result of this shift which has incorporated new technologies, materials and flex points.
The Vapor 3X is designed for speed with the lower part of the skate softer for an added response, while the upper skate is stiffer to provide stronger lateral support.
The power portion of the skate is a flex point to improve agility and speed.
The Vapor 3X is designed to have a low-profile fit. This is enabled through the asymmetrical toe cap which is handed from the 2X Pro design.
The toe-cap design reduces the overall volume of the skate, improving push-off with every stride taken.
A full composite skate, the Vapor 3x provides beginner skaters with fantastic support with thermoforming capability which ensures the boot molds to your feet.
The junior skate includes a motion-flex and LS balance runner with a 13-foot radius. This is great for junior beginners, allowing them to bend their knees and develop good skating strides.
A key feature of the 3X in comparison to earlier models is the weight, it is approximately 6.5% lighter than the previous Vapor model.
The lightweight feel is enabled through an improved LS+ runner which is taller and made from quality material.
To support balance and feel, the Vapor 3X includes a 40oz Pro Stock tongue which has a comfortable lining. Inside the boot, the 3X includes a hydrophobic microfiber liner.
The quality liner improves boot breathability by moving sweat away from your feet to ensure a stable footing.
Bauer’s quality Form-Fit+ footbed is lined with memory foam to guarantee a comfortable fit.
- Lightweight feel.
- Thermoforming capability supports foot boot molding.
- Strong breathability through the microfiber liner.
- Affordable price.
- Lower quality construction
5. Jackson Soft Ice Skates
The Jackson Soft Skate is designed for female figure skaters and presents a great option for beginners.
Combining a classic figure skate exterior with a comfortable and warm fleece liner, these recreational skates are an affordable, slick option for beginner figure skaters.
The Jackson Soft Skate is well-designed for figure skating and it has been specifically designed to give a professionally-inspired aesthetic.
Even though this boot is catered for beginners, you will certainly feel like a professional given the polished design.
The Soft Skates are lightweight, easy to carry around and also easy to clean, which is particularly helpful for parents.
Built for recreational use, the Jackson Soft Skates feature quality but affordable components to support performance.
These include the reinforced vinyl coated uppers on the boot and the maintenance-free PVC outsole with riveted blades.
One of the most eye-catching performance features of the Jackson Soft Skates is the fleece liner.
Not only does the fleece material provide supreme foot warmth on the ice, but it also gives premium comfort levels for an affordable price.
The pre-sharpened, premium Ultima Mark I blade provides support grip, precision and agility on the ice.
The blade comes pre-sharped from the manufacturers, enabling you to go straight onto the ice.
The traditional lacing system provides an easy, customisable fit. Jackson skates typically fit 1.5 sizes below your standard shoe size.
- Professional feel for an affordable price.
- Specifically designed for female figure skaters.
- High levels of comfort from the fleece lining.
- Protects from blisters.
- Some reported inconsistencies in boot sizing.
- A tight fit so not suitable for skaters with wide feet.
- Sometimes can fit tight around the ankle.
6. Bauer Supreme M3 Ice Hockey Skates
The Bauer Supreme M3 Ice Hockey skates are great value performance skates for players who are active weekly. They are robust, comfortable and provide excellent value for money.
The M3 is the product of Bauer’s recent innovation in the Supreme design. The Supreme design incorporates a stiffer feel in the lower part of the skate to optimise energy transfer and prioritise power.
While the upper portion of the skate supports increased mobility by having a softer feel.
Although premium models will have more technological innovations, the M3 offers quality features at a reasonable price, guaranteeing a comfortable and flexible performance for weekly hocket players.
One of the key technological innovations featured in the Bauer Supreme M3 is the Digi Composite Quarter package and outsole.
These features not only provide robust foot protection but also thermoforming capability which helps the foot mold to the boot.
To further protect your feet from the intense actions of hockey, the M3 includes a 40oz Felt tongue which comes with a mesh metatarsal guard.
This is a key area of the foot that can be easily exposed in poor-quality skates.
Focusing on the inside of the boot, Bauer provides a Hydrophobic Microfiber liner which includes soft memory foam padding.
The memory foam is strategically located around the ankle area to effectively wrap the foot in a comfort blanket.
The liner provides an extra wall of support as well as adding to the comfort levels of the boot. Bauer’s Die Cut EVA foam footbed is installed at the bottom of the boot for extra support.
- Innovative technology at an affordable price
- Robust design and materials
- Strong ankle protection
7. Jackson Softec Vista Women’s Figure Skates
The Jackson Softec Vista Women’s Figure Skate is a perfect skate for women beginner skaters, due to its comfortable fit and trendy design.
Jackson recreational skates are affordable too, ensuring you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy skating on the ice.
Agility and speed are of great importance to figure skaters, no matter their skill or experience level.
The Jackson Softec Vista skates support high-quality performance with their modern, lightweight design.
The monotone boot color scheme also gives a smart and professional appearance guaranteeing you will look great on the ice.
In terms of practicality, the Softec Vista is designed with lace loops for quick lacing and the boot material is very easy to clean.
The Softec Vista boot is highly durable thanks to the nylon upper that is moisture-resistant. This material serves to provide breathability in the boot as well as a supportive fit.
The boot comes in medium width size so is suited for women with narrow or regular-sized feet. The boot supports a wider arch fit which adds comfort by taking pressure off the arch.
Your feet are guaranteed to be kept warm in the Softec Vista boot. The boot features a Nylex liner which has the texture of velvet. This supports your foot by providing a soft feel and warmth.
The skate blade is the Ultima Mark I blade, constructed from quality stainless steel. The Mark I blade has a similar profile to the Mark II but has a less pronounced pick pattern.
The blade is specifically designed for the nimble movements of figure skating.
- Affordable price
- Suited for women beginner figure skaters
- Modern and stylish appearance
- Lightweight design
- Soft, velvet liner ensures high comfort levels.
- Reported issues with sizing
- Limited flexibility in the ankle
8. CCM Jetspeed FT485 Ice Hockey Skates
The CCM JetSpeed FT485 is for players who skate two to three times per week. These skates include some of the latest technological innovations and high-performance features so you should expect to pay a premium price.
One of the great design aspects of the Jetspeed FT485 is its availability in regular or wide fit.
We recommended you go for a fitting to establish your foot width first, to then be sure you are purchasing the optimal skate width.
This enables a customized feel, securer fit and greater speed on the ice. CCM has its fitting system which can be viewed online.
The customizable feel is also felt with the boot tongues. CCM’s XS Tongue is interchangeable, providing a new level of comfort and protection.
The XS Tongue System provides players with thickness options to increase or decrease the inner boot volume and achieve the best fit.
A notable performance feature of the Jetspeed FT485 is the one-piece boot with a lightweight RFM composite material.
This is purpose-built for high performance and acceleration on the ice due to the greater direct energy transfer.
While the stiffness is lower compared to other models, the Jetspeed FT485 enables a lightweight feel and sufficient foot protection.
CCM’s Memory Foam pads and TotalDri liner enable a customized feel. The foam pads are multi-density and serve to effectively wrap around your foot, providing far-reaching protection.
The TotalDri liner protects against foot abrasions while simultaneously removing unvented moisture. This is crucial in preventing lace bite and protects against general wear.
The FT485 footbed is constructed from CCM Ortholite to provide a lightweight feel and foot support. The footbed is made from eco-friendly material using 5% recycled rubber.
- Customizable features for a perfect fit
- Available in regular or wide foot size
- Lightweight feel
- Eco-friendly features
- Premium price for beginners
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Ice Skates For Beginners
Finding the perfect ice skates for beginners can be a challenge. To help you with the buying process, we outline various to consider below.
Ice Skates Sizing
A top tip when looking at sizing ice skates for beginners is that skate size typically doesn’t match your standard casual shoe size.
While it depends on the specific brand, you should expect skates to be one or two sizes smaller than your standard shoe size.
The best practice is to consult a size chart or to visit a store in person and try the skates on.
A perfect fit is when your feet are snug with little wiggle room. Skating requires considerable stability compared to standard shoes which are why there should be limited wiggle room for your feet.
For children who are growing, it is sometimes advisable to get some extra room for their feet to grow into, but ensure that they are not loose.
Your Foot Type & Fit
Considering your foot type – narrow, regular, wide or extra-wide – is crucial when selecting ice skates.
If you don’t already know your foot type, you can easily measure yourself and consult a size chart online. Thankfully, there are decent options available regardless of your foot type.
If you are narrow-footed, you’ll fit into most skates available on the market. However, you need to ensure the fit is snug so don’t be persuaded to buy a loose-fitting skate as it will impact your performance.
Regular, wide and extra wide foot types may struggle to fit into many standard ice skates and will need wide-fitting skates.
Specific brands such as Bauer and CCM offer a great range for wide feet. For Bauer, the Supreme, Nexus and Vapor are popular wide feet lines.
Skill Level & Experience
Ice skates are broken down into three skills and experience categories: recreational, performance and elite.
Beginner skaters should look for the recreational range because of its affordability and extra stability.
However, if you are an adult or heavier skater, you may consider performance-level skates as they are more robust and can better handle the downforce of a heavier skater.
While the initial cost is more expensive than a recreational skate, it is more affordable in the long run as performance-level skates are less likely to break down.
Elite-level skates are designed for the best protection, comfort, performance and durability. These skates are typically used by high-level hockey players and are on the premium end of the market.
Weight & Features
The weight of skates is another important consideration for beginners. Lightweight skates are great for those looking to generate speed and agility across the ice.
While heavier skates are more robust and better protect your feet.
We would recommend beginners start with lightweight ice skates. If you are completely new to skating and playing hockey, you want to first develop a smooth skating motion and be agile on the ice.
As you become more experienced or have injury concerns, you may then consider heavier skates to give extra protection.
Other features you should also consider include the skate boot color and design, blade quality, boot lining, outsole and tongue.
How Stiff Should Your New Ice Skates Be?
Overall, your new skates should have a stiff fit. You want limited wiggle room for your feet as this will support stable performance on the ice.
When fitting your skates, the middle part of your foot should have the stiffest fit. This is the part that needs the most support during the skating motion.
Anything above the ankle can be kept looser to enable greater breathability and blood circulation in your foot.
Once you’ve found great fitting skates, the tightness of fit can be adjusted through the lacing.
Hopefully, this article has been a helpful guide in your pursuit of purchasing the best ice skates for beginners.
As with any significant purchase, first, you should consult the buying guide to understand your skating needs, work out your budget and then explore specific skate options.
Factors you should consider include the sizing, your skating experience and skill level and the weight of the skates.
You should also consult customer reviews and ideally find retailers where there are plenty of reviews available to ensure you get a balanced opinion.
Our Editor’s Choice for the Best Men’s Beginner Ice Skate is the Bauer Vapor X3.7 for its lightweight feel and strong foot protection.
While our Editor’s Choice for the Best Women’s Beginner Ice Skate is the Jackson Excel, which provides beginner figure skaters with an affordable skate and gives a professional feel with a high level of comfort.