Buying Guide to Women’s Ice Skates
Ice skates are going to be the most expensive item in your equipment bag. Before any skate purchase it is always a good idea to rent skates at the local rink. Depending on how you feel after you may realize this is an activity you want to do regularly, or more casually. In either case, we’ve got the breakdown of what to look for in skates.
Best Beginner Skates for Women
For those just getting into ice skating there are a few things you need to know. First, blades and boots are typically sold separately. When choosing the best boot, some things you won’t need are a lot of padding or extra hooks.
No more than three hooks is recommended. Getting fitted is also one of most important parts of shopping for ice skates. Be sure that the heel of boot fits your ankle firmly and that boot is snug from heel to toe.
Intermediate Level Skaters
When looking at jumping into a more mid-performance skate it is important to get enough ankle support but one that also prevents most lateral movement. At the front of the boot there should be enough space to wiggle your tops and around the instep and it should be a snug fit.
When choosing blades use shorter ones on the heel end if for dancing. If you are doing freestyle skating you will need large blades with more specific type of picks.
Once you’ve chosen your blades be sure they fit correctly to your boot. Properly centered blades will allow you to stand upright more naturally. Blades too far out will lead to your feet falling inward and blades set too far in will lead to your feet falling outward.
Sharpening your blades is also important. It is essential to have someone sharpen who specializes in figure skating rather than hockey.
Moreover, on the maintenance side of things be sure to get your skates waterproofed. This will help with wear and tear and water getting in, rotting the soles. Further, wipe down your skates after getting off the ice. This will give your skates longer longevity.
What Skate Size Do You Need?
For most recreational ice skate sizes run ½ under normal shoe sizes. When it comes to buying skates for children give an additional ½ size for foot growth.
Some manufacturers have skates that come in narrow (N), medium (M) and wide (W) sizes. Be sure to check conversion charts.
Check this great chart by CCM to find your size.
Each ice skate has a stiffness rating. The stiffer the skate, the stronger. At the lower performance level, a stiff skate won’t be needed especially if for recreational use only. Imagine the impact of doing spins and combinations of jumps. The need for stiffer boots comes when you are doing more difficult maneuvers and tricks.
Best Women’s Skate Brands
The most important aspect when shopping brands is the fit. Four things to consider are 1) your weight, 2) frequency of use, 3) your experience/skating level and 4) your foot width. The top ice skating brands are Jackson, GAM, Harlick, and Riedell.
Questions to Ask When Buying Ice Skates:
- How many picks does the blade have?
- What size should I wear?
- Are there narrow or wide sizes?
- Do these need sharpening right out of the box?
Best Choice for Figure Skates
1. American Athletic Shoe Women’s Tricot Lined Ice Skates
The American Atheletic Women’s Skate are a great choice at the intermediate level skate that comes with a soft topline and flexible support. This model goes beyond beginner level skating and are for those who are already doing half and single jumps. The stiffness rating of 45 is moderate and sizes are available in both narrow and wide. Comfort and customization on the boot are available as these are heat moldable skates.
These skates are great value for the money and come with a breathable interior that is easy to clean and maintain. Please take a look at our sizing chart to know more. Basically if you aren’t sure of the sizing – it’s the same as shoe sizing.
This skate is a great choice for beginning skaters and more advanced skaters. The interior has a durable PVC boot with enhanced ankle support utilizing a multi-layered system of nylon and foam. The steed blade is nickel plated for durability and longevity. This is a great choice for figure skating, pond hockey or women’s hockey.
The American Atheletic Women's Skate is an intermediate level skate that comes with a soft topline and flexible support. This model goes beyond beginner level skating and are for those who are already doing half and single jumps.
- Great for intermediate level- half and single jumps
- Improved tongue design
- Heat moldable
- Flexible but with great support
2. Riedell 110 Pearl Womens Ice Skates
The Riedell 110 Pearl Ice Skate is a great entry level skate for those looking at recreational use. The leather tongue provides reinforcement and increased protection and strength. The stainless steel blade allows for good performance and the level 25 boot support means its light and not as stiff as most boots. No need to worry about these getting wet at the Dri-Lex lining keeps the soles and your feet dry.
The Riedell 110 Pearl Ice Skate is a great entry level skate for those looking at recreational use. The leather tongue provides reinforcement and increased protection and strength.
- Ideal for recreational use
- Support level 25
- Quilted main-made lining cushions
- Foam quarter padding
3. Lake Placid Cascade Women’s Figure Ice Skate– Girls/Womens Beginner
The Lake Placid Skates are ideal for those who have a basic foundation in ice skating and are looking to increase their skills. These skates are waterproofed for easy maintenance and care. The stiffness rating is 20 providing good flexibility and the right stiffness for those beginning to jump and spin. The Lake Placid model come with a rounded toe box and foam padding with tiny holes on the tongue for circulation and comfort.
- Great for those starting with figure skating
- All around comfort
- Affordable entry-level ice skates
- Not great on narrow feet
4. Jackson Ultima Glacier GS180 Ladies
The Jackson Ultima Glacier GS180 are perfect for those working on axel and beginner double jumps. This series of skates has a stiffness rating of 65 and are firm for intermediate level moves.
- Great for beginner/intermediate use
- Comfortable memory foam padding
- Breathable microfiber lining to help with moisture
- Sizes in narrow and wide