There are a few different reasons why you might want to try using hockey skates as figure skates. Perhaps you thought hockey was your sport and found out it wasn’t, and would like to switch hobbies. Maybe one of your children has an interest in figure skating, and you want to know if your other kid’s old hockey skates will work for this.
Hockey skates and figure skates are different from each other in a few key ways, including blade shape and boot composition. Within each type of boot, there are many variations and categories. Figure skates can work for ice dancing, synchronized skating, or freestyle maneuvers. Ice dancing skate boots might have lower cuts at the top. Hockey skates, on the other hand, are designed to suit goalies, defensemen, and forwards, each requiring different features.
These subtle distinctions allow each type of skate to be well-suited for the needs of its respective sport. Knowing these differences will help you find the perfect skate for your needs. Let’s start by covering the differences between hockey skates and figure skates, then see whether you can use one for the other.
Differences in Functionality:
• Figure Skate Features: Figure skates have gently curved blades, supportive leather boots fit for knee bends, and toe picks. These qualities help facilitate the spins, jumps, and sweeping curve moves that the sport involves.
• Hockey Skate Features: Hockey skates come with blades that are shorter and have steeper curves. The boots are typically crafted from plastic or other rigid, synthetic material and don’t come with toe picks. Hockey skates usually have a back heel guard to protect the Achilles tendon from injury, unlike the softer figure skate design. Built for ease of turning and speed, these have the ability to stop fast out on the ice.
Using Hockey Skates as Figure Skates:
The Bottom Line.Basic dance moves may be possible with hockey skates, but even navigating the ice is very different from one boot type to another. Although you would be able to do some simple figure skating moves using hockey skates, though, more advanced spins and jumps are unlikely due to the absence of a toe pick. So for your initial lessons or attempts at figure skating, the boot doesn’t matter as much, but as you advance, an appropriately suited choice is necessary.
New to Skating? What you should Know:
If you’re a first-time skater, it’s advised to begin using figure skates instead of hockey skates. This reason is because the figure skating blade is more equipped for spreading your weight evenly and fostering proper balance. New skaters might be tempted to use the skate’s toe pick improperly, but this should never be used to stop or push off. Due to the steeper curves in the blades, hockey skates aren’t safe for first-timers, except those who are already comfortable using inline-style roller skates. Since the weight distribution between these two boot types is similar, it’s easier to get used to hockey skates from inline skates.