Hockey vs. recreational skates: which type is best for you?

Looking for new skates? Not sure which kind to buy? Here's howhockey and recreational skates compare, and advice to know which type is best for you.
You’re due to buy a new pair of skates before getting out on the ice. The big question is: what kind of skates to choose? For that, you may be wondering if there’s a difference between hockey skates and recreational skates.

Hockey vs. recreational skates: which type is best for you?

Hockey skates or recreational skates?

It wasn’t that long ago when most boys wore black hockey skates and girls wore slim, white figure skates. However, skates have evolved in recent years. There is much more choice now, and less and less difference between hockey skating and recreational skating, at least when it comes to leisure.

Nowadays, most boots are made of synthetic leather on the outside and foam inside. Recreational models, which don’t have toe picks, are insulated for warmth. Blades are usually made of stainless steel, although some hockey skate blades contain carbon as well.

So, for recreational skating, any pair of skates will do. Just don’t try and block shots with figure skates or do a double Lutz spin with skates that don’t have toe picks!

How to choose skates

Whatever the type of skates, there are key factors to consider when choosing the right pair: comfort, your weight, frequency of use, and budget.

How does your weight influence your choice of skates? It’s a question of support. The heavier you are, the more rigid your skates should be in order to properly support your ankles. Think about investing in a good quality pair if you do a lot of skating.

Also, it’s never a good idea to buy your children skates that are too big with the idea that they’ll be able to wear them for longer. Skates that don’t fit properly are uncomfortable and make gliding harder. The heel should fit snugly inside the skate and the toes shouldn’t quite touch the tip of the boot.

Looking after your skates

Skates are easy to look after. The main thing you should do is dry your blades thoroughly before putting on the blade guards. And sharpen your blades after five outdoor skating sessions. They won’t need to be sharpened as often if you skate indoors. Every 10 sessions is a good rule of thumb, as the ice is softer than it is outdoors.

Helmet and socks required

Regardless of the difference between hockey skating and recreational skating, one thing is certain: beginners and children should always wear a helmet to prevent concussion in case of a fall.

Remember to bring a second pair of socks as well, because changing socks before putting on your skates will stop you from transferring the moisture in your boots to your skates. After all, it's much more fun to skate when you can still feel your toes.

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