The best ice hockey skates for kids are lightweight, while providing adequate protection from sticks and pucks. Hockey skates are unisex; both boys and girls can select from the same styles. Bauer and CCM are probably the best-known hockey skate manufacturers, and they provide some of the highest quality skates on the market. Hockey skate sizes don’t always run the same as shoe sizes, and the sizing can differ between brands, so you should take the time to let your kid try on multiple pairs of skates at a retail location. If you’re trying to save money, you can have your child try on skates in-store, and then purchase them online, but it’s essential to let your child try them on, because the best hockey skates are always the one’s that properly fit your child’s feet and style of play.
Bauer sells three lines of skates, including Supreme, Vapor, and Flexlite. Each line is manufactured for a specific type of skater. Supreme skates are the current rendition of the classic Bauer skate, built for speed, power, and performance. Vapor skates are easy to break-in and are built for fast acceleration, and extreme speed. Flexlite skates are designed to adjust with every stride, giving players an added speed boost. Supreme skates tend to run wider than Vapor skates, which is an important fit consideration. Every line incorporates multiple models into the series. Models with a lower number are less expensive, and provide fewer enhancements, while skates with higher numbers typically last longer, and are designed with a stiffer fit that molds to a players feet over time. If your child is growing quickly, a low to mid-ranged model should meet his or her needs, unless he or she plays at an extremely competitive level.
CCM manufactures a line of U+ skates with models designed for all different skill levels. The U+01, and U+02 are ideal for recreational skaters, while U+04 skates are a great choice for children new to the sport of ice hockey. Youth hockey players vested in the sport can select between the U+06, U+08, and U+10 skates, which incorporate features such as added support, protection, and ability to mold to a player’s feet. The U+12 and U+ Crazy Light models are manufactured in Canada and are designed for advanced to professional level players. Unless your kid has been playing for years, and is highly invested in the sport, these skates are probably not the best option, because they take longer to break in and are fairly pricey.
You should purchase your kid new skates that fit snugly with little wiggle room. Although you might be tempted to purchase used or oversized skates for your child, especially if his or her feet are rapidly growing, it’s typically not a good idea. Skates mold to fit the shape of a player’s feet, often within hours, and if someone else breaks in a pair of skates, they’re likely going to be uncomfortable, which could affect your child’s skating ability and performance. Additionally, if a used pair of skates was frequently sharpened, the runners may quickly need replacing, which can negate savings. Oversized skates aren’t advised, because they can cause blisters and chafing. If you’re child’s feet rapidly grow during the season, the same pro shop technician that sharpens your child’s skates probably knows techniques to enlarge them, so that, hopefully, your child can play out the remainder of the season with his or skates.