It's something that world figure skating coach and choreographer Michelle Hong adamantly preaches. "I am a big believer of 'you got to just try it out first,'" Hong says. "I think that there are people who get really excited again, or they see Olympians wearing a certain brand and a certain blade, and they want to get the top-of-the-line. But that top-of-the-line boot is not going to be proficient for them, or it's not going to be a good fit for them in that regard."
FYI: There are two types of skates you that work well for recreational skating: ones for figure skating and ones for hockey. Either can work if you're a beginner. Figure skates generally have a long blade for balance and a toe pick for better control to perform tricks on ice. On the other hand, hockey skates usually have a smoother edge, no toe pick and a curved blade.
For those hoping to level up their ice skating this year, Hong recommends brands who offer a range of options for pros, as well as for beginners. "And so for those who are beginners, it's really important to find a skate that fits and you are comfortable walking in," Hong says. "And the boots that I recommend are Riedell and Jackson."
If you're not sure what are the best skates for you to try, take a look at some of our top picks below.
Best ice skates for beginners
If you really like to get fancy on the ice, these Jackson Ultima check all the right boxes. Made for beginner level figure skaters, these boots are perfect to have on hand for both performance and freestyle skating. They offer a microfiber lining and memory foam ankle padding in order to give you the maximum amount of comfort and support when making turns, spins and lifts on the ice. Also, the flex notch allows you to seamlessly transition from free skate to performance.
For the times when you just want to take it easy and casually glide around the ice, these skates may be just what you need. Not only are they lightweight and easy to control, but they also have a special heat-saving liner to help keep your feet nice and toasty while you’re out on the ice.
Originally $74.99, now $64.99
Whether you’re learning how to skate or want to jump back into skating, the DBX skates are here to make your time on the ice painfully easy. Each boot has a set of saw-like ridges (otherwise known as a toe pick) to help you better grip the ice and execute trick after trick. The skates also appear to be a slam dunk in regards to fit. “I got these skates to use as a beginning/hobby skater and I absolutely love them,” one five-star reviewer explained. “I did have to go down a size from my normal shoe size, but with a thick pair of cabin socks these skates were very comfortable and supportive for the price.”
If you’re the type of person who likes to skate only during the winter time or occasionally for fun, then these Riedell skates should be on your radar. These skating boots in particular are a great combination of style and performance. For example, they have a padded achilles tendon collar to provide comfort and a split tongue to give you a lot more stability on the ice.
These modern styles skates from Riedell are yet another must-have pick for skating recreationally. For starters, the extra foam padding inside makes them super comfy during your skating session while the stainless steel blades have a smooth edge that allow you to easily maneuver on ice. Additionally, the boots have a PVC sole to better help keep your feet dry as you skate.
Looking for a way to impress your friends on the rink? Consider these skates from Lake Placid to help you step up your skating. They have synthetic waterproof sole and extra ankle support to help with heel stability on the ice.
Originally $139.99, now $109.99
For those who prefer to hit the outdoor rink in a pair of hockey skates, these are a safe bet. Designed for new skaters, these boots have a cozy fleece liner with extra protection to keep your feet fully supported.
If you want to try your hand at a round of ice hockey this winter, look no further than these CCM Super Tacks skates. They have an ergonomic boot to make for an ultra-comfy fit, plus a pre-sharpened stainless-steel blade with an elevated holder for more precise control. Additionally, they have thick foam inside to help guard against the puck and hits from hickey sticks.
If you’re looking for a basic skate to help glide on the ice with ease, these 5th Element Grace boots may be just what you need during the cold season. At $50, these skates are a fan-favorite for recreation skating—and for good reason. You can easily remove the footbed to customize your fit. Not to mention, they also have a cold-resistant tongue and 10mm reinforced polyester shoelaces.
When it comes to versatility, these Jackson ice skates may just take the cake. Aside from their stylish design, they also provide a lot of flexibility and support, thanks to the adjusted back height and special lining that help reduce pressure and irritation on ankles.
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