Best ice skates for kids

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According to most child experts, children can start enjoying ice skating as early as 2 years old.

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Which ice skates for kids are best?

Ice skating is a fun hobby for children that’s great exercise to boot. Whether your child is hitting the rink for the first time or taking weekly lessons, the right pair of ice skates can make all the difference in helping them enjoy their experience.

Many children’s ice skates are designed to grow with your child, which is great news, since ice skates can be expensive. Our shopping guide covers all the factors you’ll want to consider before making a purchase, like style, sizing, adjustability, and closures. We also share our top recommendations at the end, including the easy-to-wear Lake Placid Starglide Double Runner Figure Ice Skate.

What to know before you buy ice skates for kids

Size

It’s important to know that ice skate sizes and shoe sizes don’t match. Measure your child’s feet (while they’re sitting down) and review a brand’s sizing chart before making a purchase. Resist sizing up when purchasing children’s ice skates — properly fitting skates should be snug, leaving just a finger’s length of space behind the heel before the closures are tightened.

Style

You have three basic options when it comes to style: figure, hockey, and hybrid. If your child is new to ice skating, this might seem like a difficult choice, but understanding the difference between the three styles can help you make your decision.

  • Figure: Figure skates have rigid ankle support, a longer blade, and tiny teeth at the front end called a toe pick. The toe pick helps the skater stop during spins and jumps but can be awkward for beginning skaters.
  • Hockey: Hockey skates have a firm boot and a shorter, curved blade that makes quick footwork easier. Hockey skates are usually lighter than figure skates.
  • Hybrid: If your child is just getting started in ice skating, hybrid skates can be a good choice. Hybrid options offer additional ankle support and a shorter blade for more stability and maneuverability.

What to look for in quality ice skates for kids

Adjustability

If your child’s feet are still growing, adjustability is an important factor. Some skates can expand in the boot area by up to four sizes. Adjustable skates are best for casual skaters rather than competitive figure skaters or hockey players.

Cushioning

Ample cushioning allows your child to skate comfortably for longer and protect their feet from pucks or other hazards on the ice.

Blade material

Stainless steel or nickel blades are preferred, even for casual skaters. Lower-quality blade materials become dull more quickly, which can lead to friction on the ice, a bumpier ride, and falls.

Closures

Boot laces and buckles offer the tightest, most supportive fit. Keep in mind that for children who can’t yet tie their own shoes, laces can become cumbersome. Some models also offer Velcro straps, which are easy for children to manage on their own but don’t close as tightly as laces and buckles.

Color

Most children’s ice skate models offer plenty of fun color options, which can be extra incentive for your child to use their skates.

How much you can expect to spend on ice skates for kids

Children’s ice skates vary quite a bit in price depending on quality, size, and type. Budget models typically have lower-quality blades and cost between $15-$40. Pricier options run between $40-$160 and offer better blades, convenient buckle closures and specialized style options.

Ice skates for kids FAQ

When does it make sense to rent ice skates at the rink instead of buying them?

A. Renting instead of buying might make sense if your child rarely skates. However, if your child is taking a hockey or figure skating class or shows a lot of interest in ice skating, buying a pair is a good idea.

What should my child wear while ice skating?

A. Help your child have the best experience ice skating by dressing them in warm sweatpants or leggings instead of jeans (which can restrict movement) and a single pair of warm socks.

What are the best ice skates for kids?

Top ice skates for kids

Lake Placid Starglide Double Runner Figure Ice Skate

Lake Placid Starglide Double Runner Figure Ice Skate

Our take: The design is also perfect for beginners. They offer a padded vinyl upper for extra comfort.

What we like: Double runner blades add balance and stability.

What to consider: They offer zero support for the ankle area.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top ice skates for kids for the money

Jackson Ultima Finesse Figure Skates

Jackson Ultima’s Finesse Figure Skates

Our take: These sturdy, comfortable skates are perfect for beginners and casual skaters.

What we like: They have a comfortable fit. The stainless steel blades stay sharp. They offer great ankle support and quality construction. They come in five colors and plenty of size options.

What to consider: Nothing.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Jackson Ultima’s GS180 SoftSkate Figure Skates

Jackson Ultima’s GS180 SoftSkate Figure Skates

Our take: These are a quality, midrange option that is great for budding figure skaters.

What we like: High-quality nickel blades offer a smooth ride. The warm, thickly padded lining comes in several colors. The laces offer an optimal tight closure for figure skating.

What you should consider: The boot runs a bit small. Measure carefully and consult the sizing chart.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

 

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Noelle Ihli writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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