Which women’s ice skates are best?

If you’ve ever dreamed of gliding smoothly across a pristine frozen pond, you’re not alone. From community ice palaces to backyard rinks, women across the U.S. are lacing up and taking off, skating for the health benefits and enjoyment of being outside. 

For women who have been skating for a season or more, the Jackson Ultima Women’s Mystique Figure Skates are an excellent choice. They’re easy to fit and provide good ankle support for more challenging moves.

What to know before you buy women’s ice skates

Level of skating

In many sports, the level of athlete doesn’t matter when it comes to purchasing gear, but the same doesn’t hold true for women’s ice skates.

Women’s ice skates for beginners have more padding inside the skate and are more comfortable to wear right out of the box. The toe pick at the front of the blade is smaller than a professional skater’s, and the boot of the skate is made of more flexible material.

Professional skates have features designed to support more athletic and complex maneuvers. This includes a larger toe pick, plus stiffer boot material that requires a longer period of breaking in. Professional skates also have less padding inside the boot. 

Blade materials

Blades come in several different materials, including nickel, chrome-plated carbon steel, tempered carbon steel and aluminum.

These blades may be pre-sharpened and ready to wear right out of the box, but some skaters prefer to sharpen their own blades. 

Boot material

There are two choices of boot material in women’s ice skates: leather or synthetic.

  • Leather: Leather is the choice of professionals for its durability and support. This material tends to be more expensive, and it requires an extensive break-in period to be comfortable. 
  • Synthetics: Synthetic boot material is comfortable immediately and doesn’t require much breaking in, if any. However, it doesn’t last as long as leather, and it offers less foot and ankle support.

What to look for in quality women’s ice skates

Blade covers

Removable blade covers protect blades from damage and prevent them from losing their edge. You can also add blade covers to your skates if you want to walk around between sessions on the ice or while you’re breaking your skates in at home. 

Padded lining 

For beginner skaters, padded lining can be the difference between a pleasant afternoon skating and a miserable evening soaking your feet. Look for padding inside the boot and on the tongue too.

Removable blades

Removable blades are easier to sharpen. They’re also easier to replace if they become damaged beyond repair. 

How much you can expect to spend on women’s ice skates

While professional women’s ice skates cost $900 or more, expect to spend $30-$200 on skates for beginners.

Women’s ice skates FAQ

How do you properly fit yourself for ice skates?

A. When shopping for ice skates, many people assume that their shoe size and the size of their skates are the same — this is not correct. 

Start by carefully reviewing the skate manufacturer’s fit guide. This can help you properly measure your feet to order the pair that fits you. Some brands run large or small too.

Keep in mind that skates with thick padding feel tighter than skates with a plain interior. While you don’t want to feel as if your feet are uncomfortably squeezed, it’s important that your skates fit snugly. This helps support your ankles as you move on a thin blade of metal. If your skates are too loose, the boot may rub and cause blisters.

The fit can be adjusted slightly when you lace up the boots, but start with an unlaced boot first. Toes should just graze the front of the skate, and you should have no more than a quarter-inch of space between your heel and the back of the boot.

How long does it take to break in a pair of ice skates?

A. This depends on the material of the skate and how often you hit the ice. A general rule is that it takes six to eight hours in the rink to break in new skates. You can speed up the process at home.

  • Use a shoe stretcher.
  • Put on a wet pair of socks, don your skates and walk around the house.
  • Rub with oil (mink oil or neatsfoot oil works).

The best way to break them in is to skate as much as possible.

What are the best women’s ice skates to buy?

Top women’s ice skates

Jackson Ultima Women's Mystique Ice Skates

Jackson Ultima Women’s Mystique Ice Skates

What you need to know: These skates are perfect for advanced beginner and intermediate skaters. 

What you’ll love: The boot is stiff but the sizing is perfect. They’re well-designed for practicing more advanced spins and jumps. They have extra ankle padding for support as well as a foam padded tongue. 

What you should consider: The breaking-in period can be long and uncomfortable. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top women’s ice skates for the money

American Athletic Shoe Women's Tricot Lined Figure Skates

American Athletic Shoe Women’s Tricot Lined Figure Skates

What you need to know: This is a good beginner skate at a reasonable price. 

What you’ll love: The stiff material provides good ankle support and keeps your foot centered in the skate. The lining is padded for more comfort. The stainless steel blade has a beginner-style toe pick. 

What you should consider: These don’t hold up to heavy use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Rollerface Switch 3-in-1 Skates

Rollerface Switch 3-in-1 Skates 

What you need to know: This is a multipurpose set of skates for year-round recreation. 

What you’ll love: These transform from ice skates to roller skates to inline skates by simply swapping out the blades. The inside is padded and helps stabilize your ankles. The ice skating blade is made from stainless steel and has a blade guard to keep it sharp when not in use. 

What you should consider: Learning how to change between blades and wheels is challenging.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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

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