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Best Women's Ice Skates

Updated July 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 6 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 143 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best women’s ice skates

    Last Updated July 2018

    A lot of people look forward to winter each year so they can pursue their love of ice skating. From the time they are little girls, many women are inspired by watching the elegant moves of figure skaters during the Winter Olympic Games. Others are introduced to ice skating on a frozen pond or at a park with a skating rink, where they learn a few skills while enjoying fun and relaxation on the ice. Some advance to more competitive skating and hone their skills performing jumps, spins, and twirls.

    Regardless of what inspires you to get out on the ice, you need skates that are comfortable, supportive, and attractive to make the most of your experience. Whether you want affordable skates for occasional, casual skating, or you need a top-of-the-line pair for competitive-level footwork, there are numerous stylish options available to fit nearly any skill level, fit preference, and budget.

    You don’t have to start from scratch trying to track down specific information about ice skates to find your perfect match – that’s what BestReviews is here to do. We make your search much easier by evaluating numerous features, styles, and brands and narrowing down our search to the best on the market. And since we never accept items from manufacturers, you can count on our advice to be unbiased and geared toward helping you find the items that fit your specific needs and budget.

    In the above matrix, we’ve detailed important considerations about some of the most popular women’s ice skates on the market today. Read on for specific details and what to consider to help you select ice skates that look just as good as they feel and perform.

    Figure skating was the first winter sport added to the Olympics – debuting in the 1908 Summer Olympics. It became part of the winter games in 1924.

    Types of women’s ice skates

    Beginner and novice ice skates

    If you are new to ice skating or only spend time on the ice occasionally, there are ice skates available to meet your needs without stressing your budget. Basic styles that are suitable for beginners usually have more supple material and extra padding for comfort. Some have smaller toe picks, which aren’t ideal for performing fancy moves and jumps but are perfect for smooth gliding on the ice.

    Basic skates are often made of synthetic materials, which makes them more flexible and affordable. Whether a beginner or only an occasional skater, you can find a pair for as little as $30 to as much as $150 – maybe even a bit higher.

    Advanced skilled figure and competition ice skates

    Ice skates that are constructed for ladies who do more than just glide on the ice are made with support and craftsmanship to withstand more active wear. They are also suited for competition skating that requires complex footwork.

    These advanced ice skates are typically stiffer in the boot than basic designs, and have more structure in the ankles to provide added support for more confident jumping and spinning. They may be made of either leather or synthetic materials, and have larger picks capable of handling the ice. The price range varies from $150 to as much as $900.

    EXPERT TIP

    Figure skates differ from other types of skates thanks to the toe picks located at the front of the blades. They are useful for perfecting fancy footwork, such as spins and jumps.


    Women’s ice skates considerations

    Blades

    Blades are made of a variety of metals, including nickel, chrome plated carbon steel, and aluminum, and come with different sizes of toe picks. While steel is often a top pick for advanced skaters, larger toe picks are designed for complex jumps, twists, and spins on the ice.

    Some skates offer pre-sharpened blades, but others will require sharpening. This feature is a matter of preference, not quality, as some skaters like to sharpen their own blades while others want them ready-to-wear right out of the box.

    Fit

    Women often make the mistake of choosing skates based on their shoes sizes, which is likely to lead to an improper fit. Since most ice skates don’t fit true to typical sizes, it may be somewhat challenging to find the best size, especially if you are looking for your first pair of skates. Carefully read the model’s details on fit before buying.

    Once you decide on the the type and brand of skate that is best for you, it’s important to consider the interior for the best fit. Those with thicker padding are likely to fit tighter, for example. However, women’s skate sizes may run small or a bit large, and this varies by brand.

    Keep in mind that a snug fit is best suited for fast and rhythmic moves on the ice, and provides the best support – especially in the ankles. You can adjust the fit somewhat when you lace up the boots. While you don’t want the boot to fit uncomfortably tight, too much extra space may result in rubbing and irritation on the feet and ankles.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    “Stroking” is another term for simply skating, and is used in the world of figure skating to refer to movement that doesn’t include jumping, twisting, spinning, or other types of specialized movements.

    Style

    Most women’s skates are not only built for performance but are stylish as well. White remains a popular color, with various sole colors and lace styles. Though the classic streamlined boot is popular, more sporty styles with attractive lines and stitching are also available for women who prefer a more athletic, modern look.

    Materials

    Women’s ice skates are made of either leather or synthetic materials, and the best choice depends on your preference, skill level, and budget. Both types of materials comes with both pros and cons.

    Leather

    Pros:

    • Leather is more durable than synthetic materials, and is made to support the movements and activity level of more advanced skaters.

    • Skates made of leather are typically more supportive than those constructed of man-made materials, especially in the ankle which is vital to performing on the ice.

    Cons:

    • Leather requires a longer break-in period due to the stiff nature of the material.

    • Ice skates made of leather may be on the pricier end of the spectrum.

    • Leather skates have the tendency to be uncomfortable, and not nearly as flexible as man-made materials.
       

    Synthetic

    Pros:

    • Synthetic materials are softer, more supple, and flexible, making them ideal for women who prefer comfort over durability.

    • Women’s skates made of synthetic materials have improved over the years to last longer than they use to, as many women prefer them for their comfort.

    • The break-in period isn’t as long as that of skate boots made of leather.

    Cons:

    • May not live up to the longevity needs of competition skaters.

    • Skate boots made of synthetic materials may show wear quicker than leather, especially on white skates.
       

    Interior construction

    From quilted lining to fleece to moisture-wicking materials, plus different degrees of padding, the interior of women’s ice skates are made for comfort. While those who skate more casually are likely to prefer warm fleece and extra soft padding, pro-level skaters who perform more complex moves may want to choose more structured padding, ankle support, and moisture protection as their feet are prone to sweating from the more strenuous activity level.

    The very first ice skates date back to around the 14th century, and were constructed of wood with iron runners as the blades. Prior to that, it’s thought that people used animal bones and straps to cross ice-covered terrain.

    FAQ

    Q. I’m planning to purchase my first pair of ice skates, and want to make sure I get the right size. I have wide feet, so what’s the best way to ensure I get a good fit that isn’t to tight?

    A. Though a fairly tight fit is important for optimal control on the ice, if your skates are too snug, they are likely to cause discomfort. You can find your best size by measuring the length of your foot from toe to heel, and width around the widest part. Choosing skates that run large in size may also be a good option for you.

    Q. I don’t skate very often, but when I do, comfort is my top priority. What are the features I should look for in a pair of ice skates?

    A. It sounds like you are a casual ice skater, and gliding around on the ice for enjoyment is what you like the most. Though ankle support is important in any ice skates, you need less rigid materials than professional-level skaters. When you try on ice skates, look for materials that have flexibility. Extra interior padding will also add to your comfort.

    Q. I’ve heard there is a break-in period for most ice skates. How long does it usually take to get use to a new pair?

    A. The length of the break-in period depends on several factors. The more rigid the material, the more likely they are to feel uncomfortable at first and take longer to break in. Skaters who are on the ice more often also break in new skates much quicker than those who only skate every so often. Additionally, skaters who are into performing advanced jumps and speed tend to break in their skates faster than more moderate skaters. Typically the time frame ranges from a week or two to a month, or about 10 to 15 uses on average.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Heather
      Heather
      Chief Content Officer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Samantha
      Samantha
      Writer