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You need more than just skates to start ice skating

Ice skating is a pleasurable activity that is no longer just for winter or just for outdoors. When you glide over the ice on skates, you get the wonderful sensation you are flying through the air. Renting skates is the same thing as renting bowling shoes ー you’ll have a hard time finding the proper fit and who knows how clean they are? But skates are just the beginning, because you’ll need some additional gear to have fun skating safely.

What you need to know about ice skating


If you really want to learn how to ice skate quickly and easily with fewer bumps and bruises, find a nearby ice skating class for beginners. Check with for classes and a location near you. It’s the largest beginner skating program in the country and is the only program endorsed by U.S. Figure Skating, U.S. Speed Skating and U.S.A. Hockey.


Roller skates are made by attaching a boot to wheels. Ice skates are made by attaching a boot to a blade.

  • The boot: This is the shoe-like part where your foot goes. Most boots have stiff outer shells that provide lots of support because they are tall enough to encase the ankle. Additional support comes from the laces that you can tighten as securely as you wish. Most boots are made of leathers and plastics.
  • The blade: This is the metal part that touches the ice. 


  • Figure skates: These are for beginners who are interested in learning the basics of skating. The blades are very sharp and have what is called a toe-pick at the front for additional traction when starting and stopping.
  • Hockey skates: These skates are lighter, narrower and flatter than figure skates and fit more loosely on the foot. The blade is rounded at the front and back and has no toe-pick.
  • Speed skates: The blades are very long and thin and are not attached at the heel. These skates are not usually recommended for beginners unless their goal is to become speed skaters. 

Skate guards

Your skate blades need protection anytime you are off the ice. Most are made of some sort of flexible rubberized material that grips the blade to protect it and makes it easy to put them on and take them off.

Skate bags

These carry bags are made with linings that absorb moisture from your skates to keep them dry and prevent rust. Look for inner pockets and outer storage areas.

Protective gear

To prevent serious injury from the many falls most novice ice skaters experience, you can protect yourself with gear that softens the impact. The pads and helmets used by ice skaters are similar to those used by skateboarders.

  • Elbow pads: These are rigid plastic forms lined with padding that encases your elbows.
  • Knee pads: These protect your kneecaps with pads that either fit over or under your clothing.
  • Wrist guards: These are contoured plastic shells that wrap around your wrists with cushioned pads for comfort.
  • Helmets: Beginners should prepare for the inevitable frequent falls that are a part of learning how to ice skate. Choose a helmet that fits snugly while sitting level on your head. The chin strap should be comfortable and secure enough so it doesn’t shift around as you move your head. 

Start with a good pair of skates

Best Jackson Ultima Softec Vibe Adjustable Womens-Girls Skate

Jackson Ultima Softec Vibe Adjustable Women’s/Girls Skate

This skate adjusts so it continues to fit as your feet grow. The soft boot is encased inside an external plastic shell for comfort and support. The recreational blade has been pre-sharpened at the factory.

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Best Lake Placid Summit Mens-Boys Adjustable Ice Skate

Lake Placid Summit Men’s/Boy’s Adjustable Ice Skate

You adjust this skate to fit your foot with the push of a button and lock the fit with the buckle and power strap. The blade is made of stainless steel, the boot sole is waterproof and the lining is warm and comfortable.

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Best Tour Hockey Tr-T750 Ice Hockey Skate

Tour Hockey Tr-T750 Ice Hockey Skate

The boot is made with composite quarter panels for firm ankle support and the foam padding inside is comfortable and warm. The stainless steel blade is also edge-hardened. 

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Add these important accessories

Best A&R Sports Bladegards Universal Ice Skate Guard

A&R Sports Bladegards Universal Ice Skate Guard

These springy rubber guards use a slide mechanism that adjusts to fit hockey and figure skates to protect them when you are walking off the ice. They come in a choice of a dozen colors and one size fits all skates.

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Best Athletico Premium Skate Bag

Athletico Premium Skate Bag

This case has two large main pockets to keep your skates separated. The large center pocket holds pads and extra dry clothing, while the small side pocket holds keys and phones and the back mesh pocket holds your water bottle. The detachable shoulder strap is adjustable.

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Best Gonex Skate Pads Set

Gonex Skate Pads Set

You get elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards for skating, rollerblading and skateboarding. They are made of dense Oxford cloth padded with soft sponge inside. The tough plastic shells are curved to fit your anatomy and the elastic straps are adjustable for a secure and comfortable fit. 

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Best Tourdarson Multi-Sport Helmet for Kids Youth and Adults

Tourdarson Multi-Sport Helmet for Kids, Youth and Adults

This helmet has a vented plastic shell to resist impact and a soft, dense foam lining to absorb the blow so your head doesn’t. The chin strap is comfortable and has a size adjustment dial and a quick release buckle.

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Best Geyoga Padded Ankle Socks for Ice Skaters

Geyoga Padded Ankle Socks for Ice Skaters 

These two pairs of compression socks provide excellent support and the built-in nontoxic gel pads cushion your feet and heels to keep them from blistering. They’re made of soft and skin-friendly resilient elastic nylon that absorbs sweat and odor and is machine-washable. 

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Best Blade Barber Ice Skate Sharpener

Blade Barber Ice Skate Sharpener

You can use this handy tool to sharpen your skate blades in 30 seconds with just a few passes per edge. It works on figure, hockey and hybrid skates. There are seven models with the bite angle and radius so you can choose the one that fits your blades.

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Best Skateez Skate Trainers

Skateez Skate Trainers

Kids up to 80 pounds who are just learning to skate need help with their balance. These stabilizers act as outriggers much like training wheels on a kid’s first bicycle. They’re durable, lightweight and easy to attach so you can step right into them with no bending over and no need for adjustment.

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