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Top 12 Best Ice Skates Reviewed – [2018 / 2019]

Professional Advice On The Top-Rated Figure Ice Skates For The Money - [ Men's / Women's / Kid's ]

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In this side-by-side product review Outside Pursuits leads you through everything you need to know in order to pick the best ice skates for your specific needs and type of skating.

We’ll take a look at what makes the best figure ice skates for the money and what to avoid. Also see How To Choose The Best Ice Skates For You  later in the article. What is the best figure ice skates?

Quick Answer: The 12 Best Ice Skates Reviewed

Best Men’s Ice Skates

  1. Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport Men’s Figure Ice Skates
  2. American Athletic Men’s Tricot Lined Figure Skates
  3. Riedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates With GR4 Blade
  4. Jackson Ultima Softec XP1000 Men’s Figure Skate

Best Women’s Ice Skates

  1. Jackson Ultima Excel Series Women’s Figure Skates JS1290 / JS1291 / JS1294
  2. American Athletic Women’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates
  3. Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 Women’s and Girl’s Figure Ice Skates
  4. Mystique Jackson Ultima Women’s Figure Skates JS1592

Best Kid’s Ice Skates

  1. Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8 Adjustable Figure Ice Skate
  2. Jackson Ultima Softec Classic Junior ST2321 Kids Ice Skates
  3. Lake Placid Cascade Boy’s Figure Ice Skate
  4. American Athletic Girl’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates

Best Ice Skates

 Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport Men’s Figure Ice SkatesAmerican Athletic Men’s Tricot Lined Figure SkatesRiedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates With GR4 Blade
editors choice
SkateIntermediate-level leisure skate
Entry-level figure skateEntry-level figure skate
ExteriorSoft boot with external skeletal structure
PVC exterior
PVC exterior
Special FeaturesModern look offering reduced weight due to lightweight constructionMulti layered ankle support, hollow ground, nickel plated steel bladeFoam quarter padding provides comfort for all day skating
Customer Ratings4.5 / 5.0 Stars3.5 / 5.0 Stars4.3 / 5.0 Stars

Also see: Ice Skates Comparison Table


Best Ice Skates Reviews

Men’s Ice Skates

#1 Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport Men’s Figure Ice Skates

best budget figure ice skates editor's choice

Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport Men’s Figure Ice Skates at a Glance

  • Intermediate-level leisure skate
  • Soft boot with external skeletal structure
  • Reasonably priced
  • Thinsulate-lined upper and tongue

The Jackson Ultima Softec Sports range are hybrid skates that bridge the gap between dedicated figure skates and hockey skates. Being a recreational skate, you won’t get the performance that you can expect from other more specialized skates in this list, but you’ll have a seriously stylish skate that also feels fantastic.

The Thinsulate-lined upper and tongue make them very warm, so they are great for casual skaters. They are also padded with foam which not only increases insulation, but makes them more comfortable too.

The modern design, with a synthetic outsole, reduces weight, but these are no flimsy skates. They are very durable and feel solid on the feet.

The Jackson Ultima Softec Sports, while not designed for serious competition, are a well-designed, comfortable skate that people of all abilities will enjoy.


#2 American Athletic Men’s Tricot Lined Figure Skates

American Athletic Men’s Tricot Lined Figure Skates at a Glance

  • Entry-level figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Very affordable
  • Amazon best seller
This popular boot by American Athletic is a thoroughbred figure skate.

At well under $50, the price is fitting for a beginner skate, and many users have pointed out that the build quality of the blades deteriorates after a few times out on the rink, so they are probably not going to be your trusty lifetime pair of skates.

The PVC boot means it is much easier to clean than softer fabrics, and it is very durable.

Suitable for both lakes and rinks, the American Athletic Men’s Tricot Lined Figure Skate has everything you need to get started as a figure skater at a very reasonable price.


#3 Riedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates With GR4 Blade

Riedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates With GR4 Blade at a Glance

  • Entry-level figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Affordable
  • Quilted man-made lining
With the classic figure skating look, GR4 blades and a foam lining, the Riedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates are the classic figure skate.

As a beginner skate, they do not have the front toe pick, which makes them safer for working on balance and foot movement. They are delivered with sharp enough blades to get straight out on the ice, but after one or two outings, you’ll need to get them properly sharpened.

Riedell have a unique sizing chart which you can print out to find out the exact size you’ll need before buying.

In conclusion, the Riedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates have everything a good beginner’s skate needs — good comfort, a good look and a good price.


#4 Jackson Ultima Softec XP1000

Jackson Ultima Softec XP1000 at a Glance

  • Entry-level leisure skate
  • Soft boot with external skeletal structure
  • Affordable
  • Three different colors
Like the Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport, the XP1000 are made up of a soft boot with an external skeleton for maximum comfort and support.

The soft boot is black, and you can choose between a lime or an orange skeleton for a bold look.

The blades, like the other Jackson Ultima product in the men’s section, are leisure style, meaning they do not have ice picks on the front, restricting their capability as an all-out figure skate.

Jackson Ultima’s Softec XP1000 skates are a smart option as a set of beginner skates. The comfort factor is always important in a first pair of skates and these are more than up to the task.


Best Women’s Ice Skates

#1 Jackson Ultima Excel Series Women’s Figure Skates JS1290 / JS1291 / JS1294

best budget figure ice skates editor's choice

Jackson Ultima Excel Series Women’s Figure Skates JS1290 / JS1291 / JS1294 at a Glance

  • Intermediate-level figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Reasonably priced
  • Ultima Mark II blade
The Jackson Ultima Excel Series is a pedigree figure skating model which gives you the look and quality for a very low price.

Aimed at skaters who are comfortable on their feet and want to start with a bit of acrobatics, they feature a Mark II blade with toe picks for those all-important lift offs. The blades of this particular model come pre-sharpened and pre-oiled, so you can get straight out onto the ice.

The Jackson Ultima Excel, with its stiff ankles and Jackson Ultima comfort and quality, will open you up to the world of jumps and spins. These are great skates for those who have left the beginner stage behind.


#2 American Athletic Women’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates

American Athletic Women’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates at a Glance

  • Entry-level figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Very affordable
  • Amazon best seller
Like the classic figure skating style of the men’s version, the American Athletic Women’s Tricot Lined figure skates have perfected the look.

With laces all the way up the ankle and a durable PVC exterior, they are good for maintaining balance and offer support when trying out jumps and spins.

The nickel-plated steel blades come with a toe pick so you can dig in to the ice and launch yourself into the air (once you’ve had a bit of practice, of course).

All points considered, these are cheap ice skates, but have the classic look and are in a different league to rental skates.


#3 Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 Women’s and Girl’s Figure Ice Skates

Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 Women’s and Girl’s Figure Ice Skates at a Glance

  • Intermediate figure skate
  • Soft boot
  • Reasonably priced
  • Fleece lined upper and tongue
The Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 skates come in three different colors: black, white and a sophisticated looking navy and white. Although they look more like a recreational boot, with a partially soft exterior, they come with a high-quality Softec figure blade with a toe pick.

This gives you the best of both worlds: a performance-focused figure skate, with the comfort of a recreational boot. Like all of the other Jackson Ultima options throughout this list, the interior is lined with a thick, fleecy fabric which will keep your feet warm as well as comfortable.

The Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 are excellent figure skates with the comfort and stability of recreational skates.


#4 Mystique Jackson Ultima Women’s Figure Skates JS1592

Mystique Jackson Ultima Women’s Figure Skates JS1592 at a Glance

  • Intermediate figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Top end of the price bracket
  • Ultima Mark II blade
The Mystique Jackson Ultima Women’s Figure Skates are the real deal. Made for skaters who already have already gained some experience out on the ice, these are what will allow you to take that step up to the next level.

Jackson Ultima have included extra ankle padding so you can practice those jumps over and over. This extra padding also helps to prevent some of the classic ice skating ankle injuries.

Design-wise, the matte black finish is as sleek as the performance. The fabric is expertly stitched and easy to clean. They are durable yet flexible and are the kind of skates that will maintain good performance for at least a few years.

So for an impressive and reliable intermediate skate, look no further. The Mystique Jackson Ultimas are what you need.


Best Kid’s Ice Skates

#1 Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8 Adjustable Figure Ice Skate

best budget figure ice skates editor's choice

Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8 Adjustable Figure Ice Skate at a Glance

  • Kid’s leisure skate
  • Soft boot with external skeletal structure
  • Very affordable
  • EZ Push adjustable sizing
With simple cam buckle straps and a devilish design, the Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8 are great skates to get youngsters comfortable on ice. They are very easy to put on, and you can remove the comfort liner for washing.

Sizing is easier with these skates compared to adult skates. The EZ Push adjustable sizing gives you only three options, but you can customize them at home to make sure they’re right for your child. This not only saves the worry of having to get the exact size, but also allows for considerable room for growth.

Underneath the boot, you’ll find heat-treated, nickel-plated carvon steel blades which are strong and reliable for beginners.

All in all, the Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8 is one of the top models for kids to start skating, and they certainly won’t break the bank.


#2 Jackson Ultima Softec Classic Junior ST2321 Kids Ice Skates

Jackson Ultima Softec Classic Junior ST2321 Kids Ice Skates at a Glance

  • Kid’s figure skate
  • Soft boot
  • Reasonably priced
  • Fleece lined upper and tongue
As you might have guessed by now, when we hear “Jackson Ultima”, we hear “quality”. This Softec Classic Junior model is no different and a great investment for kids who show an interest in figure skating. Sizing should not be too much of a problem if you consult the Jackson Ultima sizing chart for kids.

Unlike the Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8, the Jackson Ultima Classic Juniors have toe picks, so they are more suited to trying out figure skating tricks. Design-wise, they come in black, navy, pink or white, with the navy and pink coming in a two-tone finish.

Jackson Ultima has built a reputation on making quality skates that make people want to get out on the ice. Nowhere is that more apparent than the Softec Classic Junior skates for kids. Although they might stretch some peoples’ budgets, the Jackson Ultima comfort and quality makes these a wise investment.


#3 Lake Placid Cascade Boy’s Figure Ice Skate

Lake Placid Cascade Boy’s Figure Ice Skate at a Glance

  • Kid’s figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Very affordable
  • Stainless steel blades
This is Lake Placid’s offering for pure figure skating. While the Nitro 8.8 have cam buckle straps, the Cascades feature more traditional laces and a toe pick to match their figure style.

The exterior is made of a synthetic vinyl material that is stiff, providing good ankle support. Inside, the velvety lining gives decent comfort, without affecting the stiffness needed in figure skating.

Remember that children most often find figure skates easiest to use as beginners due to their longer, flatter blades, so for beginners, the Lake Placid Cascades are a sure bet.

Nobody wants to spend over the odds for a first pair of skates, and with this model from Lake Placid, you get good quality at a good price.


#4 American Athletic Girl’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates

American Athletic Girl’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates at a Glance

  • Kid’s figure skate
  • PVC exterior
  • Very affordable
  • Amazon best seller
Similar to the Lake Placid Cascade in its classic figure skating style, the American Athletic Girl’s figure skates are a top option for kids who want to venture into ice skating.

Just like the mom and dad versions, it has perfected the look of the skates that are so synonymous with the sport. Added to that, it has the same PVC exterior and a stiff, multi-layer ankle support to make balancing and jumps safer.

For young girls who have been inspired by the sport and want to get out and do it themselves, the American Athletic girls ice skates are a fantastic entry-level option. With everything you need to get started as a figure skater and under 50 bucks, this top-seller is a safe bet.


Ice Skates Comparison Table

  PriceSkateExteriorSpecial FeaturesCustomer Ratings
Best Men’s Ice Skates
Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport Men’s Figure Ice Skates$119.95Intermediate-level leisure skate
Soft boot with external skeletal structure
Modern look offering reduced weight due to lightweight construction4.5 / 5.0 Stars
American Athletic Men’s Tricot Lined Figure Skates$32.99Entry-level figure skatePVC exterior
Multi layered ankle support, hollow ground, nickel plated steel blade 3.5 / 5.0 Stars
Riedell 110 Men’s Figure Skates With GR4 Blade$74.29Entry-level figure skate
PVC exterior
Foam quarter padding provides comfort for all day skating
4.3 / 5.0 Stars
Jackson Ultima Softec XP1000 Men’s Figure Skate$59.95Entry-level leisure skate
Soft boot with external skeletal structure
Sizing can be adjusted to accommodate growing feet

4.6 / 5.0 Stars
Best Women’s Ice Skates
Jackson Ultima Excel Series Women’s Figure Skates$99.95Intermediate-level figure skate
PVC exterior
Vinyl coated upper with synthetic lining4.9 / 5.0 Stars
American Athletic Women’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates$32.61Entry-level figure skate
PVC exterior
Sizing may run big, unless worn with thick socks.3.9 / 5.0 Stars
Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 Women’s and Girl’s Figure Ice Skates$119.95Intermediate figure skate
Soft boot
Softec high quality figure blade attached
4.0 / 5.0 Stars
Mystique Jackson Ultima Women’s Figure Skates JS1592$149.95Intermediate figure skate
PVC exterior
Synthetic lining comfortable and durable5.0 / 5.0 Stars
Best Kid’s Ice Skates
Lake Placid Boy’s Nitro 8.8 Adjustable Figure Ice Skate$82.30Kid’s leisure skate
Soft boot with external skeletal structure
Heat treated, nickel plated carvon steel bladesN/A
Jackson Ultima Softec Classic Junior ST2321 Kids Ice Skatesfrom $72.46Kid’s figure skate
Soft boot
Softec high quality figure blade attached4.9 / 5.0 Stars
Lake Placid Cascade Boy’s Figure Ice Skate$34.03Kid’s figure skate
PVC exterior
Reinforced lacing hooks. Waterproof sole3.2 / 5.0 Stars
American Athletic Girl’s Tricot Lined Figure Ice Skates$31.99Kid’s figure skate
PVC exterior
Hollow ground, nickel plated steel blade
3.7 / 5.0 Stars

How to Choose the Best Ice Skates For You

With the summer over, it will soon be time to get out the winter clothes, and more importantly, the winter sports equipment. There is always a surge in the popularity of ice skating after the Winter Olympics, and PyeongChang 2018 was no different.

best figure ice skates men's women's - guide image

And skating isn’t just for the jaw-dropping jumps that the pros do. Ice skating is a fun way for adults and kids alike to stay in shape during the colder months. So whether you’re aiming to take gold at the next Winter Olympics, or just want an upgrade on the rental skates at the local ice rink, take a look at this guide to find the ice skates that suit you best.

All kinds of footwear come with their complications when buying online and ice skates are no different. Luckily, we’ve set out a guide of the best ice skates for kids and adults to help you decide what is best for you.

What kind of skates do I need?

The two main considerations to take into account when choosing ice skates are:

  1. What kind of skating you’re going to be doing
  2. What level you see yourself at
Figure skaters need a supportive, yet flexible boot with a long blade and toe picks to be able to replicate the heroics you see in the Olympics. A good example of this kind of skate is the Lake Placid Cascade skates.

Recreational skaters, who aren’t to into the jumps, flips and spins, don’t need the agility of figure skaters. They can look more toward the comfort side of things. The Jackson Ultima ST6102 Softec Sport perfectly encapsulates this spirit of comfort and performance.

Next, you need to think about what level you are.

As a general rule, the higher the price tag, the higher the level of skate. For this reason, American Athletic’s range of tricot-lined figure skates are a good choice for beginners. Very affordable, but much better than rental skates, they allow you to give skating a try without investing a lot of money into the sport.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Mystique Jackson Ultima skates are a great choice for figure skaters who are well beyond beginner stage.

It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but if you’re an absolute beginner, figure skates are probably the best option for you. Most skaters agree that it is best to learn with the long blade and therefore large surface area in contact with the ice.

Figure skates vs. recreational skates

The main differences between figure and recreational skates are seen in the blades and how the boots are made.

One obvious difference is that most figure skates have toe picks. These serrated edges on the frontal part of the blade are used to grip the ice when you bend down and get ready to jump. The blades themselves are longer and slightly curved, while other blades are shorter and more curved. The longer blades spread your weight out better, putting them among the best ice skates for beginners.

While figure skates have to be stiff to protect your ankles, they also need a bit of flexibility to allow the movement involved in jumping. The recreational skates in this list will fit more comfortably, usually with padded interiors, looking to comfort as a priority.

Fit

Once you know what kind of skate you want, the fit is the most important factor to take into consideration when buying a pair of ice skates.

Many brands do not fit true to shoe size, and as a general rule, they are around about 1/2 under your normal shoe size.

When buying kids skates, you can safely add around half a size to allow for growth. I would recommend not going all the way up to a full size bigger, because a loose-fitting skate is not only uncomfortable, but it can be painful and dangerous.

The Lake Placid Nitro 8.8’s EZ Push adjustable sizing is a unique feature on this list and a great option for kids that just won’t stop growing.

Adult skates should have a really hugging fit that leaves no wiggle room.

For precise measurements, a lot of companies, such as Riedell, use their own sizing charts that are free for download.

FAQs – Figure Skating Frequently Asked Questions

How do I care for my skates?

The most vulnerable part of ice skates is the blade, so make sure to wipe your blades after every use. When you’re not using them, put skate guards on them to prevent the blade dulling when it comes into contact with other surfaces. Skate guards also stop the blades getting nicks in them, which can be very dangerous on the ice.

 

Should I sharpen my blades before use?

Keeping your blades sharp is also an important part of skating maintenance and the vast majority of skates should be sharpened before use.

Important note: Be sure to check that the boot fits before sharpening your blades or taking them onto the ice. Most manufacturers will not accept returns that have been used.

To check if yours need to be sharpened, slowly and carefully brush your fingernail across the blade at a 90 degree angle. If the blade shaves your nail slightly, they are good for skating. If not, consider sharpening them.

Most ice rinks and winter sports shops have sharpening stations who can show you how it is done if you’re a beginner.

When you’ve got a bit of experience in blade sharpening, you can also buy your own hand held ice skate sharpener for figure skates for under $10.

Conclusion

Whether you’re just starting out this winter or you just need a new set of skates to glide across the ice, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in this guide of the best ice skates for 2018/2019.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy having your own skates far more than renting them every time you go down to the rink and they can prove a lot more cost-effective in the long run.

Please get in touch if you’ve tried out the skates in this list, or if you have any personal tips and tricks for buying or taking care of your skates.


Thanks for reading The 12 Best Ice Skates Reviewed. We hope this article has helped you to discover the best choice for ice skates for figure skating to meet your needs and type of skating.

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Notice: Outside Pursuits is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees sold through by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliate links supports our efforts to bring you the best possible product reviews at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support here at OutsidePursuits.com

R. L. Moore "El Tigre"

Richard M. aka El Tigre is an avid adventure traveler with extensive trekking experience throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1998 he weathered category 5 Hurricane Mitch on the northern coast of Honduras. He has mountain-biked, hiked and 4x4 toured extensively in Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. In the summer of 2004 he lived among the Kuna Indians of the San Blas islands in Panama. Today, he manages a real estate investments company based in San Jose, Costa Rica and organizes adventure travel excursions to Costa Rica. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys sport touring and dual-sport riding. Richard lives in Arizona.

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