How much do ice skates cost?

Typical costs for different skaters

Young child just starting to skate: $50-$75

Older child or Adult just starting to skate: $75-$130

Young child learning to figure skate: $100-$200

Older child learning to figure skate: $140-$220

Child advancing through mid levels of figure skating: $230-$400

Higher level skaters: $400-$2000 (buying your boots and blades separately.

You can spend a lot more in most of these categories but it's not necessary if you get a good fit with a less expensive skate.

Guidelines for buying skates

I'll assume that ultimately you're figuring your child will continue into figure skating and isn't just going to learn to skate and then call it a day. If that's the case, you don't need particularly expensive skates if it's a young child learning to skate. You can find reasonable skates starting from $50 to $60. An older child or an adult, you're probably going to be spending a bit more. If they're just learning to skate, they don't need a figure blade with picks on the toe. A hockey type blade is fine for learning the basics. However, if your skater is going to figure skate, there will be some transition time as they switch from the hockey blade to a figure blade. Some people advocate getting figure skates immediately but I liked having my kids learn without picks first. That way they don't start out by pushing themselves along with their picks and learn to stroke properly.

If you're starting out, you don't want to buy cheap skates but you also don't want to spend too much. Expensive skates offer a lot more support for the skater who is landing jumps. The bigger the jumps, the more support you need but too much support makes the skate difficult to flex which makes it difficult to skate if you don't know how to skate. So a more expensive skate isn't better for a beginning skater.

As you might expect, the higher the level of skating you reach, the more expensive the skates get. As you move higher in ability, you'll start buying the skating boot separate from the blade. If your skater does ice dance as well as figure skating at a fairly high level, you're looking at different types of boots and blades for each (dance blades are shorter at the back and the picks at the front aren't as scary looking). Synchronized skaters use skates with blades similar to dancers.

You may also consider gently used skates. Young kids often out-grow their skates before they're broken in let alone worn out. Some skate shops resell skates on consignment that were purchased from them. It doesn't hurt to ask if they have any suitable used skates. It's a good way to save a few bucks. We've even lucked out and found some new but discontinued skates in the used category, so it's worth a look.

Keep in mind that a good skate shop will size the skates properly to your skater's foot and that will likely mean leaving about half a size of growth space. It's important not to buy the skate too big with the "they'll grow into it" or the "we'll get two years out of these" attidute. A skate that doesn't fit snugly makes it difficult to skate in. Executing even the simplest figure skating moves requires a firm connection between the foot and blade and that's what the boot is doing. Resist the urge to buy too large a skate. You can usually expect to get one year out of a pair of skates. I've seen some kids feet grow so quickly that they had to break in a second pair part way through the year. I've also seen a girl who skated really well in skates that were a size and half too large so they lasted 2 years. However, that's the exception and loose skates really do make it harder.

Good fit really matters!

Figure skating is not like other skating. The skater must have absolute, precise control over their blade to execute spins and jumps properly. As a result, their foot must be firmly connected to the skate. When a skater moves to a deep edge, their foot can be moving around in the skate. You don't want the skate to be so tight that it's uncomfortable, but you don't want it to be so loose that their foot can move thereby changing their balance point. I find it difficult enough fitting my own skates and it's even hard when you're trying to fit a child whose feedback may be limited and not very specific or accurate. 




# LeeAnn Pease 2016-10-09 17:25
How much does it usauly cost to put your child through competing in reginals or Competiteve skating?
# Siegfried 2016-10-13 10:16
Hi LeeAnn,

I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're asking but it depends on the level your skater is competing at. Realistically, if you're aiming for the podium, you'll be spending in the range ot $10k per year minimum by the time you add in coaching fees and ice time, competitions, hotels, etc. It can be less if you're somewhere where ice is cheaper. Going to major events like Challenge or Nationals is another whole snack bracket of expense. You can probably add in another $3-5000 dollars just for that one event by the time you include air fair and hotels for skater, parents, and coach.

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