Women’s Hockey Skates 2023

Updated: October 2, 2023 by Bill Burniece

Last week one of my hockey buddies asked me an interesting question…

“Does anyone make women’s hockey skates? Or do women players wear men’s hockey skates?”

I really wasn’t sure, so I reached out to some female friends of mine, who play hockey, to get some answers.

Bauer skates image

Are There Women’s Hockey Skates Lines?

No. Not really.

My non-scientific research turned up some interesting answers.

Major hockey skate brands like CCM, Bauer, Graf, and True don’t have a specific “women’s” hockey skate line.

Instead, some offer skates in a ‘fit profile’ that is more suitable for female hockey players. This profile is based on the anatomical differences between male and female feet.

The key difference is in the sizing.

The general rule for women players is to subtract 3 from their regular women’s shoe size in order to find their proper hockey skate size.

For example, if a player wears a size 9 women’s shoe, that is about equivalent to a men’s size 7, which would mean that a size 6 senior hockey skate would be the right size fit for women.

The Importance Of Sizing

It is vital for women to find the best-fitting hockey skates to provide the best performance, comfort, and safety while on the ice.

If a skate is the wrong size and uncomfortable, it may lead to foot and ankle problems, blisters, and other more serious issues.

It can also damage the boot structure leading to a worse fit which will only make the problems worse.

To avoid these problems and get the ideal fit, I have included a section on sizing tips to help women make the right choice in skates.

Women’s Hockey Skate Fitting Tips:

1. General Guideline: As mentioned above, subtract 3 from your regular women’s shoe size in order to find your proper hockey skate size. If you are making an in-store purchase you can and should try on your skates first. If you’re buying online, reference the manufacturer’s size chart and guidelines that are frequently posted on hockey websites.

2. Types of Fit:

Hockey skates come in different fit profiles: narrow (low-volume), standard (medium-volume), and wide (high-volume).

  • Narrow fit: This is best for players with slender feet
  • Standard fit: Suits the majority of foot types
  • Wide fit: Ideal for players with a wider forefoot or a higher instep

3. Fit Assessment:

  • Heel: Your heel should fit snugly against the back of the skate without any significant movement
  • Forefoot: The widest part of your foot should align with the widest part of the skate. Make sure there isn’t too much or too little space on the sides of the skate
  • Toe: Your toes should lightly touch the front of the skate when standing, but they shouldn’t be cramped or tight

4. Lacing: Hockey skates should be laced firmly from the toe up, ensuring there are no loose sections. The top 3-4 eyelets can be tied tighter or looser to adjust for comfort and performance based on your personal preference.

5. Ankle Support: Your ankles should remain straight, without significant inward or outward leaning. If your ankles lean, it can be due to either a poor fit or weak ankle muscles. Weak ankle muscles can be strengthened with the right exercise.

6. Flex: Skates come in varying degrees of stiffness. Professionals often opt for stiffer skates for better energy transfer, while recreational players usually choose something softer for comfort. Consider your level of play, weight, and personal preference when choosing the skate flex.

7. Insoles and Footbeds: Many skates come with standard footbeds, but consider upgrading to performance or orthotic insoles for better comfort and foot alignment.

8. Heat Molding: Many modern skates are heat moldable, allowing for a custom fit to your foot shape. Follow manufacturer guidelines or consult with a pro shop for heat molding services.

9. Break-in Period: New skates can be uncomfortable initially. It takes a few ice sessions for the skates to mold to your feet naturally. Wear them frequently for quicker break-ins. It’s not unusual to get blisters during this period.

10. Maintenance: Dry your skates after every session to prevent the buildup of bacteria and prolong their lifespan. Regularly check for signs of wear and tear. Damaged skates can impact performance and safety.

Best Women’s Hockey Skates

CCM Ribcor skates

CCM Ribcor 100K Ice Hockey Skates

The RibCor 100K Pro Hockey Skates feature CCM’s new one-piece flex boot technology. This provides great foot comfort without any pinch points.

With this one piece boot, you’ll also get more direct energy transfer and allow for faster strides.

The NHL caliber RFM composite material gives the boot a variable stiffness profile of 175-185 offering an excellent fit for any player.

A new feature on the Ribcor 100k Pro Hockey Skates is the ability to customize your tongue with the new XS tongue system. The replaceable multi-layer flex motion tongue with 7mm felt and an asymmetrical flex point will better fit your foot shape while offering advanced lace bite protection.

Bauer Vaper 3X skates

Bauer Vapor 3X Pro Ice Hockey Skates

The Vapor 3X Pro Hockey Skates are built with Bauer’s Injected flex system.

Rather than going with a highly stiff boot, this design allows for a very slight amount of flex within the boot, allowing it to conform to the natural shape of your foot, which helps with overall performance and comfort.

This design is constructed out of Bauer’s 3-D lasted Carbon Curv Composite material and Comfort Edge padding within the boot.

This setup provides a familiar snug, close-to-the-foot feel. Additionally, it is incredibly lightweight and durable as well, thanks to the Curv Composite material.

The X-Rib pattern on the back of the skates helps lock the heel into place for quicker crossovers and tighter turns.

True skates

True TF9 Senior Ice Hockey Skates

Starting with the boot, the True TF9 Senior Ice Hockey Skates are a culmination of thousands of foot scans and hundreds of hours of development to get as close to a custom skate fit as possible, in a stock skate.

The True TF9 shell uses TRUESHELL tech, their proprietary co-molded carbon fiber and thermoplastic one-piece shell creates a thermoformed boot. This provides a high level of protection and performance while staying ultra-lightweight.

Moving down the boot the TRUESHELL tech wraps the toe box providing superior protection while eliminating any weak points around high impact areas.

Moving to the top of the skate the True TF9 Senior skates feature an anatomical tongue with T-guard insert. The tongue has a stiff and contoured design allowing

The Life Of A Women’s Professional Hockey Player

Wrapping It Up

Women’s hockey is still experiencing rapid growth.

I couldn’t find any up-to-date data but I did find some going back a few years. 

Between 2007 and 2018 the number of registered female players worldwide grew from 153,665 to 205,674. Women’s hockey is on the rise in almost every part of the world and there are teams in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Latin America.*

*Source – iihf.com

As women’s hockey continues to grow, at some point it’s likely that someone is going to dedicate a skate line specifically to women players.

For now, most seem to be happy with wearing the same skates that men do.

You might also want to check out: Are used hockey skates a good purchase?

You might also like: CCM hockey skates review

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