Figure skates vs hockey skates

Figure skates vs hockey skates

Although Figure and Hockey skates look a lot alike, there are enough changes between them that each has pros and cons. 

Ice skating is a famous winter sport that people worldwide love. Whether you skate professionally or just for fun, getting the right skates is important. Hockey and figure skates are common, and each has its own features.

Hockey skates are for speed and quickness, so the blades are shorter and bigger for quick turns. On the other hand, figure skates have longer, thinner blades that are great for spinning and sliding.

Each type of skate has its own features and benefits. This article is a good place to start if you need help deciding whether to buy hockey or figure skates. Here, we will thoroughly discuss Figure skates vs Hockey skates.

Figure ice skates

The figure skate’s blade is the thing that makes it stand out. It is different from a hockey skate blade because it has a toe pick on the front of it. When figure skaters want to jump or do a turn, they press their toes into the ice.

Ice Skates For Hockey

The stiff boot of a hockey skate is consists of synthetic material, such as plastic. It protects the feet from the hard puck, hockey sticks, and the skates of other players. The blade is rocker than a figure skate blade because it is rounded upward at the front and back and attached to a hockey skate by a plastic holder.

Figure skates vs hockey skates; comparison

Figure skates vs hockey skates; comparison
source: forest hill

1. Weight 

Hockey skates are lighter than figure skates. The latter is simpler to handle and less prone to wear out the ankles or feet since it is more delicate.

Hockey skatewearers can skate further before getting the need to stop than figure skaters can. Hockey skate users can go faster because of the reduced weight of their equipment.

2. Features

Hockey and figure skating are both sports, yet they couldn’t be more unlike. Hockey and figure skates serve various purposes. Hence, their designs are varied.

Hockey skates’ construction allows quick stops, direction changes, and resistance to sticks and pucks. Figure skates’ structure enables twists, leaps, and acrobatic maneuvers.

1. The blades

Short, curved blades are typical of hockey skates. Thanks to the curved blade design, wearers can navigate effectively, build up speed or slow down as necessary, and avoid sinking too deeply into the ice surface.

Although hockey skates feature curved blades, this does not imply that they lack sharp edges. Even with sharp knives, hockey skates may still harm you.

Figure skates, on the other hand, have long, flat blades. They also have “teeth” at the toe. They give skaters a stronger grip for maintaining balance but at the sacrifice of their ability to make sharp turns and accelerate quickly.

2. Speed

Figure skaters can build up the speed necessary to stride, jump, and do other maneuvers because of the long skates’ blades. However, since it is longer, the edge stands out and is more likely to cut someone else.

The boots on which the figure skating blades are attached may sometimes have new blades inserted. This allows for the many edges available for different forms of figure skating. Consider the differences between speed skates, leisure ice skates, and rollerblades.

3. Boot

In addition to having different blades, hockey and figure skates feature different boot designs.

Hockey skates are sturdy and stiff to protect the users’ feet, especially their toes, from sticks and pucks used in a game. Hockey players may quickly scuff or break their toes without this sturdy quality.

The players of hockey also depend on the stiff boot to prevent their ankles from breaking, as they would with figure skates, while making rapid spins or abrupt stops.

4. Flexibility

Flexibility is a trait that the rugged build sacrifices. However, hockey players don’t need it as much as figure skaters. To do twists and leaps, among other figure skating moves, figure skaters rely on the flexibility around their ankles.

Due to their supple construction and lower stiffness than hockey skates, figure skates are built of malleable materials. Since no exterior things are protected against, they are also thinner.

5. Cost

Due to the irreplaceable nature of their blades, hockey skates might be more costly. However, you may attach fresh knives to figure skates. Other elements, including the brand and size, can affect how much a pair of hockey or figure skates cost.

6. Compare Performances

Even though hockey and figure skates may look the same to the untrained eye, they were made for different reasons, so they work differently.

  • Hockey skates are made for the fast pace of hockey games, so they stop and start quickly and with a lot of force. Their bent blades help them make tighter turns and stop more precisely when they have to stop soon. This gives players a clear advantage when the game is fast and uncertain.
  • On the other hand, figure skates, which have a toe pick at the front of the blade, are better for doing jumps and spins, which could make stopping quickly more difficult.
  • Figure skates really shine when it comes to doing spins. Their design is based on giving them great balance and accuracy, which is needed to do amazing jumps and spins.
  • The toe pick helps skaters get off the ice when they jump, and the longer blade makes spins more stable.
  • On the other hand, hockey skates are not usually made so that you can spin on them. Even though the bent blade is good for quick moves, keeping your balance during spins might be harder.
  • Figure skates are made to make jumping easier, and the toe pick is a key part of the design that helps skaters get off the ice.
  • Hockey skates, on the other hand, don’t have a toe pick and shorter blades, making it harder to do jumps and land them.

7. Turning Points

Both hockey sticks and figure skates are good at turning but in different ways. Hockey skates have bent blades so players can make quick, sharp turns, which is important in the small spaces of a hockey game.

Figure skaters, on the other hand, usually do longer, more fluid turns. The longer length of a figure skate blade makes it more stable, which is just what you need for these beautiful circling turns.

8. Ability To Move

In general performance, hockey skates are the best at turning and stopping quickly and precisely because of their bent blades.

On the other hand, steadiness is what figure skates are all about. Their larger blades make them more balanced, which is important for making beautiful hops and spins.

Hockey skates focus on speed and quickness, while figure skates are about ease and accuracy. The choice between the two depends mostly on what the skater wants to do on the ice.

Pros of figure skates

  • A figure skate moves smoothly and turns in long, sweeping curves. It does amazing jumps, flips in the air, and turns in place very well. When going on long one-foot glides, the longer blade helps. 
  • The boot consist of many layers of leather and has a wooden bottom on the inside to give it strength. The leather is tight enough to support the ankle but also flexible enough to move with the foot when jumping and turning. 
  • When you need a new blade, a figure skater’s blade comes off easily and quickly. The longer edge gives them more surface area, so they’ll get faster as they move down the rink.

Cons of figure skates

  • The long blade of a figure skate is not designed for speed or fast direction changes. Using it on the ice with other people is also more risky since the long blade extending out can contact them. 
  • The material is quite thin and will not withstand impacts effectively.
  •  It also takes time to break them in, which might take many weeks. 
  • While a figure skate is ideal for beginners, they may be tempted to misuse the toe pick and attempt to push off or start and stop with it.

Pros of Hockey skates

  • With a shorter blade and a more round curve than figure skates, hockey skates excel at rapid turns and settling into the ice. Because there are more rockers, they spin more easily. 
  • Their lightweight design is pleasant and helps players train for extended periods without becoming fatigued.
  •  Pucks and hockey sticks bounce straight off, enabling little impact to reach the feet. 
  • Padding will be added to the design depending on whether or not you are a goaltender. Because hockey skates are lower to the ground than figure skates, they are also very simple to stand in.

Cons of Hockey skates

  • Hockey skates do not glide easily, and gaining speed requires greater work and pushing against the ice. 
  • While it was designed to provide maximum protection, it did not offer comfort. 
  • If the laces aren’t tight enough, hockey skates can be painful and cause sores. 
  • It might also be difficult for beginners to maintain their balance when wearing hockey skates.
  •  If you lose your balance, you will quickly fall forward or backward and can only catch yourself if you know how to push with the blade.


In conclusion, there are big differences between hockey skates and figure skates.

Hockey skates put speed, quickness, and control first with their shorter, wider blades and stronger boots.

Figure skates have longer, flatter blades and softer, more flexible boots, making spins, jumps, and movement easier.

Picking one over the other relies on your own goals and tastes.

Figure skates are better for jumps and more complicated moves, while hockey skates are better for speed and quickness.

It’s important to remember that both types of skates can cause accidents, and you should put on the right safety gear and learn before trying more advanced moves.


Q: Is there a difference between ice skates and figure skates?

Figure skating blades are longer than hockey blades, which might aid with balance. 

Q: Can you use figure skates for hockey?

Only the most fundamental, initial motions, such as learning to balance, stop, and stroke on skates, are interchangeable between hockey and figure skates.

Q: Is figure skating a female-dominated sport?

Figure skating is often viewed as a feminine sport in which participants display elegance, suppleness, coordination, and emotional expression (all of which are socially characterized as feminine attributes and characteristics).

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