The BEST Ice Skates for Beginners [2018 Reviews]

Ice skating is a fun activity to indulge in. As a beginner perhaps you will experience thrill on the inside and a little intimidation on the outside, yet there is a first to everything.

Apart from merely skating forward, making stops, and turning which are considered basic in ice skating, you will be anxious to go beyond in the shortest time possible.

For this to be possible, you need to select a good skate from the best ice skates for beginners available in the stores because your learning curve is directly related to the quality of gear you will have on the ground.

Looking at the top ice sates for beginners

Ice Skates for BeginnersWomen's Tricot Lined
Ultima Glacier GS180Ultima Softec Classic ST2300119 Emerald
BrandAmerican AthleticJacksonJacksonRiedell
Outer LiningVinylVinylNylonUrethane
TongueForm fitting padded split tongueFoam PaddingFoam PaddingLeather reinforced
Outsole-Charcoal PVC-PVC
Inner LiningFull quarter paddingNylex FoamThinsulateDri-Lex
BladesNickel-plated steelNickelNickel-platedStainless Steel Luna blade
Toe PickYesNoYesNo

This issue specially for beginner skaters focuses on some top ice skates designed for the beginner along with some useful tips in our buyer’s guide to equip them

Best Ice Skates for Beginners 2018: Reviewed

1. American Athletic Shoe Women’s Tricot Lined Ice Skates

The Women’s Tricot Lined Ice Skates by American Athletic Shoe makes it top of our review. These entry level ice skates feature comfort at its best with a padded tongue and full quarter padding for the lining. They are great for the once-in-a-while recreational skaters who plan to start off their thrill on ice rinks.


The Tricot Lined skates are made of a vinyl upper along with steel blades plated with nickel making them not only durable but easy to clean. It is also designed with a toe pick at the front of the blade, which is what beginner skaters rely on to master some balance on ice.

Overall they are definitely a charming white pair of boots and plates for the ladies out for style. However, they are also long lasting if used for the right purpose. Remember, they may not be the best for frequent use.

Tongue and Lining

Like most other top quality skates, these too come with a padded tongue and lining for the sole function of comfort and warmth.

Other Features

Quite uniquely, the sizing of these boots match that of your real shoe size so you will have an easy time getting the right size. This skate is also designed with multiple layers of ankle support and comes with tough cotton laces for easy fastening.


  • These boots are designed with great comfort detail which won’t disappoint
  • Skates come ready to wear with blades already mounted on the boots
  • Their blades are sharpened at the factory guaranteeing a good grip on ice


  • Blades are only ideal for the recreational infrequent entry-level figure skater


For entry level figure skating, the Tricot Lined Ice Skates are definitely a good bargain. However, if you are sure you have done your practice and feel like you are getting to the next level of your skating, you may consider getting other stronger skates. Finally, they come with a classy design with two color options, white and black. If comfort is your greatest priority, these skates make an excellent option.

2. Jackson Ultima Glacier GS180 Ladies

Here is yet another pair of lovably soft pair of recreational skates for the beginner intending to indulge in figure skating specifically axel and double jumps. They are lined on the inside with a soft material making them comfortable throughout your ride. Apart from this they offer great ankle support and foot protection.


The GS180 is designed with a charcoal PVC outsole and a completely lined vinyl upper for easy care and toughness. Unlike the Tricot Lined Ice Skates, these ones are ideal for prolonged use thanks to a tough outsole with great shock and impact absorption properties. Furthermore, these soles reduce the overall weight of the skates. The blades on the other hand are made of nickel.

Its inside is lined with nylex foam for utmost comfort and warmth which sets the difference in its functionality and offers a snug fit too. Its tongue too is padded with foam to enhance comfort.


With a stiffness rating of 65, you can expect that they will be good enough for beginners advancing to an intermediate ability level in ice skating. Quite importantly, they are 1.5 size down from your normal shoe size but you will still need to try them out physically to get the right fit.


  • Great option for beginners intending to extend their use to an intermediate level
  • Comfort at its best along with a great fit on the ankles and arches
  • They are breathable thanks to their microfibre lining
  • Both narrow and wide-footed individuals can find a great fit


  • Those used to normal she sizing might find it challenging ordering the right size especially online but this is definitely not a deal breaker.


These are one of the very few pairs of beginner skates that had nothing much in terms of cons. We loved their comfort detail, toughness and material construction. They are certainly a recommended purchase.

3. Jackson Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 Ice Skates / Available colors: Black, White, Navy

The Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 by Jackson is a great entry level pair of skates for those intend to spend their time practising.


The ST2300 comes in a nylon upper coupled with Thinsulate lining for an easy clean, excellent insulation and of course durability. Their classy 2-colored outsole are designed with blades coated with nickel along with a toe pick to yield stability at its best.


The fully lined upper and foam padded tongue makes this skate among the most comfortable skates for beginners. Its inside is a true reflection of its name. Lined with tough yet soft fleece that feels really soft on your feet, you can rest assured you will be warm and comfortable throughout.

Great support and stability

With a molded footbed you don’t need some time for the Softec Classic Ultima boots to pack out. They are good to go right out of the box.

Other Convenience Features

The Softec Classic ankle straps are designed with a velcro closure slightly above the ankle for a firm grip once fastened. Additionally they are designed with lace loops for easy lace pull when you need to fasten your laces.


  • Snickers-like comfort throughout
  • Pre-attached blades for convenience
  • Ready to use out of the package, no need for breaking in time


  • Its boots are a little bulky which is not good for those looking for precision
  • Its basic blade limits you to recreational skating and not difficult jumps and spins


The Ultima Softec Classic ST2300 skates obviously represent careful designing and quality construction making it a high end pair for the serious starter. Comfort too was definitely not compromised so there is no worrying about the slightest of discomfort with these skates.  

4. Riedell 119 Emerald – White Ladies Figure Skate

The 119 Emerald by Riedell is a great option recommended by instructors for first time skaters yet they are designed with such an amazing detail they will definitely charm you and prove their functionality.


These skates feature an open throat design with double microfibre reinforced uppers topped with urethane coating. Just to get this into perspective, they feature the all so effective Dri-Lex lining which features a textile with great moisture management properties and ultimately excellent breathability to keep your feet dry and odorless at all times. Its tongue features premium leather reinforcement to enhance its durability and protective features.  The Emerald 119 skates are also designed with a PVC outsole.

Secondly, it comes with a lace bar that looks more like it has been studded with emeralds making it look top of class in style. Along with a stainless steel luna blade that will definitely not disappoint your expectations in terms of performance.

Comfort and Feet Protection

These skates, quite uniquely, come with an achilles tendon collar that is padded to enhance their comfort and stability. Their boot’s support level is rated 30 meaning they are light enough on the beginner foot and will sure give them an easy time out on the ice. With a higher toe-box design at its front, your toes are very well protected. Finally, to cater for different preferences, it comes in two color options; white and black.


  • Well padded on the inside, uppers and tongue; great comfort
  • Dri Lex lining offers comfort and excellent breathability for dry feet
  • High toe-box design for utmost toe protection
  • Light support


  • A few users had issues with its rounded end which affects stability


The Emerald 119 are great entry level figure skates for the adult beginner. Its careful design can only mean that the manufacture had the best intention as far as comfort and function are concerned. We certainly recommend them to any beginner out for quality.

Beginners Ice Skates Buying Guide

Ice skating first started in Scandinavia obviously as a winter sport and fast spread to other parts of the world thanks to its fun oriented challenge and also the fact that it is a good way to work out and keep fit. There is no denying that this is a physically demanding activity yet still millions upon millions continue to pour themselves into its thrill.

Types of Ice Skates

Beginners will obviously start off with entry level skates designed with synthetic outer and inner lining with a basic blade as they need more comfort, support and a snug fit to help them achieve a balance. There are three main types of ice skates:

  • Figure skates: These are the most ideal skates for beginners. As figure skating involves jumps, turns, spins, and other styles uniformly with other skaters, figure skates are designed with a focus on flexibility. Typically, they come with long sharp blades for accuracy and speed, a toe-pick at the front and a short tail at the rear. The toe pick makes it easy to jump and spin.
  • Ice Hockey skates: Unlike figure skates which are designed for speed and flexibility, ice hockey skates are designed to hold up high pressure. Their boots are a bit flat and slim and do not come with a toe pick rather they are curved at the front and the rear.  Again they are lighter and more supportive to adapt to the nature of ice hockey.
  • Speed Skates: These skates are definitely oriented to high speed hence they are designed with long and slim blades that extend beyond both ends of the skates. Again you will notice that most of them are not directly fixed to the boot because they need to keep the rider on top of the ice rather than dig in, increase friction and reduce speed. These skates are a no-no for the beginner.

Some Brands to Consider for Beginner Skates

Here are two top brands which design some quality skates for beginners.

1. Jacksons

Apparently, this is the most popular manufacturer. They offer top quality figure and ice hockey skates for all levels, beginners included. Of specific interest to many are their Ultima Softec and Mystique skates which are designed with utmost comfort for the feet.

2. Riedell

Riedell has managed to capture beginner skaters making their purchase for the very first time as well as some recreational skaters thanks to their wide range of comfort and support skates. They also have a mid-level product line popular with skaters advancing in their skills.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Beginner Ice Skates

  • Fit: Skates need to fit snugly without any movement around the heel. The size of your skates definitely affects your experience on ice. Depending on the brand you will opt for, it is best to physically try out a pair of skates before making your final purchase. Alternatively, know how to convert your actual shoe size to the size chart your specific manufacturer is using.
  • Your Weight – Heavier weight means high level boot and vice versa.
  • How frequently you will skate – Most recreational skates are designed for infrequent basic use with less stiffness and will not hold up advanced ice skating activities.  
  • Ability level – Beginner skaters will go for basic blade skates with comfortable and supportive boots. Intermediate or advanced ice skaters who are likely to engage in jumps, spins, ice dances, or speed skating will obviously go for more sophisticated skates. Most of them also come pre assembled.
  • Padding and Support – Because beginners usually start by working on their balance, a pair of skates with great padding and support on the inner lining and tongue will come in handy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should I position my body when skating on ice?

First and foremost and this is the most common mistake with beginners, is to stand straight up. The correct body position is bent knees so that most of your body weight will be transferred to the balls of your feet.

Secondly, have your stomach drawn back in, your chest forward and to maintain balance more easily, keep your arms out at your sides. Once you master this body posture you will be ready to move and to make turns and jumps.

  • Which is the best for a beginner, a boot-blade combination package or separate boot and blades purchase?

For beginners it is advisable to go for a package with both boots and blades. These is because beginners apart from finding it a little challenging to make the right selection, will find it even hard to buy compatible boots and blades separately. In fact, most entry level skates come in one package.

  • My skates keep slipping on ice, what could be the problem?

The most probable cause for slipping skates, and this is dangerous, are blunt blades. Ice skates need sharp blades to have a better grip on the ice. Again blunt blades are usually an indication that they have been used over a long period of time.

  • How often should I sharpen my blades and how sharp should they be?

Ideally, sharp blades offer a great grip on ice giving you the balance you need while skating. Your blades need to maintain a certain degree of sharpness for you to have a constant learning curve. The moment your stability begins to feel awkward and you seem to be out of control on ice, it means your blades are dulling and it’s time to sharpen them.

In general, sharpening needs to be done after every 20 to 40 hours of skating. Secondly, how sharp your blades should be is measured by a depth referred to as radius of hollow (ROH). For general skating,a  range between ⅝ and 7/16 inches is acceptable. ,


The best ice skates for beginners varies with different factors based on preference. However, there is always what will be best for your specific needs and this is what you need to go for. When selecting your first pair of beginner skates, remember comfort and stability are a priority.

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