When it comes to winter sports, you can find two types of skates— the figure skates and ice hockey skates. Figure skaters will use the figure skates while Ice hockey players will use hockey skates. Though both skates are for use on the ice, they have a few differences that set them apart. Besides, they perform different roles on the ice. So what are these differences?
Hockey skates vs figure skates
Looking at these two skates, you notice that they have differences that not only place them apart but give them different functions as well. The following are some of the areas in which figure skates and hockey skates are different.
- Usage of the skates
The first difference is between their usage. Figure skaters use their respective skates to glide, spin and jump numerous times on the ice during a competition in their game. And for hockey players, they use hockey skates for swift movements and maneuverability.
- The design of the blades
The two types of skates also differ sharply in the design of their blades and boots. First, figure skates have toe picks on their blades while this design might lack in hockey skates. Only a few hockey skates have it.
The function of the toe picks is to help figure skaters make excellent spins and jumps in their skating routine. The blades of the two types of skates also differ in terms of length. Figure skates have longer blades than hockey skates.
This makes the boots of figure skates longer as well. Also, the blades are larger, wider and heavier than those of hockey skates. Besides having more edges than the blades of hockey skates, figure skates’ blades are also replaceable and attachable.
You can also mount the blades of the figure skates individually to the boots with ease. And this feature has benefited figure skaters when they’re looking to perform different skating routines on the ice. They simply need to switch to the appropriate blades and they’ll be ready for the performance. The same cannot be said about the blades of hockey skates, which are firmly soldered on the base of the hockey boots.
As you have already seen, the blades on hockey skates are shorter and aren’t longer than the boots. They are narrow and deep to provide for fast speeds and quick movements. They’re round blades rather than edged ones.
- The design of the boots of the skates
Another noticeable difference is in the design of the boots of the two types of skates. Figure skates’ boots are made of multiple layers of leather, making them cost more than hockey skates’ boots.
Also, figure boots are slightly heeled and are made of wooden soles on the inside for excellent support for improved precision during skating routines. If you compare these boots with those of hockey skates, you will find that they are thinner, lighter and shorter.
- The level of comfort
In terms of comfort, you can expect to find great comfort from hockey skates, thanks to the heavy foam padding of the boots. Hockey boots are also made of leather but not as multi-layered as the figure boots. There’s also the addition of light plastic materials to the leathers for sufficient boots’ strength.
As such, hockey skates are easier to stand in compared to figure skates. Also, they’re more durable and are designed to handle all the challenges that you throw at them. Those are the major differences between the two types of skates.
Knowing the difference between the two types of skates will help you understand the roles of the two skates (figure skates and hockey skates) better concerning ice skating. Both of the skates are very important to the athletes who use them.
As such, they form part of the crucial equipment for the winter sports athletes wearing them. You now understand that a figure skater cannot opt for hockey skates since these two skates are designed for different performances on the ice.
The figure skates are for moving on the ice with great precision while the hockey skates are for speed and quick movements. Choosing the right skates as per the sport is, therefore, very important.