Hockey Skate Brands
The best of the best
The hockey equipment business is very competitive and although there are many brand names on the market some of the major companies have actually merged together. Mission and Itech have joined forces and Nike and Bauer have done likewise. CCM, Koho and Jofa are all subsidiaries of The Hockey Company of Montreal and are now all generally sold under the Reebok name, which is the world's largest manufacturer of hockey equipment.
Some of the top brands of hockey skates on the market are produced by ITECH/Mission, Bauer/Nike, CCM, Graf and Easton. However, there are also some other ice hockey skate manufacturers out there who may not be as well known to the general public, but make fine skates. Companies such as Ferland, Flite, Freesport, Rebellion and Tour also manufacture various types of hockey skates.
When you are searching for a pair of hockey skates you may want to find out more about the manufacturer and find out if the lines of skates are similar to each other, eg. Nike skates and Bauer skates may be made by the same company, but you may prefer one make over the other as they have different characteristics. You may also find that skates made under different brand names may fit your feet differently as some manufacturer's skates are suited for wider feet while other brands may be suited for people with higher or lower insteps. A size 10 Bauer skate may fit you differently than a size 10 Graf skate, so don't go by sizing numbers – always go by fit.
Many older hockey players are very loyal to their skate manufacturer and will stand by them by only using their brand of skate. However, if you are a newcomer to the sport of hockey it is a good idea to try on various brands of skates to see which ones fit you the best and offer you the protection, feel, and weight you are looking for.
Because of the nature and competitiveness of the business, many skate manufacturers are coming out with new and improved models of their skates each and every year. When shopping for a pair of skates it's always a good idea to find out if the model you are interested in is still being produced or if it has been discontinued. The pair of skates you are trying out in the sports store could actually be three to four years old already.
Remember, you can buy the skates as a whole unit, but you can also purchase the blades and blade holders separately if they need to be replaced or if you prefer a certain brand of blades over another.