Are Hockey Skates Harder Than Figure Skates? Let’s Find Out!

Are Hockey Skates Harder Than Figure Skates? Let’s Find Out!

Have you ever stood at the edge of an ice rink, watching skaters glide effortlessly across the ice, and wondered about the difference between hockey skates and figure skates? At first glance, one might think the primary difference lies in their design and aesthetic appeal. However, the distinctions between these two types of skates are not only profound but also engineered to enhance performance specific to their respective sports.

Hockey skates are built for speed, agility, and quick directional changes, while figure skates are designed for precision, artistry, and executing jumps and spins.

So, Are Hockey Skates Harder Than Figure Skates?

Deciding whether hockey skates are harder to master than figure skates depends on what you’re looking to do on the ice.

Hockey skates are designed for speed and agility, making them perfect for quick moves and fast play. This means they have a shorter blade that’s curved for turning fast.

Figure skates, on the other hand, have a longer blade with toe picks for jumps and spins, requiring a different balance technique.

For a beginner, standing and moving in figure skates might feel a bit easier because of this longer blade, offering more stability.

However, mastering the art of figure skating’s jumps and spins is a highly complex skill, just as mastering the fast, agile moves in hockey skating is challenging.

Each has its own learning curve, depending on your goals on the ice.

Whether one is harder than the other can depend largely on the individual skater’s natural abilities, dedication to practice, and ultimate ice skating goals.

Hockey Skates Vs Figure Skates For Beginners?

Choosing the right skates is important for anyone starting out in ice skating.

When it comes to hockey skates versus figure, each type is designed with specific features that cater to different activities on the ice.

Below is a comprehensive table that highlights their top differences.

CredentialsHockey SkatesFigure Skates
Design PurposeBuilt for speed, agility, and quick directional changes.Designed for precision, artistry, jumps, and spins.
Blade DesignArtistic movements jumps, spins, and beginners seeking balanceLonger, straight blade with toe picks at the front.
StabilityLess stable for beginners; designed for dynamic movement.More stable for beginners due to its longer blades.
Best ForFast-paced hockey games and skaters who prefer agilityArtistic Expression, Jumps, and Spins
Toe PickYes, Helps with Jumps/Prevents Falling ForwardNo
BalanceEasier to BalanceHarder to Balance

Design Purpose

Hockey skates are engineered for high-speed action. They’re perfect for quick turns and sudden stops, making them ideal for the rough and tumble of hockey games.

In contrast, figure skates are tailored for grace and precision. The design allows for intricate footwork and aerial maneuvers, essential for figure skating routines.

Blade Design

One of the most noticeable differences is the blade design. Hockey skates have shorter, curved blades making them responsive and agile.

They lack toe picks because hockey players need smooth surfaces to prevent tripping during fast play.

Hockey Vs Figure Skates

Figure skates come with longer, straight blades featuring toe picks at the front. These picks help skaters perform jumps and spins by digging into the ice for leverage.


For beginners, stability is key. Figure skates generally offer more stability than hockey skates because of the longer blade.

This can make initial learning phases more comfortable as you have a larger surface area to balance on.

Hockey skates might feel less stable at first due to the shorter blade, but they are designed for those who seek speed and agility once they become more confident on the ice.

Best For

Your choice between hockey skates and figure skates should align with what you aim to do on the ice. If you’re drawn to the intensity and speed of hockey, go for hockey skates.

They’ll cater to the quick movements and agility required.

On the other hand, if artistic expression, jumps, and spins captivate you, figure skates will better facilitate learning these techniques thanks to their design.

Can You Figure Skate In Hockey Skates?

One common question from beginners is whether you can figure skate in hockey skates. The simple answer is yes, you can, but it will be challenging.

Hockey skates are designed for speed and quick movements on the ice, not for the precise and graceful maneuvers required in figure skating.

The shorter, curved blade of hockey skates lacks the toe picks that are crucial for performing jumps and spins in figure skating.

Figure skating in hockey skates means you’d be missing the stability and support those toe picks provide during intricate moves.

Although both skates allow you to glide on ice, the design and purpose of the skates differ greatly.

figure vs hockey skates

Using hockey skates for figure skating would be like trying to paint a detailed portrait with a broad brush intended for wall painting.

You might manage some broad strokes, but the finer details will be harder to accomplish.

In essence, while you can attempt figure skating moves in hockey skates, the experience and the outcome will be far from ideal.

If you’re serious about pursuing figure skating, investing in a pair of figure skates would be beneficial.

This will not only make learning easier but will also ensure you’re equipped to perform to the best of your ability.

Remember, the right tools make all the difference in mastering a skill, and choosing the right type of ice skates is no exception.

Are Hockey Or Figure Skates Faster?

When we talk about speed on the ice, hockey skates take the trophy. Why? The shape and design of the blade play a big role.

Hockey skates have shorter blades that are slightly curved. This design helps the skater make quick turns and sudden stops easier. Imagine a race car; that’s how hockey skates are built for the ice – fast and agile.

On the other hand, figure skates are designed for grace and precision, not speed.

Their longer, straighter blades with toe picks are great for jumps and fancy moves but not for zipping across the ice as fast as possible.

Think about it like this: if you were racing from one end of the rink to the other, you’d probably get there quicker in hockey skates.

They’re like the sportscars of the ice world, built for speed and quick maneuvers.

But, it’s not just about the skates. The person wearing them makes a huge difference too. A skilled skater can make the most of their hockey skates, darting across the ice with speed and precision.

In contrast, figure skates, while beautiful for performing precise movements, just don’t have the same speed capability due to their design.

If speed is what you’re after, hockey skates are your best bet. Their design and functionality are tailored for fast-paced movement, making them the faster option on the ice.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which type of skates are more comfortable for casual skating?

Comfort is subjective and depends on the fit and personal preference. However, many casual skaters find figure skates to be more comfortable due to their slightly warmer construction and the extra ankle support provided by the longer boot.

Can I switch from figure skates to hockey skates or vice versa?

Yes, it’s possible to switch between the two types of skates, but it requires some adjustment. The skating techniques and balance points differ due to the variations in skate design. It’s recommended to take some time to practice and get accustomed to the new blade dynamics and support structure when switching skate types.

Last Words:

Lastly, learning Figure skates is much faster for a beginner than learning hockey skates. That’s because of the ultimate feature of balancing. Where hockey skates are hard to deal with, figure offer you an extensive level of balance. Besides, there are other advantages of picking figure skates over hockey skates. I hope this guide has helped you understand those benefits. If you have more queries to ask about hockey or figure skates, please feel heard. Also, browse other articles on hockey skates or other types of skates and learn skating better!


  • Harry Moore

    Hi, I am Harry, your Author at Skates Query. I have been skating since the age of 10. All these years, I have been into various skating parks in the USA and UK. I love skating, so I am here to help my fellow skating lovers by answering their queries or recommending the best skates with all my experience. If you don't find me writing, I'll be working at a Skate Shop in the UK, spending time with my loved ones, or probably at your nearest skating park!

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