Are Ice Skates Heavy?

Ice skaters are renowned for having tons of stamina and strong legs. Watching figure skaters accomplish coordinated routines leaves little doubt of that. You might be wondering just how heavy the skates are that enable ice skaters of all kinds to display their athletic prowess.

Ice skates are not very heavy, typically they weigh around 2-5 pounds. On average the weight of ice skates is decreasing due to the advances in lighter, but more durable, synthetic materials. If ice skates were heavy they would slow down the athlete too much.

The weight of an ice skate can vary slightly depending on the type of skates you’re using. Materials, blades, and design can all alter the weight, we’re going to examine and compare all these factors in detail below.

How Much Do Ice Skates Weigh?

Ice skates tend to weigh around 2-5 pounds for figure skates and between 1.5-5 pounds for hockey skates. The differences in weight are attributed to several factors such as the blade, construction material, and the intended use of the skate.  

Ice skates can weigh as much as 5 pounds, especially if they’re older boots made out of leather. Generally, ice skates will hover around the 2-5 pound mark, but there are hockey boots that go as low as 1.5 pounds.

Modern synthetic plastics and fabrics have reduced the overall weight of skating equipment, it’s not common to find skates over 2.5 pounds anymore. Ice skaters want the lightest skates they can find, as heavier boots can shave a few millimeters off a jump or cost you a little bit of speed.

There is variation in weight between ice skates in the same category, but there are also a few differences between the weight of ice skates in different categories. Generally speaking, figure skates have longer blades and slimmer boots, whereas ice hockey skates have smaller blades and bulkier boots, which will affect their weight.

Are Ice Skates Heavier Than Roller Blades?

Roller blades tend to be heavier due to their extra components, such as wheels and padding. This is due to the use of a roller blade vs the use of an ice skate. While lighter roller blades are available it wouldn’t be recommended to buy them as they will be of lower quality.

Ice skates are significantly lighter than roller blades. The average roller blade weighs around 6-10 pounds, this is because roller blades tend to have inbuilt ankle support, as this aids balance and performance. However, this does bulk up the roller blades considerably.

Generally speaking, roller blades tend to trend heavier than ice skates, but cheap low-quality roller blades are much lighter, and they can go as low as 2-3 pounds. This is because the quality of the materials is lower, the roller blades aren’t as sturdy, and the wheels will be lighter and less robust.

Ice skates are lighter than roller blades because there are a lot of situations where you need to lift one boot or perform a quick jump. Whereas in roller blading, you’ll keep your feet lower to the ground and propel yourself forward with your legs. This means that creating lighter and lighter roller blades is not necessary, as there’s not much demand for them.

Are Figure Skates Heavier Than Hockey Skates?

Due to construction materials and design features, figure skates are generally heavier than hockey skates. For hockey skates it is key they are lightweight to give the best speed whereas figure skates are designed for technique.

Figure skates and hockey skates have similar weights, but there are differences in brands, designs, and materials that can make figure skates slightly heavier than hockey skates. Overall, how heavy or light these different skates are is largely down to the individual skate itself.

Generally speaking, figure skates are often made from layers of leather or synthetic leather, they also have much larger blades than hockey boots. These thicker longer blades give the skates more precision but add more weight.

Design Features

It may seem odd that figure skates are slightly heavier than hockey skates, but when you start to examine the details it becomes clear as to why. These two types of skates have completely different priorities for the sports that use them.

Figure skates are built for precision and acrobatic movements. The extra weight they have over ice hockey boots is not enough to negatively impact performance, or significantly increase the difficulty of these skills.

They use layers of fabric to provide the athlete’s foot with enough mobility to execute jumps and acrobatics. The trade-off is that these layers of fabric make figure skates slightly heavier than hockey skates.

Hockey Hazards

Hockey skates on the other hand are built for a blend of speed and protection, they are often made out of a mix between a plastic mold and fabric layers. The mold protects a hockey player’s foot from being damaged by hockey putts.

The blades on hockey skates are much smaller and lighter, plus they’re also riveted to the boot. Lighter and smaller blades help with acceleration and stops, also the plastic mold is much lighter than the layers of fabric used in figure skates.

How Much Weight Can Ice Skates Hold?

Ice skates can hold most weights, and many hockey players are over 200 pounds. If you are worried if you are too heavy, just make sure that your skates are made from good quality materials and they fit you well.

Ice skates can break down from wear and tear, and the weight of the wearer does affect that. Even if you’re on the larger side you shouldn’t be worried about the skates not supporting your weight, but there are some important details to understand when considering what ice skates are best for you.

There’s No Weight Limit

There are plenty of ice hockey players who weigh above 200 pounds, plus their skates are designed to withstand impact from other players. There’s also a ton of equipment that can greatly increase the weight the skates have to bear, even if you’re on the heavier side the skates will be able to hold up.

There is one important part of the boot that can be affected by weight. All ice skates have something called a “holder”, this is the part of the skate that keeps the blade in place. The holder needs to be made of good quality materials, as a heavier skater can cause the holder to break.

If your weight allows you to move about off the ice, you’re not too heavy to pick up a pair of skates and start. The most important thing is to get skates of good quality that fit you well, they’re built to withstand high amounts of force and impact.

Why Can Ice Skates Feel Heavy?

Ice skates feel heavy due to an incorrect fit. If your foot can move freely inside the boot it will impact your balance and tire you out. It is also not unusual to feel heavy to a beginner as they are different from regular shoes, especially if you are used to wearing sneakers most of the time.

It’s not uncommon to hear skaters complain that their boots feel heavy, or that their legs are getting tired, especially if they’re new. This feeling of heaviness usually comes down to skates not fitting well.

Your ice skates must fit your feet snugly because a loose ice skate will rattle around your foot and make it incredibly difficult to balance properly. This causes you to get tired much more quickly, especially if you are not used to using the lower leg muscles in the way ice skating uses them.

If you’re new to ice skates in general it can take some time to feel comfortable in them. Figure skates in particular are also known to take a while to get used to. Ice hockey boots, despite restricting your mobility more, can often feel quite comfortable, as they support your feet a little more.

How Big Are Ice Skates?

Generally, ice skates come in the same sizes as your regular shoes, but it’s better to have a snug fit than a loose fit so it can be beneficial to size down. The actual size of the skate itself can vary though as hockey skates are generally larger than figure skates.

Ice skates are sized down compared to normal shoes, your average adult skate will usually be 1.5 sizes down from your normal shoe size as they have to fit snugly. Ice skates are generally quite slim, but the blades can contribute to them looking bigger than they are.

The type of boot also affects the size of the skate, hockey skates, despite generally being lighter than figure skates, have a much blockier and thicker appearance. Figure skates tend to have a much sleeker look, as the focus is on the skater and not the skates.

The most important thing is that ice skates have a fairly tight fit but are still comfortable to wear, it might take a little time to feel comfortable in the boots depending on the overall quality.

Final Thoughts

Overall, ice skates are not that heavy, typically weighing 5 pounds at the most. They are significantly lighter than rollerblades and modern advancements in materials, design, and technology are creating lighter and light ice skates.