Soft Boot Recreational Ice Skates
Here is a collection of skates featuring the new "soft boot" style.
These skates are constructed more like an inline skate than traditional leather or vinyl skates.
Soft boot figure skates feature a padded liner that is warmer and far more comfortable than traditional skates.
This makes them wonderful recreational skates, especially for outdoor or "pond" skating. Soft boot figure skates have blades with toe picks, which generally are a recreational size pick, not the "jumping pick" found on more advanced figure skates.
Soft boot hockey skates are recreational skates with a hockey-style blade (no toe picks.) They are not designed for competitive hockey use, but a casual player might use them for a "pick up" game on the pond. They are not really designed to take a hit from a puck or a stick, so if you are looking to play at even a moderate level you may wish to choose a traditional, stiff hockey skate.
Don't let the comfort of the soft boot skates surprise you. They actually offer quite a bit of support. In fact, the ankle support of the soft boot models is far better than that offered by the lower priced vinyl figure skates.
We have been offering soft-boot skates since they were introduced and the category continues to grow each year. For the past several years, the major skate manufacturers have been offering a rental version of the soft boot skates and the popularity of the rentals has really propelled skaters to buy their own soft boot skates when the time came. One rental shop manager told me that their old "brownies" (leather traditional rentals) were going to "last forever" because nobody wanted to rent them anymore!
If you or your child are taking lessons, soft boot skates will be perfectly appropriate for all of the basic skills levels. If you aspire to jump and spin, you will need to move up to a "real" leather figure skate when the time comes.