3 Great Ice Hockey Skates Under $200 in 2023 (That Won’t Break the Bank)

Are you new to hockey and looking to pick up some gear?

Well, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably gone wide-eyed looking at the prices of hockey equipment.

Dropping a few thousand dollars just to get started is very common in the sport.

But, you don’t need to worry. You can get adequate skates for under $200.

You just need to know how to find them.

That’s why I made this article—to show you the best budget-friendly skates on the market.

In this article, we’ll show you the 3 best hockey skates for under $200 in 2023. 

Let’s begin.

Best Overall: Bauer Vapor X3.5 

If you’re looking for some solid budget-friendly hockey skates, then the Bauer Vapor X3.5s are going to be among the best out there.

While these skates aren’t brand new (they came out in 2021), they offer great value for the price in 2023.


  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • Budget-friendly


  • Not very durable
  • Runners aren’t replaceable
Skate FeaturesBauer Vapor Hyperlite Ratings
Sizing Versatility2/10
Time to Break-In8/10

The Bauer Vapor X3.5s are almost as good as mid-tier skates—despite technically being low-tier.

This entry-level skate is both flexible and comfortable.

Featuring a 3D Polycarb quarter construction—it offers skaters added flexibility through the boot’s form. They fit surprisingly well to the natural shape of your feet.

The skates also come with a microfiber liner inside the boot designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable during the game.

One downside to the skates is that the runners aren’t replaceable. This means once the blade (steel) goes, you’ll have to buy brand new skates.

While the X3.5s pale in comparison to top-of-the-line skates, they provide a great choice for anyone looking to play hockey recreationally.

If you’re looking for skates that provide a ton of value without breaking your bank, this is likely the best choice available. 

Runner-Up: CCM Super Tacks 9360

The second best hockey skates under $200 are the CCM Super Tacks 9360s.

These hockey skates almost took first place in our under $200 category, as we rated it X out of 100 overall.


  • Nice, stiff boot
  • Very comfortable for the price
  • Affordable
  • Good ankle support


  • Very few sizing options remain
  • Runners aren’t replaceable
Skate FeaturesCCM Super Tacks AS3 Pro Ratings
Sizing Versatility1/10
Time to Break-In8.5/10

Overall, the CCM Super Tacks 9360 skates are a solid pair of skates for the price.

These skates have reinforced 3D injected boots—a recent boot-shaping system that’s very ergonomic. This technology allows the boot to form really well to the feet.

The comfortability is probably the best component of the 9360s.

They also feature a 7mm felt tongue with embossed lace-bite protection for maximum ankle comfort.

Plus, these skates are also a great option for new players since they’re quite stiff. With a stiffness performance index of 125, the 9360s provide a solid foundation for ankle support.

Similar to the Bauer Vapor X3.5s, the runners on the skates aren’t replaceable. This means once the blade starts to wear down, you’ll have to completely replace your skates. 

Another downside is that this is a slightly older pair, which means there isn’t a ton of availability size-wise. 

However, if you can get a pair in your size, the CCM Super Tacks 9360 are great for newer players who are wanting to save a bit on a decent pair of skates.

Best Budget: Bauer Expedition Rec

If you’re brand new to hockey and aren’t ready to invest a bunch of money into the sport yet, then the Bauer Expedition Recs are for you.

These are the lowest-priced entry level skates by a major brand—and offer a decent starter’s experience to skating.


  • The most affordable skates from a major brand
  • Nicely insulated for outdoor rinks and ponds
  • Great for recreational skaters


  • Not meant for competitive hockey
  • Very poor performance
  • Doesn’t have as many sizing option
Skate FeaturesBauer Expedition Rec Ratings
Sizing Versatility3/10
Time to Break-In6.5/10

The Bauer Expedition Recs are the skates to buy if you’re wanting to learn how to skate on a budget, are a bit interested in the game, or you just want a pair to go skating every now and then.

These skates were designed for solid support and fit for a budget-friendly skate.

They include a removable, insulated comfort liner for some nice padding to keep your feet both warm and dry—perfect for skating on outdoor rinks and ponds.

If you’re serious about playing hockey—you should know that these skates don’t offer much at all in terms of performance. 

In fact, these skates aren’t recommended to be used competitively—even in beer league.

But, what these skates are good for is the option to learn how to skate in a way that’s very affordable.

If you’re wanting to test out the waters with hockey or even just skating in general, then the Expedition Recs are a nice affordable option from a trusted brand in Bauer.

3 Tips for Buying Skates Under $200

If you’re looking for budget-friendly skates, it’s important to keep in mind a few common buyer tips when shopping around.

While skates range from entry level ($50-$200), mid-tier ($300-$700) to top-tier ($800-$1,100), they also vary in what you should look for.

When looking for entry level skates, you should keep in mind that these skates aren’t meant for high-performance skating. They’re made for recreational skaters and hockey players.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your entry level skates:

1. Focus on Fit

If you’re looking for a pair of budget-friendly, entry-level skates, the most important aspect has to be the fit.

Even if you’re not willing to spend $500+ on a pair of skates, you still need to make sure they fit your feet properly.

Of course, higher-priced skates will have better ergonomics. But, lower end skates are much more volatile.

You could find two pairs for under $200 that look similar—but could feel way different.

A good fit is especially important if you plan on skating even a handful times each year. Keep in mind, there will be a breaking-in period where they’ll need to adjust to your feet.

But, if you’re in pain every time you step on the ice after 5-10 skates, then the fit is likely off.

2. Consider Boot Stiffness

The stiffness of your boot is the next most important aspect of picking the right pair of skates. 

Top-tier skates typically are the stiffest. While lower end skates are usually more flexible.

If you’re brand new to hockey or skating, then you’ll want boots that are stiffer. The reason is because your boot will be more sturdy, giving you more control and balance.

Entry level skates will more than likely be a bit flexible, so you’ll want to aim for a pair that’s a bit stiffer if you can find them.

3. Get Replaceable Blades If You Can

Something you should keep in mind when looking for skates is durability. 

The truth is, any skates under $200 are considered entry level and will be less durable than mid or top-tier skates.

But, there are certain aspects to durability. There’s the durability of your entire skate. Then, there’s the durability of your blades.

Most mid or top-tier skates come with replaceable runners. This means when it starts to wear down, you can get different runners installed.

This allows you to keep using your skates for longer periods of time. 

But, most low-end skates don’t feature the ability to replace the blades. 

This is the trade off you need to consider when buying entry level skates (like those under $200): are you only going to use these a few times every year?

Or… are you planning on using these a few times a week in a league for a few years?

If you’re thinking you’ll be playing frequently and competitively, then you may want to consider looking at mid-tier skates or top-tier skates as they’re going to be much more durable.

However, if you’re just looking to play a bit here or there, or aren’t ready to commit to spending a few hundred dollars on gear, then entry level skates should work just fine.

For more hockey gear tips and recommendations, check out these guides: How to Remove Hockey Jersey Wrinkles, Bauer vs. CCM Sticks (Everything You Should Know), and 3 Great Hockey Skates for Ankle Support.





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