Not too long ago, I bought a nice pair of new hockey skates. I figured if I was going to get high-end hockey skates, I might as well get some boss skate guards, too. When spending $400 on hockey skates, another $20 on good skate guards doesn't seem like such a big deal. The Pro Hockey Skate Guards by Elite Hockey are top-of-the-line and are better than any skate guard that I've used.
First, if you are relatively new to hockey or ice skating, there are two main types of skate guards. There are the rubber kind of skate guards, which can be cut down to size and are made to walk in while wearing your skates. However, the darn things fall off seemingly any time I need to walk in my skates -- say to step outside for a moment or walk across a "skate-unfriendly" area. The rubber skate guards are also kind of bulky, making your skates harder to carry by the blades and tough to fit into hockey bags that have dedicated pockets for skates.
The other type of skate guards are the fabric "fluffy" kind, which stretch to fit over your skate blades. Because they are fabric, they will absorb moisture off of your blades; something the rubber skate guards will not do. But they aren't good for walking in, because your blades aren't really protected. I'd be afraid of damaging my blades if I walked over concrete while wearing fluffy skate guards on my skates.
This brings us to the Elite Hockey Pro Hockey Skate Guard, which offers the best of both worlds, combining fabric and rubber for the ultimate skate guard. Sounds silly, I know, but if you're going to shell out the bucks for skates, you might as well take care of them too.
Anyway, on to the review.
Fit - ★★★★★
Pro Hockey Skate Guards come in two "Senior" sizes: Large, which fits skates sizes 6 to 10, and Extra Large, which fits skates sizes 10 and up. If you are a woman who wears skates smaller than size 6, there are also "Junior" sizes of the Pro Hockey Skate Guards. These have an elastic band around the top which fits snugly around the truck (the part that holds the blade) of your skate. There is also a groove inside of these guards for your skate blade to settle into.
Protection - ★★★★★
The bottom of the Pro Hockey Skate Guards are rubber with treads. These will protect your skate blades if you walk in your skates over a "skate-unfriendly" surface. The treads are a nice touch, as you might have to walk over a "skate-unfriendly" surface that is also wet. If you carry your skates by the trucks, like a handle, your hands will be protected from the blades, too.
Absorbancy - ★★★★★
Since the Pro Hockey Skate Guards are mostly made of fabric, they will absorb moisture away from your blades. Normally, I remove my skate guards from my skates when I get home from the rink, to let my skates and the guards properly dry out. However, I have forgotten to do this before -- sometimes for a week or longer -- and yet my blades would be dry and rust-free. Interestingly, the outside of these skate guards are made of a water-resistant fabric, so moisture from outside the skate guards won't get absorbed into them.
Versatility - ★★★★★
The Elite Hockey Pro Hockey Skate Guards will stay on when you walk in them and won't make your skates too bulky to fit in a "skate pocket" of a hockey bag. They are also easy to grab if you want to carry your skates by the trucks. Overall, these skate guards are perfect in any situation.
Cost - ★★★★☆
About the only drawback of the Pro Hockey Skate Guards is the price. $20 is about $10 more than you would spend on a rubber pair of skate guards, and perhaps $12 more than the fluffy skate guards. But so what? Your skates are your most important piece of equipment, so a few extra bucks to protect that investment is a good idea.
Etc. - ★★★★★
These guards come in several different colors: blue, red, yellow, black and black/silver.
Overall - ★★★★★
The Elite Hockey Pro Hockey Skate Guards are the best skate guards I've ever owned. They are well-made, will keep your skate blades dry and protect your blades if you walk in your skates. Don't waste your money on other types of skate guards; these are the way to go.
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