Hockey skates are used for playing the games of ice hockey and ringette. The boot is generally made of molded plastic, leather (often synthetic), ballistic nylon, or a thermoformed composite material. Skates used in competitive hockey rarely use molded plastic for the upper boot, as this results in limited mobility.
The skates used by goaltenders are cut lower in the ankle than a normal hockey skate and the boot sits closer to the ice for a lower center of gravity. The boot itself is encased in hardened plastic, called a "cowling", protecting the toe, ankle and heel from the force of the shot puck. The blade is usually longer and has less rocker (curvature to the blade) to make it easier for the goalie to move side to side in the crease. Goalie skates lack a tendon guard. Unlike regular hockey skates, goalie skates are usually protected by a synthetic material covering the toe-part of the skate. This is to prevent damage from the puck. The blade of the goalie skate is not as useful in turning as regular hockey skates, because the blade is rockered less, thus making turns slightly inconvenient. The material used to make the boot of the goalie skate historically was is a harder synthetic material than regular hockey boots.