Like the others have said, don't skimp on the skates. They are very important. Many people have a misunderstanding of skates. The top end skates (such as the NikeBauer one90, Vapor XXXX, CCM Vector 10.0) are the stiffest skates on the market. They also provide the most protection, etc. but a super stiff skate is not what a beginner/intermediate skater needs.
In my opinion, a mid level skate is the best option. Look for something like the NikeBauer one50, one70, CCM vector 6.0, Easton S7, Mission Fuel 80-AG, etc. Graf's models are a little tricky. The different model nu,bers aren't representative of their level of skate. Each of their skates fits a different kind of foot which brings me to my next point...
DO NOT buy a skate because of it's looks. This is the biggest problem with people buying skates. Buy the skate that FITS you the best. Make sure your heel locks in, make sure you have enough volume in the skate for your foot, make sure the toe cap isn't too narrow, etc. A good pro shop will help you with all of this.
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