Materials: Just about all of the high-end stuff is going to be good quality leather. If you can't do leather, there are also options made with microfiber, proprietary leather substitutions, vinyl, and PVC. Every brand offers package skates meant to be purchased without any bells and whistles. These are perfectly acceptable to start with. The reason I usually recommend the more affordable synthetics to begin with is that you don't know what you like yet. You'll quickly figure out what you like/hate about your first skates which will help inform your decision when we tailor the proper boot if and when you choose the upgrade. So consider the boots you're currently in and think about things like: Are you getting any pains in your shin or the arches of your feet? You're gripping your toes to hang on around the corners. Catching your ankles rolling on a sticky floor? Unresponsive plates. We wanna make sure we're getting the boot that fits your foot perfectly.
I do *not* recommend choosing a boot based ONLY on price. You need to choose what fits your specific foot shape best - within your comfortable budget. Different brands build boots on their own proprietary shapes. Just because one person swears by something doesn’t mean it’ll fit you!