In speedskating, skates are generally discussed as boots and blades separately. Boots vary by materials, molding potential, and stiffness; boots start at around $250. Blades vary by hardness of metal, and engineering; various bends, rockers, etc. Blades start at $145.
Things you should consider before purchasing:
Do you need to have reservations for growth? Both the boot and blade sizes vary based on the height, weight, and skill level of the skater. (One strategy against obsolete equipment is to buy something slightly larger and use thicker socks, thinning down until the foot truly outgrows the boot).
If the skater is pretty much done growing (please do not include wishful thinking), it may make sense to spend more money on more durable boots (better control/command on skates) and blades made of harder metal (less sharpening, more control on choppy ice).
Are you the type that likes getting new things often? Getting a progression of skates on par with skill level will provide you the opportunity to get new "toys" more often, while creating a reserve of backup equipment, and perhaps some equipment you can share for those friends that you want to get into this sport you love.
"Help me help you." Skin suits not only make you look like a superhero, but they will help you go faster, and they will help us tweak your technique.
Suits come with built-in shin and knee pads (no more "I forgot to put on my knee pads!" after putting on skates). Cut resistant material (Spectra) can be built into the suit for added protection from the sharp blades. It is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
Not absolutely necessary, but recommended:
For all those times your hands go down when you fall (i.e. all the time).
Bike helmets are acceptable, but they have many more holes (for airflow) than speed skating helmets do. You can hold off on buying one of these, but eventually, you will want one.
You will want to have a jig, sharpening stones, and burr stones.
Beginning skaters don’t need these, but they are nice for making clicking sounds.