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Everything you need to know about buying the right hockey skates
When you are talking about purchasing hockey skates, you are talking about buying the only piece of your hockey equipment that is supposed to stay stuck to the ice no matter what.
The right hockey skates are going to allow you to make the most of your athletic ability and training, helping you to fly down the ice (forwards, backward, or laterally) so that you can become a threat and your position and reach the upper limits that your talent and ability allow.
The wrong hockey skates are going to slow you down, erode your confidence, and cause you a lot more hassle and headache – not to mention open you up for a lot of injury potential that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
At the same time, purchasing the perfect pair of hockey skates that fit you like a second skin is nowhere near as simple or as straightforward as buying a pair of shoes, for example. You have to know what you’re doing and want to look for – and that’s why we have put together this quick guide.
So take a couple of minutes and dive right into all of the information we have for you below. Hopefully, you’ll find it incredibly helpful to purchase only the best hockey skates available for your specific needs!
Let’s dig right in!
It’s impossible to buy the right size skates without measuring your feet
The absolute worst thing you could do when purchasing hockey skates is only going off of the size shoes you usually wear and hoping for the best (even if this is what a lot of people do the first time out).
For starters, not all hockey skates are sized the same way even if they share the same sizing number or configuration. Different brands have different materials that they use that will hug and hold your foot differently, and a size 10 in one hockey skate may not be the same size as a size ten from another brand.
On top of that, the overwhelming majority of hockey skates out there are typically sized one to two sizes smaller than your traditional shoes, boots, and sneakers. A lot of people are surprised to discover that they are a size 11 feet size 9 or 10 in hockey skates and end up sloshing around in hockey skates that are way too big for them.
By measuring your feet (both of your feet, as they won’t be perfectly symmetrical), you will be able to determine exactly how long your feet are and how wide they are. You’ll then be able to match these measurements on with the measurements provided by the company producing these skates, and from there you’ll never have to worry about slipping your feet into skate boots that aren’t going to fit perfectly.
There are other important considerations to think about
Now that you have the basics of your measurements down you’re also going to want to consider the following factors that play into how comfortable skates are and how effective they are in helping you get the most of your talent out on the ice.
The size of the skate and the width of the skate is going to have an impact on your power, your performance, and your speed. The depth and the arch of these skates will have a significant impact on your turning ability and your “power stroke.” The weight of the skates, as well as your individual weight, will have a considerable impact on how you are distributed across the skate in perfect balance (or not) which will give you a lot of confidence while you’re out on the ice.
These are all critical details that you’ll want to pay close attention to but are often details that people either forget about or ignore when they are purchasing new skates. Don’t make that mistake or you’ll end up with something that “fits” but doesn’t feel as comfortable as it could or should.
Get your skates to mold to your feet by making them
You may be a little bit hesitant about throwing your brand-new (and often expensive) hockey skates into a hot oven before strapping them to your feet and to “molding them” around you. You have to realize that the overwhelming majority of top-tier brands producing hockey skates designed them to be heated and molded in exactly this fashion – and it’s the only way to get that tight and custom fit you are after.
You could certainly go home and bake your skates and mold them to your feet, but there’s a lot of risks that you may not be willing to take on (especially if you haven’t done this before). It isn’t a bad idea to contact a local hockey coach or a local hockey organization and ask them if they can help you bake and mold your skates. Most will be overjoyed to help someone passionate about the game get the picture perfect equipment for they are needs, and all should be happy to walk you through the process if you are dead set on doing it at home all on your own.
Your feet are going to hurt for the first week in your skates
It is 100% normal to feel at least a little bit of discomfort when you are breaking in brand-new skates, even if they have been perfectly molded to your foot through the baking process.
We are, after all, talking about incredibly heavy duty materials used in the construction of top-tier hockey skates. These materials are designed to last years and years of pretty heavy duty use and are going to take at least a little bit of time to break them in properly.
Perfectly fit hockey skates, the other hand, are going to mold all around your foot and become may be the most comfortable pair of footwear you have ever own. Treat them right, and they’ll help you reach the highest heights of the game, giving your talent and your time spent practicing every advantage of really shining out on the ice.