Ice Hockey Skates
Executive Summary about by Chuck Chass and Chris Robertson
Ice hockey skates vary from figure skates in quite a few areas. Skates that are used in hockey are made to withstand much more abuse than those used in figure skating, making them more expensive and more bulky. The blades on ice hockey skates are different because they are shorter than those used on figure skates. Figure skates are also longer than those used in hockey to allow elaborate foot work when needed, while those used in hockey are made to be comfortable.
Interestingly, the price of ice hockey skates can vary quite a bit depending on how hard to area is. The harder that the shoe, or boot, is the more expensive the pair of skates will be. Most shops that sell hockey skates will provide free or paid maintenance to them. This can include sharpening the blades and stretching the boot. Shopping online is also not recommended because skates need to be fitted exactly. Your ice hockey skates are the single most important part of your hockey equipment because they’re vital to your comfort and to your ability to move on the ice. While your ice hockey stick is important to your slap-shot and your hockey gloves are vital to your grip on the stick, they’re nothing in comparison to your skates. Ill-fitting hockey skates can make every game a pure misery, and greatly increase your risk of injury. Choosing skates that fit right should be an easy feat, but there are so many myths running around that many hockey players end up with skates that are completely wrong for their feet. Here’s what you need to know to get the best fit for your ice hockey skates.
1. Select skates that are snug but not painful. Your ice skates shouldn’t fit like a pair of shoes or slippers.
2. Ice hockey skates that are a little too small are fixable. If you buy ice hockey skates that are a little too small, your hockey pro shop may be able to help. Hockey shops can stretch skates in a couple of different ways, depending on the fit that’s needed. The best option, of course, is to buy ice hockey skates that fit properly in the first place.
3. The only fix for hockey skates that are too big is growing into them. In other words, unless you’re buying ice skates for a child for next year, avoid buying hockey skates that are too big. A second pair of socks or thicker socks doesn’t solve the problem of oversize skates, it just gives another layer of fabric that can shift around inside your skates and cause blisters.
4. Your toes should touch the front of the boot. If your toes are against the front of the boot when you’re standing on both feet with the skates laced, you have a perfect fit.
5. Check the length of the insole. The same tips apply to fitting roller hockey inline skates, which require a snug fit to keep your feet from wobbling when you skate. A full service pro hockey shop can help fit your feet for hockey skates, as well as give you advice on other hockey equipment, including goalie equipment and ice hockey sticks.
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