Skates are probably the most important item in a hockey player’s gear bag. It’s essential that you have a pair of well-fitting skates. Without proper guidance, however, chances are you’ll end up walking away from the ice with a foot full of blisters. Here are some tips to help you avoid that scenario.
When figuring out what size skates you should get, it’s often useful to start with what you already have. A good tip is to try on a pair of sneakers at home to get a ballpark idea of how your feet will fit in skates. If you’re looking at Senior skates, take 1.5 sizes off of the measurement you get from your street shoes. If you’re looking at Junior or Youth models, try one size smaller in skates. For further sizing guidance, please reference our size chart below.
Hockey Skate Size Chart
Skate widths are represented through the following letters: D, C, R, E, and EE. The “D” width is generally considered to be standard, while a C width is a narrower cut. R is a wider fit than D, and E is wider than that. EE is the widest skate option. If you’re not sure where you fit best, keep in mind that the difference between these sizes is around 2/10 of an inch.
Is this the right fit?
A well-fitted skate is one that, when laced up, securely holds your heel in place and leaves just enough room so that your toes aren’t scrunched against the toe cap. Here's an easy DIY test to help ensure you have the correct skate fit:
The finger test:
- Lace up your skates with a tight fit as if you’re about to skate.
- Stand up, lean forward and bend your knees (like you’re in a standard hockey stance).
- Now reach back to the heel of the skate. If you can fit more than one finger between your heel and the skate (not the tendon and skate) then your ankle and heel are not fully locked into place, and the fit is not suitable for you.
- For children who are still growing, a one finger gap is fine; but if you are an adult and you’re no longer growing, you can go for a more snug fit.
A skate’s stiffness is always an important thing to keep in mind when purchasing skates regardless of your skill level. For beginners or youth skaters, having a skate that’s too stiff will lead to a prolonged break-in period, and overall an uncomfortable fit on the ice. For those playing at higher levels or who are larger in size, a pair of stiff skates is recommended to help increase ankle stability and on-ice maneuverability.