Ice hockey skates give the feet stability, support, and protection when skating. They can, however, occasionally be painful and uncomfortable.
Hockey skates that are new or have not yet been broken are frequently uncomfortable. Additionally, they may be uncomfortable if the hockey skates do not fit properly or the laces are knotted too tightly.
What Factors Determine Your Ice Hockey Skates Comfort Level?
Hockey Skate Toe Space
Without the skates being laced up, your toes should barely come in contact with the toe cap when you place your foot inside the skate. When fully laced and you stand up, your heel will sit farther back in the heel pocket, pulling your toes back just enough so they won’t be brushing the inside of the toe cap. At first, the skate may be too small. The outcome? An ideal fit!
Properly Fitted Skates
Fit is the single most crucial factor in buying skates, beyond brand, style, or appearance. If you want to skate to your maximum capacity, your skates must fit properly. So, what makes a skate fit comfortably? Regarding skate fit, you should consider the size and boot design.
It may sound paradoxical, but skaters sometimes have the incorrect skate because they should typically get a smaller skate than they would regular shoes. But keep in mind that wearing the proper size skate will make you feel secure and comfortable when skating, thus improving your performance.
TOO BIG: Your foot will shift inside if your skates are too wide, slowing you down. Wearing too wide skates increases your risk of developing blisters and being hurt. Additionally, you’ll probably not be very comfortable in your skates.
TOO SMALL: If the skates are too small, your feet may cramp, and the skates will be very uncomfortable and tight, hindering your ability to skate quickly and correctly.
For various reasons, boot structure is crucial when selecting your skates. Most foot forms are catered for by manufacturers of various models of skates. Nowadays, companies provide deep, broad skates in one style and a little bit different, lesser-volume skates in another.
You may pick the best skate with the ideal fit for your foot by taking time (and even trying on a few other brands and models). Some brands even provide variants between those.
Pro Tip: You should choose a skate model designed especially for broad feet if your foot is wide. And if it doesn’t fit your foot, try to fight the impulse just to wear or support your favorite player’s brands!
How To Find The Perfect Fit
The goal is to get a skate that can fit your foot in three separate places. You should consider:
- how wide the forefoot is
- the heel’s thickness
- overall volume.
Note: Volume is more concerned with the dimensions of the boot than it is with the size of the skate.
It is good to identify the sort of foot you have before looking towards skates that will fit your foot profile. This is advisable as there are so many various types available from manufacturers.
Hockey Skate Width
You must know your width ratio once you’ve decided what size skate you require. You may determine your foot’s breadth and depth using the width ratio. When you divide the length of your foot by the breadth, you get your width ratio.
This helps you determine how big and long your foot is compared to one another. The following gives a broad sense of how width ratio and skate size relate:
Traditional – Width ratio of less than 2.5
- Forefoot: Wide
- Heel: Deep
- Volume: High
Contoured – Width ratio between 2.5 – 3.0
- Forefoot: Standard
- Heel: Standard
- Volume: Medium
Tapered – Width ratio greater than 3.0
- Forefoot: Narrow Or Slightly Narrow
- Heel: Shallow/Narrow
- Volume: Low
Buying a skate appropriate for the width of your forefoot will ensure you have a comfortable skate. The forefoot should not be too tight but should give the right grip. You will likely need a traditional skate with a wider forefoot if you have naturally wide feet.
The width ratio works the opposite in terms of the forefoot – the smaller your ratio, the wider forefoot you’ll need.
The depth area of the skate boot is related to the heel of a hockey skate. Heels come in deep, regular, and thin styles. You should ensure your heel is “locked” into the boot since it will keep the rear of your foot in place.
Make sure to try on models made for the sort of heel you have because it shouldn’t be possible for your heel to slip at all.
When discussing hockey skates, the volume refers to the boot’s size rather than the skate’s overall size. If you have smaller feet, you should seek a low-volume skate, whereas a broader foot would need a high-volume skate.
Try on a skate with a conventional fit if you have a naturally broad foot. If you have larger and wider feet, you don’t want to try on a boot built for a narrow, tapered foot.
How To Make Your Ice Hockey Skates More Comfortable
Hockey games may be greatly improved by wearing comfortable skates. Hockey skates may be altered with inserts and baked for the ideal fit. Skates that are created to order are also a great idea.
If they are the appropriate length and breadth, you may also take extra measures to improve their comfort and performance. Below are some tips on how to make your ice hockey skates more comfortable:
Ice Hockey Skates Inserts and Gel Pads
Using plastic inserts is a great approach to help prevent annoying and sometimes crippling lace biting. They usually fit into a groove in the tongue and offer more ankle and instep comfort underneath the laces.
Another manual remedy that many skaters find helpful is lace bite gel pads. The soft gel in these pads rests on your skin or the bottom of your skate tongue when attached. Another common style is elastic ankle sleeves with built-in gel pads.
You can tie your shoelaces correctly as well. Try adjusting your skate laces, but lace them back up through the eyelets from the outside this time. This relieves strain by enabling the laces to follow the tongue’s contour better.
Orthotics for hockey skates are available in various styles and are an economical method to enhance the comfort and fit of your skates. Custom insoles are a simple fix if the factory insoles don’t offer the support or comfort you’re looking for.
Insoles offer improved cooling and ventilation, drain sweat away, or are just plusher. Remember that buying a bigger insole may reduce the space inside the skate and could lead to or aggravate other fit issues.
Baking Ice Hockey Skates
Boots on most expensive skates can be thermoformed. When baked, these skates become softer, and when worn while cooling, they permanently take the contour of the skater’s foot. Baking is a frequent process since it significantly improves the fit and comfort of the skate.
We advise hiring experts to bake your hockey skates if you’re unsure how to do it. Retail establishments often have an oven made just for baking skates, and the staff members there are trained to do it correctly. You may also check our do-it-at-home guide here.
Custom ice Hockey Skates
Custom hockey skates may be created for the buyer by some skate manufacturers, such as Bauer and CCM. These businesses have created technology that digitally measures your entire foot in three dimensions. The manufacturer can offer your foot the ideal hockey skate using this information.
You still receive stock skates, but the technology makes it easier to choose the ideal set, speeding up the purchasing process and providing peace of mind. Creating true custom skates for your foot and ankle measurements is a step in the right direction.
For instance, CCM and Bauer may construct skates using your 3-D dimensions. Custom hockey skates are more expensive but offer the best comfort and fit that can be worth it.
Knowing how to fit hockey skates will help you get the greatest fit if you’re looking to buy a new pair. Keep in mind that your skates will break in and become more comfortable over time as the inside padding adapts to the contour of your foot and ankle.
This is true of expensive skates with stiff boots, especially after baking. After thoroughly breaking in your hockey skates, you can consider further customizations.