Hockey skates are not sized like shoes

by Adam Desloges

Now that you have your stick picked out with the proper lie, let’s take a look at what most players would feel is the next essential piece of equipment, your hockey skates.

Try not to laugh, but when I started playing they still featured the old plastic one piece boot. For some of you this may seem hard to believe, but it was the best manufactured hockey skate at the time simply for allowing a beginner skater the time necessary to build strong ankles. The upside was no breaking-in period, but the downside was very little mobility. If your coach wanted you to turn on a dime you were more than likely turning on a quarter.

Choosing a pair of hockey skates can be just as crucial as your stick.

Today however you have many hockey skate manufactures to choose from like Easton, Graf, Bauer and RBK to name a few. With Bauer leading the hockey skate industry and RBK very close behind. Choosing a pair of hockey skates can be just as crucial as your stick. Bauer and Easton for example manufacture hockey skates with a pitch that will sit you more on your heels while skating. Graf, RBK and CCM have manufactured hockey skates with a pitch that will lean you forward just slightly enough to provide you with that explosive takeoff. Bauer is in the process of manufacturing two different styles of hockey skates. One will feature their regular pitch and the other will feature a more forward leaning pitch. The thought behind it is to better compete with Graf and RBK and further cement their position in the hockey skate industry. Personally I am looking forward to this launch and curious to see where it takes Bauer.  If you are interested in a pair of RBK hockey skates, but are concerned with the price point, you may want to consider purchasing a pair of CCM hockey skates. RBK and CCM hockey skates are similar and offer the same forward leaning pitch, what you may not know is RBK and CCM are the same company.

If you are a defenseman you will probably look for a skate that sits you on the rear portion of your feet providing you with better balance because most of your weight will be on your heels, example Bauer and Easton hockey skates. If you are a forward you will be looking for a skate that gives you a forward pitch that will provide you with better mobility, example Graf and RBK hockey skates. When in a pro shop just like shopping for a pair of running shoes, try on several styles and models until you find the right fit. As with running shoes if the sole feels hard or does not feel thick enough, adding an insole will not affect the fit. An important thing to keep in mind, as you get older your foot will change and grow, therefore my suggestion is do not always stay in the same style of hockey skates. As your feet change with time that certain style of hockey skate you have been purchasing may not be the correct hockey skate for you today. If you change positions (defense to forward or forward to defense) you may want to look at what hockey skate will give you better mobility for that position. For example when I started skating at five years old I wore Bauer then I wore CCM and then I went back to wearing Bauer. The reason was my foot grew and changed, but also because I went from a defenseman to a forward and back to a defenseman. Now I wear Graf simply because I believe it is the most comfortable skate ever manufactured and I play both forward and defense. So remember to switch things up a little.

If the store employee is trying to sell you on a certain model because so many NHL players wear that hockey skate, run for the nearest exit and seek help.

Just like with your stick, if the store employee is trying to sell you on a certain model because so many NHL players wear that hockey skate, run for the nearest exit and seek help. But thanks to this blog you will be better informed and have all the knowledge you will need. Out of any piece of an NHL player’s equipment, their hockey skates are nothing like you and I buy. Their hockey skates have extra stitching, extra leather, extra rivets and even all copper rivets. I have seen a pair of pro hockey skates where the blade, tuck (blade holder) and boot were from different hockey skate companies.

Factors to remember when purchasing hockey skates is some hockey skates are made narrower than others, other hockey skates are made wider and some manufacture slimmer boot tongues. To be more precise on this, some hockey skates are narrow at the forefront of the skates boot and wider at the heel of the skates boot; some are wider at the forefront of the skates boot and narrower at the heel of the skates boot. A “D” width is regular width, an “E” width is wide width and “EE” width is extra wide. But by far the MOST important factor is hockey skates are not sized like shoes! You should always be in a pair of hockey skates one size smaller than your regular shoes (keep in mind the conversion from girls shoe sizes to boys shoe sizes).

I like to take this opportunity now to answer a question from my previous blog on stick lies. The question was “how do you measure the lie of a stick while in regular shoes?” This is a very good question. It is no different than when you are wearing your hockey skates. You would hold the stick in your regular skating stance; put the stick on the ground like you were getting ready for a faceoff, check to see if the toe or heel is off the ground and go from there. If the stick feels right in the store it will feel right on the ice. The only way it would be different is if the stick was too long or cut too short.

Remember, if you have any questions about this blog or past blog’s please feel free to post them and I will do my best to cover them in a future blog. Thank you again for reading!

How to Contact Adam!

Adam Desloges  |  Center Ice Hockey
1.705.268.STIX  |  1.855.BUY.STIX  |
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