How To Properly Fit Your Hockey Skates

NHL Steve O Speak

Your hockey skates are without a doubt one of the most important pieces of equipment that they use. But, even if you are wearing top-of-the-line hockey skates on the market, you will be incapable of performing to the best of your ability if your skates do not fit properly.

Since Hockey Pursuits has been a resource for information on the best hockey skates, we went to then to understand how skates are supposed to fit. This is what we learned.


Let’s start off by looking at the sizes of the hockey skates. The first thing to know is that your hockey skates are not going to fit like your street shoes do. The sizing is different between skates and shoes. Hockey skates are typically at least a size to a size and a half smaller than your regular shoes. There are differences between the brands, however, so you still need to pay attention to sizing charts.


When you go in to try on a pair of hockey skates, or perhaps just try on your skates that you receive in the mail, you will need to keep a few things in mind. You should try on the hockey skates with the socks that you will be wearing for your practices and games. These are not the same as your everyday socks, so if you wear regular socks, the fit is going to be off.

That said, when looking to try to confirm whether a skate fits or not, you need to see how the skate really feels. You heel should never be able to move inside of the hockey boot. It should be completely locked down. If your foot has the ability to slip up and down, not only will you get blisters, but you will also be setting yourself up for a serious injury.

When it comes to your toes, you should have a little bit of wiggle room at the end of the boot, but nothing major. You need an overall snug fit of your performance is not going to be as good as it could be.

Youth Sizing

If you are looking for skates for a child, you will need to have a few other considerations. It is common to want to buy hockey skates a size or so bigger to give the child plenty of room to grow into the skates, saving you from needing to buy another pair in the near future. Unfortunately there still needs to be some snugness present in order for the boots to fit correctly. At most, you should be able to put a finger between the heel and the boot in the back.

Adult skates are made to mold to the feet, but youth skates are not. You will want them a little big so your child does not immediately outgrow them, but you do not want them loose in any way.

Heat Fitting

Ideally, you will be able to get a pair of hockey skates that are heat moldable. This is also called thermoformable. Thermoformable skates can be baked in the oven to soften. Then, you will slip your feet into the boots while they are warm and stand for as long as is indicated by their manufacturer. Once they have cooled, your skates will be molded to fit your feet perfectly, eliminating any break-in period that you might have gone through.


Keep in mind that you are on your feet the entire time you are playing hockey. If any part of your skate doesn’t fit well, you will never be able to play as well as you need to. Size your hockey boots well and carefully.



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