Hockey Skate Buying Guide
Features to Look For
There is a lot of advanced technology that goes into creating a hockey skate. Companies are always looking for ways to improve their products and provide more support and more sensitive responses in their hockey skates Depending on the company, the boots of a hockey skate can be made from materials such as carbon composite, thermo-formable foam, texalium glass, hydrophobic lining that is anti-microbial.
Factors such as comfort, weight, protection and durability are all part of what makes up the quality level of a hockey skate boot. Highly superior hockey skates have some key features that make them elite. A hockey skate boot is made up of many components. We have listed them below.
- Ankle padding – the ankle padding of a hockey skate is made up of foam that is inside the shell of the boot.
- Quarter Package – Another name for the boot shell that supports any inserts that are used and that holds the padding is quarter package.
- Support for the Heel – This is a pocket that is anatomically formed into the portion of the skate that is called the quarter package.
- Tongue – This is coverage that protects the front of the foot and ankle. It is usually one piece of felt or some other comfortable material.
- Outsole – The outsole is a rigid part of the boot that is located underneath the skate. It is where the runners are mounted.
- Footbed – The bottom of the boot, on the inside, has an insert that is padded and comfortable. It can be removed from the inside of the boot. It is to help keep your foot comfortable.
- Liner – The liner of a skate boot is often made of microfiber and is designed to keep your feet very comfortable while skating.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
- Just because the brand name is well known, that doesn’t mean the skate is automatically the right one for you. Most manufacturers create many different types of skates to cover the many skating levels and physical sizes in need of a good hockey skate. High end models cost more and are much stiffer than others.
Excessive stiffness can be a real problem. Exceptionally stiff skates make it very difficult to bend your knees, which is a critical element in skating. Make sure that you are accurate with your skill level and desire
- The fit of your hockey skates is very important. Ill fitting skates can affect your performance and enjoyment when playing. Normally you should expect the hockey skates to be about 1 ½ -2 sizes smaller than the shoe size you wear. Ensuring that the hockey skates you choose are the right width and size will allow you to play as freely as possible.
- Don’t try and overcompensate for a narrow skate by purchasing one that is longer. This will not make up for a skate that doesn’t have the width you need. Make sure you know the right size of your foot, both width and length when you look at the sizing charts.
The more careful you are beforehand to ensure that you are purchasing the right fit, the less you will have to worry about shipping the skates back if they don’t fit properly.
- It can be very tempting to want the same skates that you see your favorite hockey player using or even that a friend of yours has. It is more important for you to choose a hockey skate that has all of the features you are looking for and the size ranges you need.
This is what will ensure a great fitting hockey skate, not the famous logo or team mascot on the skate. What most people don’t realize is that the famous skaters that have brand name skates on have had those skates custom made from the manufacturer for endorsing their product. The skates you purchase “off the shelf” will not be the same as the skates they have had custom made for them.
- Stick to your guns and budget when you are searching for the right hockey skate. It is very easy to get caught up in flashy NHL logos, famous brand names and other aspects of the manufacturing process that have nothing to do with the fit.
The main things to concentrate on when it comes to choosing the right hockey skate is the quality of the construction, and the special features that are in place to provide a comfortable experience for the wearer. You also want to ensure a precise fit that does not interfere with the playing experience by being too tight and painful or too big and floppy. The better and more comfortable your hockey skates fit, the more you can concentrate on your game.
- If you are purchasing a pair of hockey skates for a child, keep in mind that they are still growing. If they play competitively, it is important to get the best quality you can find but keep in mind that they will need a new pair again as soon as they grow. If they are not playing competitively, you can get away with purchasing a less expensive pair.
If you are serious about your playing skills and improving your game, then it’s time to get serious about the type of hockey skates you purchase. You will be balancing all of your body weight on very thin blades, so it is important that the skates are as comfortable as possible.
Using the information in this buyer’s guide and examining the three top rated hockey skate choices we have reviewed above, you will have all the information you need to make a good decision about the skates you choose. The higher quality the skates are the more features they offer. These features will include things like durability, maximum protection and added passing for ultimate comfort, plenty of support and stiffness to provide stability, and lightweight construction so you can move with speed and agility.
Prices for high quality hockey skates will vary, and you don’t want to base your choices solely on price alone. Take all of these factors into consideration and you will purchase a pair of hockey skates that will last you a long time and provide the performance and fit you are looking for.