Hockey takes place on icy ground. It is never easy to have great control with skates unless you have skill. Hockey is a quick game. Players need to wear skates to gain acceleration on the ground. A better player must have abilities as well as the balance. It is never possible if your skates do not fit well.
Now, we have a hint that skate size matters. Yes, size matters. Best of the best skaters will suffer if the size and the fit are not okay. It will hamper the balance, control, and probably would lead to injuries. We know you want to have better performance – let’s be clear about the size and fit first.
Why is the size most important?
Hockey skates come in different sizes, and different brands produce several variants of the same size. We will talk about the size and its varieties later.
Let’s jump into the question: Why is the size most important?
A bright and loud answer would be, you have no option instead of selecting the right size.
For example, your foot is thirty cm long, and you won’t be able to fit in a skate that is twenty-five cm long, will you?
There are more reasons to it. We will dig a little.
To avoid blisters: If you end up buying a wrong sized pair of skate for you, you face an amount of pain during the skating. It will cause you to blister and hinder your skating ability.
To decrease risk: Undersized or oversized skate brings the risk of taking injuries. Many newcomers do these mistakes. They buy skates of their own choice and end up twisting ankles or blisters, and some extent severe knocks with things around.
How should hockey skates fit?
A good fit is compulsory for better performance. There are a couple of ways hockey skates fit. Before knowing how should hockey skates fit, you should know a few preps.
- Wear socks. The socks should not be any different than the pair that you would wear on the ground.
- Check the heel movement. Try moving your heel. You will understand whether it changes position or not.
- Stand in the ground stance. Don’t stand straight only. Try bending knees as if you are about to play.
After the prep, notice a couple of facts. You will understand whether it is fit or not.
Firstly, if your heels move in its position, the skate is not a proper fit for you. An adequately fitted skate doesn’t need foot repositioning. If your foot is not sitting naturally, it is not a proper fit.
Types of Size
There are three types of sizes.
- Foot Volume
- Width Ratio
- C, D, E, and EE
Foot volume is not only the foot size but also the dimension of it.
In general, there are three sorts of the volume of skates.
- High Volume
- If your forefoot is wider and a deeper heel, high volume is your size.
- Standard Volume
- This size suits for the standard or natural forefoot and standard heel.
- Low Volume
- When your forefoot is the narrower and slight heel, you should get a low volume skate.
The width ratio tells you the ratio between your feet length and width. There are thee types of width ratio widely available:
- Less than 2.5
- Between 2.5 to 3
- Exceeds 3
There is another form of the size which is as below:
It is C, D, E, and EE.
The size can be generalized in the following way,
C = Narrow
E= Wide, and
EE = Extra wide
This method of size is the combination of Volume and Ration. Additionally, the C D E EE method includes the depth of your foot.
The three size types are interrelated, as below:
- High volume feet should match up with a less than 2.5 ratio, and E (or EE).
- Standard volume feet have a ratio between 2.5 to 3, and widthwise D.
- Low volume feel fits crossing the ratio 3, the width size should be C.
What size hockey skates do I need?
Determining the size of a pair of shoes is tricky. It is one of the first few steps of purchasing skates.
Your skates should be one or one and one half-size smaller than the regular shoes. It should be a bit tight without making discomfort.
There is a debate or doubt goes in the new hockey skate buyer, which is why downgrading. The statement in response is if you take the same size shoe as you wear in general, it will give you comfort. But the outsole of a skate is hard, which is why your foot will move inside of the skate, resulting in discomfort and reduced output.
Your toe should not be scratching the toe cap. It means buying 3-4 sizes lower will cause less productivity. Experts say toe should just be kissing the toe cap only. When the boot is laced up, the heel should not be able to move a bit.
Pro tip: Buy at least 1-2 sizes smaller than dress shoes.
Fitting Test of Hockey Skates
Hockey skates deal with a lot of extreme momentum and pressure. It should be well fitted.
There are a few ways to test the fit of skates. Let’s brief those a little.
- Pencil test: It is a simple test. Put on the boot, do not tie up the lace, then take a pencil or pen. Place it skipping two or three eyelets downward. Observe if the pencil is laying flat. If it is, then the skate has good depth for you.
- Finger: Finger test is used to determine the proper ankle placement. Gear up the skate, tie up the laces. You have to get into the skating stance. Then put one or two fingers into the back heel. The finger should not follow through. If you can insert your finger, the ankle is not fit properly. It means you bought a higher volume or oversized skate.
What can you do for comfort?
Five ways to increase comfort in your skate:
Bake Skate: Once you decided your size and fit. There is another thing that can be done. Ask the seller to bake the shoe. It is a process where the boot is placed in the woven for a while. After that, you have to wear that boot. As it will be cooling and shrinking, it will gradually take the perfect shape for your foot.
Arc: Measure and find your arch shape. Consider buying insoles as per the arch of your feet. It will bring more control and comfort.
Hockey is a fast-paced game. You need to be pretty in your balance. There is no option but to get the right size for you. Follow the tips and instructions shown in this article. You will get the best fit for you.