Let’s face it, kids always want the coolest, the latest, and greatest things. Most parents know the greatest ice hockey skates can drive you into the poor house. The secret the pros know is, a skate that fits well is ten times more valuable than the most expensive skate on the market.
The fact that many parents miss is that the most expensive skates in the world are completely useless and potentially harmful if they are not sized correctly.
Parents will instinctively want to buy a size up for their child so the youngster can grow into the skate. Unfortunately, you are harming your child more than you are helping if you do this. If the skate is too big and the child’s foot has too much room to move around, any ankle support the skate is designed to offer is lost.
A well-fitting hockey skate should be tight. The tip of the toe should barely graze the front of the boot without making actual contact with the toe. If a skate becomes too tight after a few months into a season, ask your local pro-shot to do a “punch out.” This will stretch the boot of the sake and give your child a great fitting skate until the end of the season.
If your child hasn’t outgrown the skate, there is probably no need for new ones. A common mistake for hockey parents is that they will buy new skates at the beginning of each new season. Hockey skates are made to be very firm and can be difficult to break in. The worse thing a parent can do is put the child in brand new skates just before a hockey camp where the child may be on the ice for up to four hours a day. This will cause discomfort and blisters and may discourage your child from wanting to play. The best rule of thumb is if the skate still fits, wear it. Chances are your child will be better with an older pair of skates that are well broken in and formed to their feet.
Brands and Retailers
Each brand of skate will have slightly different sizing. For example, Bauer, CCM, and Reebok all have slightly different sizing. For this reason, many older hockey players become very brand loyal because after trial and error, they have found the perfect skate for their feet. The general rule is, the skate size will be two sizes smaller than the shoe size, but this rule isn’t gospel. There are many online retailers that have great deals on hockey skates, but if your child hasn’t already worn that exact model, a trip to the sporting goods store is necessary. The best bet is to skip the big-box sporting goods store and head to the pro-shop, they will be the best people qualified to offer advice.