Hockey Skates: What You Need to Know

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The hockey skates you buy is a big factor in your on-ice performance

 

By Max Tabachnick

 

Hockey is about skating, and it starts from the bottom up. If your hockey skates aren’t right your entire game will likely follow suit, so skate selection and maintenance is key if you want to maximize your performance on the ice.

Pick the right skate Your number-one consideration. Unless you’re a goalie, hockey skates are likely to be your biggest purchase as far as equipment goes, and can have a huge impact on your performance on-ice. Just like the curve of your stick blade, the make and model of your skates can vary a whole lot from player to player; so don’t let brands blur your vision even if you like their other gear.

When it comes to price range, to put your money where it matters most just keep in mind the importance of this piece of equipment and the comparatively long life of a pair of skates will have in your bag. If you decide to purchase your hockey skates online, be sure to pay a visit to your local retailer to try them on first. No doubt this will ultimately pay off for you.

Make sure your skates are sharp to your liking Depending on who’s grinding your skates, the finished product can come out at various degrees of sharpness. Try to find a pro shop or employee whose work you know and like and stick with them. Skating on blades that are over-sharpened can slow you down by digging into the ice, while under-sharpened blades can land you on your butt if you take a turn too quickly.

Tie your skates properly Generally speaking, you want to keep your hockey skates as tight as possible without restricting your circulation or causing any pain. Make sure your laces are tied snug enough throughout so that your ankle isn’t sliding from side to side. You’re going to want to try to lace them as consistently as possible so you don’t have to overcompensate at the ankle and limit your range of motion. Though we often find ourselves running late to make early-evening games, this is one piece of gear you can’t neglect to put on properly.

Wear the right socks to play Not that this really need be said. But if you often find yourself coming straight from work and stuck in dress socks, invest in some mid- to high-top athletic socks. For those who have never given this much thought in the past, there are a number of modern synthetic alternatives to traditional cotton that will help keep your feet drier and won’t stink up your bag as much on the ride home.

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