Ice Hockey Skate FAQ

1. How frequently should I get my ice hockey skates sharpenned?
It really is all about personal preference, but you will start to notice that you are sliding around and not able to hold your edges while you skate. Also, a lot of times you will get a nick in your ice hockey skate blade from something on the ice like an opposing player’s ice hockey skates, ice hockey sticks, the boards, etc. If you notice your ice hockey skates sliding out in one specific place on your ice hockey skate blades, this means you have a nick there. Small nicks can usually be fixed by a skate sharpening.

2. Is it possible to cut yourself on the blade of an ice hockey skate?
Because your ice hockey skate blades are made with sharpened steel they are of course very dangerous. It is definitely possible to get a very serious cut from your ice hockey skate blades. You want to make sure that on and off the ice you are very careful with how you handle your ice hockey skates.

3. Is it all right to buy ice hockey skates that are slightly too big for a young ice hockey player in order to allow some room to grow?
It is all right, to a certain extent, to buy ice hockey skates that are a little big to allow for some growing room for a younger ice hockey player. However, they cannot be too big. If they are too big, the ice hockey skates will definitely hamper your child’s ice skating abilities. His or her feet will move around and cause many different pains.

4. How am I supposed to know if I am purchasing ice hockey skates that are the correct size? How should ice hockey skates fit?
When the ice hockey skates are tightened up, you should just be able to graze the plastic at the end of the skate with your big toe. Also, make sure your heel is secure enough into place to where it is not lifting up when you move. Make sure you do not feel any kind of pinching on the sides of your feet because these pains will not go away as the ice hockey skate is broken in.

5. How do you break in a new pair of ice hockey skates?
Well it would be a safe bet to start by heat-molding your ice hockey skates. This will mold of all the gel around your ankles and definitely speed up the breaking in process. Other than that, you will just need to go out and play ice hockey as hard as you normally would and try to forget that you are wearing new ice hockey skates. Before you know it, your new ice hockey skates will be broken in and you won’t even remember how it happened!

6. Ice hockey skates Vs Figure skates? What’s the difference?
Ice hockey skates are made for ice hockey and figure skates are made for figure skating. These are two completely different sports and thus two completely different kinds of ice skates have been produced. You will notice within our articles we do not simply write “ice skates,” we write “ice hockey skates” because there is indeed a difference. Ice hockey skates have much thicker padding to protect your feet much more with an ice hockey skate blade held in place by plastic holders. Figure skates are shaped more like a low-cut dress boot. The blades of a figure skate are not held on like an ice hockey skate blade is, the metal blades of a figure skate are actually attached directly to the boot. These blades are attached to the figure skate by screws unlike the plastic holder of an ice hockey skate, which is attached with rivets. Usually, figure skate owners buy the blades separately from the actual skate boots and then have them attached. The blades of figure skates and ice hockey skates are also sharpened and shaped much differently because the skating styles of the two sports are much different. Figure skate blades have a perforated edge on the front that look like spikes. They are designed so a figure skater can skate by pushing their feet straight back with each stride. Ice hockey skate blades are designed so ice hockey players can skate by pushing their feet diagonally with each stride. The point of ice hockey stride is to get you going as fast as possible while also giving you the most stability, while figure skating is merely about skating in a way in which you present a certain style for looks. I apologize to any figure skaters out there reading this and thinking I don’t know what I’m talking about, because what I have said here pretty much sums up everything I know about figure skating. What can I say? I’m an ice hockey player, and ice hockey is what I know.

7. If you lose any of the eye lids on your ice hockey skates where the laces go through, do you need to purchase a new pair of ice hockey skates?
If your ice hockey skate damage is merely minor with only a few eyelids missing, you can always take your ice hockey skates to a skate repair shop. It shouldn’t be too expensive to fix. A lot of actual hockey shops would not fix a problem such as this. It will be easier to find a place that specialized in fixing sports equipment in general, as this is more a of sewing kind of thing. The method of fixing this is not original to ice hockey equipment.

8. Do I really need the more expensive ice hockey skates? What’s the difference between the expensive ice hockey skates and the cheap ones?
It is quite simple, really. As ice hockey skates get more expensive, they get much lighter and much stiffer. This is the same for all ice hockey equipment manufactures such as RBK, CCM, Nike Bauer, Graf, Easton, and Mission. I’m sure it is obvious to anyone why you would want an ice hockey skate to be lighter in weight, but why would you want an ice hockey skate to be stiffer? Wouldn’t this make the ice hockey skates less comfortable? No. This is a common misconception when inexperienced ice hockey players walk into a hockey shop and wonder why anyone would pay $500 for ice hockey skates. The truth is when you buy a cheap pair of ice hockey skates, they lack the ankle support you need and this is why they are not as stiff. These ice hockey skates will always break down faster. An ice hockey skate that is stiffer and more expensive will not only last you much longer, it will give you the overall support you need.

9. Should you be using ice hockey skate guards?
If you plan to walk on any surface with your ice hockey skates on other than carpet or the mats in the rink, you will want to make sure you have plastic skate guards on your skates. Walking on cement with no ice hockey skate guards will definitely damage your ice hockey skates. Also, if you just want something to protect your ice hockey skate blades while they are in your ice hockey equipment bag, you can put ice hockey skate soakers on them that are made of cloth. Make sure you dry off your ice hockey skate blades with some sort of towel or rag before you cover them in any kind of skate guard for an extended period of time to avoid rusting.

10. Your ice hockey skate blade just cracked, what do you do now?
This is something that happens in the game of ice hockey every once in while. When this happens you need to find an ice hockey shop that has a rivet machine. Generally the plastic holder needs to be removed in order to change the steel, which is screwed into it. With some ice hockey skates you do not need to remove the plastic holders because of the way the steel is attached to the holders.

11. What kind of ice hockey skate laces should you use on your ice hockey skates?
If you find yourself retying your ice hockey skates several times during an ice hockey game, you may want to use waxed ice hockey laces so they will stay tight through out your entire ice session. Also if you have trouble keeping your ice hockey skates tight enough while you are in the process of tying them, going from the bottom of the skate up, you will want to use waxed laces as well. If you find that your ice hockey skates are too tight and don’t loosen enough as you skate, you will want to switch back to non-waxed ice hockey skate laces.

12. How do you keep your ice hockey skates from smelling bad?
If you have a problem with this, you can purchase an ice hockey equipment deodorizer. Febreeze has also always been known to do the trick.

13. Why is the color of ice hockey skates usually black?
It is not always that ice hockey skates are completely black. Back in the days when ice skates were made of purely leather, they were actually usually dark brown. Now, ice hockey skates are generally black with a combination of other colors. As the game of ice hockey has become flashier, a lot of ice hockey skates are now made with bright colors like orange and green mixed in with them. Even more flashy, several ice hockey skates coming out are predominantly silver. You will notice that a lot of ice hockey skates from Mission and RBK are predominantly black with orange or green. RBK also came out with the new RBK 9k Ice Hockey Skate for 2007 that is mostly white. It was no surprise that Nike was one of the first big companies to produce a line of silver ice hockey skates with the Nike Quest ice hockey skate line in 2004. For 2007 Nike finally merged their name and logo with Bauer to combine their products and thus changed the look of the new ice hockey skate from the Vapor line. The new Nike Bauer Vapor XXXX for 2007 is extremely flashy, while it is predominantly silver with some red mixed in.

14. How are you supposed to shop for an ice hockey skate if you do not know what position you are playing yet?
Generally, the position you play does factor into what kind of ice hockey skates you want to buy, however I feel this is more because certain types of ice hockey players play either offense or defense. So, you shouldn’t necessarily pick your ice hockey skates based solely on your position, but based on the type of ice hockey player you are. If you are a smaller player, that more relies on their speed and agility, you may want an ice hockey skate that is probably lighter and a little bit lower cut. If you are a big defensemen, your game may be based more around having a stable bass and being able to knock around opposing players. These larger ice hockey players usually will want to focus on ice hockey skates that have as much ankle support as possible in order to keep them upright and stable. Now by these generalizations, you can sort of begin to assume that a small fast ice hockey player will most likely play forward and a big, strong ice hockey player will be a defensemen. However, this is not necessarily the case. You may want a speedy, lightweight player at defense to help make offensive rushes or to be the first one back on the back-check. You may want a big, strong ice hockey player at forward to get in there and be a power forward. You may want them standing in front of the net or knocking guys around on the fore-check. The point is ice hockey skates are not to be chosen by what position you play, but who you are as an ice hockey player. What size are you? Tall? Heavy? Short? Light? How do you skate? Upright and tall? Low and leaning forward?

15. How long should you expect a pair of ice hockey skates to hold up before you need new ones?
This is determined by a number of factors. How often do you place ice hockey? Simply put, the more you skate on your ice hockey skates, the quicker they will break down. If you are playing competitively 5-7 days a week, a $500 pair of ice hockey skates may only last a season. What level of ice hockey do you play? If you are playing with children or maybe in a relaxed adult league, your ice hockey skates will not be taking as much abuse from pucks and hockey sticks and so your ice hockey skates will last a little longer. How do you treat your ice hockey skates? Make sure you dry off your ice hockey skate blades and cover them with skate guards or soakers between ice times. Also, don’t leave your ice hockey skates sitting outside in the heat as they can begin to lose their shape.

You will notice that as time goes on your ice hockey skates will inevitably break down. This means basically that you will lose the ankle support in your ice hockey skates. Sometimes when this happens, the side of your ice hockey skates will look like a piece of cardboard that has been folded and creased. Also, as times goes on, you will get cuts and damage to the boot, your blades may rust, and your eyelets may come out. However, when the ankle support goes, that is final straw.

16. Will it ruin your ice hockey skates to go skating on outdoor ice rinks or ponds?
No, you will not ruin your ice hockey skates by skating outside. This is a really good way to get ice time and play ice hockey in areas with cold climates, especially in today’s world where indoor ice time is so expensive. You will, however, notice that when you go back to the smooth indoor ice rinks your ice hockey skates will feel much duller. So, if you play ice hockey on outdoor ice and you have a big game coming up, make sure you sharpen your ice hockey skates before the game!

  1. One Response to “Ice Hockey Skate FAQ”

  2. Great realistic advice. On skate tightness, there are way too many horror stories out there of people who bought skates that are too tight and ended up being stuck with them. Unfortunately it’s at times a difficult balancing act.. because you need them tight enough to be able to skate as well as possible, but not at the extent of the well being of your feet.

    By Greg on Jan 12, 2009

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