Hockey may not be the most popular sport south of the Canadian border, but for those who love and play the game, there’s nothing quite like it. Hockey players of every level know that despite all the bulky equipment they must wear, it is the skates that are the most integral part of all their equipment.
Having proper skates can mean the difference between a bad game and a good game. There are, however, things to consider when purchasing your first pair of skates beyond just making sure they fit your feet. The position you play can dictate the kind of skates you need. Goalies, for example, wear skates with blades that are flatter and longer than traditional skates. To protect the goalie from incoming pucks, their skates are designed to be shorter.
Amateur skaters don’t need the same kind of skates as performance or professional players. Their skates are not only more expensive, but they offer additional mobility, support and protection. They have extra padding around the feet and ankles, and are often made from materials that are lighter in weight for extra maneuverability.
Specialty skate dealers often offer additional services included in your purchase. For example, free blade sharpening might be included or “baking”, which is a technique that molds the skate onto your food for the best possible fit.
Always ask plenty of questions and try on numerous pairs of skates prior to purchasing them. Stand and move around in them. Comfort is paramount followed by protection. If the skate doesn’t feel good on your foot in the store, it won’t feel any more comfortable on the ice. With plenty of brands to choose from, decide on one that is well known with many years of reputable skates behind them. Ask the store clerk what the best selling brands are and factor that into your decision.