When it comes to playing the game of hockey, wearing the right pair of hockey skates can make all the difference in the world. Hockey is a sport that could even be dangerous without the right skates and gear. Choosing a pair of skates to play hockey with is not extremely difficult, but there are a few main factors that must be taken into consideration before making a purchase.
The boot is a very important part of hockey skates. It is important to find a boot that is made from hard plastic because this provides the best protection. A hard boot will offer protection from being hit with the hockey puck, and it will provide better support for your ankle.
Materials Used to Make Hockey Boots
If you have looked at a lot of hockey boots, you will notice that most are made from a variety of different synthetic materials and leather. Most quality hockey boots will have graphite and Kevlar as materials listed on the product label. When it comes to sporting equipment, Kevlar and graphite are some of the strongest materials available.
Upon placing a foot inside of a potential hockey boot, it is important that the boot feels secure around the ankle and supports the foot. Ensuring that the boot fits perfectly is essential. A boot that is too big will be useless on the ice, and a boot that is too small will cause serious discomfort and pain.
Choosing the Blade
A hockey skate blade is obviously the blade that allows the boot to glide across the ice. Most blades are made from steel featuring a hollowed out shape. A blade’s total radius is what determines how much of the blade will touch the ice.
Importance of Blade Radius
Blade radius is the most important factor to take into consideration when making a purchase. Beginner hockey players should go with blades that are five inches in radius because it helps them to propel across the ice. Five inch blades also offer better comfort and stability. Players who will be turning quickly or doing any amount of tricks should look for a blade that is three to four inches.
The hockey player who plays forward for their team should go with a blade that has a shorter radius because it allows for quicker, more accurate maneuvering. Hockey players who play defense need blades with a bigger radius.
Checking Hockey Skate Size
When determining proper hockey skate size, it is important to wear thick hockey socks. The reason why wearing the socks when finding skates is important is because it will provide more accurate results concerning skate support and comfort. All hockey skates should provide the player with a tighter fit than they would get from wearing regular shoes.
Stability and comfort are incredibly important when playing hockey. It is important for players to choose a skate that will provide the best comfort and stability. Children need skates that fit them perfectly at the time of purchase. Parents should not purchase a bigger size for their children because it can lead to serious ankle and foot injuries. Players can easily find a size chart that will make choosing hockey skates much easier. Typically, skate size is 1.5-2 sizes smaller than shoe size.
What Brands Are Best
The name brands that people recognize for all sports equipment are generally the best hockey skate providers. These are brands like Nike, Graf, Bauer, Easton, CCM and Reebok. Regardless if players are playing ice hockey or roller hockey, the top brands can provide the best skates.
Players can expect to pay anywhere from $80 up to $700 for a pair of hockey skates. When it comes to hockey equipment, the skates are easily the most important component, so spending more money to get a quality pair is an excellent idea. For an adult player whose foot has stopped growing, skates will last anywhere from 2-5 years before breaking down. Many pro players will use 2-4 pairs of skates in 1 season!
Obviously, before use, hockey skates should be sharpened. Your skate sharpening expert might ask you what size of hollow you prefer for your skates. Typically players that do more sharp turning and maneuvering on the ice want a shallower hollow (5/8 of an inch). Players that want more straight away speed usually prefer a deeper hollow (1/2 of an inch).
Types of Hockey Skates
There are two types of hockey skates that players have to choose from. Ice hockey skates are for players who will be playing on the ice. Inline hockey skates work well for players who will be training in a gym or similar environment before playing on ice. This buying guide is perfect for both types because the only difference between inline skates and regular ice hockey skates is that inline skates have wheels while ice hockey skates have blades.
Playing hockey is not as easy as it looks. It takes years of training for players to play as well as they do. If you want to become a proficient hockey player, you should enroll in an online hockey training program that offers custom workouts based on age, height, weight and training experience.