Hockey Help: Essential Tips for First-Time Hockey Skate Buyers

Buying skates for the first time? Need a refresher on what to look for at the store? Maybe, you’re not even sure where to start. That’s where we come in!

Buying skates can be a process, and it may seem intimidating. So if you answered yes to any of the questions above, be sure to read more below or watch our video on everything you need to know before you buy.

Let us help make your experience buying, as easy and simple as possible.

First of all you want to determine what the skates are going to be used for.  Whether it’s for recreational use that you’ll wear a few times outdoors in the winter, or if it’s a pair you need for several times a week for games and practices. You can simply ask a sales associate to point you in the right direction for models that are best made for your specific use.

Your perfect pair of skates do exist, even if you had a bad experience with a pair before.


How do I find the right size?

Getting sized for your skates can be done in many ways. The most common one used in many hockey stores is using a 3D scanner. This determines the right size you need, and the fit profile that best suits you for your skate needs.

If a 3D scanner isn’t available there’s a few easy ways for you to figure out what you need.

Sizing for skates will typically be 1.5 to 2 sizes smaller than your regular shoe size. You can always ask for a foot measuring device to double check what your actual shoe size is and subtract from there.

When trying on your skates, you’ll want them to fit snug, but not too tight that it’s uncomfortable. Having your skate fit snug, helps to make sure your foot won’t slide around the boot and you will be supported throughout all your movements.

An easy way to make sure the length is correct, is kicking the heel of your skate once the boot is on to make sure your heel is all the way at the back. This will help determine the exact amount of room you have at the toe.

If you are buying for kids, you can go a bit bigger, so they have room to grow and their skates can last longer. Make sure that they aren’t too big though, or your child’s foot will be sliding around and they won’t be having fun on the ice.


How do I care for my skates?

Caring and maintaining for your skates, is simple. After you have worn them, you need to:

Clean snow from your blade

Dry the blade

Put guards back on to protect the blade

When taking them off you will want to take the laces out of the top 2 holes. This will allow your foot to glide out, and prevent your heel from rubbing and prematurely tearing the liner. This will help them last longer.



When you are home from hockey or skating, take them out of your bag and hang them with the rest of your gear. Make sure that you take off your skate-guards and dry your blades, to prevent any moisture from rusting your blades. Keeping all equipment dry is the best way to help them last.

You can also take out the souls of you skates every few skates. This will help eliminate odour and keep the insides of your skate smelling fresh.

When should you sharpen your skates?

Right away! Sharp skates are essential for the best edges, and best game. If you thought the blades are already sharp upon buying, you’d be one of many to think this, but it’s not true. The first thing you should do after purchasing your skates, is get them sharpened.

After your first sharpen out of the box, you should get a sharpening every 7 games. Of course, once you skate for a while, you will begin to build a preference for when it comes to how often you sharpen your skates.

Some people like to get them sharpened a bit less, where some like to have them sharpened after every ice time.

How much will your skates cost?

The cost of skates can be a wide range of prices. That’s why, from our first point, it’s important to figure out what you’re going to use them for and how often.

If you are looking for a good pair to get you started on the ice, you can find a pair of kid/youth skates for $50 to $70. Where looking for an entry pair of adult skates can cost you from $70 to $90.

And that’s it!

There’s so much to think about when it comes to buying your first pair of skates, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! Just remember these highlights:

1. Think about what you want to use your skates for, and how often to help determine what quality of skate you need
2. Make sure it fits you just snug enough that you have room to move around
3. Sharpen those blades before you get on the ice & keep them dry between uses

Want to learn more about buying skates watch our video from out hockey help series “Hockey Skates: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy.” or other equipment? check out our Hockey Help collection, to learn everything about buying and keeping your equipment!

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