How to Find the Right Size Hockey Skates

A player wearing hockey skates on ice.

In a fast-paced sport like hockey, you need gear you can trust, so every piece of equipment needs to be tailored to the player, including their hockey skates. Of all the equipment, hockey skates are the most critical – they allow for the quick movement and agility necessary to play this fast-paced game. So, finding the right size is crucial. To help players and parents find the right size hockey skates, our Hockey Experts break down all you need to know to take your skating to the next level.

The Importance of Buying the Correct Size Hockey Skates

Being comfortable and confident in your gear is essential to get the best performance possible out of your equipment. A properly fitting skate not only ensures comfort but also maximizes performance. Too small or too large skates can lead to discomfort, blisters, and injuries, affecting the player’s ability to control their edges on the ice.

How to Correctly Measure Your Foot

To find the right size hockey skates, you first need to measure your foot correctly. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Put on a thin sock or no sock at all.
  2. Stand straight on a paper with your heel against the wall.
  3. If possible have another person trace your foot or trace your foot with a pencil held perpendicular to the paper.
  4. Measure the distance between the two furthest points (the heel and the longest toe) in inches or centimeters.
  5. Repeat the process with your other foot.
  6. Use the larger of the two measurements to determine your skate size using the sizing guides provided below.
Player putting on a CCM hockey skate.

The Differences in Brands and Models

Something to keep in mind when selecting a skate is the fit and performance each brand offers. There are two popular brands of hockey skates: CCM and Bauer. CCM hockey skates tend to run wider than Bauer. So if the skater has a wider foot, CCM may be a better fit. Bauer skates have a more narrow fit in the heel. Aside from brand differences, there are also different models of hockey skates that are suited to your skill level and playing position. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, it's important to personalize your skate to fit your play style too. 

Features of Hockey Skates That Can Affect Sizing & Fit

Several features of hockey skates can affect sizing and fit, including the boot construction, the liner, and the skate blades.

  • Boot Construction: The boot of the skate is the upper portion above the blade. Depending on the brand, the boot is constructed differently as some offer a narrower or wider fit than others. Plus, boots vary in weight and material to fit your playing style. 
  • Liner: The liner is the inner part of the boot that cushions and supports your foot inside the skate. Some liners are designed to mold to your foot over time, while others may have a more rigid fit. Most skates also allow for heat form fitting to your foot, which is a service many of our SCHEELS locations offer.
  • Skate Blades: Players may need different blade profiles and sizes depending on the position. This can affect the fit of the skate. An 8-inch radius is flatter and provides more speed because more of the blade touches the ice, while a 7-inch blade is smaller meaning it's better for agility, deeper edges, and smoother turns.
Player lacing up hockey skates.

Hockey Skate Size Charts

Sizing guides and charts provided by manufacturers are essential to deciding which skate size to choose. Hockey skates tend to run one to two sizes smaller than your shoe size. When shopping for new hockey skates, you'll also want to pay attention to the width, which is represented by a letter. A D-width skate is standard, and an EE-width skate is wide. 

Youth Hockey Skate Size Chart

  • Youth hockey skates are sized to fit toddlers and young children if the age range of approximately 9 years old and younger with a youth shoe size of 1.5 or smaller.
Suggested Skate Size US Shoe Size

Junior Hockey Skate Size Chart

  • Junior hockey skates are sized to fit kids in the range of approximately 8 to 12 years old with a shoe size of 2 to 6.5.
Suggested Skate SizeUS Shoe Size

Senior Hockey Skate Size Chart

  • Senior hockey skates are sized to fit adults and full-grown teenagers with a men's shoe size of 7 or larger.
Suggested Skate SizeUS Men's Shoe Size

Expert Fit Tip: After lacing up the skates, make sure you or your player walks around to test the comfort level of the skate. Remember, it takes a few times wearing the skates to break them in. It is also important to have your blades sharpened regularly—once for about every six to eight hours of practice or game time is ideal. Many of our SCHEELS locations offer skate-sharpening services!

Finding the right size hockey skates is essential for optimal performance and comfort on the ice. Remember to measure your foot correctly, consider the various features of hockey skates that can affect sizing and fit, and review the sizing guides and charts provided by the different skate manufacturers to make the best decision.  If you have additional questions about how to find the right hockey skates or looking for the best options for the season ahead, stop into your local SCHEELS to speak with an Expert today!

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