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Written by SEC - June 15, 2022

Skates are one of the most important pieces of equipment in your kit (besides your stick) and choosing the wrong pair can lead to frustration, injuries, or even worse — ending your hockey career before it ever begins.

With that in mind, it's important that you take the time to pick the right pair from the start. In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know to choose the perfect set for your body and skill level.

You'll learn everything you need to know about:

  1. Anatomy of skates

  2. Choosing the Right Size

  3. Choosing Skates for Your Playing Style

  4. Care & Maintenance

Anatomy of Skates

If you're buying a pair of hockey skates, you'll want to know the anatomy of a skate. There are numerous parts that make up a skate, and some of them can be confusing if you've never looked into them before.

Below is a brief summary of each components:

Quarter Package

It is a vital part of a skate boot. The extra padding on the sides of the ankle extends from the toe cap to the heel and around the back of the ankle.

Tendon Guard

It goes from the heel up the back of the ankle. The Achilles tendon—the thickest and strongest in the human body—is vulnerable to injury, which can be prevented by this.


It provides protection and cushioning for the front of the foot.

Boot Liner

It is the inside surface of your boots, is padded for protection and a secure fit.

Footbed, or Insole 

a removable insert that fits inside the skate to provide better support and traction for the feet.


It is the rigid piece at the bottom of a boot, which holds the blade assembly (the holder and runner).


It attaches to the outsole, thereby keeping the runner in place.


It's the skate blade. Most hockey skates consist of a single holder and runner, but more expensive models may have a two-piece design in which the holder can be removed and replaced separately from the runner.


There are many different parts that are essential to the functionality of your skates and how they fit. Now that you have a basic understanding of what a hockey skate consists of, you can ask our experts more informed questions about the gear that will best suit you.

Choosing the Right Size

The most accurate way of determining your skate size is to use your shoe size. For best results, we recommend getting a pair of skates that are half to one size smaller than your shoe size. Skate manufacturers typically accommodate a skate's foot in these three different areas:


The size and shape of your foot from the tip of your toe to the front of your ankle.


The depth of your heel, which determines how far back in the skate you will feel comfortable.

Volume of your foot, from heel to toe

This refers to how much room there is for additional padding and support under the ball of your foot. 

For further assistance with sizing, please refer to our size chart.

Choosing Skates for Your Playing Style

Some players are more aggressive than others. They tend to be perpetually on their toes, ready to go for the puck as soon as it is passed across the ice In contrast, other players are more reserved, playing a defensive game and preferring to read plays while staying on the defensive side of the puck.

Skate styles vary according to the playing style. Some skates have features designed to put the skater in an aggressive stance. These skates have a forward pitch at the ankles that allows you to get a deeper knee bend. Other hockey skates also have a curve in the blade holder, which puts the player more on their toes.

Each style of skates have their own pros and cons, as different styles cater to different playing styles.

Care & Maintenance

When you invest in ice hockey skate protection and care accessories, you're investing in a safe, long-lasting relationship with your skates. Skates are a huge investment—they're not cheap! But when you look after them properly, they can last for years.

There are many different accessories that you can purchase to protect and care for your skates. These include things like:

Skate guards 

They are made from plastic and they help protect your ankles from getting hit by another player’s skate blade.


These are thin foam inserts that go inside your skate boot in order to provide extra padding and comfort while wearing them.

Key Takeaways

  • Get familiar with the parts of the skate so that you can pick out the best one for your needs.

  • Choose a pair of skates that are half to one size smaller than your shoe size.

  • Choose a pair of skates that suits your playing style.

  • Investing in accessories will help ensure the longevity of your skates.

Buying hockey skates can be a daunting task but with some good guidance it doesn't have to be. Now that we've covered the basics of how to choose hockey skates, it's time to pick out the perfect pair. Hopefully, you've done your research and have a few pairs in mind.


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