|If you can't skate, and skate well, you can't
play hockey. A good pair of skates is absolutely
essential both for skating well and for protecting
yourself against injury.|
Hockey skates differ from figure
several key respects:
- they don't have the teeth that give figure
skaters toeholds on jumps and spins.
- the boot is armored to protect against injury
from pucks and sticks.
- the blade is narrower.
- the blade curves slightly from end to end
(is rockered) rather than being flat.
- the latter two adaptations facilitate the
game's sudden turns, pivots and stops.
Never buy kids' skates that are too large,
waiting for junior to grow into them. This
is potentially harmful and dangerous. You
wouldn't do it with street shoes. If you're
on a budget, look for good used skates. This
is not a perfect solution, since skates will
mold to the foot of the first user, but it's
much better than getting skates that are
too big. Never compensate for big skates
with extra pairs of socks. Wear one pair
at most. Some top players have preferred
to go without socks. That's a matter of personal
The critical feature in any pair
is the amount of counter support.
is the section of the boot that
the instep, and extends up to
It must be sturdy and stiff,
will be unable to stand up straight.
battered skates with soft counters
to blame when casual skaters
There is a bewildering array
of skates from
which to choose. Some high-end
lined inside with packets of
gels that will
mold to the precise contours
of your feet.
Always be cognizant of weight.
the skate, the easier it is to
make sure that protection is
in the process.
You normally have to get skates
from 1 to
2 sizes smaller than what you
wear in street
shoes. Fit into the smallest
pair that is
comfortable and doesn't crimp
Skate blades are hollow ground
with a special
sharpening machine. Look down
of the blade and you'll see a
between the two sharp outer edges.
entrust skates to a shoemaker
or a knife
sharpener. They seldom have either
equipment or the proper technique.
in sharpening skates varies greatly
pro shops and rinks. Hockey players
quite particular about who "does"