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Purchasing Ice Hockey Skates ? - Things Your Need To Know!
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When I was a kid, I got my first pair of ice hockey skates from a garage sale.  They were leather, smelly and the blades were dull.  For the first couple years of my hockey career, I was accustom to crappy skates!!  As I got older and stronger my father purchased me a pair of those CCM plastic moulded skates.  Everyone remember those?  Well these skates were not made for the game of ice hockey.  They were so rigid and stiff that I could hardly skate, yet they were said to be the greatest ice hockey skate ever made at the time. 

After 2 years of agony and pain, my father broke down and purchased me a pair of Bauer 2000 ice hockey skates.  Now this was a good pair of skates.  By this time I was well into my teens and playing high school ice hockey, so I was on the ice a lot.  These skates passed the test with flying colours as I was able to keep them for more than 5 years.  My last set of ice hockey skates, which I am currently using now, is a pair of GRAF skates.  These skates are awesome and are the most comfortable ice skate I have ever put on.  In reflecting on my ice hockey career I would have to say that ice hockey skates are the most important piece of equipment you will buy when it comes to playing hockey.  If they are not fitted appropriately and or not suited for your level of hockey experience; it will make your ice hockey experience a miserable one.  This article will provide the main criterion for buying the perfect skates to suit you!!

As mentioned above, the first thing you want to do is ensure that the ice hockey skates you choose are properly fitted.  Many hockey newcomers make the mistake of purchasing skates that are too big, which is a huge mistake and may cause blisters.  Unlike shoes, skates should fit fairly snug, but not to the point where you are experiencing pain.

I suggest that you first size your foot with a measuring device.  Most hockey equipment stores will have some type of device that will help you indicate what size your foot is.  Once the size of your foot is established, you pick the appropriate skate size and design / name brand you like.  Put the skates on and lace them up loosely at first.  Now sit down and hit your skate on the floor until you feel your heel go into the back of your skate.  Once your heel is firmly in the back of the skate, proceed with tighten all the laces. 

Your skates should feel snug on your feet, but you should not feel any pain.  Walk around the store to get an idea of how they feel on your feet.  Your foot should not be slipping inside the skate nor should you feel that your toes are squished into the front of the skate causing you pain.  If you don't feel any of these things I noted above, then you should have proper fitting skates.  On a side note, a lot of hockey equipment stores will suggest heating the skates and then putting them back on your feet.  I highly recommend this option as it will allow your skates to be broken in quicker.

What Brand should I purchase?  The best name brands available today consist of: Bauer, Mission, Graf, CCM, Easton, Reebok and Nike, however each brand of skate has different levels comfort, durability and obviously different price ranges suited to your budget.  Never pick a pair of skates based on a name brand or pricing, otherwise you could possibly get an improper fitting.  Everybody has a different foot design, which specific name brands are geared towards.  Some hockey players may have a long and narrow foot, fat and wide or simply irregular.  In addition, the support of the skate increases with the level of hockey you play.  For example, if you were a beginner hockey player you would not need a top of the line skate with extra durability and protection for blocking shots.  You would most likely purchase a more comfortable skate that has less padding and less durability.  Be wise in your selection!!  

Choosing proper ice hockey skates will be the most important and time consuming step to getting yourself on the ice to play hockey.  However, remember that improper fitted skates that don’t work right are probably the most frustrating thing that can happen. Don’t let the wrong pair ruin your ice hockey experience.   


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