You may be just as pumped as your toddler for the upcoming hockey season. Before you send him off to the ice, it’s vital to equip him with properly-sized hockey skates. Follow a few sizing recommendations to make sure they’re the right fit.
General Sizing and Growing Feet
Hockey skates tend to run on the large side. PureHockey.com recommends dropping 1.5 to 2 sizes down from his current shoe size. If you’re worried about him growing out of them too quickly, you should only buy a half size bigger than his current size and no larger. Buying them any bigger than that will not only be uncomfortable, it may cause his foot to slide around, make him unstable and cause blisters.
Measure the Foot
Measure your toddler’s foot before heading out on your shopping excursion. Measure in inches, as well as centimeters. Write those measurements down so you can have a quick reference when you’re out skate shopping. This helps if you don’t know your child’s proper shoe size or if he’s been growing faster than you can keep up. It’s also possible that your toddler is wearing the wrong sized shoe and you don’t want to rely solely on that.
Consider the Skate Manufacturer
Each brand has different sizing so don’t just assume that one size from one brand is the same size in another. Choose a manufacturer and look at its sizing chart. The chart will list a shoe size, its comparable skate size in U.S., Canadian and European sizing, and the actual foot measurements in inches and centimeters. You can find these sizing charts online or in the store.
Try Them On
Put some thick socks on your kiddo and slide the skates on. When you lace up the skates, remember that you don’t have to pull the laces tight in the bottom half of the skate or in the top three eyelets. Only worry about keeping the laces snug in the curve of the skate and the middle eyelets, as these keep the foot in place and push the heel into place. Tie them up and have him stand. The toes should lightly touch the toecap at the front of the hockey skate. When he bends his knees, the toes will shift away from the toecap into the heel cup. When the heel slides up instead of back, the skate is too large and you should grab a smaller size. Have him walk around for a while to see if there’s any slipping, wobbling or any other issues with the skates. Don’t be afraid to try on several pairs, including different brands and various sizes. One brand may fit your little one's feet better than others.
Price Isn’t Everything
Just because it’s a high-end skate and costs more, doesn’t mean it’s better for your toddler. Not only will he probably grow out of them by the end of the season, they may be too stiff or heavy for him to comfortably skate in. Those kinds of skates are aimed at older skaters who need a quality performance skate. Low- to mid-priced skates may be a better bet for little feet, as they may be lighter and more flexible.
Ask a Sales Associate
The sporting goods store sales associates are used to these kinds of questions, so feel free to ask for sizing advice. They can tell you which ones run small or give other helpful hints.