The goal is to give you a better understanding on how to properly judge what size and fit that you are in ice skates.
Unfortunately the answer to your question of how to properly size ice hockey skates...or any skate for that matter...is very difficult to answer. If you ask 10 people who fit skates this question, you will get 10 different answers, or possibly 10 variations of this answer. There is no one true rule or set of rules to follow for sizing skates properly. The end goal of this post is to give you a better understanding on how skates fit and how we at Majer Hockey size skates.
The most common problem that we find is the customer who wishes to match their shoe size to a skate size. although this can be done and we have seen it countless times, it should not. The reason being is that improperly fitted or sized skates have the potential to cause harm to your feet, or at the very least be really uncomfortable.
The general rule is that a skate size (using Canadian skate sizes, not US or UK sizing) is generally 1.5 sizes smaller than your shoe size. For women's shoes, the difference is 2.5 sizes. Easy enough? Not so fast. Has anyone ever had the dilemma of buying a shoe from one manufacturer then going to by the same sized shoe from another maker then finding out the sizes are different? Skates are no exception. You see, there is no true guide or set of rules to follow when someone makes a shoe or skate. It may be a bit different in UK sizing as they go by centimeters to determine the length of the foot. That would be too easy. What about the width? How about the fact that each skate line i.e. Bauer Vapor versus CCM Super Tacks, is different in their fit and construction. Wider heel pocket, deeper heel depth, tapered versus ergonomic. Let's just confuse you even more.
And how should skates generally fit? Well, the key points are as follows:
- there should be little to no negative space inside of the sates. All the space should be taken up by your feet. This ensures snug fit with optimal support that is needed.
-when seated and your feet are in your skates and the skate blades are flat on the floor, your big toe should be feathering or barely touching the end of the skate. If not, it should be very close to touching. The reason for this is that when we all skate, we are bent slightly or steeply at the knees. That bending motion leads to the tendons in your feet contracting and pulling the toes away from the front of your skates. And who knew skate fitters needed to know a bit of biology?
-there should be limited to no pressure on the sides, bottom or top of your feet. Again, a slight feathering of pressure should be experienced to ensure limited negative space.
-when lacing the skates up, the 2 rows of eyelets should be fairly parallel, meaning that the skates do not have to be over tightened nor are they restricting your foot movement.
-you do not want a great deal of pressure on the top of your feet after lacing the skates. This may in turn cause what is called "lace bite" when there is almost a rubbing away of the skin on the tops of your feet. At times it feels like a burning sensation and will cause pain. It also hinders the forward flex in your ankles for a more deeper skating stance.
So in the absence of having the luxury of trying skates on at your local store, here are some simple rules to follow:
1) Take your shoe size and minus 1.5 (for women 2.5) sizes. This will give you a basis line for you to now go on to the fit of each skate model.
2) take a quick peek at each manufacturers web site for sizing guides to get a better understanding on how each skate line fits.
3) walk in the skates. Try them on, tie them up and you should get a better feel for how that skates fit on your feet. any wobble? Painful pressure? Pinching?
And take a quick peek at some of the below images as you may get a better indication on what skate is the right one for you.