How to Properly Size Your Skates

June 22, 2022
How to Properly Size Your Skates
Published on  Updated on  

No matter what level you play at, the right pair of skates is extremely important. Having the wrong pair of skates can hinder a young hockey player's development and can impact an experienced player's enjoyment of playing the game at any level. No matter if you're buying your first pair of skates or your tenth pair, fit is everything! When you're searching for that quality fit, you can look to our Fit Experts with years of experience!

What size skate am I? 

This is one of the most pressing questions when it comes to buying skates. Skates are sized according to both length and width. Generally speaking, your skates are sized 1 to 2 sizes smaller than your shoe size for men, and 2.5-3.5 sizes smaller for women.

Skate Size  Shoe Size (men's) Shoe Size (Women's)
6 7.5 9
6.5 8 9.5
7 8.5 10
7.5 9 10.5
8 9.5 11
8.5 10 11.5
9 10.5 12
9.5 11 12.5
10 11.5 13
10.5 12 13.5
11 12.5 14
11.5 13 14.5
12 13.5 15


It fits, but does it "fit"?

So now that you've picked your length and width fit, how should the skate actually feel on your foot? For starters, your foot should feel snug and secure in the boot. Besides your toes being able to wiggle without touching the toe cap, there should be no movement. The skate should feel like an extension of your leg. The less movement of your foot in the skate, the better. Too much movement can lead to not only decreased effectiveness on the ice but also painful blistering on your feet. On the contrary, skates that are too small can cut off the circulation to your feet, leading to pain and increasing your injury risk on the ice. So what is the ideal fit for a skate, then? Ideally, for a foot that is no longer growing, your toes should touch the very beginning of the toe cap while standing with your legs straight, and pull away slightly while your knees are bent. For a growing foot, there should be no more than a quarter inch of space between your big toe and the toe cap. This can be checked by sliding the foot forward until it just touches the toe cap, and measuring the amount of space between your heel and the back of the skate.  

Fit depending on brand 

Bauer and CCM both have distinct families of skates. CCM's skate families include the Ribcor, Jetspeed, and Super Tacks, while Bauer's include the Supreme and Vapor skates. Each of these skate families fit differently from one another.

Bauer fit 

Bauer has recently adopted a three fit system that's designed to cater to as many different skaters as possible, no matter how your foot is shaped.

Fit 1 is designed for people with narrow feet. It features a shallow heel pocket and a low instep that allows for a tighter fit around the ankle. 

Fit 2 features more room in the heel pocket and instep so players can have a bit more room to move their feet around. Think of this as a hybrid fit between a narrow foot and a wider foot. 

Fit 3 is designed to have the most room for the feet of the 3 fits. If players value having more room for their feet or if they have very wide feet, then this might be the right fit for them. 

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CCM fit 

CCM's 3 different skate families are all designed with different base characteristics. This doesn't mean that having a specific size or shape of foot predisposes you to a specific type of CCM skate however, because CCM has also introduced a 3 fit system to allow players to dictate the fit they want and then pick their preferred skate, instead of having their foot dimensions dictate their skate choice.

Tapered fit: This is the tightest fit that the custom fit system has to offer. It features a low instep and low overall foot volume - making it a great skate for players who want a tight fit and little movement of their feet in the skate itself.

Regular fit: This is CCM's hybrid of tighter and looser fits. This fit is the most common among the three, and features more room in the heel pocket, ankle wrap, and forefoot than the tapered fit. 

Wide fit: This fit is designed for players who need the most room in their skates. This fit features a taller instep with the deepest heel pocket of the three, and therefore the widest overall fit. 



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True Fit

True gives people the opportunity to fully customize their fit as well with their patented True MonoForm system - which uses heat fitting to give each skater a truly unique fit that works for them.

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A great fit right out of the box 

There will always be an adjustment period with new skates, but there are some things we can do to help you find the perfect fit here at United!

  • Heat fitting: This service is included with every new and used skate purchase at our store. We use a specialized system that heats the boot up so it can conform around your foot - providing a more precise fit before you even hit the ice!
  • Blade alignment: We make sure the skate, blade and your foot are each doing their job to maximize your performance on the ice. Not all skates will require an alignment, but we check to make sure that each skate is perfectly aligned to your skating stance before sending you home with your skates. 
  • Performance advantage: Even with all this, sometimes a little creativity is needed. That's where our years of Skate Fitting experience come in! We offer a ton of different individual services to make your skates fit better and feel more comfortable. 

What should I wear inside the skate?

It's generally believed that there's no "right answer" when it comes to what kind of socks you should wear for skating outside of specific hockey player socks. If you're just going out for a skate on the ODR, it mostly comes down to preference of thin or thick socks. Whichever you decide, we recommend taking this into account when you're getting fitted so you can perfectly align your socks with your skate fit!

Finally, to complete your perfect fit we recommend a supportive pair of insoles! We love Superfeet's Hockey Performance Insoles; they get up to 11% better acceleration on the ice, unrivaled edge control and exceptional energy transfer.

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No matter what level you play at, you deserve a pair of skates that fit great and allow you to perform at your very best. Our team at United is here to make that happen by offering expert advice and friendly service. Visit us in store or shop us online to learn more!

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