How to Fit (And Buy) Inline Skates
If you're a new-to-hockey skater, or a parent shopping for inline skates for your child, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of skate manufacturers and offerings.
The first step in selecting the right roller hockey skate is knowing your foot size and foot shape. If you don't know your foot size, you can use a pair of shoes to get an idea. Dress shoes—or another pair of tight-fitting shoes—are
preferable to a boot or sneakers, since they replicate more closely the snug fit you want in a skate. If you fall between sizes, round the size down, as inline skates are typically sized smaller than shoes.
Also note whether you have a high or low arch, and the width of your feet—narrow, medium, or wide. This information is important, as it will direct you toward specific manufacturers—each of which sizes its skates a little differently.
- Tour inline skates run about one size smaller than your shoe size.
- Mission inline skates generally offer a roomier fit, but run 1.5 sizes smaller than your shoe size.
- Bauer and CCM inline skates each run about 1.5 sizes smaller than your shoe size.
Generally, foot width is designated the following way:
- C = Narrow
- D = Standard
- R = Slightly wider than D (D+)
- E = Wide
- EE = Widest
Inline Skate Size Differences
As mentioned, each inline skate manufacturer constructs its skates differently. When sizing skates, it's helpful to throw brand loyalty out the window. Comfort and the right fit are more important than the logo.
When shopping for new inline hockey skates, find out how the skate is sized for:
It's also important to know the different wheel sizes and what they mean. Wheels are sized in millimeters. Smaller wheels provide a tighter turning radius and more maneuverability, while larger wheels help you skate faster. Skate come with wheel
sizes optimized for the skater's size. Typically, senior skates have a hi/lo setup of 80mm in the back and 72mm in the front. Junior skates may see 72mm in the back and 68mm in the front, while very small junior skates (sizes 1-2) may see 68mm
in the back and 59mm in the front. Wheels also have a durometer rating which indicates how hard or soft they are—different wheel ratings being appropriate for different skating/playing surfaces and differences in player weight.
Which Inline Skate Is Best for Me?
Once you know your foot dimensions and have selected the appropriate brand for the shape of your foot, you can decide what level of skate is right for you.
Manufacturers make entry-level and elite or pro-level roller hockey skates. Pro-level skates come with much stiffer boots for additional support. Bigger players will need stiffer boots for support. Skaters who play frequently will also want a stiff
skate that won't break down as quickly as a more forgiving boot. Similarly, an advanced skater will want a stiffer boot and a skate with premium performance features, because they'll be able to take advantage of those features, unlike a novice
skater who isn't going to push their skates to the performance limit.
Breaking in Inline Skates
The traditional method of breaking in new inline skates is to make sure they're laced or snapped snug, and then to simply skate a lot. Eventually, your new skates will be as comfortable as your old ones.
If you want to speed the break-in process a little, you can bake most high-end roller hockey skates like you would ice hockey skates, because the boot construction is basically the same. We recommend visiting your local Pure Hockey retailer to have
your new inline skates baked in-house by the professionals, rather than run the risk of ruining them at home.
Are you new to hockey or buying your child's first pair of inline hockey skates? Pure Hockey carries a wide selection of skates for players of every age and at every level of play. And our Low-Price Guarantee promises the most competitive prices