How to Fit a Hockey Helmet
Hockey Helmet Sizing
Selecting the right hockey helmet can sometimes be difficult because there are few noticeable performance
enhancements associated with helmets. A
helmet does not add speed to your skating or strength to your slap shot. However, the correct fit will make the
difference between a contact sport and a possible injury. A properly sized hockey helmet provides crucial
protection against one of the most dangerous hockey injuries: a head injury.
When shopping for a hockey helmet, a good fit is far more important than color or style. Fit is the most
important factor because there is a direct correlation between a properly sized helmet and safety. You can
determine your helmet size by measuring the circumference of your head about ½ - 1” above your
eyebrow. This measurement also correlates to your hat size. Please note this is an approximation and sizing will
vary slightly among manufacturers.
How to Fit Hockey Helmets
Make sure the helmet fits snugly on the head. Depending on the size and shape of your head, some brands and
styles fit better than others. A properly fitting helmet sits flat on the head and is about ½ inch above
your eyebrows, without tilting forward or back. Adjust the chin strap so that it fits firmly under the chin. You
want the helmet to fit snug enough so that it doesn’t shift, but not to the point of where it feels
uncomfortable. If you feel pressure or pinching, the helmet is too small. Please note that most hockey helmets
today feature tool-free clips that allow quick and easy adjustments that not only ensure a custom fit, but also
allow room to grow.
Remember to make sure the helmet fits properly and provides the comfort and protection the player needs. The
extra few dollars to have a correctly fitting hockey helmet is well worth it. If your helmet becomes dented or
cracked, replace it immediately. It is also important to maintain the HECC stickers on the helmet. In the event
that you would need to replace the helmet, the warranty would be void if the stickers were removed.
Types of hockey face masks
There are three types of hockey face
masks to choose from: wire cage, face shield and combination masks. At minimum, all three options offer
protection for the top half of the face. (Youth through college players are required to wear full facial
protection—wire cage, full shield or combination mask; junior hockey players have the option to wear a
half shield). Personal preference guides which hockey helmet mask a player chooses.
*All youth through college level players are required to wear a face mask.
Wire Cages vs. Face Shields
Wire Cages cover the entire face and jaw area. The mask should fit snugly against the chin. If
the mask is too long, it is possible that the nose and mouth will come in contact with the mask on impact. When
the player’s mouth is closed, the chin should fit comfortably into the chin cup. To ensure the mask is
attached properly to the helmet, follow the specific manufacturer instructions you received with the face mask.
Hockey helmet cages provide more protection and do not fog up like face shields, but they are also generally
heavier. The mask should fit snugly against the chin. If the mask is too long, it is possible that the nose and
mouth will come in contact with the mask on impact. When the player’s mouth is closed, the chin should fit
comfortably into the chin cup. To ensure the mask is attached properly to the helmet, follow the specific
manufacturer instructions you received with the face mask.
Face Shields are made of a high impact-resistant clear plastic and come in either full shield
or half shield. Half shields generally cover the face to just below the nose, leaving the bottom half of the
face unprotected. Some players prefer shields instead of wire cages because shields offer better overall vision
since no wires are in the way. Shields do, however, tend to fog up during use. Most shields today are made with
fog-resistant coating. If you still experience fogging, try using a de-fogging spray or wipe.
Combination Masks combine the best of both designs: a plastic face shield to protect the eyes and upper part of
the face and a wire cage to cover the lower half of the face and add ventilation.