Finding the right fit for your child’s hockey skate can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Try pulling out the liner in the skate and have your child step on it to see if the foot touches both the heel and toe. We had our PT make a custom insert made for one of our sons because of his feet issues. You can find generic inserts at stores like Fleet Feet.

Tightening skates can be made super easy with a skate lace tightening tool. They resemble a key used to open a paint can, are less than $3.00 and are worth every penny. Lace the skates from the outside – threading through each eyelet from the outside in. Skate laces can also be found in pro shops. If the laces have frayed, use duct tape to create a solid end to lace them up easily and properly. Use knee socks that come above the skate to protect the skin, rather than have the skate touch the skin directly.

Hockey skates should be sharpened periodically. Area pro shops located in ice rinks will sharpen skates for less than $10.00* Call ahead of time to find out when they aren’t too busy. Skates should ideally be sharpened every six skates. Taking care of the blades is important to ensure a long life and re-use by another skater when your athlete outgrows his/hers. Dry the blades off with a towel after practice and cover with terrycloth guards, which will wick water away. Cabin John will let you drop skates off at the front desk and pick up after 48 hours. They charge $10.00 for drop off. Their pro shop hours are 3 pm to 7pm weekdays, 12 pm to 6:30 pm on weekends. Price for on the spot sharpening is $12.00 but not always available depending on how busy they are. Rockville Ice Arena charges $8.00 to sharpen blades.

How to Properly Fit Your Skates


First, size. The top of the stick should sit right at your athletes chin when they have their skates on. If the stick is too short they have to bend too deeply when handling the puck. Too tall and it is simply tough to wield.

Second, the blade. For younger children USA Hockey recommends a flat bladed stick. This helps the player learn to control and feel the puck, rather than relying on the deep "c" curve to cradle it. Also, the blade of a stick can become brittle and worn, particularly if dragged on pavement or used off the ice. If your athlete enjoys playing street hockey or basement hockey, feel free to grab a second stick from the storage locker and use that for off ice activities. If the blade has become very worn down make sure that the play stick and use the clean blade for on-ice activities.

Third, tape. Look at the tape on your athlete’s hockey stick. Does it need to be re-taped? Purchase hockey tape in your athlete’s favorite color or if you’ve got first aid tape on hand, use that. We had a box of ankle tape that I’ve been using to re-tape our hockey sticks, some of which are splitting open but work perfectly fine when taped well. How one does the top of the stick is a personal choice. You may choose to re-wrap over and over so as to provide some bulk and create a grip making it easy to pick up from the ice rink floor with bulky hockey gloves. Another trick is to pull a long piece from the roll and then spin it. You end up with a thick thread that you can wrap from the top of the stick down 3 to 5 inches. Then tape over it. This gives the stick some ridges to provide grip.


Hockey Equipment FItting Guide


Cleaning your athlete’s equipment is important. Most items, except for the helmet and skates, can go into the washer and then be hung dry on a drying rack set up in a bathtub or hung from the shower rod. In between washings, you can spray equipment with your favorite anti-bacterial spray, allowing everything to dry. Sprinkle baking soda or another athletic shoe powder into skates to help deodorize. Remember to inside out the hockey jersey when washing and let it hang dry. It will last longer. 

What's Living in Your Kid's Equipment Bag