The Anatomy of a Hockey Skate
At Source for Sports, our hockey professionals know the gear inside and out. Every one of our skate fitting experts ensures that you receive the proper fit and understanding of why the product works for you, no matter what level you play.
Hockey skates are the most important piece of equipment in terms of your performance on the ice. At Source for Sports our skate fitters will refer to the components and the areas on the skate and will be assessing these areas for the best fit to your unique foot shape throughout the entire skate fitting procedure.
We custom fit every player with the skate that is right for their game taking into account:
- Foot Analysis
- Foot-to-Skate Compatibility
- Sizing and Fitting
- Blade Alignment
- Foot Support
Here is a brief summary of the nomenclature for the specific areas on a hockey skates and what they do in terms of fit:
The Toe Box
The toe box is the area at the front of the boot where your toes and the ball of your foot will rest. Issues arise if this area is too tight, causing blisters and pain, or too loose, which affects energy transfer to the blade. The very hard toe cap is at the front of the toe box area, and protects the front of the foot from impacts.
The midfoot area holds the foot secure in the skate. If the skate feels tight along the side of the foot, or if there is a specific pressure point, this can often be bumped out in the skate lab.
The heel holds the back of the foot in place. It is important that the heel is locked into this area, with no slippage. For players with very narrow or wide heels, going to a different model of skate will ensure an optimal fit.
The runner is also called the skate blade, and can be sharpened or contoured. There are different skate sharpenings available; learn more about skate sharpening here.
The holder houses the blade, and attaches to the outsole of the skate boot, creating one unit that houses the foot and holds the boot above the blade on the ice.
The Quarter Package
The quarter package runs from behind the toe box, along the midfoot and up to the ankle. This area, although rigid, is made of thermo-moldable material which allows the skate to be baked. When this composite material is heated, then put on the foot and allowed to cool, it then assumes the specific shape of the foot. Custom fitting means spaces within the skate are eliminated for maximum comfort and energy transfer.
The Eyelet Stay
The eyelet stay runs on either side of the quarter package, and houses the laces. There are different ways to tie your laces to avoid lace bite and to lock your heel in place.
The tongue provides comfort over the top of the foot, as well as protection. The inside of the tongue is usually made of dense felt, and is available in different thicknesses depending on the skate model. The exterior layer is made of a more rigid composite material that provides durability, protection and allows the laces to slide for tightening.
The liner covers the interior of the boot. It can be made of microfiber, Clarino leather or other materials, and can come as a grip or non-grip as well. The liner works with your sock to manage moisture, and stabilizes the foot to keep it snug in the boot.
The footbed rests on the bottom interior of the skate and will protect your foot from the rivet heads that attach the outsole to the boot. A footbed will put the foot into a neutral position within the boot, eliminating any negative space, to maximize power, performance and comfort. Shop all Superfeet footbeds.
The Tendon Guard
The tendon guard rises from the heel up the back of the ankle and protects the Achilles tendon from skate cuts and slashes. It is designed to be extremely stiff for this reason.
Now that you know the areas of a hockey skate, conversations with our fit experts will make a little more sense who will put you in the right gear for your playing style, budget, and level of play.