When it comes to getting into hockey, many new skaters find themselves stuck with a pair of skates that just don’t fit right. Some parents may even purposely buy their child a larger pair of skates so that they have room to grow. The problem is that if your hockey skates are too big, they simply will not work right, and they may even be dangerous.
The good news is that if your hockey skates are too big, there are many solutions you can try before purchasing a pair of new skates. If your child’s skates are too big, their feet are still growing, and you only need to find a temporary fix, like insoles or toe pads. If your feet are not growing, you can try more permanent fixes like heat molding.
In the rest of this article, I will detail how you can attempt to fix hockey skates that are too big. I will offer temporary and permanent solutions for resizing your skates, including techniques you can try at home and at your local skate shop.
Unfortunately, if none of these solutions work for you, you may have to purchase a new pair of skates.
Can I Pad My Skates?
If your skates are too long for your feet, you can try padding the toes. You can do this with objects such as crumpled newspaper or paper towels, cotton wool, or soft makeup pads.
If your skates are too tall or wide for your feet, you can try wearing a thicker pair of socks. You can also try an insertable insole, such as Superfeet, which will lift your foot inside the skate and cause it to fit more snugly.
When padding your skate it is important to make sure that your skates do not become too tight!
Can I Make My own Insole?
If you are really in a jam, Skaters Dad suggests creating your own cardboard insole. To do this, take out the insole from the skate and trace it onto a piece of cardboard.
Then, put the cardboard inside the skate and layer the insole back on top of it. This can serve as a makeshift insole until you are able to purchase a longer-lasting pair.
Should I Lace My Skates Tighter?
If your skates are only slightly too big, the way you lace them can certainly make a difference. However, you want to make sure that you are not lacing them so tightly as to constrict your foot or ankle. This can be dangerous!
If you are going to try lacing your skates tighter, try reverse lacing, also called over crisscross lacing. In this method, you run the lace through from the outside of the eyelet rather than the inside. This method combined with waxed laces for extra grip can help your skates fit just that little bit tighter.
What About Heat Molding My Skates?
Heat molding your skates, also known as baking your skates, is when you warm up your skates using an oven or heat gun and then lace them tightly onto your foot and let them cool. This can help your slightly too-big skates fit more snugly by molding them to the contours of your foot.
Your local skate shop should offer heat molding as an option, especially the shop you purchased your skates from.
Can I Heat Mold My Skates At Home?
It is possible to heat mold your skates at home using a household conventional oven. IceWareHouse provides a video on their website with detailed instructions to do so.
If you plan to heat mold your skates at home, be sure that you are fully prepared to do it safely and correctly. Double-check to make sure that your skates are heat-moldable, because if they are not, you may accidentally ruin your skates.
What If None of These Methods Help Me?
If you have tried all of these methods and your skates are still not fitting correctly, unfortunately, your final option will be to purchase a new pair of skates. While new hockey skates are expensive and you never want to have to drop the money on a new pair before you’re ready, there may be some things you can do to try to offset the cost.
First, if the skates are either only lightly worn or you have not skated in them yet, check with the shop you bought them from to see if a return or exchange is possible! Keep in mind that if you have heat molded your skates, this may not be an option.
You may also be able to sell your skates to try to recoup some of the money you spent on them. Try posting flyers at your rink to see if anyone is looking for a secondhand pair of skates. Chances are, someone will be!
Whatever you do, it is important to ensure that you are wearing a correctly fitted pair of skates. Skating in boots that are too big or too small can be uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst, so make