How to Break in New Hockey Skates

Breaking in a pair of hockey skates can often be a tricky process, one that requires patience and the right techniques. Whether you’re lacing up for the first time or just looking to make your current pair more comfortable, learning how to properly break them in can save you from blistering heels and shins for future games. In this blog post, we will discuss different methods of breaking into new hockey skates as well as tips on adjusting existing pairs for maximum comfort. From stretching leather linings to baking over ovens – all the information necessary for proper skate care is revealed here.

It’s a classic right of passage for all budding hockey players: the time-honored tradition of breaking in new skates. While it may seem intimidating at first, don’t worry — with a little bit of know-how, that shiny pair of figurative glass slippers can be transformed into the tools you need to kick off your illustrious hockey career. No matter if you’re stepping on the ice for the very first time or already have plenty of experience, this guide will teach you how to break in new hockey skates so that you can take full advantage of their power and precision every single time you step onto the rink.

Why May You Have to Break in New Hockey Skates?

1. To Prevent Blistering Heels and Shins

One of the most common reasons to break in new hockey skates is to prevent blisters. When a skate is too stiff and tight, it can rub against the foot in places that cause painful blisters. Breaking in a skate will help alleviate this problem by providing an outer shell that molds to the shape of your foot and ankle, creating a comfortable fit.

2. To Improve Performance

Breaking in a new skate will also improve performance on the ice. A skate that fits properly and is flexible enough to allow for natural movement has been proven to result in increased agility, speed, and power. As you break in your skates, they will become more comfortable, which allows you to focus on the game and not on any discomfort from the skate itself.

3. To Reduce Injury Risk

Another benefit of breaking in a new hockey skate is to reduce the risk of injury while playing. A skate that is too stiff can restrict natural movement, resulting in straining or tearing muscles, tendons, and other body parts. Breaking in your skates will help make sure that your foot is able to move naturally and with the least amount of restriction. This will result in better overall performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Reduce the Risk of Injury While Playing

Breaking in new hockey skates can be done before or after taking them out on the ice for the first time. It is important to remember that when it comes to breaking in skates, the process can take time and should not be rushed. Depending on how much time you have, there are several techniques that can be used to break in a new skate.

10 Methods Of How to Break in New Hockey Skates

1. Heat-molding

One of the most popular and effective ways to break in hockey skates is heat-molding. Heat-molding allows the boot of the skate to be shaped to your foot, providing a comfortable and secure fit. This process can usually be done at home with an oven or hair dryer. It’s important not to overheat the skates as this can cause damage.

2. Wear Thick Socks

When breaking in new hockey skates, it’s important to wear thick socks as they will help cushion your feet and provide more comfort. Thick wool or cotton blend socks are ideal for providing extra padding and warmth while you skate.

3. Tie the Skates Up Tightly

The key to breaking in hockey skates is to make sure that they are tied up tightly. This will help to mold the skate material around your feet for a snug fit. Make sure to double-knot the laces and ensure that there isn’t any extra slack before you begin skating.

Make Sure That They Are Tied Up Tightly

4. Skate on Soft Surfaces

When first learning how to break in hockey skates, it’s important to skate on softer surfaces. Skating on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt can be damaging to the boot of the skate and cause discomfort while skating.

5. Take Frequent Breaks

When breaking in new skates, taking frequent breaks is essential for allowing your feet to adjust without becoming too sore. Take a few laps around the rink, and then give your feet a few minutes to rest before continuing with skating.

6. Walk in the Skates

Another great way to break in hockey skates is by walking in them for short periods of time. This helps to mold the skate material to your foot, as well as get used to the feel of the skate.

7. Stretch Out the Skate Tongue

When breaking in new hockey skates, it’s important to make sure that the tongue of the skate is properly stretched out. The more flexible the tongue is, the more comfortable it will be while skating. To stretch out the tongue, use a pair of pliers to pull it in different directions.

8. Use a Skate Stretcher

Using a skate stretcher can help to speed up the breaking-in process for new hockey skates. These devices are designed to stretch out the skate material, making them more comfortable and providing better support.

9. Wear the Skates Around the House

When you first get your new hockey skates, wearing them around the house can help to break them in. This will give your feet time to adjust to the fit of the skate and prevent any future discomfort while skating.

Adjust to the Fit of the Skate

10. Skate Slowly

It’s important to start off slowly when breaking in new hockey skates. Don’t go full speed until your feet have had time to adjust to the new fit. Skating slowly will prevent any soreness and make the skates much easier. Following these tips can help you break in your hockey skates quickly and comfortably!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take Before Breaking in My Hockey Skates?

Before breaking in any new hockey skates, it’s important to take a few key steps to ensure the best possible fit. First, make sure your skates are properly sized. Have an experienced skate technician measure your feet and adjust the skates to fit snugly and comfortably while still allowing your toes to wiggle. The boot of the skate should fit snugly against your heel, but not so tight that it causes discomfort or restricts circulation. Additionally, check for any sharp edges inside the boot and remove them with a file to prevent blisters or other abrasions.

How Long Does it Take to Break in Hockey Skates?

The amount of time it takes to break in new hockey skates varies from person to person. Generally, it can take anywhere from 10-20 hours of wear before the skate starts feeling comfortable. It’s important not to rush the process and take short breaks throughout your skating sessions. This will help ensure that your feet don’t become too sore from the break-in process.

What Are Some Tips for Breaking in Hockey Skates?

When breaking in new hockey skates, it’s important to do so gradually over time. Start by wearing your skate for short periods of time and slowly increase the length of these sessions until you feel comfortable. Also, make sure to wear the correct type of skate socks. Thin cotton or wool socks will help wick away sweat and provide an extra layer of cushioning between your feet and the boots for added comfort.

Wear the Correct Type of Skate Socks

You can also consider applying a leather conditioner or petroleum jelly to the inside of the boot to help soften it up quicker. Finally, if you’re serious about breaking in your skates, consider investing in a skate oven. This device helps to heat the boot of the skate and soften it up faster for more comfortable wear. Also, it can help reduce the amount of time it takes to break in your skates.


Now you know how to break in new hockey skates! Ultimately, having your own pair of hockey skates is a great way to stay safe on the ice. Breaking them in correctly with patience and perseverance will set you up for success for years to come. By using an oven or heat gun, boot tongues and overlays, lacing methods, footbeds, skate sharpening techniques, and off-ice exercises, you can easily break in your new hockey skates in no time.

The most important thing to remember when breaking in your new hockey skates is that it takes time – there’s no shortcutting the process! With just a bit of extra care and effort now, you can find yourself with a comfortable fit that can last you even through league championships. So, don’t be too quick to give up – take your time breaking in those skates and you can reap the rewards all season long!