Sizing Guide

Fitting Guidelines

NOTE: These are general fitting guidelines, all of our products have the updated sizing charts on each product page under the sizing tab!

PLAYER:

[Helmets]   [Ice Skates]   [Gloves]   [Shoulders]   [shins]   [Elbows]   [Pants]   [Sticks]   [Blades]   [Shafts]

GOALIE:

[Goal Masks]   [Goal Skates]   [Leg Pads]   [Goal Sticks]

Player

Helmets

To Measure for Proper Helmet Size:

Place a tape measure 1" above the eyebrows and measure the distance (circumference) around the head. Match the player's size to the suggested helmet sizing.

Fitting:

When fitting a helmet, open the helmet up to its largest setting and position the helmet so the rim is one finger width above the eyebrows. Gradually downsize the helmet (if necessary) until a comfortable, snug fit is achieved. The helmet must be snug enough to prevent any movement or rotation with the sizing secured and the chin strap securely fastened. An oversized helmet can lead to unnecessary injuries.

Certification:

Most leagues require a helmet to be CSA and/or HECC certified for use. The face cage or shield must also meet these standards and be approved for use with the helmet they are attached to. While it is usually recommended that you match the brand of your helmet and cage/shield, most helmets are certified for use with a variety of cages from other manufacturers. Check with the documentation included with your helmet to make sure the cage is approved for use with the helmet. It is recommended that you replace your helmet after every 2 years of use regardless of the fit or condition. The sweat and wear a helmet takes going through the rigors of hockey and constant storage in damp hockey bags can cause the liner to harden and lose some of its protection capabilities.

How to buy:

When choosing the best helmet you should factor in a number of benefits and features in your decision. The level of hockey that you play is important, however all certified helmets are approved for any level of play. The more expensive helmets often exceed the certification standards for protection, provide better ventilation and are lighter with a thinner, more dense liner. EPP liners, composite sub-shells and other new materials have made it possible for companies to develop more protective helmets that are much lighter than traditional helmets. These materials and the cost of product development are a big factor in increasing the price of a helmet. Another factor to consider is adjustability. Some helmets offer a tool-less adjustment to make it easier to fit the helmet to your head, and many top-end helmets are developing ways to adjust the helmet side-to-side as well as front to back. The additional adjustment features can ensure a much better fit across a wider variety of head shapes & sizes. This in-turn makes the helmet more protective by minimizing movement that can lead to concussions and other serious injuries. With all of this considered it all comes down to comfort and fit. Hockey can be a dangerous sport, but making sure you have the right sized protective equipment can go a long way in preventing injury.

Skates

To Measure for Proper Skate Size:

The best way to measure for a pair of skates is with a brand-specific Branic(r) device, but in the absence of that, you can get a good idea of your size based on your US dress shoe size (Sneakers and sandals often vary in size or are worn larger than your true shoe size, so the results are far less accurate using those options as a base for sizing). A half size larger can often be used for a child's skate to allow room for growth. Using a skate that is more than one half size too big can result in damage to the player's ankle, premature breakdown of the skate and could hurt the player's skating ability. The width of the skate is designated by the letter following the number size on a skate. A "D" or "R" signifies a standard width skate, while an "E," "EE" or "W" signifies a wide skate.

Note:

When selecting a skate for a woman subtract 2 sizes from the US woman's shoe size to find the corresponding men's shoe size before consulting the manufacturer's suggestions (does not include women's specific skates).

Nike Bauer

1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size. These skates are traditionally more narrow in the heel and mid-foot than other brands. (Skates from 2002 and prior for Nike only were sized at the same size as shoe size)

CCM

1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size. These skates are wider in the heel, mid-foot and toe than other brands.

RBK

1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size. These skates fit similar to the CCM only slightly wider in the mid-foot.

Graf

1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size. Graf offers a variety of different fits across its skate options.

Mission

Same size to .5 smaller than shoe size. Mission skates fall in the middle of the pack in terms of width.

Tour

Same size to .5 smaller than shoe size. These skates fit a little wider than other brands of skates.

Easton

1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size. These skates have a slightly more narrow heel and slightly wider toe.

Fitting:

When fitting a new pair of skates, kick the heel of the foot back into the skate and lace the skate up. For an ideal fit, your toe should be able to brush the end of the skate prior to heat molding or breaking in the skates. As you break in a new pair of skates the player's heel will push further back in the pocket to allow additional room. The foot should feel comfortable with minimal to no movement side-to-side or front-to-back. Any movement could result in discomfort or blistering.

Breaking in your skates:

Many new models of skates offer the ability to heat mold the boot for a faster break-in and more comfortable fit. While not necessary, the heat molding process can alleviate additional uncomfortable break-in time and can help customize the fit of the skate to the shape of your foot. Most pro shops offer heat-fit machines specific to the brand of skate which will work the best in customizing the fit, however they usually charge for this service. If you're looking for an effective way to break-in the skates on your own, the answer is quite simple: Lace the skates up when you are at home. Use a pair of hard skate guards and walk around the house or wear the skates while you are watching TV. The heat from your feet will help mold the skate to your foot, and the more you wear them before stepping on the ice, the better they will feel when you take that first stride.

How to buy:

The biggest thing to think about is fit. Every manufacturer we carry has excellent quality skates, but if the fit is not right for you(,) then your skating will suffer because of it. Take into account the shape of your foot. Little information like "My foot tends to be narrow in the heel and wide at the toe" can help greatly in determining what brand of skate might work best for you. If you need any help with fitting feel free to contact us. We realize that buying skates online can be intimidating, but we are trained to help.

As for skate features, the buzz word around modern skates is "Light." Many people ask us what is the lightest skate on the market, but this is not the only thing to consider when buying a pair of skates. The level of skater you are makes a big difference in your decision. Pro level skates are great for the top level skaters, but they can be hard to break-in for players that only skate once or twice a week. Generally speaking, the lighter the skate is, the sooner it will break down (although companies are working on new materials to get around this problem), but this is a trade-off well worth it to many players. Lighter skates can help you to be quicker and more agile, even late in a game.

Look for the skate that has the right balance of support, comfort, durability, protection & weight for you. You don't have to spend top dollar to get a skate that will work great for you, most companies offer affordable skate options that are durable enough for most levels of play with great features, comfort and support.

Gloves

Measuring for Gloves:

With the player's forearm bent, measure the distance between the fingertips and the elbow pad. Use this measurement to select the corresponding inch size for gloves. If you use a shorter cuff glove, or have particularly long fingers, a wrist guard can be used to help cover any gaps between the glove and the elbow pad.

(general guidelines for glove sizes based on height)

Measuring for Gloves

Glove Size
Player Height
8"-9"
up to 3'8"
10"
3'8"-4'0"
11"
4'0"-4'4"
12"
4'4"-4'8"
13"
4'8"-5'4"
14"
5'4"-6'0"
15"
6'0" and up

Fitting:

Hockey gloves should fit loose enough so your fingers are not jammed into the end of the glove, but snug enough so you do not loose grip on the stick. A good fitting glove will give you ample wrist protection, but allow plenty of room for mobility in the fingers. A tight fitting glove could sacrifice protection and mobility.

How to buy:

Select a glove that provides ample protection and still gives great mobility. You want a palm that is durable and soft enough to provide a good feel of the stick. All gloves will break-in as you play with them, but gloves with segmented fingers and stretch gussets can provide a much more flexible and broken-in feel right out of the box. PE (plastic) inserts in the fingers and thumb can help add protection for higher levels of play but are generally not necessary for younger players. The cuff style is usually a big deciding factor in which glove to purchase. Some players prefer the mobility of shorter, more open cuffs, while others prefer the better protection provided by gloves with longer cuffs. Look for a glove that suits your balance of protection and mobility.

Leather vs Nylon:

Most players prefer the durability and look of a leather (or synthetic leather) exterior for their gloves. Nylon gloves are historically a little less durable, however many professional players prefer to use a nylon exterior for their glove because nylon is lighter and sheds water more easily.

Shoulder Pads

Measuring for Shoulder Pads:

With the player standing upright, measure the player's chest size (circumference) just below the arm pits. Use this size to determine the proper size shoulder pad to select.

Fitting:

Shoulder pads should fit snugly but provide plenty of mobility. Protection is important; Make sure the shoulder caps sit securely on top of the shoulders and the arm guards cover the entire distance from under the shoulder cap to the elbow pads without leaving any gaps.

How to buy:

Choose the right fit of protection and mobility for your needs. Shorter, lighter shoulder pads are often selected by forwards and more agile skaters because of the improved mobility. The longer shoulder pads with greater protection can be a great fit for the more physical player or one that is constantly blocking shorts or digging in the corners. Features like extended stomach protection, reinforced spinal or collarbone protection and adjustable length bicep guards can help provide additional protection in key areas without adding a lot of bulk to the pads.

The shoulder caps generally fall into two categories, standard and low profile. Low profile caps sit closer to the shoulders and tend to extend a little further down, where as the standard caps sit more upright and add more protection by increasing the distance between the shoulder and the pad.

Shin Guards

Measuring for Shin Guards:

While the player is sitting, measure the distance from the center of the kneecapto the top of the skate boot (not the tongue). Match this size to the corresponding inches in the shinguard.

(general guidelines for shin guards based on height)

Measuring for Shin Guards

Shin Guard Size
Player Height
8"
3'4"-3'8"
9"
3'8"-4'0"
10"
4'0"-4'4"
11"
4'4"-4'8"
12"
4'8"-5'0"
13"
5'0"-5'4"
14"
5'4"-5'8"
15"
5'8"-6'0"
16"
6'0"-6'4"
17"
6'0" and up

Fitting:

Shin guards can be worn inside or over top of the skate tongue. If you wear the shin guard inside of the tongue of the skate you may use a slightly shorter shin guard than someone who wears the shin guard over top of the tongue. A properly fit shin guard should cover the entire distance down to the top of the skate boot without spaces or gaps.

How to buy:

Look for a shin guard with ample protection for your level of play. Many models of shin guards offer increased protection for the calf that can help reduce the risk of injury resulting from a slash or skate blade. Usually more expensive shin guards offer greater protection and provide better comfort by providing improved liners (some that help remove moisture during play) and allowing for better ventilation to keep you cool. A removable liner can help extend the life of the shin guards by allowing you to air everything out completely to prevent bacteria buildup.

Shin guard straps can help keep everything in place and can reduce the need to tape around your socks.

Elbow Pads

Measuring for Elbow Pads:

Sizing for elbow pads can be tricky. The true size is an inch measurement from your shoulder pads to the cuff of your gloves, however differences in the style of elbow pad or glove can be a big factor in how this measurement converts to sizing of the elbow pad. Because of this some companies shy away from posting specific sizing guidelines, while others give suggestions based on height. Here is a general guideline to help you choose what size might be right for you based on the shoulder pad to cuff measurement.

CHART (general guidelines for elbow pads based on height)

Measuring for Elbow Pads

Shin Guard Size
Inch Size
Player Height
Youth Sizes
7"-9"
3'3"-4'7"
Jr Small
9"-11"
4'3"-4'7"
Jr Medium
10"-11"
4'5"-4'9"
Jr Large
10"-12"
4'7"-4'11"
Sr Small
12"-13"
5'1"-5'8"
Sr Med
13"-14"
5'7"-5'11"
Sr Large
14"-15"
5'9"-6'0"

Fitting:

Elbow pads should fit securely around the arm without rotating. The best fitting elbow pad should cover the entire distance from the shoulder pad's bicep protection to the end of the glove's cuff. If there is a gap in this distance, a wrist guard can be used to help protect the forearm/wrist.

How to buy:

Select an elbow pad that fits your needs for protection and mobility. Additions of forearm guards and bicep protection can help prevent injury, however some players choose to sacrifice the protection for a smaller, more mobile elbow pad. The elbow cap can be soft (protected by foam) or hard (protected by plastic). Some leagues require a covered elbow cap so companies have used an extra covered piece of material over the hard plastic to give the protection, but still meet the league guidelines.

Hockey Pants

Hockey Pants / Breezers Measure

Measure the distance around the player's waist. Select the pant with the corresponding waist size. For particularly tall players, a larger waist size may be needed to allow for enough length to cover the legs down to the top of the shin guards. In this instance suspenders should be used to help secure the pants.

Fitting

A properly fit pair of pants will allow you freedom of movement without getting in the way of the shin guards kneecap. Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice a little fit in the waist or length of the pant to ensure plenty of protection without impeding skating.

How to buy

All pants have plastic inserts to protect against injuries, however the higher level pants have fewer gaps, more dense protection and can often have added features to improve the fit, protection or weight. It is important to choose a pant suitable for your level of skill and play. Added tailbone and spine protection can be a big positive in some pants, while other features such as skate zippers, vented materials and stretch gussets can add to the convenience and comfort of a pant. Look for a pant with good adjustability including a belt and lace system that provides sufficient opportunity to cinch to pant to fit your waist. A few pants have come out with adjustability features beyond this allowing for height adjustment on the pant.

Just about every young hockey player should consider getting suspenders with their pants. The suspender tabs on a pant allow you to customize the length of a pant without hurting a player's protection or skating ability. The suspenders can also help extend the use of a pant that has started to become a little short for the player.

Hockey Sticks

Hockey Sticks Fitting:

With your skates off, stand the stick upright so that the shaft is parallel with your body and the toe of the stick touching the floor. The tip of the stick should touch the end of your nose. A stick may be cut/shortened or an end plug added (shafts & composites only) to customize the length of your stick. With composite sticks especially cutting large amounts off the stick can significantly affect the stiffness of the stick (in general, cutting more than 3 inches off the length of the shaft will create a noticeable increase in the stiffness).

How to buy:

There are several things to consider when purchasing a stick.

Construction:

There are 3 basic types of sticks currently on the market. Composite sticks are generally the most expensive, but they are very lightweight & produce a quicker release and harder, more accurate shot. These sticks also retain their rigidity for longer periods of time and are much more consistent from one to the next, so you will always be using a stick with the same feel, flex and weight. Wood sticks are much more affordable and have a natural "feel" of the puck that composite sticks have trouble replicating. This comes at a price of a heavier weight and more inconsistencies from stick to stick because of the nature of the wood materials. Hybrid sticks use a mixture of wood and manufactured materials to help produce a more consistent stick than wood and a better "feel" of the puck than composites. These sticks generally cost more than their wood counterparts, but less than composites. No one type has proven more durable than the other as there are sticks in each category built for performance rather than durability.

Flex:

Most stick come in a variety of flexes. Each manufacturer uses a different scale to rate their flexes, so it's not really an apples to apples comparison when you are looking at a 100 flex in the Easton and a 102 flex in the Bauer. The stiffer flex can be beneficial to bigger stronger players particularly if they take a lot of slap shots. In the hands of a lighter, smaller player, or someone who takes a lot of wrist shots the stiffer flex will not yield as good of results as a more flexible stick. In the end however, flex is a personal preference as there are many bigger players who use a more flexible stick and smaller players who prefer a stiffer stick.

Curve:

Sticks are available in right handed, left handed or straight options. Whichever hand is lower on the stick denotes to curve direction. Do not assume. It is possible for a person who throws right hand, writes with their right hand etc. to use a left handed hockey stick.

Blade Pattern:

The blade pattern is all of the rest of the details involved in a stick's blade. This pattern is often given the name of an NHL(r) player for marketing purposes by the manufacturer, but the details of the pattern can tell you a lot.

Toe Shape:

This is important to some, less important to others. Generally speaking, a square toe provides a larger blocking surface and is often preferred by defensemen where as a rounded or slanted toe shape can be better for stickhandling.

Face Angle:

This describes how much of the face (or front) of the blade you can see when looking down at the ice. The more open the blade is, (you can see more of the front of the blade when looking down) the easier it is to lift the puck. Slightly open or closed angles are better for stickhandling, catching passes and using your backhand. Many feel that developing players should use a less open pattern to help develop both their shooting and stickhandling abilities.

Curve Type:

(Heel, Mid, Toe) describes where the majority of the curve is located on the blade. Heel curves are best for slapshots, while toe curves are best for stickhandling. A mid curve is the most universal type of curve with few drawbacks, however they are not exceptional in any one area either.

Curve Depth:

The bigger the curve, the easier it is to lift the puck and stickhandle. Smaller curves make it easier to use your backhand, keep the puck low to the ice, and have a larger "sweet spot" to produce harder shots even if the puck is slightly off the center of the curve when you shoot. Bigger curves are often preferred by young players, but for developing skills, a smaller curve is advised.

Lie Angle:

The Lie of a blade describes the angle of the blade in reference to the shaft. A lower lie (5) is best for skaters who lean forward closer to the ice or use a longer stick. Higher lies (6-7) keep the puck closer to the body & are preferred by more upright skaters. "Is my lie correct?" Check the blade of one of your used sticks. If most of the heel is worn, choose a lower lie. If most of the wear is in the toe of the stick, you should choose a higher lie. Most players compromise with a mid angle lie (5.5-6).

Blades

Hockey Replacement Blades Fitting:

Determine if your shaft is a standard or tapered design (see below for explanation of this) and find out what age level of shaft it is (Sr, Int, Jr). Usually senior and intermediate hockey shafts will take a senior replacement blade, while junior shafts almost always will take a junior blade. There are a few exceptions to this rule, for instance the Jr "gold" version of Hespeler's 900 series was built to take a senior sized blade, and some companies are now offering an intermediate sized tapered blades that fit only in the intermediate tapered shaft. With very few exceptions, replacement blades are universal and can fit other manufacturer's shafts.

Attaching the blade:

The best way to remove or attach a replacement blade to a shaft is by using a heat gun to warm the glue on both the shaft and the blade and inserting/removing the blade when you see the glue start to bubble. Do not use an open flame, as this could damage the shaft or the blade. IMPORTANT: Allow the shaft & glue to cool completely before flexing or using the stick (at least 20 minutes). The heat can make the shaft vulnerable to warping or breaking.

How to buy:

There are several things to consider when purchasing a replacement.

Standard vs Tapered:

Tapered shafts are generally longer than standard shafts and have a more narrow end where the blade connects. For this reason a tapered replacement blade has a shorter, more narrow hosel (the part you insert into the shaft), and can only be used in a tapered shaft. A standard shaft is more uniform throughout the shaft and fits a traditional or standard replacement blade.

Construction:

There are 4 basic types of blades currently on the market. Composite blades are generally the most expensive, but they are very lightweight & they retain their rigidity for longer periods of time with a much more consistent feel from one to the next. Wood blades are much more affordable and have a natural "feel" of the puck that composite blades have trouble replicating. This comes at a price of a heavier weight and more inconsistencies from blade to blade because of the nature of the wood materials. Wood blades are often reinforced or wrapped with Fiberglass to improve durability and add stiffness to the blade. Hybrid blades use a mixture of wood and manufactured materials to help produce a more consistent & rigid blade than wood and a better "feel" of the puck than composites. These blades generally cost more than their wood counterparts, but less than composites. No one type has proven more durable than the other as there are blades in each category built for performance rather than durability. ABS blades are very similar to wood blades, but usually have a plastic reinforcement in the blade to improve durability for use on rougher surfaces. These blades are very common for use in street and roller hockey.

Curve:

Blades are available in right handed, left handed options. Whichever hand is lower on the stick denotes to curve direction. Do not assume. It is possible for a person who throws right hand, writes with their right hand etc. to use a left handed hockey stick.

Blade Pattern:

The blade pattern is all of the rest of the details involved in a stick's blade. This pattern is often given the name of an NHL(r) player for marketing purposes by the manufacturer, but the details of the pattern can tell you a lot.

Toe Shape:

This is important to some, less important to others. Generally speaking, a square toe provides a larger blocking surface and is often preferred by defensemen where as a rounded or slanted toe shape can be better for stickhandling.

Face Angle:

This describes how much of the face (or front) of the blade you can see when looking down at the ice. The more open the blade is, (you can see more of the front of the blade when looking down) the easier it is to lift the puck. Slightly open or closed angles are better for stickhandling, catching passes and using your backhand. Many feel that developing players should use a less open pattern to help develop both their shooting and stickhandling abilities.

Curve Type:

(Heel, Mid, Toe) describes where the majority of the curve is located on the blade. Heel curves are best for slapshots, while toe curves are best for stickhandling. A mid curve is the most universal type of curve with few drawbacks, however they are not exceptional in any one area either.

Curve Depth:

The bigger the curve, the easier it is to lift the puck and stickhandle. Smaller curves make it easier to use your backhand, keep the puck low to the ice, and have a larger "sweet spot" to produce harder shots even if the puck is slightly off the center of the curve when you shoot. Bigger curves are often preferred by young players, but for developing skills, a smaller curve is advised.

Lie Angle:

The Lie of a blade describes the angle of the blade in reference to the shaft. A lower lie (5) is best for skaters who lean forward closer to the ice or use a longer stick. Higher lies (6-7) keep the puck closer to the body & are preferred by more upright skaters. "Is my lie correct?" Check the blade of one of your used sticks. If most of the heel is worn, choose a lower lie. If most of the wear is in the toe of the stick, you should choose a higher lie. Most players compromise with a mid angle lie (5.5-6).

Hockey Shafts Fitting:

With the blade installed and your skates off, stand the stick upright so that the shaft is parallel with your body and the toe of the stick touching the floor. The tip of the stick should touch the end of your nose. A stick may be cut/shortened or an end plug added (shafts & composites only) to customize the length of your stick. With composite sticks especially cutting large amounts off the stick can significantly effect the stiffness of the stick (in general, cutting more than 3 inches off the length of the shaft will create a noticeable increase in the stiffness).

Attaching the blade:

The best way to remove or attach a replacement blade to a shaft is by using a heat gun to warm the glue on both the shaft and the blade and inserting/removing the blade when you see the glue start to bubble. Do not use an open flame, as this could damage the shaft or the blade. IMPORTANT: Allow the shaft & glue to cool completely before flexing or using the stick (at least 20 minutes). The heat can make the shaft vulnerable to warping or breaking.

How to buy:

There are several things to consider when purchasing a replacement.

Standard vs Tapered:

Tapered shafts are built to perform much like the tapered composite sticks that are on the market. The taper at the end of the shaft allows the shaft to be manufactured with a lower and more precise flex point producing a harder & more accurate shot. The standard shafts are more uniform in thickness throughout the shaft (similar to traditional hockey sticks) and have the advantage of a wider selection of compatible replacement blades. Some standard shafts (like Easton's Z-Bubble) are designed to perform with a concentrated flex point, but still fit standard replacement blades.

Flex:

Most shafts come in a variety of flexes. Each manufacturer uses a different scale to rate their flexes, so it's not really an apples to apples comparison when you are looking at a 100 flex in the Easton and a 102 flex in the Bauer. The stiffer flex can be beneficial to bigger stronger players particularly if they take a lot of slap shots. In the hands of a lighter, smaller player, or someone who takes a lot of wrist shots the stiffer flex will not yield as good of results as a more flexible stick. In the end however, flex is a personal preference as there are many bigger players who use a more flexible stick and smaller players who prefer a stiffer stick.

Goalie

Goal Masks Measure:

Place a tape measure 1" above the eyebrows and measure the distance (circumference) around the head. Match the player's size to the suggested helmet sizing. Some goal masks use a fitted hat sizing scale for their suggested sizing. Refer to the below chart to find your hat size based on your head measurement (or vice versa).

Goal Masks Measure

Hat Size
Size In Inches
6 1/2
20 1/2"
6 5/8
20 7/8"
6 3/4
21 1/4"
6 7/8
21 5/8"
7
22"
7 1/8
22 3/8"
7 1/4
22 3/4"
7 3/8
23 1/8"
7 1/2
23 1/2"
7 5/8
23 7/8"
7 3/4
24 1/4"
7 7/8
24 5/8"
8
25"

Fitting:

When fitting a goal mask, tighten the straps on the back of the helmet and under the chin until a comfortable, snug fit is achieved. The mask must be snug enough to prevent any movement or rotation with the straps secured and the chin straps securely fastened. An oversized mask can lead to unnecessary injuries or difficulty seeing the puck.

Certification:

Most leagues require a goal mask to be CSA and/or HECC certified for use. The cage must be certified for use with the specific goal mask that you select. In recent years a number of companies have developed an approved "cateye" cage that has slightly wider eye openings for the eyes to improve vision. Pro style "cateye" cages are not approved for use in most leagues because of the danger of the end of a stick fitting through the mask openings.

How to buy:

Goal masks are constructed from a mixture of nylon, plastics, fiberglass and/or composite(Kevlar(r) or Aramid) materials. The composite materials produce a stronger mask than other materials, but tend to be more expensive to manufacture. All certified masks are capable of stopping hard shots with a greatly reduced chance of injury, but the composite materials allow the helmet to be lighter and still hold up to more wear and tear without cracking. With this in mind choose a mask to match your level of play. If you are playing in a recreational league once a week, the composite masks would be nice, but probably not necessary.

Other features to consider in your selection process are ventilation (if there are a good amount of vent ports in the mask), cage style (approved, approved "cateye", or pro "cateye") and liner (many masks offer upgraded liners and/or sweat guards to improve comfort).

Custom Paint Jobs:

Some manufacturers have strict policies in regards to painting their masks. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines for certification and warranty prior to having your mask painted. Most manufacturers have an approved list of artists/companies for custom paint jobs.

Goal Skates Measure:

The best way to measure for a pair of skates is with a brand-specific Branic(r) device, but in the absence of that, you can get a good idea of your size based on your US dress shoe size (Sneakers and sandals often vary in size or are worn larger than your true shoe size, so the results are far less accurate using those options as a base for sizing). A half size larger can often be used for a child's skate to allow room for growth. Using a larger size than that can result in damage to the player's ankle, premature breakdown of the skate and could hurt the player's skating ability. The width of the skate is designated by the letter following the number size on a skate. A "D" or "R" signifies a standard width skate, while a "E," "EE" or "W" signifies a wide skate.

Note:

When selecting a skate for a woman subtract 2 sizes from the US woman's shoe size to find the corresponding men's shoe size before consulting the manufacturer's suggestions (does not include women's specific skates).

Goal Skates Measure

Brand
Sizing
How They Fit
Nike Bauer
1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size
These skates are traditionally more narrow in the heel and mid-foot than other brands.
CCM
1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size
These skates are wider in the heel, mid-foot and toe than other brands.
RBK
1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size
These skates fit similar to the CCM only slightly wider in the mid-foot.
Graf
1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than shoe size
Graf offers a variety of different fits across its skate options.

Fitting:

When fitting a new pair of skates, kick the heel of the foot back into the skate and lace the skate up. For an ideal fit, your toe should be able to brush the end of the skate prior to heat molding or breaking in the skates. As you break in a new pair of skates the player's heel will push further back in the pocket to allow additional room. The foot should feel comfortable with minimal to no movement side-to-side or front-to-back. Any movement could result in discomfort or blistering.

Breaking in your skates:

Many new models of skates offer the ability to heat mold the boot for a faster break-in and more comfortable fit. While not necessary, the heat molding process can alleviate additional uncomfortable break-in time and can help customize the fit of the skate to the shape of your foot. Most pro shops offer heat-fit machines specific to the brand of skate which will work the best in customizing the fit, however they usually charge for this service. If you're looking for an effective way to break-in the skates on your own, the answer is quite simple: Lace the skates up when you are at home. Use a pair of hard skate guards and walk around the house or wear the skates while you are watching TV. The heat from your feet will help mold the skate to our foot, and the more you wear them before stepping on the ice, the better they will feel when you take that first stride.

How to buy:

The biggest thing to think about is fit. Every manufacturer we carry has excellent quality skates, but if the fit is not right for you then your play will suffer because of it. Take into account the shape of your foot. Little information like "My foot tends to be narrow in the heel and wide at the toe" can help greatly in determining what brand of skate might work best for you. If you need any help with fitting feel free to contact us. We realize that buying skates online can be intimidating, but we are trained to help.

Look for the skate that has your right balance of protection, support, comfort & durability. You don't have to spend top dollar to get a skate that will work great for you, most companies offer affordable skate options that are protective enough for most levels of play with great features, comfort and support.

Leg Pads Measure:

With the player's knee slightly bent add the following measurements: the distance (in inches) from the tip of the big toe to the middle of the ankle bone; the distance from the middle of the ankle bone to the center of the knee cap; the distance from the center of the knee cap to the center of the thigh. Select a pad with the corresponding size in inches. (Note the size you select depends to some extent on the player's style of play and the length of the thigh rise the player likes to use.)

Fitting:

The most important part of the fit for leg pads is that the player's knee sits securely in the knee cradle. With the knee in the cradle the pad should cover the entire length of the leg from the entire top of the skate to the end of the goal pants. When tightened properly, the leg pads should have minimal shift or rotation to ensure protection.

How to buy:

There are many different styles of leg pads on the market. Most modern day pads are going with a more flat faced design to minimize the amount of ridges on a pad and to promote easier control of where the puck goes when it hits the pad. There are two main types of goaltender styles (and variations or combinations that involve both styles).

Traditional Stand-up Goalies:

Goalies that stay on their feet more often that not generally like a pad that has a deep leg channel that sits close and wraps the leg to prevent rotation and maximize control of the angle of the pads. The trade off for this style of pad is that when the goalie does go down in the "V" (or butterfly) position the pad doesn't rotate to provide the added coverage.

Butterfly & "Pro-Fly" Goalies:

These goalies are constantly dropping to the ice and getting back up, so they tend to look for a pad with a shallow leg channel to allow the pad to rotate slightly to help cover more of the 5-hole and to stay perpendicular to the ice for a larger blocking surface. These type of goalies also prefer thinner, lighter pads as they enhance mobility and allow you to direct the rebounds into the corners easier.

No matter which style you play there are several good options available from each of the manufacturers that we carry. Select a pad that has the right mix of flexibility, blocking surface and features to fit your style and level of play.

Choosing The Correct Handed Goal Stick:

If you are a regular handed goalie, you would use a left handed goal stick. This means you hold the stick in your RIGHT hand. Full right goalies hold the goal stick in their LEFT hand and would order a right stick. Please make sure to order accordingly.

Choosing a Paddle Length:

Paddle length tends to be a personal choice related to how you stand in position. If you tend to squat down, then you would choose a slightly shorter paddle length vs. a goalie who likes to stand upright. Choose a paddle length that suits your style of play.