Breaking in Hockey Skates
New hockey skates are intended to have a stiff boot, in order to provide your feet and ankles with proper support. Breaking in your new hockey skates is important, because they should support and conform to your foot like a glove. There are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that your hockey skates are broken in correctly.
When you first begin using your hockey skates, try using them for shorter periods of time, and work up to wearing them during a game. The best way to break in skates is just to skate in them, so this may take some time, depending on your comfort level.
Be sure to wear socks! Playing in your new hockey skates barefoot will damage your skate AND your foot. Wear a longer, thin athletic sock that fits tightly to your skin without any wrinkles, to reduce blisters. Excessive foot moisture will not only make your skate stink, but it will damage the boot by causing the leather to harden and crack.
Lacing hockey skates properly is especially important when they are new. Tighten the laces from the bottom up, and focus on the ankle area for secure support. Do not wrap excess lace around the top of the boot, as this will weaken the leather in that spot after a period of time. If the top of the boot is too loose, then you need a snugger fit, and if the laces are too long, find shorter ones.
Be prepared to treat blisters. New hockey skates can be too stiff for foot skin, so moleskin, tape, adhesive bandages, and antibiotics should be on stand by. Once a skate is broken in, blisters should not be a problem. If there are parts of the boot that continue to irritate your foot, take the hockey skates to a skate dealer to have the leather punched in those areas, to fit more comfortably.
Once your hockey skates are comfortable, don't forget that you have worked hard to break them in! Take care of them, and don't lend your skates to other players, because your hockey skates are the most important piece of equipment during your game.