The most important piece of equipment a player has is his/her skates.
The most important piece of equipment a player has is his/her skates. Everything you do in hockey is based on wearing skates when on the ice. For kids 12 years and under, skates should be the most important purchase you make (i.e. the most time invested in trying on different brands and sizes and possibly the most expensive purchase).
The key things are: fit, feel and performance:
Fit: Are they snug over the whole foot? They should feel like part of your foot not something on your foot. Toes should be close to the end or brushing up against the end when you stand up straight. Don’t buy skates to grow into, because skates that are too large affect a skater’s balance and can lead to potential injury.
Feel: Breaking-in skates can be painful, but are a necessary part of the process. Do the skates feel solid but flexible and comfortable on your feet? Do they feel heavy or bulky?
Performance: Walking around the store and on the ice, do they look tight and solid and athletic or bulky and loose? Can you stand and walk around the store with the blades and skates straight and upright? Do they make you feel confident when walking around the store and skate fast, turn sharp, etc?
Great fit and feel can greatly enhance a skater’s performance. Remember new skates can have a huge effect on your skating. Ask your skating coach’s opinion on whether or not they are a good choice for you.
Start off with a standard 1/2 inch sharpening without any profiling. As you get older (15/16 years old) experiment with some different sharpening and profiles. See what you like and see what your skating coach likes for you.
As you get older, skates, sticks and gloves become the most important pieces of your gear. These are all very personal; take your time to think about fit and feel, then see how you perform with them.