What kind of skate socks to wear may not seem like the most important gear decision you’ll make, but getting the right skate sock can affect your comfort level and the feel of your foot inside your skate. It’s not a straightforward choice. Some hockey players simply wear whatever socks they wear for everything else; others buy special socks that are super thin or extra thick; still others wear no socks at all.
Some hockey players like the better, tighter feel of wearing their skates without socks. But there are several potential downsides:
If you’re going to skate barefoot, then your high-end skates should be thermoformed without a sock to ensure the fit is right. And remember that wearing tall socks with protection woven into them can actually help protect the back of your legs from nasty cuts by skate blades.
Hockey skate socks come in a variety of heights; choose your socks depending on the feel you like:
One of the biggest debates on this topic is whether to wear very thick or very thin socks. Thin sock enthusiasts tend to like the feel of them, while other hockey players appreciate the cushioning they get from thicker socks. The answer comes down to what your feet want. Some players discover that wool hiking socks are exactly what they need inside the skate. Others like a pair of knee-high pantyhose. Try various kinds of socks until you find the fit that works for you.
Just remember that if you skate in a pair of socks that are thicker or thinner than the ones you wore to your skate fitting, your skates will fit differently. It’s important to wear the same type of socks to your fitting that you plan to wear when you skate. Also, if you have your skates thermoformed, wear your game and practice socks when your skates are baked.
Choosing your skate socks is personal: Try a few options and wear what makes your feet happy. If you go sock-less, you’ll deal with moisture and odour, but you might enjoy the feel. Choose thin or thick socks, tall or short—whatever keeps your feet comfortable and makes you feel good in your skates.