WHEN IT COMES TO SOCKS, there are skate socks and player socks. Skate socks go on the feet and player socks go over the shin guards.

Skate Socks

Skate socks are sized by shoe size. Try a few different styles until you find one you prefer. A variety of material blends are available, so choose one that offers comfort, warmth and moisture absorbance.

Player Socks

Player socks are worn over the shin guards and attached with Velcro or tape. There are three lengths: youth, junior and senior.

  • The older-style knit player socks tend to stretch and get holes and snags in them over time.
  • The newer, sleeker hockey socks that NHL teams wear are made of wave knit and mesh. These lightweight and breathable socks are designed to keep shin guards firmly in place and keep their shape. How long these socks last, however, is based largely on the player’s position and style of play.


Question: Are special ice skate socks really necessary?
Answer: Well, yes and no. Yes, you definitely need thin socks, such as men’s dress socks, so skates fit properly and the foot doesn’t slide around. No, you do not need socks made specifically for ice skates. On the other hand, who’s going to send their kid to the locker room with dress socks? And where can you find super-thin socks that do work for skating? Most socks in moisture-wicking fabrics will work as they are thin and draw moisture away from the foot. A few tips: It will be a challenge to get your player to actually change into those socks; yes, they do need to be washed; and white or gray socks are easier to find in the black hole that is a kid’s hockey bag.