You’re doing your summer holiday shopping and spot a cute little pair of hockey skates in the window of a store. Maybe the store is on the high street or maybe it’s a tiny little boutique inside a mall. Doesn’t matter, the salesperson hands you the box and asks if you want to try them on. Naturally you say yes and before you know it, the shop assistant has whipped out some hockey outfits and the smell of leather and sweat is filling the air around you.
Do you panic? Did you just buy some piece of jewelry you’ll never wear? More importantly, how long do you wear the skates before the soles start looking dull?
It’s not that uncommon for hockey skates to go unshined for up to a year before being brought in for a professional polish. Some people even go as long as three years before getting their skates professionally done. Naturally, this is a pain point for the avid hockey player and so much effort is usually dedicated to avoiding this issue. Luckily, there’s an easier way. Instead of having to worry about polishing your skate soles, you can extend the life of your shoes and keep them looking like new.
How long does it take for hockey skates to become unusable? The best way to find out is by experimenting, so here’s what you need to do.
Wash Skates Regularly
You can’t clean your skates with soap and water, this will only remove the natural oils from the surface. Instead, you need to use a hand cream or cream cheese after washing your skates. The goal is to keep the natural oils intact while removing any dirt that might land on the surface. After all, a lot of exercise goes into kicking those things around, so you don’t want to ruin the experience by doing some rough skateboarding down the road.
It’s a pain to keep washing the skates and it’s even more of a pain to dry them. Unless you’re in an area where the temperature is extreme, most people prefer to let their skates air dry, so be sure to put them away in a safe place when you’re finished.
If you leave your skates out overnight, even when placed in a cool, dark place, you’ll see dull spots appear on the surface. Whether this is because of the dry air or the cold temperatures is outside of the point, this is still the worst place for your shoes, so you need to avoid this at all costs. If you can’t sleep outside of your home, then the garage is a suitable alternative as long as it’s not above 40 degrees Farenheit outside. People who stored their skates in the attic or on the roof experienced similar issues, causing the surface to become extremely smooth and dull. There’s also the issue of rust, which is fairly common in all areas where there’s a lot of airflow and moisture. The best way to keep your skates looking like new is to store them in a cool, dark place, away from any sources of moisture or dust.
There are better places to store your skates than the attic or the roof, such as inside a garage or in the storage of a house. This will stop any damage to the surface from happening and so long as you store them in a cool, dark place, they will stay looking good for years.
Protect The Surfaces
It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people ignore this basic guideline. When you go on a skate trip with your friends, be sure to bring some sandpaper along with you so you can smooth down any sharp edges on the road. This is especially helpful if you’re new to ice skating and are afraid of falling, since you can see the road much more clearly when it’s been lightly smoothed. You’re not going to go overboard and erase all the shapes you’re used to seeing, but it will help make that hockey trip more enjoyable. Even if you’re an experienced skater, you might want to do this once or twice before the end of the season.
Doing any sort of sports activity on ice is hard work and it takes a lot of practice to become really good at it. This is why it’s important to look after your equipment well and avoid any sort of damage as much as possible. The last thing you want is to go from being able to practice your flips to being unable to do them, due to a poorly made skate or a fall.
To keep your hockey skates looking like new, you need to take care of them properly and this means washing them regularly, storing them in a cool, dark place and protecting the surfaces that come in contact with water or wear. Sometimes it’s just a matter of maintaining good hygiene, so your socks don’t end up on the outside of the footwear, along with your body odor, which is exactly what you don’t want to release when playing a sport. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy your summer holiday with no problem and so long as you store your skates in a cool, dark place, they will remain good for years of active play.