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What to Wear When Ice Skating – 9 Essentials

Ice skating is an enjoyable activity that necessitates specific clothing choices. Whether you’re gliding on an indoor or outdoor rink, it’s crucial to don warm, insulating attire to combat the cold. Additionally, covering exposed skin, especially for novice skaters, provides protection against cuts and scrapes in case of falls on the icy surface. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between staying warm and maintaining freedom of movement, so opting for breathable and flexible ice skating outfits is ideal. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to the appropriate ice skating wardrobe, helping those unfamiliar with the sport make informed clothing choices. We’ll also highlight what clothing items to avoid to ensure a comfortable and safe ice skating experience.

Ice Skating Outfit Essentials


A sweater proves to be one of the coziest choices for your ice skating attire. Its primary advantage lies in its ability to provide warmth and shield you from the biting cold during your ice skating session. Moreover, a well-chosen sweater maintains your body’s flexibility, allowing you to execute basic and advanced skating maneuvers with effortless grace. With a plethora of options available in terms of colors, designs, and materials, selecting a sweater that aligns with your preferences and fashion sense is a breeze.


Ice skating rinks, regardless of whether they are located indoors or outdoors, are notorious for their frigid temperatures. To combat the cold effectively, it’s wise to embrace the concept of layering. This entails wearing multiple garments, allowing you to adjust your clothing as needed to maintain your comfort throughout your ice skating adventure. For instance, you might opt for a lightweight jacket as an outer layer over your sweater or long-sleeved shirt. If you start to feel overheated, simply remove the outerwear and continue enjoying your time on the ice rink. Now, let’s explore various types of jackets suitable for any enthusiastic ice skater.


Opting for a hooded jacket is a practical and stylish decision when preparing for an ice skating session. The hood serves a dual purpose, offering warmth to your nape and head while also providing protection for your face and hair in the event of falling snow, particularly when skating outdoors. The variety of styles available is another advantage of hooded jackets, allowing you to select from options such as a simple sweat jacket or a cozy puffer, among others, to suit your personal preferences and needs.

Denim Jackets

If you aspire to skate in style, a denim jacket is an excellent choice. This versatile outerwear pairs seamlessly with a wide range of casual and smart casual ensembles. Additionally, denim jackets provide effective warmth and protection against cold temperatures.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to be mindful that certain denim jackets may restrict your range of motion. Therefore, individuals interested in trying figure skating are advised to opt for lighter and more flexible outerwear to ensure unrestricted movement on the ice.

Track Jackets

A track jacket, designed with ribbed cuffs and a waistband, provides exceptional comfort while you navigate the ice rink. It serves as a reliable source of warmth in chilly temperatures, making it a favored option among professional skaters who appreciate its sporty aesthetic. If you prioritize freedom of movement during your ice skating experience, consider donning a track jacket for maximum flexibility.


The parka is another excellent jacket option for ice skating, with its hip-length style and a hood that is often lined with fur or faux fur. This cozy design provides exceptional warmth, making it perfect for ice skating in outdoor rinks, even in freezing temperatures.

Comfortable Pants

The right bottoms for ice skating is a straightforward task. All you need are pants that can easily adapt and stretch with your every move.

Options like sweatpants, joggers, and yoga pants are all excellent choices for ice skating. These pants are made from thick materials that provide warmth and protection against potential accidents on the ice.

Another great option is snow pants, which offer ease of movement and protection. They typically feature insulated and waterproof materials to keep you dry and warm while skating.

Ice Skates

Ice skates are undeniably essential gear for anyone taking up ice skating.

While owning a pair of ice skates isn’t mandatory, most ice rinks offer rental skates, which are cost-effective and perfect for casual or beginner skaters.

However, if you’re aspiring to become a hockey player or a figure skater, investing in your own skate boots is advisable. Rental skates often lack the comfort and performance of higher-quality skates available in stores.

Let’s explore the various types of ice skates you can consider purchasing for your ice skating endeavors.

Recreational Ice Skates

Recreational skates are aptly named for their leisurely purpose. These skates are ideal for those seeking a relaxed and enjoyable ice skating experience with friends or loved ones.

One notable advantage is their affordability, as recreational skates typically come with a more budget-friendly price tag compared to other types of ice skates.

However, it’s important to note that recreational skates may lack the padding and support required for professional or advanced skaters. They are better suited for casual ice skating outings.

Figure Ice Skates

Figure ice skates are specially designed with substantial padding to offer exceptional support and comfort, making them the ideal choice for figure skaters.

These skates typically feature a lower cut to allow for greater boot flex, a crucial factor when executing intricate figure skating maneuvers such as jumps, spins, and other acrobatic movements.

One notable feature of figure ice skates is the option to choose between models with or without mounted blades. This flexibility allows skaters to select higher quality skate blades that can be customized to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Hockey Ice Skates

Hockey skates are precisely what their name suggests, designed to excel in the sport of hockey. These skates are prized for their remarkable combination of comfort and durability, making them the top choice for hockey players.

Despite their full padding, most hockey skate models are surprisingly lightweight. This lightness enhances a player’s mobility on the ice, facilitating quick and agile movements.

One distinctive feature of hockey skates is their blade design, which closely matches the length of the skate boot. These blades incorporate a front and back curve, enabling swift and efficient movement across the ice rink.

Speed Ice Skates

Speed ice skates stand apart from other skate boots due to their unique characteristics. These skates are typically crafted from leather, providing an exceptionally comfortable and ergonomic fit for your feet. This material enables a more natural running posture, enhancing your overall skating experience.

What truly distinguishes speed ice skates are their elongated blades that extend beyond the boot. These extended blades serve to augment pushing power and propel skaters forward with greater momentum.

However, it’s crucial to note that speed ice skates are not well-suited for novices or recreational skaters. Their design caters to professional athletes who require exceptional speed and glide capabilities on the ice.


Socks are often overlooked, but they play a crucial role in ice skating attire.

Opt for socks with ample thickness to provide both comfort and insulation against the cold.

Additionally, choose long socks, like crew socks, that extend beyond your ankles and reach up to the mid-to-upper calf region. These longer socks offer an extra layer of protection in case of a fall on the ice.


During extended ice skating sessions, you might start to notice the cold affecting your face and ears.

To maintain warmth, consider wearing a beanie or knit hat.

Beanies come in various styles, ranging from cozy ski hats to stylish berets, catering to the preferences of different skaters.


Consider wearing a helmet to ensure maximum head protection during ice skating.

Helmets are highly recommended, especially for young children and athletes who face a higher risk of head injuries while skating. However, they are also valuable for recreational skaters.

Accidents on the ice can occur unexpectedly, and it’s better to prioritize safety. Whether you choose a bike helmet or a hockey helmet, both types serve the same purpose of safeguarding your head.

Protective Gear

In addition to safeguarding your head, it’s essential to protect your elbows and knees while ice skating.

Investing in protective gear is a smart choice to reduce the risk of bruises and cuts in case of a fall. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can opt for elbow guards, knee pads, wrist pads, or shin guards.

For the utmost protection, it’s advisable to wear all these protective accessories along with your ice skating outfit.


Ice skating rinks can be bitterly cold, so it’s wise for every skater to consider investing in gloves or mittens.

These hand coverings not only keep your hands warm but also provide protection in case of a fall, acting as a cushion to soften the impact if you stumble.

Thin gloves are generally suitable for most ice skating conditions, but it’s advisable to opt for thick, padded gloves when skating in outdoor rinks to ensure adequate warmth and protection.


When you’re at an ice rink, you never quite know how cold it might get. That’s why it’s a wise idea to have a scarf on hand that you can easily wrap around your neck.

A scarf not only helps keep your neck warm but also adds a unique and stylish touch to your skating ensemble.

What’s more, it’s a versatile accessory that provides an extra layer of protection against the cold. You can drape it over your shoulders like a shawl or even wear it over your head as a bandana for added warmth and fashion flair.

Clothing to Avoid in the Ice Rink

When it comes to ice skating, dressing comfortably and warmly is crucial for optimal performance. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of wearing tight, ill-fitting, and inappropriate clothing, which can negatively impact their skating experience.

To ensure you have a great time on the rink and avoid any clothing-related issues, here’s a list of clothing items to avoid when ice skating:

  1. Shorts: Ice rinks are chilly places, so wearing shorts is not advisable. They provide no protection for your legs against the cold and leave your shins vulnerable in case of a fall. Opt for pants instead, as there are plenty of comfortable options available.
  2. Tight Pants: Tight-fitting pants, such as skinny jeans, should be avoided. They restrict your movement on the ice and make it harder to maintain your balance.
  3. Dresses or Skirts: While dresses and skirts are fashionable, it’s best to avoid them when ice skating. Like shorts, they don’t offer protection against the cold and potential falls. If you really want to wear an ice skating dress, consider pairing it with fleece leggings for added warmth and safety.
  4. Thick Socks: Thick socks can hinder your movement and be uncomfortable to wear. They may also prevent your ice skates from providing proper support, increasing the risk of accidents. Opt for thinner socks that provide a comfortable fit without unnecessary bulk.

By choosing appropriate clothing for ice skating, you can ensure a more enjoyable and safe experience on the ice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wear jeans to ice skate?

Wearing jeans on the ice rink is possible, but it’s generally best to avoid them. Jeans can restrict your movement while ice skating, making it harder to perform maneuvers comfortably. Additionally, if you happen to take a tumble on the ice, jeans tend to absorb moisture and can take quite a while to dry, potentially leading to discomfort during your skating session. Therefore, it’s advisable to opt for more suitable and flexible attire for a better ice skating experience.

Should you wear a helmet while ice skating?

Absolutely, it’s crucial for every skater to prioritize safety by wearing a helmet while ice skating. Ice skating, in any form, carries inherent risks, and the potential for accidents and head injuries is a concern for everyone on the ice. Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of concussions and other head injuries in case of a fall or collision, making it an essential safety precaution for skaters of all levels. Prioritizing safety in this way ensures that you can enjoy ice skating with reduced risks to your well-being.

Should ice skates be tight or loose?

No matter the type of ice skate boots you choose, it’s essential for them to provide a snug and secure fit, akin to how a well-fitted glove feels on your hand. Your heels should not experience any movement inside the boots, ensuring stability and control while skating. However, it’s equally important that the boots are not excessively tight, as this could lead to discomfort and hinder your performance. Finding the right balance in fit ensures optimal performance and enjoyment on the ice.


The right attire is paramount for an enjoyable experience on the ice rink. It’s essential to strike a balance between staying warm and comfortable without overburdening yourself, which could impede your movements. Opt for long-sleeved shirts as a base and consider adding layers to ensure a seamless day of graceful gliding on the ice.

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