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What To Wear For Ice Skating Lessons

Ice skating is a great way to get your heart rate up and stay active, but it can be tough to know what to wear. If you are wondering what to wear for ice skating lessons and whether you need to splash out on special gear, don’t worry, we have you covered in this article. 

Whether you are a newbie who is just getting started or you are putting your child in skating lessons and want to know what clothes they should wear, read on for everything you need to know. 

what to wear for ice skating lessons

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What To Wear For Ice Skating Lessons

If you’re looking to take up ice skating lessons, proper attire is key. You’ll want clothing that is warm and won’t restrict your movement on the ice. Layers are usually a good idea so you can adjust as needed.

You may also want to consider that fact that you might fall quite a bit when first starting out so a little bit of padding doesn’t hurt. 

Here is your checklist for what to wear for ice skating lessons:

  • Sweater or long sleeved top
  • Outer layer (hoodie or fleece)
  • Warm vest for layering
  • Warm pants (waterproof for beginners)
  • Mittens 
  • Thin socks
  • Helmet and skates

what to wear for ice skating lessons

Let’s look at some of the most important things to consider first:

The importance of layering your clothes when ice skating

When ice skating, it is important to layer your clothes correctly in order to stay warm.

The first layer should be something tight-fitting that wicks away moisture, such as a synthetic fabric like polyester or nylon. Next, put on a thin layer of insulation such as wool or fleece.

For the outer layer, choose something wind and water resistant like a Gore-Tex jacket.

Make sure to wear a hat, gloves, and thick socks to keep your head, hands, and feet warm. By layering your clothes in this way, you will be able to stay comfortable and safe while ice skating.

What To Wear On Top

When we talk about layers, your top half is the most important place for that. Consider wearing a tank top or t-shirt under a chunky sweater or fleece hoodie for skating. You can then layer on a puffy vest afterwards for additional warmth. 

I don’t recommend wearing a big winter jacket for your skating lessons as it may be too bulky and prohibit freedom of movement when you are learning. 

The Best Pants To Wear Ice Skating

When it comes to pants, it all depends on how comfortable you feel. Thick fleece leggings work great as do ski pants. Jeans are not good for your ice skating lessons because they are too stiff and can get wet and uncomfortable. 

What Should Children Wear For Ice Skating Lessons? 

ice skating clothes for kids

In my opinion and based on having two kids go through the learn to skate programs, the most important thing to bear in mind is that a cold kid, is an unhappy kid. 

Children tend to spend half their time laying on the ice in the early days so you want to really want to make sure they wear clothing that is water resistant. A snow suit or at the very least water-proof rain pants is your best best. 

A thick ski suit will also protect them from falls as they learn to skate. 

If you don’t want to do snow pants, then consider thick jogging pants with protective shorts underneath to cushion any falls. 

Accessories For Skating Lessons

what to wear for ice skating lessons

When it comes to accessories, you will want to wear a helmet when you are leaning to skate. In addition, you’ll want warm socks and gloves or mittens. 

When it comes to buying a helmet, check with your local skating club for the requirements as many will ask for a helmet that meets specific government guidelines (here is some information from the US and here are the Canadian guidelines). 

Should you buy a used helmet?

New helmets can be really expensive. If you’re on a budget, you may wonder if you can save money from buying a used helmet.  You can purchase used helmets from sports stores that sell second hand gear. 

Most experts do not recommend buying a used helmet because damaged helmets  may offer no protection in the event of an accident. Although you may be able to see most damage, some of it might be inside the casing and not visible. 

For this reason I recommend you do not buy second- hand helmets unless you can personally verify their history (from a friend or family member for example). 

One thing worth noting is that most helmets only last for about five years so make sure to check the date on your helmet for the expiration. 

Bear in mind that many rinks that rent out skates will also have skate helmets available rent. 

Should you wear gloves or mittens for ice skating?

ice skating clothes

What is the best way to protect your hands? Gloves or mittens?

There are pros and cons to both options. Gloves allow more dexterity, while mittens keep your hands warmer.

If you are just starting out ice skating, it might be a good idea to wear gloves so you can get a feel for the ice. Once you become more comfortable, you might want to try wearing mittens for a longer period of time to see if they keep your hands warmer.

Bear in mind that ever time you fall and hit the ice you gloves will get wet so you may want to wear waterproof ski mittens or gloves when you first start ice skating lessons. 

The Best Socks For Ice Skating

Many people think that thick cabin socks are the best for ice skating but in fact, thin socks will help your skates fit better and allow your feet to breathe and wick away moisture. 

Most skaters wear special thin skating socks when they are skating.

What About Skates?

Like helmets, you may be able to rent out ice skates the first few times you skate but after that you may want to purchase your own skates. 

If you’re new to skating, it’s probably a good idea to rent skates at first so that you can get used to them and figure out what kind you want before investing in a pair. Most rental skates are hockey skates without a toe pick so if you want to move into figure skating, you’ll need your own pair of figure skates. 

Likewise, if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll like skating, or if the conditions aren’t ideal for skating (i.e. too icy), renting is a good option until you decide whether or not skating is for you.

Bear in mind that skate sizes are sometimes different from your regular shoe size. For example, hockey skates are normally two sizes smaller than your street size. 

What To Wear For Ice Skating Lessons: FAQS

Are jeans or leggings better for ice skating?


When deciding what to wear for ice skating, there are a few different options. Jeans are a popular choice because they are durable and provide warmth but they can really limit your movement. 

However, leggings are a better option because they fit close to the body and allow for greater range of motion, especially if you get ones that are lined with fleece. 

What should you not wear ice skating?

When you are ice skating, the last thing you want to worry about is what you are wearing. However, there are certain items of clothing that you should avoid if you want to stay safe and have a good time. Here are four things that you should not wear ice skating: 

  • Shorts
  • Fancy clothes if you are a beginner
  • Long scarfs that might get in your way
  • Leather or pleather clothing

Are yoga pants good for ice skating?

Yoga pants are often praised for their comfort and breathability which makes them ideal for ice skating if they are thick enough. 

Yoga pants are made of a stretchy, lightweight fabric that is designed to hug the body and allow for a full range of motion. This material is not as thick or insulated as traditional ice skating pants, which can cause problems for skaters who get cold easily. 

One way to combat this is to look for fleece lined yoga pants which are widely available nowadays. 

Can you ice skate in a skirt?

One question that often comes up is whether or not it is possible to ice skate in a skirt. Although you probably know that professional skaters wear dresses and skirts, the truth is, it is not ideal for beginners to wear a skirt on the ice. 

Not only are skirts not very warm, even with tights, in the beginning you need to really focus on wearing warm clothes that will protect you when you fall. That’s why fleece leggings are your best bet. 

what to wear for ice skating lessons