Layering Up - How to Dress for Outdoor Hockey


In its most traditional sense, the game of hockey originated outdoors. With the original rinks hosting professional games literally being in barns (hence the current hockey slang for rinks today), dressing for the game in the great outdoors is as old as the game itself.

While there is no set rule for dressing when heading out to your local pond or ODR, there are some strategic considerations all players should always make when heading out. Depending on where you are situated geographically, temperatures can be in the negatives and the risk for ailments such as frostbite and catching a cold (or worse) are ever present.

As with any wintry outdoor endeavor, the age-old recommendation remains the same, layer up. Layers allow you to begin warm and remove articles of clothing as necessary as your body temperature increases. This removes the risk of excessive sweating which can often lead to shivers, colds, flus and many other conditions that simply make life a bit more miserable for a short period of time.

The question then remains, what is the best way to layer up and what are some of the best products to use when deciding which layers to utilize?

The Lower Half

The legs make up about 50% of the body and, as such, should not be neglected. Our great grandfathers were diligent about keeping their feet healthy and you ought to be too. When wearing a steel-toed skate, it’s no secret that the bladed boots we strap to our feet are great conductors of the cold and can quickly transfer that to our toes and feet.

We always recommend proper fitting wool socks to do the trick. Think merino wool or something similar.

If you want to go beyond that, we’ve got our heated hockey socks that are guaranteed to do the trick. These socks are designed to fit inside a hockey boot and come with three levels of heat that provide hours of enjoyment before requiring a charge.

As for the legs, long johns or long underwear are a great baselayer. In the past, our choices were quite limited to the pajama/underwear looking long johns we remember from our childhood. While those are still a great option, there are many other base layers on the market today. Made from premium fabrics such as merino wool, they work great under a pair of sweats or athletic pants.

The Upper Half

Much the same as the legs, we’d recommend starting with a good base layer that sits close to the skin. There’s a lot of options in this category, but if not, a long sleeve t-shirt would also suffice for the first layer.

Outside of that, it really comes down to the temperature in which you are heading out. In some cases, throwing one of our state sweaters on top of a base layer is more than enough protection, whereas in negative temperatures, a hoodie or wool sweater is a good idea as another layer against the elements.


Cold hands are not smooth hands, so in an effort to prevent pucks deflecting off a stone-like stick, we’ve got to keep our fingers and hands warm. Again, there are plenty of options in this department and those options range depending on temperature much like everything else.

In some cases a small pair of mitts or traditional hockey gloves will be all that is needed, otherwise some players opt for heavy-duty winter gloves. To find the middle ground between traditional hockey gloves and a warm mitt, we set out to design the perfect glove made for the outdoors.

Featuring a beautiful blend of leather and shearling, models such as our Ursus and Classique outdoor hockey gloves are great for keeping your hands warm and looking great while doing it. Choosing the right glove often becomes a mix of style and functionality, so ensure you review all of our options before committing to one model or another.

As for the head, investing in a good scarf or neck warmer is great for those windy days and the right hat (or toque if you’re Canadian) to keep your head warm during play is a literal no-brainer.

No matter what temperature you venture out in, always make sure to dress for the weather. Layering up is the ultimate insurance policy against winter ailments.  Play smart out there and have fun.

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