Hockey Guide 101: What to wear under hockey gear

Struggling to decide what your little hockey player should don beneath their hockey gear? Or are you new to the sport and in need of some guidance for yourself on how to stay dry, comfortable, and protected as you take the ice? Don’t worry; we’ve got it covered. In this guide, we’ll provide valuable insights into outfitting both kids and adults with what to wear under hockey gear.

So if you’re looking for help deciding what’s best when suiting up – read on!

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What type of clothing should you wear under hockey gear?

Hockey players don a base layer or compression garments, providing them with both safety and comfort during their games.

Base layers serve as an thermal barrier without affecting your movements, so that no matter how you move or bend, they won’t restrict areas like the knees, groin and arms.

Compression garments are similar to base layers, but go one step further. Compression garments will provide the maximum muscle protection, sweat control, and warmth.

The base layer’s additional compression helps reduce strain on the muscles, thus leading to enhanced performance and quicker recovery for hockey players.

You have the option to choose between one-piece designs or separates such as shirts and pants.

Furthermore, its moisture-wicking material efficiently manages perspiration.

Underwear

Under Armour boys 4 Pack Set Boxer Briefs, Ultra Blue, Medium US

My son loves the feel of these UA boxer shorts, this cotton-blend material wicks sweat & dries really fast. They also come in adult sizes.

When playing hockey, you want to make sure your base layer is comfortable and moisture wicking.

Having underwear that takes away moisture quickly and efficiently will help keep you cool, dry and prevent any chafing.

Look for moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester, Nylon or Lycra. All of which are designed to pull moisture away from your skin, transport it to the surface of the garment, then evaporate quickly.

That way you’ll stay dry and comfortable so that you can focus on getting the puck into the net!

Skate socks

Elite Hockey Pro-Liner Adult Tube Sock Carbon Adult

I like the feel and fit this sock provides, and it stays in place.

Hockey socks are a critical part of hockey gear as you want to make sure your feet are secure and comfortable. You don’t want to be distracted by blisters, so hockey socks should wick away sweat and keep your feet dry.

It’s important to find hockey socks that fit snugly and not bunch up in your skates to provide increased ankle support.

The material of hockey socks is also important for breathability and temperature control. With the right hockey socks, you can play harder without worrying about what’s going on with your feet.

Hockey socks provide numerous advantages when ice skating, such as reducing friction. Not only that, but they absorb sweat to prevent blisters and keep your skates smelling pleasant. Essential for any serious ice skater looking for a comfortable experience is the right pair of hockey socks!

Check out our article The Best Hockey Skate Socks – For Guaranteed Comfort to help you choose your next pair of skate socks.

And if you’re looking to learn how to lace your hockey skates correctly, please read How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance.

Hockey Guide 101: What to wear under hockey gear
My daughter putting on her favorite Thinees socks.

Pants

Under Armour Men's Hockey Compression Leggings , Jet Gray (010)/Mod Gray , XX-Large

These Under Armour compression pants feature a cup as well as Velcro tabs to keep socks and shin guards in place.

When it comes to choosing a pair of pants to don beneath your hockey gear, you’ve got some options -and the most important one is comfort.

Invest in sweat-wicking or compression pants to keep yourself comfortable and dry even in the hectic moments of play.

Ultimately, choose a base layer that gives you freedom to move around with ease and maintain optimal performance levels. All the while giving you the confidence to take on the situation at hand.

Some hockey players prefer compression shorts rather than long pants.

Wearing more form-fitting pants as your base layer can often prevent your shin pads from rubbing uncomfortably.

Some pants come with a jock built in, such as these Bauer compression pants. They’re also equipped with Velcro tabs to secure your hockey socks/shin guards in the proper place.

What to wear under hockey gear
My son’s hockey base layer- A Bauer long sleeve shirt and Bauer compression fit pants with built in jock and velcro straps for hockey socks.

A jock or jill

Men's Loose Fit Hockey Mesh Jock Shorts with Sock Tabs Size Senior (Senior Small)

These loose-fitting CCM jock shorts are lightweight and  feature hockey sock tabs and a removable, dual-density cup.

A jock or jill is an essential part of protection for hockey players. It provides protection to a sensitive area of the body that would otherwise be vulnerable to injuries from sticks, pucks, and other equipment.

The protective cup is designed to keep players safe so they can remain on the ice playing their best game.

Not only does this athletic cup provide protection but also helps minimize any discomfort while playing.

You can get jock shorts with Velcro tabs so that players can attach their hockey socks. If you choose a pair of jock shorts, they will be worn over top of your base layer pants.

Hockey Guide 101: What to wear under hockey gear
Youth Bauer jock shorts with velcro tabs.

A long sleeve shirt

Under Armour Men's Armour HeatGear Compression Long-Sleeve T-Shirt , Black (001)/White, Medium

Choose a compression shirt like this UA one. It features mesh underarm & back panels for strategic ventilation.

A long sleeve shirt is essential as a base layer for hockey players, no matter the level of play.

Not only does it provide essential comfort, but it also wicks away sweat and resists any irritation from contact with your elbow pads, or shoulder pads.

Wearing a long sleeve performance shirt as an essential base layer will help keep you comfortable and focused throughout the game. Look for shirts featuring ergonomic designs that keep seams away from high abrasion areas, thus increasing their longevity.

Compression shirts, which are designed to be more snug and form-fitting, are also popular amongst players.

A Compression shirt will help keep muscles warm while reducing fatigue and helping to circulate blood throughout your body during intense physical activity.

Some shirts are designed with a built in neck guard for extra protection, although some hockey players find this feature to be uncomfortable.

What to wear under hockey gear
My daughter’s base layer- Under Armour pants and 2nd hand performance shirt.

Hockey equipment extras you may need

A mouth guard may be required for certain levels of hockey and is an essential piece of safety and protection.

Also, don’t forget to pack extra skate laces as a precaution so you’re prepared in case you break a lace.

And if you’re having trouble keeping your hockey socks up (and shin guards in place) you can use hockey sock tape to keep everything in place.

Check out our article Hockey Sock Tape-Tape Your Socks For A Better Game.

Having a hockey helmets repair kit is essential , as it allows you to make quick repairs on-the-spot if your helmet gets damaged during games.

You may want to consider investing in a pair of skate guards if you plan on walking around off the rink.

Skate guards add an extra layer of protection for your blades when you’re not on the ice. They will help prevent any unnecessary damage or extra skate sharpening’s that may needed due to walking on hard surfaces.

Finally, don’t forget a sports towel! It will come in handy after a game to clean off any ice or dirt from your hockey skates

How to clean and care for your hockey clothes/gear

Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for washing your base layer. Most can be machine washed in cold water with like colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed, and tumble dry on the low setting. Avoid using an iron, fabric softeners, and dry cleaning.

For detailed information on how to clean your hockey gear read, The Best Ways To Clean Your Hockey Gear. And How To Wash A Jersey: Tips From A Sports Fanatic.

Final thoughts

All in all, the trick to finding the right things to wear under hockey gear is all about the fit. You want your underwear and shirt to be comfortable and wick away sweat. Also, you’ll want your socks, shin pads, and pants snug but not too tight so they don’t limit mobility.

And of course, make sure your skates fit you like a glove! Once you have that settled, you’ll be ready and prepared for any type of game.

Investing in some good quality pieces of clothing will help keep you safe on the ice.

Hockey players have a wide range of options when it comes to apparel – you’ll definitely find gear that works best for you!

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