Toronto’s number one outdoor skating party started last December 14th and will last until February 15th at the Harbourfront Centre. They will also be hosting a special New Years Eve edition on Tuesday December 31st. Don’t forget to sharpen your skates and bundle up!
Staying warm and comfortable while skating outdoors can be a challenge so here are some useful tips for beating the brisk cold:
The most important advice about staying warm is to wear several layers and to be mindful about the materials you choose for each layers.
Base Layer: This is your first layer which stays in contact with your skin – choose materials like polyester, polypropylene or other quick dry/ moisture wicking materials over cotton. Cotton will absorb the moisture but it will not evaporate. Merino wool compression stockings are ideal as a base layer as they help promote continuous circulation, generating heat and fueling your muscles.
Middle Layer: This is your warm layer which should be snug but not tight. Fleece or wool sweaters and light down jackets make a great middle layer.
Outer Layer: This layer is all about protection from the wind and elements. A regular winter jacket (down puff or coat) will be more than enough if the weather is mild. However, if it’s raining or snowing, wear a waterproof jacket or a waterproof shell over your winter jacket.
Wearing mittens allows your fingers to stay together and share body heat rather than insulating every finger as with gloves. To stay extra warm you can put hand warmers inside your mittens.
Wear Thick Socks
Thick wool socks will help regulate your body heat and maintain warmth. A sure way to stay warm is to wear thin and breathable socks underneath thick wool socks. Remember that dry feet are warm feet so choose your sock material carefully. Again, materials like polypropylene and quick-dry polyester materials promote breathability and allow your feet to stay dry at all times.
Wear a Head or Scarf
The idea that we lose 40-50% of our body heat through our head is a myth. We lose heat where skin is exposed. Wearing earmuffs or scarves can be more than enough as long as your ears and neck are covered. If you lack a full head of hair, then cover up with a wool hat.
Fit Your Skates Right
Skates should fight snug but not too tight – to allow proper circulation to your toes. There should be some wiggle room in the toes but your heels should be secure. Most people buy bigger skates to allow room for thicker socks or even heating pads but remember that feet can get swollen after a lot of exercise. To reduce swelling, wear compression stockings as a base layer and Superfeet.
Superfeet are over the counter insoles that come in a variety of different colors and functions – the yellow colour is specifically made for hockey skates. They help align your feet properly to reduce strain and wear. Superfeet can guarantee that you will be skating your fastest and best all evening.
If you are bundled up with your layers, outdoor gear and properly fitted skates and you’re still feeling the chill, try Gehwol Warming Balm. This warming balm has hints of paprika, ginger and camphor to help promote circulation and warmth directly where it is applied. To guarantee staying warm, applied Gehwol Warming Balm on your feet, breathable thin socks, and thick wool socks over top and you will be warm all night.
Following these quick tips and you can be sure to stay warm and comfortable as you enjoy dancing, music and skating all evening long.