Ever hear the terms skate sock and hockey sock used but aren't quite sure what the difference is? If you are new to the sport of ice hockey, you may have assumed they are the same thing when in fact they are quite different. This article provides some insight into the difference between a skate sock and a hockey sock.
In simple terms, a skate sock looks like the typical sock you would use on a day to day basis. Though, it is likely cushier in the arch and more densely stictched in areas of wear since it is athletic equipment that is exposed to rigourous use on a frequent basis.
A hockey sock on the other hand is open at both ends and affixes around the leg starting from the ankle and riding up towards the thigh. I guess you could describe it as a kind of leg warmer though it's functions are greater than just warming ones legs.
Both socks should be used together to complete an appropriate hockey equipment ensemble during play.
The hockey sock consists of a large opening which hugs the thigh and a smaller opening (usually containing an elastic) which forms around the ankle. As mentioned previously, the hockey sock provides warmth when out on the ice but it also functions as safety equipment, helping to hold the players hard plastic shin guards in place and also providing a protective layer around the legs to aid in the prevention of skate cuts and puck hits.
While the springy tension of the sock helps keep it in place around the thigh, a jock short with velcro attachments is usually used in conjunction to secure the socks in place. Sometimes a hockey garter belt is used but not too often these days. It sounds like a lot of work, I know, but proper safety on the ice is extremely important in a hard contact sport such as hockey.
There are no shortage of hockey socks available on the market; every colour size and design can be found either through your local sport store or online. They are relatively cheap and often several are required since regular cleaning is important.
As for the skate sock, well thse are also available through the above mentioned resources but you should consider how one fits when selecting the other as well.