What to wear at practice is essential—gear can make or break your performance on the ice. It’s important to choose the right fabrics and essentials so your practice can be more about skating and less about twisted sleeves and frozen toes.
Whether you are a brand-new skater or have been on the ice for years, finding a good practice outfit can be a bit frustrating. As a veteran skater once taking the ice with Team Reflections Synchronized Skating Team and now spending my time with Revolution Ice Unity adult synchro skating, I’m here to share my personal gear recommendations. Keep in mind, these are not endorsements by RIU or by me, but rather, a handful of options to consider. Many brands and companies offer comparable items at similar price points that will perform equally as well. Hopefully I can help alleviate some of the confusion and unnecessary trials so you can get to practice feeling confident (and warm)!
I highly recommend wearing three layers on top. It’s not too much clothing, but still gives you the ability to regulate your temperature throughout practice. I usually go with a a tank top as a base layer, a long sleeve pull-over, and a fleece jacket with a collar to keep the neck warm.
Most of the tops I like are made of a polyester blend, which is both moisture wicking and quick drying. I also suggest going up a size for your top layer so the underneath layers can fit comfortably without bunching and feeling too tight. You should not feel like a toddler in a snow suit.
For pants, you can’t go wrong with a high-waisted, black pair of pants. I personally prefer boot-cut pants, but I also really like my extra-long, extra-thick leggings that can be pulled down over the back of my skate heel and cover my laces. The key to a good pair of skating pants is that they are high enough to keep you covered as you move and bend, just long enough to cover your laces, and dry quickly.
The under gear: sports bra, underwear, and tights. Avoid the “Date Night” intimates and opt for something more durable and comfortable. Nobody likes chafing and wedgies. I really like Reebok’s sports bras and performance underwear because they are high quality for a lower price in comparison to other brand names.
For tights, I typically only wear one layer of footed tights under my pants. Knee-high tights or thin socks are also good options if you hate the idea of dealing with tights every time you use the bathroom (ugh! So annoying). If it is really cold or I plan to change into a skating dress at some point during practice, I will also wear a pair of ankle tights, so my laces remain covered, and I get that extra layer of warmth. I would recommend purchasing tights from a skating/dancing-specific store or website because their tights are typically thicker and tougher than the fashion tights sold at Target.
- Reebok Seamless Underwear
- Capezio Footed Tights (Size up! I typically wear medium-sized pants but prefer XL for tights so they don’t feel like they are falling down all the time)
- Knee-high Tights
Outerwear & Footwear
I suggest saving hoodies and long puffy coats for off the ice. While they are warm and comfortable, both can make it difficult to perform certain moves on the ice.
For my hands, I have a love-hate relationship with gloves. I want to be warm, but I have yet to find a pair of gloves that are truly device friendly. So, I tried a pair of fingerless wool gloves I found on Amazon and I couldn’t recommend them more. They have all the warmth of regular gloves but allow me to work the music from my phone and write in my notebook without any limitation.
If the fingerless look is too ’80s for you, go for the full-finger gloves instead. However, I do not suggest mittens because they are not ideal for most synchro holds.
Lastly, skaters should always wear sneakers to practice. An off-ice warm up is essential to injury prevention and should be done in proper footwear. You could always bring sandals or boots for after practice, if desired. And… bonus points if your fashion footwear coordinates with your team’s program theme or color for the season (my fellow RIU adult synchronized skating teammate, Nan Horner, is an expert at this!).
I always pull my hair into a neat ponytail or bun for practices, making sure my bangs are secured out of my face and my fly-always are somewhat under control. There is nothing more annoying than having hair in your face or having to tighten your hair tie while skating. I also wear a North Face ear band for additional warmth, which helps hold back my crazy hair and never moves out of place.
I highly recommend avoiding wearing any jewelry or bobby pins. These small items fall off easily and can be dangerous to all skaters if lost on the ice.
Remember, a lot of what I wear has been discovered through trial and error over the years and is based entirely on personal preference. Don’t be afraid to try new things until you find your go-to practice outfit. The main thing is that you are safe, comfortable, and warm. If you’ve got gear that covers those three checkboxes, then you’re ready to hit the ice!