Whether you have a new pair of hockey skates or a new pair of skate laces, you will need to make sure that your skates are laced up properly.
Proper lacing will ensure your safety on the ice, securing your foot and ankle while still giving you the support you need for maximum control. You might need to re-lace your skates if you find that your ankles are hurting under the pressure or you are not able to flex forward like you should be able to. If this is the case, you need to know how to lace hockey skates the right way.
Do You Have The Right Laces?
Before you get into the best way to lace hockey skates, you need to be sure that you have the right laces. Skate laces are not one-size-fits-all and having the right laces is extremely important. There are two common types of skate laces: waxed and cloth.
- Waxed: Waxed laces will give you the tightest fit possible and because of the wax, they will not loosen up as you skate. Once they are laced, they will stay laced.
- Cloth: Cloth laces will give you a looser fit and are generally softer. They can loosen up as you skate as well.
The type of lace that you need depends a lot on the fit that is right for you. Regardless of the type that you prefer, you need to make sure your laces have the molded cover tip instead of a plastic tip. Plastic tips will break off and fray, making lacing frustrating and impossible. Molded tips are more durable.
Are Your Laces The Right Size?
Outside of the type of laces that you need, you will have to make sure that you have picked the right size of laces for your skates. You can determine the length of laces you need based on your foot size, your foot width, and the amount of eyelets that are on your skate. More eyelets will require longer laces. You do not want to get laces that are too long either, however, or you run the risk of tripping over your laces on the ice.
Lacing Your Skates
Now that you have the right skate laces, you are ready to lace up your hockey skates.
Step 1: Starting at the bottom of the boot, you will thread the laces through the eyelets with the lace over top of the eyelets rather than under the eyelets. Make sure that the laces are even on both sides.
Step 2: Begin lacing up the skate by crisscrossing the laces, going over the eyelets each time. Halfway up the skate, double check that your laces are still even on both sides before continuing to lace the rest of the way up the skate.
Step 3: When you reach the top of the skate, leave the top two eyelets open instead of lacing them. It is easier to get your foot in the skate if there is extra room up at the top. When you put your skates on, you will have to lace through the upper eyelets, but do not do that without your skates on your feet.
Tightening Your Skates
When you are getting ready to hit the ice, you will have to finish lacing up your skates.
Step 1: Sit in a chair with a mat below your feel. Slip your foot into the loosened skate until it is all the way down and flat. Holding onto the laces, straighten your leg with your toes up and your heel resting on the mat.
Step 2: Start tightening with the toe of your boot. Take your index and middle fingers and loop through the part of the lace that is next to the eyelet. Holding the laces tightly, pull up on the laces while pushing your foot downward. You will know it is tight enough when you can slip your finger between the lace and the boot once you have pulled it.
Step 3: When you have tightened halfway up, make sure that the top has not come unlaced from the pulling. You can take up the slack and ensure that the laces are still in place.
Step 4: Once the laces are even and snug, you need to lace up your ankle. Lace up the eyelets that you had left unlaced previously. Now that your foot is in and the laces have been tightened, you can finish this part. Lace in the same pattern you did for the rest of the boot, crisscrossing the laces over the eyelet.
Step 5: If your hockey skates have hooks at the ankle, you will need to continue crisscrossing like you did through the eyelets, but do it while hooking the laces. How you hook the lace does not make a difference. If you do not have hooks, you can try to tighten the laces around the ankle more bylacing them directly above instead of crisscrossing, but then crossing them through the loops that you made, giving you more leverage to pull it tighter.
Step 6: Pull the laces up to the front of the skate to tie them. You should tie them just like you would tie a shoe, but cross them twice before finishing the bow in order to lock in the tie. Pull it tightly.
Step 7: If you have excess laces, meaning the laces are hanging to the sides, you could put yourself in danger of tripping. If you do have excess laces, before you knot the laces, wrap the laces around the back of your skate as many times as it takes to shorten the laces to a safe length.
Knowing the best way to lace up your hockey skates will not only keep you from focusing on the skates themselves, but can also keep you safe from falling or rolling your ankle. Pay attention whenever you play and make sure you lace your skates the right way every time you play.