For hockey players of all levels, ensuring your skates fit properly can make all the difference in your performance on the ice. One crucial aspect of skate fitting is lacing them up correctly. It may seem like a minor detail, but correctly lacing up your hockey skates can prevent injuries, improve comfort, and even enhance your skating ability.
While there are various ways to lace up your skates, there are some general tips and tricks that can help you achieve better results. In this post, we’ll cover some fundamental techniques to improve your lacing game and take your skating skills to the next level.
Whether you’re a seasoned hockey player or just starting, learning how to lace up your skates correctly will undoubtedly benefit your game. From reducing foot pain to enhancing support and balance, simple adjustments can pay off big time on the ice.
“Skating is ultimately about edges and finding power through those edges.” -Michelle Kwan
Ready to learn how to lace up your hockey skates? Let’s get started!
Start with the Right Lacing Technique
Criss-Cross Lacing Method
The criss-cross lacing method is the most common way to lace up hockey skates for both beginner and professional players. It offers a snug fit that prevents your feet from sliding around inside the skate.
To start, thread the laces through the two bottom eyelets and then cross them over each other and insert it in the next one. Pull the sides evenly until the skate feels tight around the foot. Continue lacing in this manner while making sure to pull tightly as you go along. Finally, tie the bow knot in a double knot to secure everything in place.
“The criss-cross lacing method is the foundation of all good hockey skating technique” -Andrew Angione
Straight Bar Lacing Method
The straight bar lacing method is a less common way to lace up hockey skates but can work well for people who prefer more support on their ankle. This style is also suitable for individuals with a high instep or wide feet.
This method starts by inserting the lace into the first eyelet, leaving a length of excess string on the outside. The excess area should be crossed diagonally before being threaded through the opposite eyelet’s corresponding hole. Then rethread through the third hole visually located on the left side of the previous diagonal line. Repeat steps 1&2- alternating to create small straight bars or blanks throughout the shoe. Tie it at the top using normal knots or bunny ears.
“A good alternative lacing strategy especially if you require additional ankle support.” -Joseph Pearson
Double Helix Lacing Method
The double helix lacing method is an advanced technique that provides extra support, but it can be challenging to lace up for beginners. This method is preferred by many professional hockey players due to its efficient combination of fit and stability.
This lacing technique starts at the second hole from the bottom, then crosses diagonally two eyelets before threading through another one directly across. On top, thread beneath an eyelet instead of over it to change direction completely so that it forms a V-shape on each side. Continue using this pattern for every two holes until you get to the top of the skate. Then tie the bow knot firmly.
“The double helix lacing method… gives better ankle support than any other lacing strategy.” -Rob Leblanc
Regardless of which lacing method you choose, ensure that your skates are tied tightly around your feet and ankles without cutting off circulation or restricting movement. A good-fitting pair of ice skates makes all the difference when playing hockey.
Practice the different techniques described in this blog post and pick the one that suits you best. Remember: properly laced-up skates help improve balance and control while on the rink. Good luck!
Choose the Right Tightness
Hockey is a high-intensity sport that requires proper gear to ensure your safety and performance. One of the essential pieces of equipment for playing hockey is skates, and lacing them up correctly can make all the difference in how you skate on the ice.
Loose Lacing for Comfort
If you’re a beginner or just starting out with hockey, loose lacing might be an appropriate option for you. Depending on your foot shape and size, different lacing tightness might feel more comfortable, which can lead to better endurance and faster speed over time. By keeping your laces looser than usual, you allow blood flow to circulate around your feet without the sensation of constriction, which can lead to more stamina during play. It’s crucial to note that this should only apply when skating at slower speeds rather than sudden changes of direction or rougher terrains.
Tight Lacing for Support
If you’re looking for more support from your skates or trying to improve your stability while skating, tight lacing is the best option. You will need to pull each lace securely through every eyelet using enough pressure that it feels firm but not uncomfortable. This method ensures your heel stays safe within the boot, preventing any slippage as you turn, stop or start moving. Tighter lacing helps distribute the pressure evenly across your foot, providing maximum support that can help enhance athletic performance overall. However, avoid overtightening laces as they can cut off circulation causing pain, numbness, and compromising your balance on the rink.
Customized Lacing for Best Fit
If neither of these techniques works for you, one commonly used intermediate method involves creating a customized lacing pattern based on your preference or skating style. This requires some creativity and experimenting, as you might want to focus on tight lacing around the ankle area while keeping it loose near the toes or vice versa. You can do this by skipping certain eyelets along the way, tying knots further down in the skate, or pulling up more tightly using alternate lacing patterns. Such approaches typically succeed once you master them through practice rather than a trial-by-error adjustment.
“Lacing your hockey skates helps ensure that your foot is securely in place inside of the boot.” -SportsRec
While there isn’t an exact science behind how to lace up hockey skates, finding the right tightness plays a crucial role in improving your skills and keeping you safe on the ice. Remember to experiment with each technique until you find one that works best for your specific needs. Be sure to reinforce the knot at the end and tuck in any excess laces before stepping onto the rink.
Prevent Lace Bite with Proper Lacing
Lace bite is a common issue that hockey players face. It’s the pain and discomfort felt on top of the foot caused by improperly laced up skates. Here are some tips to prevent lace bite:
Use the Right Type of Laces
The type of laces used can make a big difference in preventing lace bite. Thin waxed laces tend to put more pressure on the pressure points on top of the foot, causing discomfort and irritation. Flat, non-waxed laces distribute pressure evenly across the foot.
Another option is to use elastic laces. This type of lace allows for greater flexibility and stretch, reducing the amount of tension placed on the foot. However, be sure not to tighten them too much as this could lead to reduced ankle support.
A good quality lace is also important because it will hold its shape longer, ensure consistent tightening, and less likely to snap mid-game.
Apply Pressure Points
Applying pressure to certain areas while lacing up your skates can help relieve pressure points and reduce the risk of lace bite. Try using the “bunny ears” method when tying your skates. Starting at the lower part of the skate, cross over the laces making two loops. Tie those loops together into an X. On the next row up the skate, repeat the process, but before you tie the loops together, pull each loop through the space between the two loops below. Continue till you reach the top.
“The bunny ear method helps distribute the tension better than traditional methods, thus limiting pressure points,” says Bernard Ouellet, former NHL equipment manager.
Another way to alleviate lace bite is to skip a couple of eyelets closest to the top. This reduces the amount of pressure on the foot and keeps the laces from digging into the skin, while still providing adequate support.
Finally, inserting gel pads or foam around the areas where there is pain has been shown to provide relief. It’s important to note though that this method only provides short-term relief, doesn’t solve underlying issues and does not prevent lace bite in the future.
Preventing lace bite can make a big difference for hockey players by keeping them comfortable during games, allowing them to perform at their best. Using flat, non-waxed laces or elastic laces will help spread out tension across the foot and applying pressure points using the bunny ear lacing technique and inserting padding offer added protection against getting lace bite.
Keep the Skate Tongue Centered
When it comes to lacing up your hockey skates, one important aspect to consider is keeping the skate tongue centered. The tongue is the cushioned flap that sits between your foot and the laces on the top of your skate boot.
The position of the tongue can greatly affect the fit and comfort of your skates. If the tongue is not centered properly, it can cause discomfort, rub against your ankle bone, or even create pressure points that may lead to injury.
Check for Proper Positioning
To ensure you have placed your skate tongue correctly before lacing up, gently pull the tongue forward and make sure it is centered over the top of your foot. You should be able to see the lace holes underneath the tongue in a straight line from top to bottom.
- If you notice any wrinkles or folds in the tongue, adjust it until it lays flat.
- Double check that the tongue is sitting comfortably and evenly on both feet, as each foot’s shape and size may vary slightly.
Use a Tongue Stabilizer
You can also use a tongue stabilizer to keep the tongue in place during play. This accessory attaches to the inside of your skate boot with Velcro and wraps around the tongue to hold it securely in position.
- A tongue stabilizer helps prevent the tongue from sliding to either side or bunching up while skating, providing improved stability and support.
- This small addition can save time and hassle as it prevents constant re-adjustment of the tongue each time you put on your skates.
Secure the Tongue with Tape
If you do not have a tongue stabilizer, another option is to use tape to secure the tongue in place. Simply wrap a strip of sports tape around the tongue and your ankle bones to keep it from shifting during play.
- Be sure to use medical or sports-specific adhesive tape that will not come off easily with moisture or sweat.
- Avoid wrapping the tape too tightly, as this could restrict blood flow or cause discomfort during play.
- Remove the tape after each game or practice session to prevent residue buildup on your skates.
To recap, keeping the skate tongue centered is an important aspect of lacing up hockey skates for optimal fit and comfort. Proper positioning can be achieved by gently pulling the tongue forward and ensuring it lies flat over the top of your foot, while accessories like tongue stabilizers or tape can also provide added support during play.
“Hockey taught me everything I know.” – Wayne Gretzky
Securely Tie Your Skate Laces
If you’re playing hockey, it’s important to have a snug and secure fit for your skates. Proper lacing technique can help prevent injury and give you the confidence you need on the ice. Here are three methods to consider:
Double Knot Lacing Method
The double knot lacing method is one of the most common ways to tie hockey skates. To start, thread your lace through the bottom eyelets so that they are even in length. Begin tying your usual knot with a simple loop followed by another loop around the first. Pull tight, but not too tight as this will restrict movement. Make a second identical knot on top to create added security without making it so tight that bloodflow is restricted from your feet. Finish off the ends with tighter loops wrapped up at an upward angle towards your shin to keep everything together.
“The double knot method gives players control over how tightly their skates are tied, ensuring proper stability throughout the game.” -Steven Stamkos
Lock Lacing Method
The lock lacing method uses a “runner’s knot” or “fishing knot,” like those used to make lines taught between two poles. This type of knot does not come loose easily unless deliberately untied at the end of each session. After running the string up through the last pair of holes, cross them over themselves, then place them back down into the next set of lower eyelets, finish tying your laces securely.
“For hockey players who prefer more rigidity and less flexion in their boots, Lock Lacing could be the optimal choice.” -Wayne Gretzky
Loop Back Lacing Method
This method involves threading the laces through higher eyelets, then pulling them diagonally back to form a loop. Next proceed to insert your lace into an adjacent lower brass-ring and repeat until you reach the last set of holes. You should have extra slack left-over at this point which you can tie-off using the usual double-knot method.
“The Loop-Back Lacing Method benefits skaters with wider feet or circumference than average, giving players added tension without discomfort.” -Henrik Lundqvist
These are just three examples of ways to properly tie up hockey skate-laces- there are a variety of additional techniques that may work best for different individuals. Evaluate what’s suited to your personal preferences before settling on one method that works for you. With these strategies under your belt and a pair of well-fitted comfort skates good-luck in your next game!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different ways to lace up hockey skates?
There are several ways to lace up hockey skates, including the traditional criss-cross method, the over-under method, and the checkerboard method. Each method has its own benefits, such as providing extra support, reducing pressure points, or increasing flexibility. Experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you.
What is the proper way to tie hockey skate laces?
The proper way to tie hockey skate laces is to start at the bottom and work your way up, pulling the laces tight as you go. Make sure the laces are snug but not too tight, as this can restrict blood flow and cause discomfort. Once you reach the top, tie a tight knot and tuck the ends of the laces into the boot to prevent them from getting caught on the ice.
How tight should hockey skate laces be?
Hockey skate laces should be tight enough to provide support and stability, but not so tight that they cut off circulation or cause discomfort. When lacing up your skates, make sure the laces are snug but not overly tight. You should be able to move your toes and flex your ankle comfortably. If you experience any pain or numbness, adjust the laces accordingly.
What are some common mistakes made when lacing up hockey skates?
Some common mistakes when lacing up hockey skates include tying the laces too tight, not lacing up the entire boot, and not tying the laces properly. These mistakes can cause discomfort, reduce support, and increase the risk of injury. Take your time when lacing up your skates and make sure you follow the proper technique to avoid these mistakes.
Are there any tips or tricks for lacing up hockey skates for maximum performance?
To lace up hockey skates for maximum performance, make sure you use a lacing method that provides the right level of support and flexibility. You can also experiment with different laces and lace tightness to find the perfect fit. Additionally, make sure you tie your laces properly and tuck them into your boot to avoid getting caught on the ice. With the right technique and equipment, you can achieve optimal performance on the ice.