Lacing your hockey skates or any kind of ice skates right is essential to get a secure feel so you can skate better and decrease the chances of ankle injuries. However, there are many ways to lace skates, so it isn’t necessarily clear how to do it. Next, I’ll show you exactly how to lace your skates!
To lace your skates from the beginning, start from the outside in and pull your laces towards you, so they are the same length. Then, go outside through a hole from the upper row with your lace and repeat the process to the other side with your other lace. Continue to the top and tie with a regular knot.
That’s a quick way of saying it, even if it’s clear. However, I’m a fan of pictures and videos as things such as tying hockey skates are easier to demonstrate with visuals. Keep up, and I’ll show you how to do it step-by-step!
- Hockey Skate Lacing Instructions
- How Tight Should You Tie Your Skates?
- Do You lace Skates Over or Under?
- How to Avoid Lace Bites?
- How to Treat Lace Bites?
Hockey Skate Lacing Instructions
Whether you have a new set of laces and need to lace the whole skate, are a beginner that hasn’t laced it before, or want to doublecheck you’re doing it right, this one way fits it all. Note that if you already have your laces on the right way, you can start from your current situation on the lacing process.
By the way, I highly recommend using only wax laces for hockey skates because they are easier to tie, stay tight, and won’t untie nearly as easily as other types of laces.
The first step is to go from the outside through both holes from the low end and pull your laces towards you. It doesen’t matter which hole you go in from now but make sure you pull the laces so they are the same length at the ends.
Next, start from the inside out and pull one lace through the next hole one row up towards you. It doesen’t matter which side you go to now, but I prefer the left for some reason.
When you have gone through a hole one row up with your lace, go through the opposite side at the same row with your other lace. The laces should overlap in the middle, forming an X. Repeat the process by alternating sides with the laces.
The picture above shows what your skate’s lacing should look when you have progressed with the process. Notice the overlapping process when you alternate sides with the laces. Keep going to the top!
You’re done with the lacing process when you reach the final hole row at the top of your skate, following the same zig-zag process we started. If you just laced your skates, so you’re ready next time when taking the ice, good job, you can take off your skate.
However, if you’re going ice skating right now, tighten the laces starting from the beginning by pulling each lace so the lower row will tighten. Repeat the process to the top row. Next, step 6, the tying.
Now that you have laced your skates, you can tie them. A regular tight knot is all you need for proper skate tying. If your laces are too long, you will get tripped.
Another thing of note is that you have probably seen that people tie their laces around the skate if they’re too long. Please don’t do that as it restricts your ankle movement, which in turn restricts your knee bending and, thus, the whole ice skating performance!
That’s it. Lacing your skates is as simple as it comes when you know the process.
If you prefer video, here’s a very quick and clear video on lacing your skates like a pro! And remember, wax laces such as Elite Hockey Waxed Laces will be the best option for you.
How Tight Should You Tie Your Skates?
Now that you know how to lace your skates, it’s still unclear how tight you should lace them. Should they be loose so your leg will fall out, or as tight so bold can’t circulate on your foot or something in between?
Your skates should be tied tight and snug to support your ankle; your foot shouldn’t move freely on the boot and fall out. Yet, don’t tie the skate as tight as possible so it will hurt your feet. Also, tie the skate with a regular firm knot, and don’t tie long laces around the skate as it restricts movement.
Think about your skates as your shoes, big bulky shoes with knives on the outsole. Jokes aside, moderation in everything as tying up your skates, so they should be tight with a supporting feel, yet not super tight so that you will be in agony.
Do You lace Skates Over or Under?
Under and over lacing means different methods you can lace your skates. Both lacing the skates in-to-out or out-to-in has pros and cons, so let’s take a look at what.
Under lacing, also called in-to-out lacing, is the standard way of lacing your skates, and it will usually come more naturally for people even when they have no idea of the two different methods.
As the name suggests, you will insert the lace through the holes from the inner side so that the lace will come through the hole to the outside of the skate.
Under lacing will give a tighter feel on the skate, which will also remain tighter through ice skating. However, this is often at the expense of comfort as more pressure will be directed at the tongue of the skate.
If you aren’t experienced on the ice or value proper support instead of maximum comfort, then under lacing your skates is the best option.
Over lacing, also called out-to-in lacing, isn’t as common as over lacing because it doesen’t come as naturally as under lacing, which is why beginners aren’t usually over lacing. In addition, under lacing and the support they bring are more suitable for beginners.
In contrast to the under lacing, you will insert the lace through the holes from the outside so that the lace will come through the hole to the inside of the skate.
Over lacing has benefits, and its name is comfort. When lacing your skates this way, you will direct less pressure on the skate’s tongue as the pressure is lateral instead of downward.
As a side note, you will need longer laces if you decide to over lace your skates, as there’s a longer distance from the bottom to the top.
If you’re an experienced skater who knows how your ankle will move on the ice and are willing to trade support for comfort, then over lacing is the best option.
How to Avoid Lace Bites?
Lace bites are an unwanted result of the pressure created by a skate or a shoe resulting in discomfort or pain. Preventing lace bites is something you wish for when experiencing it, so here are my top five methods.
1. Choose the right lacing method
First, let’s talk about the lacing methods we already discussed. The most popular ones are over and under lacing, where other targets support and another comfort.
As I explained, under-lacing is the most common method as it comes naturally when lacing skates. Also, the support it provides is great for beginners that aren’t yet too familiar with the movement on the ice. However, under lacing creates a tight feel on the top feet, potentially creating lace bites.
To decrease the chances of lace bites, you should lace your skates out-to-in, not in-to-out. Meaning, de-lace your skates and start lacing them by going through the eyelets from the outside to the inside. This tightens the skates more laterally, creating less pressure directly on your feet.!
2. Lace your skates looser than usual
If you still feel a lot of friction between your feet and skates, which creates the lace bites, you should lace your skates looser. There’s not much to say with this tip other than don’t lace your skates as tight, which eases off the pressure so it won’t create lace bites as easily.
3. Break in your ice skates
If you have a new pair of ice skates, they can especially create lace bites, blisters, rashes, and overall discomfort. All this is a result that the skates haven’t yet molded to your unique feet’s shape.
To fix this, you should break in your ice skates. Indeed, your skates will ultimately be broken in by just ice skates. However, gradually wearing them home, baking them, or even using a blow dryer to heat the material will make them break in faster.
If you want the full instructions on doing this, check out my ice skate breaking-in guide.
4. Use high-quality skates and sports socks
Regarding sports equipment, I’m a real fan of quality because I know the value. Yes, the upfront cost may be higher, but they usually pay themselves back just by having a longer lifespan. As a bonus, you will get better comfort and performance in terms of lace bites when talking about skates.
If you have experience with lace bites, I highly recommend getting a quality pair of skates. Quality skates are made from better materials, reputable manufacturers, and professional designers that are well educated on what quality ice skating requires. A great example of such skates with a great price-quality ratio is the CCM Super Tacks!
In addition to the skates, use only sports socks when ice skating if you want to decrease lace bites. Sports socks are often moisture-resistant, thick, cushioned, and well designed in the right places for active movement. If you skate with thin everyday socks, no wonder you’re getting lace bites.
To learn more about the differences between regular and sports socks, read my article about it. Oh, and my preferred sports socks for hockey are the Elite Hockey Pro Liner Tube Socks. They will keep your feet protected!
5. Get additional protection
If you still want more help with lace bites, then getting additional protection such as Padded Skate Socks will help! They have gel cushioning between your feet and the tongue of your skates, greatly protecting you from lace bites. They go under your sock, which will additionally give even more protection.
If you suffer greatly from lace bites, I dare you to try all these five methods, and I’m confident you won’t ever experience them again!
How to Treat Lace Bites?
If you have already gotten lace bites, it’s an unfortunate yet not hopeless event. Most injuries aren’t final, and you can accelerate the healing process by treating them. How can you treat lace bites?
The best treatment for lace bites is to rest until you are healed. An ice bag or a frozen pack of peas on the affected area will help accelerate the healing process. According to Healthline, you can take pain relievers such as ibuprofen to help with the discomfort.
There isn’t much else to do but give it time and cold to accelerate the healing. When you compare lace bites to similar issues like blisters or rashes, time will also be the most significant factor in the treatment there.
If you need to go on the ice, then the Padded Hockey Socks I mentioned earlier, proper sports socks, skates that have been broken in, the out-to-in lacing method, and not tying your skates too tight will help with the pain!