How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance

Too often, skate laces are overlooked in hockey. But the truth is that having a correctly laced pair of skates can really improve your comfort and elevate your performance when you hit the ice! In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to lace hockey skates correctly, including the different types of laces, the best way to tie them, and how tight they should be.

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Choose your laces wisely

There are two main types of ice skate laces: waxed and non-waxed.

Waxed laces

Waxed laces are treated with a waxy substance that helps them stay tied and makes them less likely to come undone. Waxed laces are also easy to thread through the skate eyelets.

They last longer as they don’t absorb moisture and are less likely to fray or stretch which makes them a good choice for aggressive skaters who are constantly putting stress on their laces.

Waxed laces provide an excellent tight hold but you may notice a waxy residue left on your hands after you tie your skates.

Elite Hockey Prolace Waxed Hockey Skate Laces (Royal Blue, 72")

These popular Elite hockey waxed laces come in a variety of colours to choose from.

Non-waxed laces

Non-waxed laces are not treated with any wax and can be more difficult to keep tied and may fray or twist.

However, some people prefer the feel of non-waxed laces, as they don’t leave any wax residue on your hands. They are softer on your hands and can be easier to adjust and tie.

Elite Hockey PRO-X7 Skate Laces (X7-Black, 120")

Elite hockey also offers these cotton non-waxed laces in a variety of colours.

What is the best way to lace hockey skates?

Left skate is laced with over crisscross method and the right skate is under crisscrossed.

There are a few things to always keep in mind when choosing how to lace hockey skates, no matter the style.

Proper lacing should always feel snug and provide good ankle support and stability.

Skates should fit properly and not pinch or cause pain anywhere.

Some of the most common methods of lacing hockey skates correctly are listed below.

Under crisscross lacing method

How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance
Under crisscross method of lacing skates

The Under Crisscross Lacing method is the conventional way of lacing hockey skates. This lace technique has a traditional appearance, will hold tightness, and is easy to lace. It provides an all-around pleasant fit.

To do this under crisscross method:

  1. Lace your skates beginning at the bottom eyelet closest to the toe of the skate on each side, working from underneath inwards. Your lace will be on top of the eyelets.

  2. Working your way up the eyelets, cross the lace ends at each eyelet pair, and then continue putting the laces through the inside to the outside of the eyelets.

  3. Tie a single or double bow tie knot.

Over crisscross lacing method

How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance
Starting to lace my skate with the over crisscross method.

The over crisscross method is similar to the under crisscross in that it has a classic look and doesn’t require much more time or effort to lace.

The main advantage of this method is that it tends to stay tighter than the under crisscross does.

To do this over crisscross method:

  1. Lace your skates beginning at the bottom eyelet of each skate and start by lacing outside to inside.

  2. Working your way up the eyelets, cross the lace ends at each eyelet pair, and then continue putting the laces over the sides and through the next eyelet.

  3. Tie a single or double knot.

My skate laced with the over crisscross method.

How to tie your ice hockey skates

Lock lacing method

Lace locking method

The lock lacing method creates a tight and secure feel, which stabilizes your foot within the boot and reduces foot slippage. This is great for new skaters, or players prone to ankle injuries.

On the other hand, this method can take slightly longer to lace up and is difficult to loosen when taking the skate off.

To do this lock lacing method:

  1. To lace your skates, follow any of the methods above but leave the top two eyelets on each side open. Cross the laces over, and then from inside to out, put both laces into the lower corresponding pair of eyelets.

  2. After that, still working with both ends of the laces at once and going from outside to inside this time, thread them through each of just the top two eyelets (without crossing them first).

  3. Finally, tie your skates as you normally would.

Dropping an eyelet

How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance
Top eyelet left unused

This is the preferred method used by many professional hockey players who like a lot of ankle mobility in their skates.

This method can be used with either waxed or non-waxed laces.

  1. Start by threading the lace through the bottom eyelets of the skate using whichever method you prefer.

  2. Continue this pattern until you reach the top of the skate.

  3. Once you reach the top, leave the top eyelet unused and tie a knot in the lace to secure it in place.

Double cross lace

How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance
Doubled cross laces before making a bow.

The Double Cross Lacing method is an easy way to prevent your laces from coming undone and slipping.

Although it might take a bit more effort to untie them, the extra time is worth it for the tighter hold.

  1. Lace up your skates.

  2. Once you’ve tightened the laces to the top eyelet cross them two times instead of just once.

  3. Now you can tie your laces in a bow.

Should hockey skates be tied tight?

How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance

You should lace hockey skates tightly, achieving snugness without excess tension. The right amount of tension will make the skate feel snug but not too tight. You also want to avoid having too much slack in the laces, as this can cause the skate to feel unstable.

Tying your skates too tightly can also be uncomfortable and even dangerous, as it can restrict blood flow to your feet. If your skates are too tight, make sure to loosen the laces a bit so you can wiggle your toes and keep your feet circulation flowing.

If you can tell that your skates are slipping or that your foot is wobbly, it’s time to adjust the size of your skates or the tightness of your laces.

How often should I replace my hockey skate laces?

How To Lace Hockey Skates: For Maximum Comfort And Better Performance
Daughter’s laces will need to be replaced

Hockey skate laces typically need to be replaced every few months, depending on how often you skate. If you notice that your laces are fraying or stretching, it’s time to get new pair.

They’re cheap and easy to carry around in your bag, so I recommend having an extra set of laces with you.

Should you tie skates around the ankle?

Skates tied around the ankles.

No, you should not tie skates around the ankle. This is incorrect and can lead to many problems.

Most people believe that tying skates around the ankle will give them more support. However, this is not the case.

Tying skates around the ankle can actually cause more injury because it limits the range of motion in the ankle joint.

Should I be able to wiggle my toes in ice skates?

Yes, you should be able to wiggle your toes in ice skates. This is important because it allows for proper blood circulation in the feet. It also helps to keep the feet warm.

If you cannot wiggle your toes in your skates, it is likely that they are too tight. This can lead to a number of problems, including discomfort, decreased blood circulation, and even frostbite. If your skates are too tight, make sure to loosen the laces so you can wiggle your toes.

Choosing the right-size laces

The size of the laces you need for your ice skates will depend on the size of your skates. Typically, you will need laces that are about 96-130″ inches long for adult skates, and 72-84″ inches long for child skates.

When you are choosing laces, it is important to make sure they are the correct size. If the laces are too small, they will be difficult to tie and may not stay tied. If the laces are too large, they will be bulky and may not provide the right amount of support.

What is lace bite in hockey?

Lacing your skates too tightly can lead to lace bite, causing pain, discomfort, and numbness.

Hockey players often experience it, but it can affect anyone wearing ice skates. If your foot or ankle feels uncomfortable, loosen and retie the skate.

To prevent lace bite, manufacturers like CCM and Bauer design skates with interior padding and specialized tongues in their higher-end models.

You can also add gel pads on the skate’s tongue for extra comfort.

If you suffer from lace bite, start by loosening your laces. If that doesn’t help, try different lacing methods.

A&R Sports Lace Bite Skate Gel Pad (Pair)

Give these skate gel pads a try if you’re experiencing lace bite. You just place it on the tongue of your skate boot.

Final thoughts on how to lace hockey skates

Now that you know how to lace hockey skates correctly, you’ll be able to skate with confidence and comfort.

It’s all about personal preference, so if you find your lacing method isn’t working, try switching it up.

Skating is supposed to be fun, so don’t let poorly tied skates ruin your experience.

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