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Pierre Gotye 06-25-2010 08:56 AM

Skate lacing
 
One thing I notice a lot of Adult rec league players do is wrap their laces around their ankles.

These guys tend to stumble and fall over a bit more than the rest of us.

Last night, I laced my skates up through the top eyelet(normally I don't do this).

I noticed a huge difference in my skating stability. It seems to me that by lacing my skates through the top eyelet of my skate my knee-bend and mobility actually DECREASED.

I don't consider myself a great skater or nothing, but I did notice a huge difference.

Just thought I would share. Laura Stamm says in her book to never wrap your laces around your ankles, and she even says that some players don't even use the top eyelets of her skates. I think she is exactly right!

Pog Form 06-25-2010 09:30 AM

I like to use the top eyelet, but skip the one below it. I find it gives me a good mix of a stability and flexibility.

noobman 06-25-2010 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brentbreakaway23 (Post 26487251)
One thing I notice a lot of Adult rec league players do is wrap their laces around their ankles.

These guys tend to stumble and fall over a bit more than the rest of us.

Last night, I laced my skates up through the top eyelet(normally I don't do this).

I noticed a huge difference in my skating stability. It seems to me that by lacing my skates through the top eyelet of my skate my knee-bend and mobility actually DECREASED.

I don't consider myself a great skater or nothing, but I did notice a huge difference.

Just thought I would share. Laura Stamm says in her book to never wrap your laces around your ankles, and she even says that some players don't even use the top eyelets of her skates. I think she is exactly right!

Well, it makes sense.

The guys who wrap their laces around their ankles are quite often the guys that feel unstable on their skates. They're trying to get extra stability at the expense of ankle mobility. Your feet should be able to move back and forth freely, but should be locked in enough so that your ankles don't wobble from side to side.

Doing your skates up to the top eyelet is recommended for new skaters because of the extra support you get, but you sacrifice mobility. Once you're more stable on your skates, it makes sense to leave that eyelet loose. You'll have much more room to bend at your ankles, and by function your knees as well. Turns will be sharper, and strides will be more powerful.

What I don't agree with is Laura Stamm's recommendation for tightness at each portion of the boot. Following her instructions left me with sore feet and tendonitis!

WickedWrister 06-25-2010 09:58 AM

Wrapping is just plain bad all across the board. Not only does it decrease mobility, but it can actually damage the boot over time.

I tie my skates really tight up to the top eyelet. I like the stability of my heel being firmly in the boot.

IslesZoso 06-25-2010 10:18 AM

Well, I'm a 46-yr old Adult rec league guy and I lace it TIGHT to the top eyelets AND wrap my laces around my ankles AND wrap again with tape.

As O/P states, it might be a matter of sacrificing "mobility" for "stability", or vice-versa depending on which side of the coin you are on.

Anyway, I guess I should try freeing up my ankles and seeing how it feels.

WickedWrister 06-25-2010 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BourneAgain (Post 26488742)
Well, I'm a 46-yr old Adult rec league guy and I lace it TIGHT to the top eyelets AND wrap my laces around my ankles AND wrap again with tape.

As O/P states, it might be a matter of sacrificing "mobility" for "stability", or vice-versa depending on which side of the coin you are on.

Anyway, I guess I should try freeing up my ankles and seeing how it feels.

By doing this, it's really affecting yoru stride, whether you realize it or not. You can't get the proper ankle/knee bend if your foot is completely locked into your boot.

Jarick 06-25-2010 11:43 AM

It depends on the skate.

In my Bauer Vapors, they were really stiff all the way around and had an L-shaped lace curve, so I skipped the top two eyelets. Any lower and I didn't have enough lateral support; any higher and I couldn't flex my feet up and lost agility.

But in my Grafs, they're a lower cut boot and have a C-shape lace curve, so I can lace all the way up to the top and not lose any agility or forward flex.

Rob Brown 06-25-2010 01:22 PM

I also use Grafs and lace them up all the way using all eyelets, and I don't notice any limitation in mobility, flexibility or whatever. I've tried skipping the top eyelet and I actually found my skates to be too wobbly and loose, but I guess it's all personal preference.

And I've never ever tied my laces around the back of my ankle like the OP is suggesting.

Ragss 06-25-2010 01:42 PM

Wrapping is bad for circulation I've heard. And it depends a lot on the boot and the player with the eyelets. Boot stiffness varies greatly, as does player preference.

jsykes 06-25-2010 03:46 PM

It all depends on what you're comfortable with, there is no right or wrong way to do it.

There a plenty of pros that lace their skates all the way to the top, some even tape their ankles, is anyone gonna really sit here and tell them they're wrong and could be better skaters if they did it differently?

If there was no benefit to it, do you really think manufacturers would still put the top eyelets on their pro skates? If no pro used it, then they wouldnt still be putting them on the skates.

Ankle support is the biggest issue for new skaters. They are often using recreational skates which further lack support. Taping ankles helps and often goes hand in hand with lesser quality skaters. As I said, though, I know some very good skaters that tape ankles, including pros.

It all comes down to preference and often what skates. When I skated in Grafs, I laced them all the way to the top, I had no problem flexing the skates and getting a good stride. When I moved to TotalOnes, I stopped lacing them all the way. The design of the boot is stiffer and doesnt flex as much and I feel better with the top eyelet open. If you have the weight to still flex a stiff boot like that, you can lace it all the way up and still have it not affect your stride.

Its all about what you can do, what skate you're using and your ability. Nothing wrong with going all the way up if that is what you like, likewise you cant sit here and say lacing all the way up is hurting someone's ability.

Lario Melieux* 06-25-2010 07:26 PM

I've been skating for 24 years and I've always wrapped the laces around the boot. It's just the way I learned to skate and that's what I'm used to. I don't really wrap them around too tight though. I use wax laces and go VERY tight from the toes up to about 3 eyelets down. From there up I tie with minimal pressure.

Monsignor 06-25-2010 08:43 PM

Interesting topic!

I, for one, tie mine fairly tight through the foot area up to the lace lock (I sport Reebok 11K's) then snug all the way up. I don't wrap around as I have heard that it can weaken the boot. I have not tried omitting the top eyelets but for $#!+s and giggles might try this tomorrow during our family open skate.

Out of curiosity (and having never read Stamm) what is the rationale for leaving the top undone? I am ALL about improving my skating skills....

hoonking 06-25-2010 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monsignor (Post 26515417)
.

Out of curiosity (and having never read Stamm) what is the rationale for leaving the top undone? I am ALL about improving my skating skills....

Leaving the top eyelet open (or loose) will allow for more ankle flex and therefore more knee bend. However many NHLers skate with their top eyelets laced, some even crank it all the way. Try it and see how its affects your game.

Monsignor 06-25-2010 09:17 PM

Good to know - thanks. I kind of figured that's what it was about but thought maybe there was more to it...

Badger36 06-25-2010 09:44 PM

Im not a fan of wraping the laces around the boot. IMO, it will only cut off your circulation and restrict the movement of your ankles.
I lace mine all the way to the top eyelet, but I dont tie the last few eyelets tightly.
I pretty much tie my skates the way that Laura Stamm says to. Seems to work well for me.

denace 06-26-2010 08:39 AM

Quote:

However many NHLers skate with their top eyelets laced, some even crank it all the way
I've allways wondered why they did that...is that because of their custom made skates ?

TBLfan 06-26-2010 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denace (Post 26529416)
I've allways wondered why they did that...is that because of their custom made skates ?

Personal preference. Dan Boyle is a great skater and he wraps his laces around his skates and tapes them. Other great skaters around the league lace all eyelets, some skip the top, some lace their skates loose... it's all personal preference.

SpringfieldSkins 06-26-2010 10:15 PM

I always lace my skates to the top and haven't ever wrapped the laces around. I didn't think it would make much difference if they were wrapped around because the boot itself is pretty stiff.

My lacing pattern that I've been using has been to tie all of the laces pretty snugly and then make the top 4 tight. Seems that lots of people do the exact opposite and sometimes leave the top eyelet open. Perhaps I'll give that a try and see how I like it.

Monsignor 06-27-2010 08:27 AM

Skated yesterday - just an 'Open Skate' and not a game/practice (no pads).... tried skating with the top eyelet open and top laced looser than normal and for me was a no go; then tried open top eyelet with my more 'normal' snugly laced top and felt no appreciable difference in my skating; then laced normally and skated 'normally'.

For me, at least, bottom line is lace all the way up for now.... YMMV...

Badger36 06-27-2010 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monsignor (Post 26558554)
Skated yesterday - just an 'Open Skate' and not a game/practice (no pads).... tried skating with the top eyelet open and top laced looser than normal and for me was a no go; then tried open top eyelet with my more 'normal' snugly laced top and felt no appreciable difference in my skating; then laced normally and skated 'normally'.

For me, at least, bottom line is lace all the way up for now.... YMMV...

You might find that skating with looser skates will take you some getting used to. Ive always heard that some of the best hockey players in history didnt lace their skates really tightly.
Im with you though, I still prefer my skates to be really snug.

hoonking 06-27-2010 11:15 PM

If you are used to having them snug then tying them loosely will feel weird at first, probably because of how much more ankle strength you need for support.

Jarick 06-28-2010 09:16 AM

FWIW I have my top laces tighter than anywhere else, so even if I did skip the top two eyelets I needed the next lace tight. Give that a shot next time.

I will say when my Vapors were new and weren't broken in to the point my heel was slipping everywhere, I was able to skate even when they came untied and loose.

bp spec 06-28-2010 02:19 PM

I never laced top eyelet and I used tape my skates to increase the stiffness when I used Reebok 5kpump skates. But when i bought new skates,Graf G5, I stopped taping my skates but started to lace all eyelets.

There's a few players on my team, especially one guy who laces his skate incredibly tight, and tape them as well. His skates even broke down..

Muttley* 06-28-2010 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TBLfan (Post 26534354)
Personal preference. Dan Boyle is a great skater and he wraps his laces around his skates and tapes them. Other great skaters around the league lace all eyelets, some skip the top, some lace their skates loose... it's all personal preference.

Yeah, it's amazing what works for some seems cumbersome for others. Doug Gilmour barely tied his skates and left them extremely loose and I read that Bobby Orr didn't tie his top 3 eyelets and was one of the first to skate barefoot.


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