Loose vs Tight Ice skates
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01-23-2014, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Originally Posted by
Hey guys I apologize in advance if this is not in the correct thread, or forum for that matter. I was wondering if I can get some input from those who play/played ice hockey...
So ihve been playing ice hockey since I was 7 (I am not 27). My whole life I been tying my skates up as tight as possible. I even loop the top lace around my calf for extra support. I just really like the feel I guess. But recently a teammate of mine brought it to my attention that by lacing my skates so tight I'm sacrificing edge control. Is this true....
Also, I gave it a shot about a month ago, and tied my skates looser. Not only did I not like the feel, but I almost blew my knee out when trying to make a stop! Did I tie them too loose??
I maybe experiencing the two extremes. If this is the case can someone give me a good rule of thumb, to tell how tight skates should be.... Tight enough to offer support to the ankle and knee, but loose enough to utilize edges.
Tying your skates so tight and wrapping the laces around the top doesn't sacrifice edge control, it reduces ankle flexion. Basically, it prevents you from getting the proper knee bend since you can't bend at the ankles and therefore you cannot get full extension when you stride.
It is personal preference and a matter of getting used to, but you should tie your skates firm (not overly tight) at the bottom and through the mid part of the skate to lock your ankle in and then a bit looser at the top so you can get bend in your ankles to have a proper skating form. You sometimes see players leave the top eyelet or two undone so they can get good ankle flexion. The price you pay for that is decreased lateral support.
The reason you almost blew your knee out when tying them looser is because you lack ankle strength and balance. Starting about age 9-10 I have the kids I coach tie their own skates. Imagine a 10 yr old tying his hockey skates, not very tight, right. Helps them develop strong ankles and balance. I coach 11 yr olds now that barely have their skates tied and they skate great. They're used to it.
I'd start gradually tying them looser at the top and not wrapping extra lace around the ankle. Eventually you will get used to it. You will never develop the ankle strength you need and develop a proper skating stride until you get used to your skates being looser at the top.
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