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Question about Lacing my Son's Skates

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05-03-2013, 04:54 PM
  #1
Oak
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Question about Lacing my Son's Skates

Hey guys,

My little guy has been skating for over two years now and has been doing Mites this past Winter Season.

His skating is pretty good and I am noticing he is starting to like to have his skates tied a bit looser. I used to tie them really tight to give him more support but progressively I have been making them a little loser and he is skating fine with them this way.

Anyway, I have heard that not using the last (top) eyes on the skate is good for kids because it helps strengthen their ankles, makes them a better skater, etc. So I was thinking to start tying his skates that way.

Is there any truth to that rumor? I don't want to do something that will hurt him but personally I always skated without the top eyes not used so I'm thinking it might not be a big deal. Or it might just be a preference thing.

Opinions appreciated.

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05-04-2013, 10:48 AM
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AIREAYE
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Not only could it help him in that way, but getting and encouraging that knee bend is vital to in building up proper stride technique and edge control. I'm not a skating instructor or anything, but I believe that the only reason (and it's a big one) that beginner skaters and kids have their laces up tight all the way is indeed for support like you said. If your kid seems to be skating fine with one out, then I would go ahead with that unless you notice a loss of support. It should be the optimal intersection of support and flexibility imo. Being young, he still has time to learn and correct bad habits if need be.

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05-06-2013, 01:48 AM
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Ankle support is key. But tightening the skates too tight can block blood flow which will make his feet hurt and make them tired. So, look at his skates, and lets start at the bottom of the laces. Count up from the bottom eye lace hole and count up four eye lace holes. Those 4 lace holes on each side of the skate should have the laces very loose. This will allow blood flow to the toes and the in-step. Then starting with the fifth eye lace hole all the way to the top, you want the lace tight for ankle support. Now if the laces are too long, try not to wrap the excess lace around the ankle and boot. This will cause restriction from allowing the player to push with their toes after they have given a full length to the stride.

Which means...when he takes a stride, once he is at full extension, he needs to point his toe and this will give him a little extra something, something in his stride. but if you wrap the lace around the ankle, it limits this toe push.

Hope this help.
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05-06-2013, 06:00 AM
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Depends on the skates as well. If he's using high-end skates it's probably a good idea not to use the last eyelet. Those skates are very hard and will hinder necessary freedom in ankle movement. Most kids under 8 are not able to tighten the laces properly.
My son skated in low-end/mid-range skates until the age of 11. He was able to lace them on its own since he was 5 and would lace them up to the top.
Since the age of 11, he has been skating in high-end skates and prefers not to lace the last eyelet.

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05-06-2013, 08:29 AM
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CornKicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardacus View Post
Hey guys,

My little guy has been skating for over two years now and has been doing Mites this past Winter Season.

His skating is pretty good and I am noticing he is starting to like to have his skates tied a bit looser. I used to tie them really tight to give him more support but progressively I have been making them a little loser and he is skating fine with them this way.

Anyway, I have heard that not using the last (top) eyes on the skate is good for kids because it helps strengthen their ankles, makes them a better skater, etc. So I was thinking to start tying his skates that way.

Is there any truth to that rumor? I don't want to do something that will hurt him but personally I always skated without the top eyes not used so I'm thinking it might not be a big deal. Or it might just be a preference thing.

Opinions appreciated.
the statement that the top lace doesnt need to be done up is true but not for the reason you posted. not tying up the top eyelet will allow kids to have less difficulty bending their knees. as an adult you can lean forward into the tounge of your skates and get that flex. little legs have trouble getting that same flex as their skates are stiff and not as broken in. the best way fo rmini's skates is to tie the forefoot tight and as the boot starts to come up the leg loosen it a bit in there.

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05-06-2013, 10:10 AM
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I'll try and add something to the conversation.

Depending on the skates your son wears, the top eyelets may or may not help or hurt his skating. Modern skates are very stiff and have a lot of support around the ankles that you can choose to use by lacing all the way up or not use by skipping eyelets.

Look at how the eyelets are arranged on a modern skate vs a traditional skate:



So when you hear Laura Stamm talk about lacing all the way up, that's more for players who use a traditional skate vs most of the modern skates on the market. OR for players with great hip flexibility and lots of leg strength who prefer to keep ankles rigid and use their knees and hips for movement.

When I used Vapors, I skipped the top 1-2 eyelets as I couldn't move my ankles freely enough. With my Grafs always all the way up. I have heard of kids having their laces done up super loose to learn their edges though. Never understood it but those guys skate better than I do.



As for lacing, I got this advice early and kept with it:

Loose near the toes (first 4-5 eyelets)
Tight at the heel (next 4-5 eyelets)
Snug at the top (last 1-2 eyelets)

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05-06-2013, 06:31 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. Clears things up a lot.

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06-16-2013, 11:31 AM
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Hey guys just bumping this thread to give an update.

These are the skates my lil guy is currently using:

I use them because of pricing which is pretty cheap and my son has a wide foot so the slightly cheaper Supreme line is a bit too narrow for him.

Comparing them to Jaricks picture they have 8 eyelets versus 10 in adult skates. What we did during the spring season is first 3 loose, next 3 tight, 7th one is snug and 8th not laced, and it has been working out pretty good. He seems to be skating faster now which I am assuming is due to him bending his knees more. It is definitely much easier to bend doing it this way.

I'm not sure if these skates are too stiff for him, because I've heard the argument about Vapors before, but since they are the base model I dont think they are as stiff as the more expensive one. One thing I will say though is the first skates I ever bought him were base model CCMs and as soon as I changed him to the Vapor 1.0s when he grew out of them I noticed an immediate improvement in his skating.

Any more opinions you guys have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.

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06-16-2013, 07:59 PM
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Gino 14
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Something to consider, if the top eyelet wasn't of any use, it wouldn't be there. Companies don't add useless items to products just because it seems like a way to waste money. The skate is designed with the eyelets where they are for a reason.

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06-16-2013, 08:48 PM
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LarryO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gino 14 View Post
Something to consider, if the top eyelet wasn't of any use, it wouldn't be there. Companies don't add useless items to products just because it seems like a way to waste money. The skate is designed with the eyelets where they are for a reason.
Maybe the top eyelet is designed as optional for those who want/need to use it. Afterall, some players even skip 2 eyelets.
...Just as skates are designed with blades which have a specific pitch which is not ideal for everyone and need to be re-profiled for individuals' needs.

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06-16-2013, 08:48 PM
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AIREAYE
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I don't think that really applies here Gino, everyone has personal preferences for gear, including how they like to lace their skates.

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06-17-2013, 04:09 PM
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Oak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gino 14 View Post
Something to consider, if the top eyelet wasn't of any use, it wouldn't be there. Companies don't add useless items to products just because it seems like a way to waste money. The skate is designed with the eyelets where they are for a reason.
Well Gino regardless if you are right or wrong you definitely gave me something to think about so I tried a few different things with my son today.

If I put my finger right above his ankle bone the last eyelet is still above it so I don't think it is really doing much for him. I did consider using the top eyelet and just keeping it looser but he is skating fine with it off. I'll experiment a bit when we get to the rink next time and see which he prefers.

For what its worth some skating coaches told me leaving top undone also helps strengthen their ankles when they are young.

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06-18-2013, 07:26 AM
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once we got out of the starter cheapo skates, and my son had good ankle strength and balance, skipping the top eyelet definitely helped with both knee bend, and the toe flick.

I think every case is somewhat unique, you just have to experiment, and watch

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06-18-2013, 10:00 AM
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AIREAYE
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somewhat on topic: there will be a few new ccm mid pricepoint models in jr only available featuring an easy-tie eyelet system which is essentially a softer facing.

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