Saturday, February 5, 2011

Skating Through Winter: A Guide to Ice Skates: Part 3: How to Tie Ice Skates

Tying my skates

Now that you learned how to buy ice skates its time to lace them properly to avoid injuries.

How to Tie Ice Skates:

Proper lacing of ice skates takes time at the beginning, usually 15 to 20 minutes, but with a little practice you will get much quicker.

Please note: These instructions are based on figure-type skates with laces and hooks.

To tie you ice skates sit on a bench or chair where you feet easily touch the ground. Make sure the ground has rubber mats or that you are using guards to protect you blades.

  1. 1)      Loosen laces so you can easily get your foot inside the boot (Farris, n.d.)
  2. 2)      Place you feet into the boots. Make sure socks are not bunching and seems are in the correct place (Farris).
  3. 3)      Next, flex your toe and tap the heel of the blade against the ground to ensure the foot is all the way in the back of the boot (Wehrl, n.d.)
  4. 4)      Now, give the tongue a gentle pull and make sure it is straight before tucking it into the sides (Wehrl)
  5. 5)      Keeping your foot flexed with only the heel of the blade on the floor, begin tightening the laces going from bottom to top. Start two or three crosses from the toe. Make a hook or loop with one finger on each hand and pull the laces away from the boot to tighten the prior parts. Move up cross by cross until you reach the hooks. The laces should be snug, but not extremely tight (Farris, Wehrl). You should be able to wiggle your toes. Before this step, I often pull the laces at the top hole tight to avoid them slipping out.
  6. 6)      Once you get to the end of the crossed, grabs the end of the laces and give a firm yank (Farris). Then, cross them and make the knot you would use to start a bow.
  7. 7)      Now it’s time to begin using the hooks. You need to wrap the lace around the hook and then pull to make them secure (Farris). To help ensure the laces stay around the hooks, wrap from top to bottom.
  8. 8)      Criss-cross the laces and continue to wrap and pull around the remaining hooks. The bottom two should be nice and secure but the top two can be slightly looser to allow from knee bend and flexibility (Farris, Wehrl).
  9. 9)      Once you finish the hooks, tie a secure double bow (Farris).Try not to wrap the laces around the boot as this causes the boot to break down faster. If you have a lot of lace left after finishing the hooks, try to buy shorter laces at a pro-shop.
  10. 10)  Finally, ensure your skate is laced properly. You should be able to bend your need and when you flex your ankle, you should be able to fit one finger in the front of your boot (Wehrl).
The below video may be helpful for you to visualize the process. The man is very detailed, but illustrates the process.

    I hope these instructions were clear and helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions are tips.

    This is the 50th Through the Sole post and in a few days, Through the Sole will be a year old. I love writing and updating this blog and hope you enjoy reading it. In the past year, this blog has evolved and hopefully become more interesting and aesthetically pleasing. It will continue to evolve and grow over the next few years, so please give me insight and feedback into what you would like to see and read about.

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    Farris, J.S. (n.d.). How to lace figure skates. Retrieved February 3, 2011 from

    Wehrl, S. (n.d.) How do you learn to skate? United States Figure Skating Association. Retrieved February 5, 2011 from

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