Learning how to lace figure skating skates will help prevent injury and extend the life of your figure skates. The perfect balance of laces, not too loose and not too tight, will help with balance on the ice and prevent ankle injury. Practice lacing up your skates a couple of times before hitting the ice, to ensure you get the feel for it. Lacing figure skating skates can be simple once you follow these easy steps.
To lace figure skating skates you will need:
- Carpeted or matted area
- Chair or bench
- Socks or tights
- Skate blades
- Figure skate laces
- Figure skates
- Sit down. Always sit down when lacing up figure skates. Blades can dull or rust, so sit down in a carpeted or padded area so the blades do not touch concrete or marble flooring. Keeping a protective cover on blades while walking, or lacing up skates, also helps the skates to last longer.
Loosen laces. Before putting your feet in the skates, loosen up the laces by pulling them to the sides. When the laces are loose, the tongue of the skates can be pulled forward allowing your socks or tights to not bunch, which will help prevent blisters.
Insert foot into skate. Straighten socks or tights, and then insert your feet into the figure skates. When your foot is fully in, move the tongue of the figure skate back into the upright position against your leg.
- Tighten laces. Take out flack from laces by starting at the toe area, and work your way up. If you have narrow feet, tighten the laces across your toes, if you have wide feet, leave more slack so your feel do not go numb. Working up, tighten the laces to the ankle area, but not too much or it can cut off your circulation. Secure the skates, but do not make the laces too tight.
- Lace ankle tight. Once reaching the ankle, firmly tighten the laces of the figure skating skates to hold your ankle in place. This will prevent rolling your ankle, and keep the laces firm and tight until the last hole is reached.
- Lace hooks. After reaching the top of the holes, lace them at the hooks so they are crossed at those areas. Loop once around each hook, and pull tight. Wrap the lace completely around the hook, which will make a crisscross pattern. Repeat until you near the top row, and leave the top row unlaced.
Tie Bow. If there is a lot of lace left over, never wrap it around the ankle; instead, double back to the farthest hook creating an X. This will secure the lace without making it tight around your ankle. Tie a bow with the remaining lace, and tuck the bow into your skates to prevent stumbling over laces that may become untied.
- Finger test. Place your finger inside the back of your figure skates, and if you cannot fit them in, then they are too tight. If there is too much room between your finger and the back of the figure skate, then go back and tighten the laces. Your finger should perfectly fit between your ankle and the back of the skate.
Practice makes perfect, so be sure to repeat all the steps of lacing up figure skating skates before hitting the ice. Laces that are too loose can often cause injury or come undone, and laces that are too tight can cut off circulation and make for an uncomfortable skate session. Following the steps to properly lace figure skates will provide support around your ankle which will make for a comfortable skate.