Hockey Skate Laces: Waxed or Unwaxed?
Waxed vs. Unwaxed Ice Hockey Skate Laces: Keeping Them Tied and Tight
Whether it's the knot that holds the hockey skate laces
together coming loose, or the laces themselves stretching a bit during play, there is nothing more frustrating
than an untied skate when you're about to step on the ice. In the middle of play, you don't have time to stop to
tighten or retie your laces. Those precious seconds could mean the difference between a game-winning goal or
Some players use waxed laces to help prevent loosening and hold their skate laces tighter or even looser at
various points on the skates. While there are several advantages to using waxed laces, there can be a few
disadvantages, too. Waxed or unwaxed laces can also have a slight bearing on your skating style. And how you
lace your hockey skates can help keep them tighter during play. Let's take a
look at these two types of hockey laces and different lacing techniques to keep your skate laces tied and tight.
Waxed Hockey Laces: The Advantages and Disadvantages
- Skate laces stay tighter longer; water causes the lace to stretch and loosen, and the wax creates a barrier
- You can choose which areas of your skate are tied tighter or looser, depending on preference, which can help
prevent "lace bite," where the upper-middle laces of your skate pinch the top of your foot because the lace is
- Waxed laces are easier to thread through skate eyelets.
- They won't fray the way non-waxed laces do.
- They're easier to grasp and tie.
- Wax prolongs the life of the lace.
- Waxed laces tend to snap more frequently than non-waxed laces.
- The texture of the lace makes tying them uncomfortable.
- They might be harder for younger players to handle, which may discourage them from wanting to tie their
- Waxed laces can be difficult to untie and loosen in a hurry.
- They cost more than non-waxed laces.
Unwaxed Hockey Laces: The Advantages and Disadvantages
- They're inexpensive.
- They're easy to grasp, especially for younger players.
- They're easier to untie.
- Water soaks into the lace, making them stretch and loosen.
- They're not as easy to tie so that they remain tight.
- Unwaxed laces "thin out" and snap very quickly.
- The absence of wax makes them harder to grasp.
- They're more difficult to thread through the skate eyelet, especially if the aglet has fallen off.
How you lace your skates is important for proper ankle support, and it helps keep the energy and motion of your
body directed toward the blade and not lost within the boot. While there are several different ways to lace up
your skates, and your skating style and personal preference will influence how you lace them, here are a few
methods you can try that will help better support your ankles, reduce heel slippage, and improve forward
flex—flexibility at the top of the skate boot tongue that allows you to get more forward over the skate. A
word of caution: one of the most popular misconceptions is that tying the skate lace around the ankle will add
support. Lacing around the ankle can cause a loss of circulation, resulting in injury, and can cause the skate
boot to deteriorate prematurely.
Among the most traditional ways to lace skates, this method is simple and comfortable.
- Begin straight across the on the inside and then back out through the bottom eyelets.
- At each eyelet pair, cross the ends, feed the laces back under the sides and out through the next higher set
- Repeat until skate is laced.
This second most common lacing technique helps if you have trouble keeping your skates tight.
- Start straight across on the inside and then out through the bottom eyelets.
- At each eyelet pair, cross the ends, feed the laces over the sides and out through the next higher set of
- Repeat until skate is laced.
This method will help keep your laces firmly tightened and will reduce slippage.
- Lace the skate to your preferred top eyelet using the method of your choice.
- Once you are at the top, when you cross the laces to begin your bow, double up on the cross.