Lace It Up
If you are going to skate then you need to know how to properly find a skate that will fit you and how to lace it. I will go over a few tips on how to properly lace your skates, whether it be rentals or personal skates.
First, before you even rent skates or put on your personal skates, make sure to be wearing the proper socks. With custom skates, some people may not wear socks because they feel the edges better. I would advise wearing a long but not necessarily thick sock. A preferred fabric is one that can wick the sweat away like nylon or another moisture wicking material.
Ensure the socks are as high as the top of the boot. This will prevent blisters and abrasions on your skin, plus it keeps your feet drier than being barefoot. If you are wearing rentals, you definitely need socks as other people have worn those skates before you and bacteria may be transferred resulting in skin conditions like athlete’s foot.
TIP: If you have any area of the foot where the skate rubs and irritates, place athletic tape on those areas to prevent irritation and blisters.
Now that your foot is prepared, we need to pick out the right size skate. If you are purchasing skates, please consult your local skating center and have them fit you, see https://todaysfamilyfun.com/why-buy-skates-from-your-local-roller-skating-center for more information on purchasing skates.
As for picking out skates, you want to get as close of a fit as you can. It is better to get a size that is too small than too big. You don’t want it so tight that it is crippling when you stand up in them as this could cause ingrown toe nails. However you want it tight enough that your foot isn’t moving around causing blisters. Keep in mind, leather stretches a little, so if snug, it’s okay, especially if using rentals. Rentals sometimes have no half size, so I go down a size for two reasons: the leather is malleable and stretches and it will give me more control. If I go up then my foot will move around causing irritation and blisters. Loosen the laces as much as you can and place your foot into the skate then up to see where your toes are touching.
Okay, it’s time to get theses skates on your feet. Put the skate on and place heel on the floor. You want to ensure heel is locked in place. If you are lacing the skates yourself place all of your foot down and start lacing.
Now when lacing the skates ensure the tongue of skate is straight and pulled all the way up. Once this is done, start from the bottom and make sure to pull each “x”, where the laces intersect, one at a time working from the bottom to the top. Don’t make the bottom couple “x” areas as tight, so not to put too much pressure on the toes. Remember once you apply weight, your toe area will expand. Make sure the rest of the laces are tight after passing the first two “x” areas. Especially make sure the laces around the ankle are tight.
Now if you don’t have hooks, make sure all eyelets have the laces going through them and allow a little looseness on the top couple eyelets above the ankle area to allow for movement. If you over tighten the laces, it may constrict your skating motion and decrease the bend of the knee, that is needed to skate correctly.
If you have hooks go over and under the hooks keeping them tight and secure. The last hook (or if there are four, the last two hooks) do not need to be extra tight. They should, however, be secure.
Finish tying your skate with a double knot to ensure the skate does not come untied, but not more than twice. Ensure that there is no extra lace hanging over that could trip you while skating. Make sure all eyelets and hooks are used, so not to have extra lace.
Viola! Now you know how to properly lace and tie a skate.