How To Lace Hockey Skates – The Complete Guide

Updated: October 6, 2023 by Bill Burniece

This post on how to lace up your hockey skates obviously targeted to hockey newbies.

But it is an important question since proper hockey skate lacing is important not only for achieving top performance on the ice but also for ensuring the safety and comfort of the player.

Improperly laced skates can lead to blisters, poor ankle support, and even injuries.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to lace your hockey skates to maximize both comfort and performance.

Types Of Hockey Skate Laces

There are two types of hockey skate laces: waxed and non-waxed.

Both types of hockey laces look the same and are priced equally, but each has a different feel when skating.

Waxed Hockey Laces: are coated with a thin layer of wax that helps prevent lace slippage and ensures a snug fit. Waxed hockey laces are also easier to thread through skate eyelets and won’t fray like non-waxed skate laces.

Unwaxed Hockey Laces: are easier to grasp and untie, which is helpful for youth (mite, mini-mite, and squirt) players.

You can buy both waxed and unwaxed hockey laces at HockeyMonkey.

Hockey Skate Laces Length

It’s very important to choose the right length of hockey skate lace to prevent two problems:

  1. The first problem occurs when you choose a skate lace that is too long. After you tie you skates you will have too much lace left over and risk tripping on the dangling lace portion.
  2. The second problem happens if you choose a skate lace that is too short. This makes it difficult to tie since there is not enough room to make a knot at the top.

Hockey Skates Laces Length Chart

Hockey Skate Lace Length & Sizing Chart
Skate Size Length
Youth 8 – Junior 3 72″ – 180cm
Junior 3.5 – 5.5 84″ – 210cm
Adult 6 – 8 96″ – 240cm
Adult 8 – 10 108″ – 270cm
Adult 10 – 13 120″ – 300cm
Adult 12 – 15 130″ – 330cm


How To Lace Hockey Skates – Everything You Need To Know

Below is an 8-step guide to lacing up your hockey skates:

1. Choose The Right Laces

Before you start lacing, make sure you have the right length and type of laces for your skates.

Length: The length of your lace should correspond to the size of the skate. Use the chart I posted above.

Type: As mentioned above you can choose waxed or non-waxed hockey skate laces. It’s your call. 

2. Prepare Your Skates

If you are replacing old laces, remove the old ones from your skates. Make sure the eyelets (the small holes through which laces are threaded) are in good condition and unblocked.

3. Start Lacing

Start lacing at the toe end of your skate. Insert each end of the lace into the bottom eyelets, making sure the lace goes from the outside of the skate inwards. This will give a cleaner look and help prevent premature wear.

Pull both ends of the laces as you proceed, ensuring they are even. This will provide an equal length to work with on both sides.

4. Lacing Techniques

Over-Under Method: Pass one end of the lace over the skate and into the next eyelet from the outside. With the other end, go under the skate and into the opposing eyelet from the outside. This creates a cross-lacing pattern which is the most common method used.

Lock Method: This is popular among players who want to ensure a tight fit in the ankle area. After reaching the ankle area, instead of immediately crossing the laces, thread each lace through the next eyelet on the same side. Only after doing this do you cross them, creating a “lock”.

5. Tightening Your Laces

  • Toe Area: The toe area should be snug but not overly tight to avoid restricting your foot blood flow
  • Mid-Foot: This area should be the tightest as it’s crucial for controlling the skate. Apply firm pressure to ensure the foot is secure
  • Ankle Area: This can be slightly looser to allow for flexion, but it must remain tight enough to provide adequate support

6. Knotting

Once you’ve reached the top, tie a tight, secure bow. Make sure the loops and loose ends are of equal length to prevent them from getting caught in other gear.

Some players also like to double-knot for added security.

7. Tips & Tricks

  1. For a tighter fit, consider using waxed laces
  2. They can help keep the skates tighter for longer periods and resist moisture, ensuring a consistent fit throughout the game
  3. If you’re experiencing pressure points or areas of discomfort, try skipping an eyelet in that specific area
  4. This can help alleviate the pressure without compromising the tightness of the entire lace
  5. Regularly inspect your laces for wear and tear. Laces can break mid-game, which can be both inconvenient and unsafe

8. After The Skate

After the game, loosen the laces to make it easier to remove the skates.

This not only helps in maintaining the shape and longevity of the boot but also ensures that the laces remain in good condition.

Always dry your skates properly to prevent moisture buildup, which can degrade both the skate and the lace over time.

Let’s Wrap Lace It Up

Lacing hockey skates is a skill every player should master. It directly impacts your performance and safety on the ice.

While the methods might seem straightforward, paying attention to the nuances can make a big difference in comfort and effectiveness.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach – it’s essential to find what works best for your foot shape, playing style, and comfort preferences.