How To Lace Hockey Skates: Complete Guide

Lacing up your skates can be easy only if you have a guideline; otherwise, you might spend hours without succeeding. Your ice hockey skates might already have laces strung, but still, you need to loosen the lower. The importance of considering the multiple techniques of lacing up your hockey skate lies in the fact that you need to attain a stable fit in your boot whereby your foot does not move around the boot. It also prevents a painful experience as you put on the skates.

In this post we’re going to give you a complete guide on how to lace hockey skates and provide you with some of the different options.

Types Of Laces: Waxed vs Non-Waxed 

When it comes to the best hockey skate laces, not all of them are the same. There are actually two different types which are:

  • Waxed
  • Non-waxed

We’ll discus how these two are different and what the pros and cons of each kind are.

Waxed laces

What makes waxed laces different from the non-waxed laces is that extra thin layer of wax applied onto the lace. It works better for the laces as they become sticky and the wax comes with a grip and tightness as you run the lace through the eyelets. It gets rid of the pressure you apply when running the laces. These are ideal for learners and kids as they do not have to struggle to lace up the skates. 

Waxed laces give your boot a fit you may have been worried about. Laces have a tendency of getting loose whilst you are on the game, and you do not have time to stop and tie them. That is when one has to choose to get waxed laces to avoid that. If the waxed laces become tighter, the good thing is that you can still loosen them up. Fraying laces can be untidy and irritating; hence you need to wax them. These are also more durable than non-waxed laces although the wax can come off gradually as you continue using them.


  • Do not absorb moisture
  • Gives your boot that tightness
  • Do not stretch 
  • Do not fray
  • Durable
  • Easy to thread on eyelets


  • A bit harder when tying or untying
  • With time, the wax wears off, and that leaves you with bad looking laces.
  • The laces leave some wax on your hands.
  • Maybe harder for beginners which might be discouraging
  • Can be difficult to tie and untie

Non-waxed laces

These are known as the standard laces that come in any colour of your choice. They are called traditional laces because they are just the same as shoelaces. The only difference that separates lace for hockey and shoelaces is that the laces that are used for hockey skates are thicker and stronger than shoelaces. It is because of the conditions they are used in. 

Hockey is quite a physical sport that needs laces that can keep up with the rough activities associated with hockey. You do not need to add an extra grip onto these laces. These are ideal for low-budget users. Beginners or young players may find them more comfortable to use as well as easy to run through the eyelets. The chances are meagre that you will struggle to tie and untie the laces. However, they are not waterproof, and they tend to absorb moisture which is not suitable for their texture and performance. They are quick to snap or fray.


  • Easier to tie and untie
  • Easy to grasp
  • Not rigid
  • Soft and comfortable to use
  • Flexible
  • Ideal for low-budget users


  • Do not give that tightness effect on loose skates.
  • Not easy when it comes to grip
  • They are not waterproof.
  • The chances are high that they will fray.
  • Without an aglet, they are not easy to thread.

Lace length

It does no matter what type of laces you have chosen or the technique you are going to use. You still need the proper length for the boots. What I am referring to appropriate length are laces that allow you to have quick turns, immediate stops and a comfortable fit. 

  • What to consider when choosing the length of laces
  • You need to measure the distance between eyelets from one side to the other, the distance between the nearest toe and the eyelets and recorded.
  • Use a tape measure for accurate measurements.
  • You count the number of eyelets on one side of the boot and multiply by the distance you recorded
  • Multiply the number you got by two as this will determine the size 
  • Add at least 18inches to cover up for the free ends needed when tying the laces.
  • Finally round up the figure.

5 Different Ways to Lace your Skates

1. Under Lacing

Under lacing is the most common way to lace your skates. It can also be referred to as the under criss-cross lacing. You need to start on the lowest eyelet pair by running your laces through. It is not just a random process as you need to make sure that the laces come out even on both sides. Failure to make them even makes the lace from the other side longer or shorter than the other one. It will not give that smart finish onto the hockey skates. They just become untidy. You need to make sure that as you cross each end through the higher eyelet pair, the laces should feed under not over. You keep repeating the same steps till you are done.

2. Over Lacing

For a quick and painless procedure, you need to follow the above steps for under lacing. The only difference is that you will not have to feed under but over the sides. That is the best way to lace your skates when you want to make your boot very tight. You do not have to worry about your foot as it becomes more secure. The other difference between under lacing and over lacing is that the final appearance looks very different.

3. Lock Lacing

It is called lock lacing because it is the tightest way. You just run your lace as you always do but leave the highest eyelet untied. You have to create a small loop on the right and left side and cross the laces over. You have to do this as you run the laces through the loops you made and make two tight knots out of them. Finally, you tie your laces just the way you tie your shoe. They might be very tight in an uncomfortable way, and you will have to loosen up the laces.

4. Dropping an Eyelet

It is also known as partial lacing. Unlike the lock lacing way that ensures that your laces are very tight, the partial lacing relieves you from that tightness that might even cause your foot to go numb. Your feet should be comfortable inside the hockey skates; otherwise, you will hate them. To achieve this, you need to tie your skates on lower holes. It leaves the eyelet unlaced which gives some flex to the foot. 

5. Double Cross Lacing

What makes this technique unique is the fact that it keeps the lace very tight and prevents slippage. To achieve this, you need to choose a top eyelet of your choice so that you lace the skate. In this case, you need to select any technique of your choice as you thread the lace. The moment you get at the top of the boot, you need to double up on the cross when you want to start your bow.

How to Lace Hockey Skates: Step By Step Guide

  • You need to decide first on the technique you want to use 
  • Make sure that the technique perfectly fits your foot
  • Decide if you want waxed or non-waxed laces
  • Run the laces through the highest loop  
  • You can choose to cross the laces over or under the tongue depending on the selected technique
  • Then tie your laces the same way you would tie your shoelaces


There are several aspects that you need to take into consideration before you buy and decide to lace your hockey skates. You need to take all the necessary measures when choosing the size of the lace. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of waxed, non-waxed laces then select the best for your boots. If all this has been done, then choose the best technique to apply when tying your shoelaces. Finally, feel the skates, make sure they are not too tight or too loose, and they fit comfortably then you are good to go. If they’re really tight you might want to look at hockey skates for wide feet to get a better fit.