One could easily argue that hockey is the greatest sport on earth. It’s played on a giant sheet of ice and everything about the game is fast — the shots, the pace, the players. Hockey jargon alone is a thing of beauty. As a kid, there’s nothing like the joy of learning to lace hockey skates and hitting the ice for the first time.
But hockey can also be a tough, menacing, physical game that can put a lot of wear and tear on a player’s body. Out of all the major sports — baseball, football, basketball — hockey requires the most amount of equipment that needs to be worn.
Required hockey equipment that is worn include a helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, protective gloves, heavily padded pants, an athletic protector, shin pads and skates. Goaltenders need even more. Goalies wear masks and much bulkier equipment designed to protect them from any direct hits from the puck.
But the most important part of a hockey player’s gear are their skates. Hockey skates are used to maneuver and to balance the player on the ice. The blades are specially designed to cut into the ice to provide for starting, stopping and turning. The boots are generally made from molded plastic and leather that protect a player’s feet from the puck and other players’ sticks and skates.
When it comes to learning how to lace hockey skates, there are several techniques that are commonly used among both professional and amateur hockey players.
UNDER CRISS-CROSS LACING
- Insert the ends of the laces into the eyelets on the skates closest to the toe. Pull them out on both sides
- Lace up the skate by having the lace enter the eyelet from the “inside” of the eyelet and then the lace exits the eyelet and wraps over top of the boot.
- Cross the laces under each other through each eyelet in a diagonal “X” pattern.
- When you get to the very top, pull tight and tie them up the same way you tie your shoes. If your laces still hang out, you can do a double knot.
OVER CRISS-CROSS LACING
Follow the instructions above for Under Criss-Crossing method, but this time, run the laces first over the sides of the boot or the “outside” of the eyelet and then the lace will exit from the “inside” of the eyelet.
SKIP AN EYELET
Lace up the ice skates as described above, but as you get to the top eyelets, either skip the top or second from the top eyelet and then tie your bow. This method provides for more flexion in the skate, knees and ankles and is recommended for more experienced hockey players.