How To Lace Figure Skates

You probably mastered how to tie your shoes as a child, but have you mastered how to tie figure skates?Although the premise is essentially the same, a few helpful techniques can help you get the best performance out of your figure skates.In this article, we'll discuss techniques for lacing figure skates, how to determine if your skates fit correctly, and a quick tips for purchasing laces for ice skates.

Why it's Important to Lace Your Figure Skates Correctly

Good performance on the rink starts with a good foundation. By using the correct technique for lacing your skates, you can:

  • Improve support and control by properly securing the foot.

  • Maintain a comfortable fit to reduce the likelihood of injury or blisters.

  • Increase the durability of your skate for long-term use.

  • Enhance range of motion by minimizing slipping and sliding within the skate.

By not lacing your skates correctly, you may inadvertently damage your skate or cause injury or discomfort.

How Do You Lace Skates?

Lacing your skates isn't tricky, but it does take a little understanding of how laces impact performance.

One of the most critical points about lacing your skate boot is that the lace should enter the eyelet from the exterior – not the interior, as you frequently see on street shoes.

Lacing from the exterior inward helps the tongue stay fixed, which is necessary for control and comfort. Lacing inward also prevents the lace from loosening while you skate, reduces pressure on the toe and instep, and helps maintain lace uniformity across the skate.


  • To get started, first, put the boot on and ensure that your toes, heel, and ankle are properly positioned within the skate.
  • Then divide the lace in half, so each end is even. Next, pull each of the molded tips of lace through the exterior of the eyelet, making sure each end is the same length.
  • Cross the laces, and continue to lace outward-in. The first few eyelets should fit snugly but not too tight.
  • Once the eyelets near the toes are laced, continue to lace outward-in, but as you approach mid-foot, begin to tighten the lace on each boot, so the foot's arch is secure.
  • As you approach the ankle, continue to lace around the skate's lace hooks, but avoid pulling too tight. Ensure that the position of your foot is stable, the toes are not cramped, and the tongue is centered with the boot.

Your skate should feel a bit tight, but should not cause pain or limit movement. If you can't bend your knees or flex your foot without discomfort in the ankles, your figure skate is probably laced too tight. To find the correct fit, you may need to loosen and retighten your laces multiple times.

Should Figure Skates be Tight or Loose?

As a rule of thumb, your laced figure skates should feel soft near the toe and ankle and tightest around the instep of the skate.

If the skate boot is too tight, it can become uncomfortable and reduce the range of motion in your feet and ankles. If it's too loose, you can sacrifice maneuverability and control, leading to injury.

Can I Use Regular Shoe Laces for Ice Skates?

We don't recommend using flat shoelaces in lace skates. Instead, opt for figure skate-specific laces. These polyester laces are thicker, with a textured or rounded profile that won't become weak or break as easily due to movement or tension.

You may also want to consider using waxed or unwaxed laces. Waxed laces are easier to pull through the eyelets and will maintain tightness for a longer time. However, they can snap through overuse.

How Long Are Ice Skating Laces?

Ice skating laces can range from 54" for youth sizes to 120" for adult men's sizes. The size of your skate boots determines the length of your lace. The larger your skate boots, the longer your laces will have to be.

It's important that you have enough excess material to double tie your laces to avoid your skates becoming loose and possibly resulting in injury.

How Do I know What Size Laces To Buy?

Please refer to the size chart below to determine the appropriate lace length for your figure skates:

  • Youth 6-7 – 63"
  • Youth 8-Junior 3 – 74"
  • Junior 3.5-5.5 – 84"
  • Adult 6-8 – 98"
  • Adult 8-10 – 110"
  • Adult 10-13 – 120"


Where Can I Buy Laces For Ice Skates?

Laces are available in-store and online at most skate retailers. Check out our inventory on to purchase your next pair of figure skating laces.