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Author Topic: How long should laces last  (Read 360 times)

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Offline Christy

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How long should laces last
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:01:00 PM »
I replaced my original Ice Fly laces at the beginning of the year when I had to keep re-lacing, and have used the skates for approx. 2 sessions per week since (averaging out). In the last few days I've noticed that I need to re-lace again so wondering if it's time for new laces? It doesn't seem like they've lasted that long, and they look like new, but I'm assuming they've stretched. How long do you find laces last before they need replacing please?

Offline Bill_S

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2017, 04:16:35 PM »
I might be an outlier, but I've had the same original Riedell Gold Star laces since I bought my skate back in 2007. Ten years.

I don't wear my glasses when skating, and have a hard time seeing them against my black skates. Maybe they are worse off than I think, but I don't know it yet.
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Offline Jf12

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 05:31:35 PM »
Edea recommends every 2-3 months.  Since you don't skate that often you might be able to go with 5-6 months.  But it sounds like you are due for a change.

Offline Christy

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 05:50:54 PM »
2-3 months - Wow, I was thinking they would last a year or so  :-[
Better start stocking up!!

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 06:47:07 PM »
I use mine until they either start fraying or the aglets fall off. Usually about a year.
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Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 08:12:43 PM »
I've never replaced any laces. But if I was jumping and skating 8 hours a day, that would be different. They need them when they need them.
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Offline Query

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 03:27:22 AM »
I like to save money. But, compared to most things in this sport, laces are cheap.

If they are difficult to lace because they have started to fray, or the tips are gone or too short, I believe it is a waste of time and effort to keep them.

But if you are using nylon laces, you an remake the tips using heat - though it may not be worth the effort. I made my own laces out of round nylon utility cord ($4 or $5, I think) - but not to save money. I find it easier to handle round lace (I chose a diameter that is reasonably easy to lace, but does not easily slip back), and I liked the color.

Some people replace them when they don't look as pretty. Is that a waste of money? This is an appearance sport. Since laces are cheap, if you don't like them any more, splurge.

Offline Bill_S

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 07:32:47 AM »
Last night I was thinking back to the days when I skated 12-14 hours per week (2000 through 2009). I recall replacing laces twice on my first pair of Gold Stars. One was cut almost completely through by a blade (crash from a jump), and another time I lost an aglet at the end and couldn't push laces through holes. I had that pair of skates ~5 years.

I can also see serious competitors and testers would not want to suffer a lace failure during a routine, and might want to replace laces more often.
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Offline Jf12

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 08:25:42 AM »
I think that replacing the laces really often is specific to Edea Ice Fly and Piano. They are very lightweight stiff boots, and when the laces stretch out, other parts of the boot that aren't designed to take the pressure will start to break down fast.  It's not the same as traditionally built boots at all.   That's why Edea are so specific about laces, when to replace, and how to lace them up.  If replacing laces gets you an extra 25% life out of a pair of 800$ boots it's well worth the cost. 

Offline Christy

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 01:13:06 PM »
There's no sign of fraying or similar, but my skates are starting to feel loose as I skate so I think they have stretched. This happened before and replacing the laces stopped the problem. I'm just wondering if it's the Edea laces that are the problem and another brand might work better. Any thoughts?
I have no problem replacing them every 4 months or so if that's what is needed, but it's the first time I've had laces lasting so little time.

Offline Jf12

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 01:58:18 PM »
It sounds like replacing the laces helped you and that it's what the manufacturer recommends, why mess around.  The laces are 10$ and the boots are 800$ - the risk reward is not really that good for experimentation.  I also hate the hassle of replacing the laces, but I get the pro shop to do it while they have the skates for sharpening.  I do feel that the edeas break down very quickly and I try to keep the maintenance up to get the most life out of them.

Offline tstop4me

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 10:12:38 PM »
There's no sign of fraying or similar, but my skates are starting to feel loose as I skate so I think they have stretched. This happened before and replacing the laces stopped the problem. I'm just wondering if it's the Edea laces that are the problem and another brand might work better. Any thoughts?
I have no problem replacing them every 4 months or so if that's what is needed, but it's the first time I've had laces lasting so little time.
I don't skate with Edeas, but I have looked at Edea laces at my pro shop while I was waiting for my blades to be sharpened.  All the skate laces I've used so far have a flat cross-section, but the Edea laces have a slightly oval cross-section (not as pronounced as the oval cross-sections in the laces on running shoes, though).  Have no idea whether the specific cross-section is required for proper fit of the Edea boots.  But I would agree with Jf12, Why take the risk of shortening the service life of pricey boots for the cost of laces?  Edea also requires special screws for mounting the blades; can't use regular hardware store screws.  Looks like when you buy Edea, you buy all in to Edea.

Just for comparison, I've used mainly Riedell combo (polyester/cotton) and Jackson all-polyester laces (and some random laces as well).  I skate ~5 sessions/wk; 1.5 hrs/session nearly year round now.   I've never had to swap them out for being fatigued from stretching.  They typically last me at least a year.  I replace them when the aglets come off and I can't thread the ends through the eyelets, or when the laces show signs of fraying.  Nylon laces never seem to fray, but never stayed tied either.   The only laces I ever had to replace several times a year were the all-cotton ones.  They tended to go ker-snap when water got on them.

Offline tstop4me

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 10:35:33 PM »
I might be an outlier, but I've had the same original Riedell Gold Star laces since I bought my skate back in 2007. Ten years.

I don't wear my glasses when skating, and have a hard time seeing them against my black skates. Maybe they are worse off than I think, but I don't know it yet.
Hey, Bill, I believe you once had a post looking for grey laces, to have better contrast against your black boots.  Haven't found any, but I've found out that Jackson does make laces in tan and brown (which their marketing guys call hazel and bark; don't know which is tan and which is brown, though)

http://www.jacksonultima.com/en/Index.aspx?product=UY2oeYknID3TxsTwVmwxfQ1A2B3C4D5E1A2B3C4D5E

The Jackson laces are all-polyester, slighter wider than Riedell laces, and have a softer finish than Riedell laces.  I prefer the Riedell laces, but can't get them long enough for my current Jackson boots.  They are durable; not sure they'll last 10 yrs though.  ;)

<<My apologies to Christy for going off-topic.>>

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 11:44:16 PM »
Mine start to show signs of stretching about every 6 months or so. I am at 8 months now and have just ordered a new pair, I don't wear Edeas.

Offline Christy

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 09:58:49 AM »
I really don't mind the cost of replacing them every few months, although putting laces in isn't my favorite task, but I was just surprised at how quickly they seemed to need replacing based on previous experience of other brands, and I was wondering if my experience was normal. Guess I need to stock up on laces as they aren't available locally.

Offline Query

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2017, 08:10:47 PM »
First of all, I think retying your laces once/session is not an overwhelming problem. I also think that long-term durability is not that important, because laces are cheap enough not be matter. But apparently, these things bother you. So...

Edea advocates a different lacing pattern, sometimes called the Russian lacing pattern:

  http://ice.edeaskates.com/en/skaters-tips/lacing-properly/

The idea is that when you install the laces, you insert the ends from the outside (i.e., on top of the boot), and pull them through on the inside (underneath the part that covers the tongue. Then you cross over to the other side, and insert the end on the outside of that side.

Most people install boot and other shoe laces the other way - they insert the ends from underneath - on the bottom - and pull through on top.

It isn't immediately obvious that there is a difference. But there is a huge difference. Edea's lacing pattern locks the lace tight more strongly (so it can't slip back as easily), by placing more pressure on the lace, between the tongue and the outer part of the boot.

So the Russian lacing pattern lets you put a lot more tension on the lace, including at the places the lace bends sharply (which, at least in climbing rope, are the places where rope and rope-like structures tend to fail), because it doesn't slip backwards when you release the tension to switch hand positions to lace the next level.

But it almost certainly means that the lace wears out more easily, and stretches more easily, because of the increased tension, particularly, as I said, at the points where the lace bends sharply, and the increased abrasion on the part of the lace that lies between the tongue and the outer boot.

In addition, it is much harder to loosen the laces, when you want to take the boots off. If you tie it tight in the Russian lacing pattern, you have to grab and pull the lace quite strongly to loosen them.

On Edea's site, a video by Max Aaron advocates this lacing pattern, though he thinks you shouldn't tie too tightly. However, some people on this forum have claimed you need to tie Edeas more tightly than other boots, because the uppers are generally made of synthetic materials that don't conform to the foot as easily as leather does. In addition, it is harder to heat-mold Edeas precisely to the shape of your foot than boots which are designed to be put into an oven for heat molding, so you may need to tie more tightly to compensate for a slight misfit.

I have noticed that blended cotton/nylon laces need to be re-tightened, where as pure cotton laces don't. I believe the nylon component gradually stretches. Perhaps Edea's laces include a stretchable synthetic component, like nylon? I don't know.

So, in summary, I suggest the frequent failures of your laces and occasional re-tightening may be due to a combination of things:
(1) The greater lace tension needed to make Edea's synthetic uppers conform to the foot.
(2) The greater tension the Russian lacing pattern lets you place on the laces, especially at sharp bends.
(3) The extra abrasion on the lace when you loosen it that the Russian lacing pattern entails.
(4) Perhaps you let the lace twist. I believe that twisted flat lace fails more quickly than untwisted flat lace.
(5) Perhaps Edea's laces contain a stretchable nylon component? I have no idea. However, I don't know how this affects long-term durability, as that was never my prime concern.

I can't prove any of this. It is just my theories. But you could try going back to the usual lacing pattern - and also make sure your lace doesn't twist. If you think Edea's laces contain a stretchable nylon, you could try pure cotton laces.

P.S.

I experimented with the Russian lacing pattern, and gave up on it, because I found it much harder to loosen the laces when I wanted to take my feet out.

I found other ways to tie laces tight:

(1) I wrap the lace around my hands, which lets me pull a lot harder, and does not require my fingers to place huge pressures on the lace, making it easier to tie tightly without cutting into my fingers.

(2) To tighten, I pull straight across, instead of up. This tightens much more efficiently, because it pulls through the hole with less resistance, because there is no bend in the lace at the hole. I have had trouble convincing people it is true, but I'm quite sure it is. In addition, it creates much less wear on the lace. Pulling up makes no sense at all.

(3) I played with different lace materials. As I said, I never had to re-tighten pure cotton laces, but blended cotton/nylon lace did have to be re-tightened.

(4) I stopped using flat lace. Flat lace has a greater tendency to twist, which increases the pressure on your hand and/or fingers.  (In addition, flat lace looks awful when it twists - but that is off-topic.) Round cord is MUCH easier on your hands and fingers.

It is true that round lace tends to slip back in the holes more easily - but if you pick a lace diameter that is just large enough not to slip backwards in the holes of your boot (3 mm for my boots), that isn't a major problem.

BTW, I use a good quality (PMI brand) round cord, not the junk you find in a dollar store. Specifically, I use stuff from a moderately high end camping good store:

  https://www.rei.com/product/799630/pmi-3mm-utility-cord-package-of-50-ft
  (BTW, I bought the bright orange orange color, which contrasts very nicely with my black boots, but that is irrelevant to the current discussion.)

($5/50 feet is fairly reasonable. If you need 120 inch laces, that is 20 feet between them - you could make two and a half pairs out of $5 of this cord. I doubt the skate boot laces you currently buy from your pro shop are any cheaper.)

Like a climbing rope, this cord has a kernmantle construction: solid straight nylon core, surrounded by a polyester weave "mantle". That makes it much more durable. Ordinary flat laces and cheap ropes do not have a similar structure, so if the outer layers abrade, all the strands break and the lace falls apart.

This cord has a breaking strength of 400 pounds, which is a lot more tension than I need for laces. It is possible there are even higher quality cords, but this is good enough for me.

To make then stiff ends to thread through the boot holes, I cut off the outer polyester mantle from the ends, and melt and roll the nylon ends (don't use your fingers - hot! I do this near water, so if the cord catches fire when I melt it, I can put it out. I may have wrapped the ends in electrical tape, to keep them smooth and thin, and removed the tape when it was cool.

I think I have used this cord for about a couple years or so now. It shows no sign of wear whatsoever, not even on the outer mantle. I am completely pleased with it. I love the Halloween color combo too, and have received many complements and questions on it - though the complements and questions are probably by people interested in the look, not the function.

In contrast, I had to replace all-cotton flat laces every two or three years, even though I didn't use the Russian lacing pattern, and I was careful not to let the laces twist. As I said, replacing the laces that often doesn't bother me. But it seems that durability matters to the o.p., so I mention it anyway.

I can't explain why I don't have to re-tighten the utility cord, since the core is nylon. Perhaps it is a different nylon? But I don't.

(4) I tie a double knot, which doesn't slip as easily.

(5) I do NOT tie the laces behind the boots to take up the extra lace. If I have extra lace, I either tie a triple knot, or, better, I go back down again, pulling the cord around the hooks a second time - which increases net tension on the boot a lot, and therefore creates a snugger fit. If you tie behind the boots, then when you bend point or flex your ankle, the boot bends a little with your foot, and it stretches the lace. (Hockey players can get away with it, because they use extremely stiff boots, which hardly bend at all.)

(6) In the past, I used a lace pulling hook, something that Don Klingbeil showed me, to get laces very tight. (In a pinch, when I couldn't find a hook, I used a needle nosed pliers, though that is very hard on the laces, so I don't advise it.)

By using the various tricks mentioned above, I found I don't need the lace pulling hook any more - though I think it still has a place with people who have trouble manipulating their hands and fingers - e.g., who have arthritis. In addition, I ended up deciding I don't need the extreme tension a lace-pulling hook can give me. Sufficiently stiff boots make extreme tightness unnecessary. This places me against the advice of many very expert people, but I think that if you fit a boot right to your foot, you don't need to worry about over-booting, unless it makes the boots too heavy. (Of course, if you like Edea, it is possible weight is very important to you, and my feelings don't apply to you.)

P.S. The hockey community has found a different solution to laces that slip backwards when you switch hand positions. They mostly use flat laces, but they use waxed laces, which are a little stiffer, so they don't slip as easily. I haven't tried that. I have no idea what affect wax has on long term durability. I haven't seen any waxed laces that fit in figure skate boot holes, but perhaps they exist.

Offline Christy

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2017, 11:08:17 PM »
I use the Edea lacing pattern. If it was only re-tying once that would be fine but last week it started to be a case of retying then the laces starting to loosen again within 30 minutes.

Offline Query

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2017, 06:21:31 PM »
So try the other lacing pattern. (Which was part of what I was saying, but maybe my post was too long for you.) And make sure the laces aren't twisted - i.e., they lay flat everywhere.

If that doesn't help, maybe your laces are shot.

Another possibility is to make sure your boots fit well. E.g., if there are high pressure points, can your pro shop punch out the boots there? With a better fit you don't need as tight a lacing.

Offline Christy

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2017, 07:23:44 PM »
Oh, sorry, I was reading it as the Edea way being the Russian way. I'm fairly sure the laces have very little cotton content so stretching is expected, it's more the speed that it's happened that surprised me.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: How long should laces last
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2017, 09:28:50 PM »
I use the Edea lacing pattern. If it was only re-tying once that would be fine but last week it started to be a case of retying then the laces starting to loosen again within 30 minutes.

I don't know if this would help, but a long time ago I saw a demo on youtube of tying your skates. The demo recommended rather that pulling 'up', to pull 'out' or even 'down'. It took me some tries to get this because pulling 'up' is easy. I now pull 'out' and don't pull 'up' until I get to the ankle. I no longer have to retie my laces during a skate.

Also, I have harlick laces. I think they're nylon-cotton mix and wear like iron.
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