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Author Topic: Laces come off hooks  (Read 309 times)

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Offline dlbritton

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Laces come off hooks
« on: September 07, 2017, 04:30:18 PM »
I cannot keep my laces on the top hooks when I skate backwards.

If I start doing back crossovers or backwards power stroking my laces will come off the top hooks after about 5-10 minutes.
They don't come untied but just "slip" off the hooks still tied.

I have tried going over the hooks to under and from under the hooks to over, both tight laced and loose. I have started going from the 2nd hooks to the top (4th) hooks then down to the 3rd hooks which helped some, but did not eliminate the issue. I tried leaving the top hook unused but don't like the feel of my boots then.

Am I tying too tight or too loose? My laces are not long enough to wrap around the back of the boot.

I am an adult male with Riedell 255 Motion boots.

All suggestions welcome.

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Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 06:14:55 PM »
I would say you're tying too loose. But it may also be that your laces are old or the wrong material etc.

You might want to try Kat Strapz to hold the laces in place. If you just want to try what it's like, you can go to the dollar store and get some ponytail holders and loop them over your hooks to hold the laces in place. I used to do that, but ponytail holders only last a couple of weeks, and Katstrapz last a couple of years.

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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 08:15:39 PM »
I had that problem with my SP-Teris - I was constantly retying my skates in the hockey box because the top hooks would "pop."  Changing to cotton-blend laces helped.  Changing my lacing technique helped more. (see below)  Switching to boots with a wider ankle solved the problem.


Quote
I was able to attend a great PSA Conference session on skate injuries and rehab.  Mitch Moyer from US Figure Skating had Jason Brown demonstrate a new method of tying skates to help prevent tendonitis and lace bite.   It's different from the Edea method, although Moyer said that Edea's version is based on his technique.

The PSA hasn't shared a video of the session as yet, but here's a description:

. Tighten the laces up to the top eyelet, then tie a half-knot.  This keeps the lower section snug.
. Skip the bottom hook.
. Lace over the second-to-bottom hook, from top to bottom.
. Repeat all the way up, then tie a half-knot.
. Now, go back down to the bottom hook and bring the lace around it, from bottom to top.
. Tie a half-knot and bow right above that hook. 

Yes, it looks odd to not have the bow at the top, but it feels good!   This lacing pattern distributes the tension better. I've been using it for a month and I have great ankle bend without the skate feeling pinched, tight or loose.  My heel sits back in the heel cup better, too.  Give it a try.
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Offline dlbritton

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 07:07:41 AM »
I would say you're tying too loose. But it may also be that your laces are old or the wrong material etc.

You might want to try Kat Strapz to hold the laces in place. If you just want to try what it's like, you can go to the dollar store and get some ponytail holders and loop them over your hooks to hold the laces in place. I used to do that, but ponytail holders only last a couple of weeks, and Katstrapz last a couple of years.

I am embarrassed to say I had Katzstrapz but managed to lose them.

I was thinking about ponytail holders. My wife may have some. I believe my supply from college 40 years ago is long gone. LOL

I also leave my blade guards at the rink several times a year, but have my name written on them with a Sharpie, so I always get them back. Got a bit of ADD going.
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Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 05:12:25 AM »
I'm going to take a guess - your boots are broken down.  When you skate backwards the upper part of the boot is buckling, so the laces pop off. 

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 05:48:30 AM »
I'm going to take a guess - your boots are broken down.  When you skate backwards the upper part of the boot is buckling, so the laces pop off.

Good point. It made me think analogously there could  be a structural issue with the leather supporting the hooks.
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Offline Query

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2017, 05:25:01 PM »
If the original poster were a novice, I would assume it was too loose a lacing, or one in which the middle of the lace as not tightened. Or that the tongue started off un-centered. But since she is far beyond that, she almost certainly knows how to tie skate laces, and when to replace them. So none of the obvious things are likely to apply.

It made me think analogously there could  be a structural issue with the leather supporting the hooks.

On the rental boots at our rink, many issues occur. E.g.,

1. The hooks come loose, or can rotate.

2. The hooks gradually straighten out, or bend in some other way that makes them less effective at holding the lace. (This also happened once over time to my Klingbeil Dance boots, over a period of many years.)

Note that in this image,

  https://ice.riedellskates.com/products/boots/3030-aria

the sides of the hook are originally parallel, very close together, and oriented so the lace would have a long ways to move before it can come off. If the sides are gradually pried apart by use, or if the hook rotates, the lace could come off very easily. If you use any boot A LOT, every once in a while it may be helpful to use something like a needle nose pliers to put the hook back into proper configuration.

Of course, if the hook is no longer fully anchored to the leather, or rotates too easily, you may need a suitably equipped shoe or boot repair person to work on it.

These may or may cover her issue - it is hard to guess from the info provided. The simple fact is that figure skating boots take a lot of stress, and most of us put a lot of tension on our laces.

BTW, I NEVER tie a figure skating boot lace behind the boot. If you do, then every time you point your toe, the lace is stretched, and every time you flex your toe, the lace comes a little bit more loose. (OTOH, many hockey boots are stiff enough you can get away with it. Some hockey boots even have a pair of lace holes back there.)

dlbritton: Are your skates really the blue and white color combo shown in the picture to the upper left of your posts? :)

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2017, 05:54:28 PM »
The OP's skates are fairly new and they're black, not the ones shown in his profile.  (I know him in real life.)  I doubt they're broken down or damaged - he skates a lot, but not that much.

He's wearing Riedell Wide skates because the fitter felt they had a larger toe box than the Jacksons.  My guess would be he has the same issue I had with the SP-Teris: the ankle area isn't wide enough so you have to pull the laces really tight, but flexing the ankle stresses the topmost area and pops the lace off the hook when you straighten the ankle.  In my case, the tongue was too narrow, so it got "stuck" on the throat edges, leaving the front of the ankle with no support.  It got to the point where I tied a half-knot between each set of hooks, to try and hold the tongue in place. 

Try the different tying technique and see if that helps.
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Offline dlbritton

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 10:11:37 PM »


dlbritton: Are your skates really the blue and white color combo shown in the picture to the upper left of your posts? :)

My profile pic is a decorative skate given to me by a fellow skater as a birthday present.

The OP's skates are fairly new and they're black, not the ones shown in his profile.  (I know him in real life.)  I doubt they're broken down or damaged - he skates a lot, but not that much.

He's wearing Riedell Wide skates because the fitter felt they had a larger toe box than the Jacksons.  My guess would be he has the same issue I had with the SP-Teris: the ankle area isn't wide enough so you have to pull the laces really tight, but flexing the ankle stresses the topmost area and pops the lace off the hook when you straighten the ankle.  In my case, the tongue was too narrow, so it got "stuck" on the throat edges, leaving the front of the ankle with no support.  It got to the point where I tied a half-knot between each set of hooks, to try and hold the tongue in place. 

Try the different tying technique and see if that helps.

Thanks. I'll try some alternate lacing techniques.

This has happened since I got the boots, and in fact happened with the previous pair of Riedells (that were in my car when it was stolen). I don't believe they are broken down yet. I skate 3 hours/week and have had the boots for around 2 years.

 
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Offline Query

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 06:15:38 AM »
My guess would be he has the same issue I had with the SP-Teris: the ankle area isn't wide enough so you have to pull the laces really tight, but flexing the ankle stresses the topmost area and pops the lace off the hook when you straighten the ankle.  In my case, the tongue was too narrow, so it got "stuck" on the throat edges, leaving the front of the ankle with no support.

Huh. How awful! If these were custom boots, someone - maybe your boot fitter - really messed up.

My old Klingbeils were custom, but they were measured totally wrong, so everthing hurt and the tongue was too narrow for my feet, among many other problems. A better skate tech punched the leather around my ankle bones (see #1 below), heat molded the boots, and cut a lace loop (see #4 below) in the tongue to keep it centered, which helped somewhat.

I admit my ideas below are all way more complicated than changing lacing patterns. Since they require modding the boots in some way, you have to be brave, and think carefully about what you do before doing it. I know not everyone is willing to do these sorts of thing.

0. Heat mold the boots, so they fit better.

1. If a lot of the pressure falls on the ankle bones (a problem my old Klingbeils had too), the leather could be punched out there, which would bring the rest of the sides of the boot inwards, covering the tongue better. That would have the extra benefit of making the rest of the boot fit better, and eliminating any pain that occurs on the ankle bones. Of course, you should do your heat molding first, because heat molding tends to undo leather stretches.

2. If one cuts two short parallel slots in the tongue, to create a leather band, e.g., like the second picture in

  http://shockerkhan.blogspot.com/2014/06/skater-feel-thy-feet.html

That helps keep the tongue centered, and makes it move more with the sides of the boot.

Is there a band cut in your tongue like that? A lot of skate techs can add such slots, if you don't feel up to it yourself.

3. You can also thread the lace ends AROUND the band and tie them back to the same sides they came from - which binds the tongue more strongly into the center, and pulls the sides of the boot more strongly around the tongue. (Note, however, that using the lace band in this way slightly reduces the force that pulls the two sides of the boot together, so you need to lace a little tighter.) Be careful - you don't want to tear the band!

4. Sometimes people they don't cut all the way through the tongue, but just cut the slots in the top leather layers, and cut underneath to separate the leather band from the rest of the tongue, though that requires skill. I think that is called a "lace loop".

5. Some boots come with lace hooks on the tongue itself, which you can use the same way. I bet that works really well. (Incidentally, on new custom boots, Harlick doesn't charge to add lace loops or hooks on the tongue, if I read http://harlick.com/pdf/price_custom.pdf right.) But I really wouldn't feel up to adding those myself - I think it would take a really, really good shoe repair place or cobbler to do it right.

6. Another approach is to use a metal band, like

  https://www.fluevog.com/code/images/colour_image/0000009723/detail.jpg?1

I've seen skate boots that had such a band. But I would hate to have the metal band touch my foot inside the tongue - I think that could injure you too. Perhaps it too might only be cut through the top layers of leather.

I wonder if you could get away with a thin key ring band. Instead of cutting slots wide enough for the laces, you just punch a tunnel through the tongue with a small diameter wire (maybe the ring itself) through the leather. That sounds like it would be easy - but I haven't tried it. I guess you could use straight, wire, then tie the two ends together with a granny knot or surgeon's knot to form a loop...

If you use #3, a metal band should tear less easily than a leather band - provided you tighten the two lace ends on both sides of the foot simultaneously.

7. If you don't feel like cutting the tongue, but are willing to do something that would look AWFUL - you could wrap tape (like first aid tape) around part of the tongue. Let the tape, sticking to itself, extend past edges of the tongue. That would effectively widen the tongue. BUT - you want the tongue to feel smooth against the foot - too sudden a height change could hurt the skin. I've never done this, but thought about it. To make it look SLIGHTLY less awful, use tape the same color as the boot. I guess you wouldn't want tape that was too slippery.


Offline dlbritton

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 09:04:33 AM »

0. Heat mold the boots, so they fit better.

5. Some boots come with lace hooks on the tongue itself, which you can use the same way. I bet that works really well. (Incidentally, on new custom boots, Harlick doesn't charge to add lace loops or hooks on the tongue, if I read http://harlick.com/pdf/price_custom.pdf right.) But I really wouldn't feel up to adding those myself - I think it would take a really, really good shoe repair place or cobbler to do it right.

OP here: My Riedell's do have a tongue loop that keeps the tongue centered. Hopefully the picture appears.
The problem is probably related to how I lace. I will experiment with various methods.

Today I am going to try using a pony tail band I filched from my wife.

Although my LTS coach and private coach want me to use more ankle bend, it is mainly to stay low. I flex my skates a lot but straighten up too much especially when skating backwards. This up and down may contribute to my laces popping off. I am used to flexing the equivalent of a 120 stiffness boot (according to the Edea rep the stiffness rating scale for skates and ski boots is the same) and my Riedell Motion's are a 70. The Riedell Aria is a 100.
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Offline Query

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Re: Laces come off hooks
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 10:20:19 PM »
Maybe I'm wrong about this, but as far as I know the stiffness scale differs a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer, and cannot be directly compared.

As I said, I'm guessing you know how to tie laces. But here are some things I do to get them tighter:

1. I tighten them twice. First I do a not-so-tight lacing, so there isn't any place that is super loose. Then I tighten every level, starting from the bottom, and working my way up. Also, don't just tighten the upper levels. You really should start at the bottom, and work your way up.

2. Some people pull laces upwards to tighten. That is fighting friction too much. It is better to pull them in the same direction they came through the lace hole, or into the lace hook. In other words, you want to pull almost straight across.

3. Wrap the lace ends around you hands before pulling. That lets you pull much harder.

4. Do not let the lace twist. That makes it hard to pull hard, and it adds extra friction, which fights tightening. If they are twisted, untwist them before you begin.

5. If you have trouble pulling hard, get a lace hook. In theory, you could use a needle nose pliers, but that would tend to wear out the lace too much.

6. On the hooks, pull across with all your strength, THEN hook. Switch sides of the lace ends between your hands, then pull with all your strength, then hook the next level. Etc.

7. Always double knot, so the lace doesn't slip.

8. I find tying the initial bow tie the hardest part, because it is easy to let the lace slip loose when you do it. If you have that problem, try tying the knot differently - as a double slipped granny knot. In other words, after tying the overhand cross-and under, instead of making a loop in one hand, and wrapping the other end around and through, try tying a second overhand knot - but tie it with loops in both hands instead of the ends. That produces a final knot which is identical to the usual way of tying a bow tie, but you may find it easier knot not to let the lace slip this way - but that won't work for everyone.

9. What you do - lacing back down again, SHOULD add extra tension, so you really shouldn't have a problem, if you are pulling with all your strength. So that makes the hook orientation and opening width the obvious suspects. However - does that leave so little space inside the hooks, that the lace doesn't have to loosen much to come out of the hooks?

BTW, I wouldn't think a pony tail band could pull hard enough to make a difference. Likewise for Kat Strapz. I mean they are both little more than rubber bands - right? Unless you have a physical disability that prevents you from pulling hard (say, 30 - 50 pounds of tension). I guess they might prevent the knot from untying - but if you double knot, I don't see how it could.

It's a shame upper level boots don't have ski-boot style hooks, levers and clasps. They are so much easier to tighten, and hold so much better. But I've only seen beginner level boots like that.

This may sound crazy - but is your blade striking the lace, and loosening it?