How To Lace Figure Skates Correctly

Lacing figure skates
Lacing figure skates. (Oli Scarff/Staff/Getty Images Europe Collection/Getty Images)

Lacing figure skates correctly will make the ice skating experience more enjoyable. Correct lacing of figure skates is very important and must be done a certain way. This easy task can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on experience.

What You Need

  • Figure skates
  • Figure skate laces
  • Socks or ice skating tights
  • A place to sit down
  • A rubber mat or carpet or  skate guards to protect skate blades

Here's How

  1. Loosen up the skates.By pulling the laces out a bit, the foot can be put inside easily.
  2. Stuff the feet inside the boots.Make sure the socks are straight and the foot is placed inside the boot all the way. Put the toe of the foot in first and then push the heel all the way down.
  3. Tighten up the laces in the first half of the boot.Work up from the toe to the ankle. Don't pull the laces too tight in this area. Just make sure that each pull is somewhat secure.
  4. Tighten the laces the most where the foot and the ankle bends.This is the most important part of lacing figure skates. Give the laces a good tug at this point and pull hard.
      • Suggestion: Just before starting to lace the hooks, wrap one lace around the other twice to keep a snug fit over the arch so the laces won't slip.
  5. Next, lace around the hooks.Make a criss-cross pattern with the laces and pull with both hands around each hook. Some skaters like to put the laces over and under the hooks; others like to put the laces under and then over. Either option is correct.
    1. Again, don't pull the laces too hard. Leave some room for the ankle to bend.
  6. Finish with a secure bow.It is recommended to double knot the bow. Some figure skaters leave the top hooks empty while breaking in new boots.
  7. Tuck the bow's loops inside the tops of the boots.This will prevent the blade from catching the bow's loops and also keeps the top hooks from coming loose.


  1. If the skates don't feel secure after being laced up, the laces are too loose, and lacing should be done over again.
  2. Figure skates should not be too tight. If a skater can't bend his or her knees, the skates are too tight.
  3. Make sure the tongue of the skate is straight and does not slip under the laces.
  4. Skates must fit. If the boot is too big, lacing the skates tightly will not improve the ice skating experience
  5. Wear a sock that fits and make sure that no wrinkles are in the sock as the foot is placed inside the ice skating boot. Wearing thick socks is not recommended for figure skating.
  6. Especially important with rental skates: set the heel of the foot into the heel pocket of the boot. This really helps make a first experience a lot more fun.