How To Properly Tie Figure Skates (Chris Conte)

Chris Conte discusses how to properly tie figure skates.  In particular, Chris discusses how to properly tie very stiff skates such as the Edea carbon fiber boot.  But this information also applies to almost any stiff skating boot.  The method Chris shares ensures the skate is tight and provides proper support but also allows the skater to bend properly at the knee and ankle.

As Chris notes, on very stiff boots, the flexibility is primarily in the tongue and laces.  Chris recommends using the centering device on the tongue and it should be laced between the top two holes on the boot.  Note that Chris is adamant that the lacing of the top hole should be from the outside in and he offers reasons for it in the video.

In the demonstration of how to tie the boot, Chris starts by setting the heel properly and centering the tongue.  Chris recommends pulling the laces tight by pulling sideways or outward and not upward or back.  He shares a true and funny story about a skater knocking himself out prior to a major competition.

Chris recommends roughly equal tension on the laces throughout all of the holes.  He discusses the common lacing error of leaving the laces too loose throughout the holes but then over-tightening with the hooks near the top of the boot.  He notes that this lacing error both reduces the skater’s control of the boot and makes it impossible for the skater to bend properly through the ankles and knees.

Chris uses less tension at the top of the boot and goes over the top of each hook to help create a “lock” for the lacing.  Notice his description of having to “de-tension” the top lace to allow for more ankle bend.  Chris says, “So now I have a little bit of slack off the top hook which will enable the tongue to flex forward as the boot is designed.  So now as you can see my tibia is able to move forward quite a bit and look, I can get my whole finger in the back of the boot.  However, my ankle position in the boot barely even moves.  It’s still centered in where the padding is.  My lateral stability is still really good.”

Chris offers this rule of thumb.  You should be able to put two fingers in the front of your skate between the front of your leg and the tongue if the skate is tied properly.  Chris notes that improperly tied skates often force skaters to skate leaned forward with their butt sticking out.  Chris notes that these ideas also work with other boots than just the Edea skates.

All coaches should work closely with their skaters to ensure they properly understand how to tie their skates.  And with younger skaters whose parents usually tie their skates, coaches need to spend the time to teach parents to properly tie the skates as well.  Astonishingly, thousands or tens of thousands of skaters are held back in their skating progress each year just from improperly tied skates.  This is an easy problem to solve and it can have an amazing impact.  Please take it seriously.


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password

FavoriteLoadingAdd to "My Favorites" (Beta testing)
Member Login

Forgot Password