Have you ever had pain in your foot or ankle when skating?
I played three decades of hockey pain free, but a few years back I developed “lace bite.” It almost drove me to quit playing, but through years of experimentation, I fixed it and now skate pain free again.
Here’s everything I’ve learned, so you can skate pain free too.
What is lace bite?
Lace bite is pain on the front of the foot or ankle hockey players or figure skaters feel when skating. The tendon on the front of your foot and ankle is in contact with the tongue of the ice skate, and the friction between tendon and skate can aggravate the tendon.
Lace bite usually looks and feels like:
- Pain when skating or tightening ice skates
- Sometimes it’s painful to touch or to wear shoes
- The painful area can be swollen and have redness
- Usually located on the ankle or top of the foot
How can lace bite be fixed?
Everybody’s different. I haven’t a one-size-fits all solution. I’d like to show you a few things that were effective for me and other hockey players I know.
Try tying your laces outside-in instead of inside-out. By tying your laces this way, the laces squeeze the entire skate boot when tightened instead of pressing directly down on the skate tongue. It keeps your skates tight without putting as much pressure directly on the tendon on the front of your foot.
Try moving the location of the knot at the top of your ice skates. I discovered this through trial and error while skating. I noticed that the most pressure between skate and ankle was directly underneath the knot. By moving the knot, you move that pressure away from the tendon.
If you have lace bite on your foot or the bottom of your ankle, you can also try skipping eyelets when lacing your stakes. This lacing technique relieves pressure directly above the painful area but maintains the tightness from the lace everywhere else.
Another option to reduce friction between skate and tendon is to wear a gel pad sleeve while skating. These can reduce pressure between skate and tendon to help alleviate pain and swelling.
Last, and most importantly, ice your foot or ankle after skating with lace bite. The goal is to reduce swelling from lace bite so that any aggravation to the tendon is minimized. Icing was a game changer for me, and I recommend this to any friends or teammates with lace bite.
Lace bite affects everyone’s body a little differently. What works for me might not work for you. I recommend trying a variety of options in combination until you find success. For more information on lace bite, visit lacebitenerd.com.
- More hockey tips:
We are sorry this post was not useful for you...
Tell us how we can improve this post?