Lace Bite: Easy Tips To Cure & Prevent Pain
The dreaded lace bite. It’s any hockey player’s nightmare. Lace bite can literally make you feel like crying with every stride you take. For those of you who don’t know what lace bite is, it’s when you begin to feel pain on the top of your ankle due to your skate laces biting into your skin – they’re not actually biting, just forming a deep, deep bruise that causes excruciating pain when you skate. Sometimes, even calcium deposits can form, making for unpleasant and painful bumps (see picture).
If you haven’t experienced this yet in your hockey lifetime, then count yourself lucky and make sure you never do by following these few easy tips.
For those of you that are already victims, you can also use these tips to prevent any further pain.
Preventing Lace Bite
Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of ways to prevent lace bite. The several known ways are to:
- Make sure you buy a quality skate that fits.
Don’t buy a skate that’s too big or too small. Your pair of skates has to be properly fitted by a professional in order to get the best fit possible. Also, you can look into getting your skates molded to your feet to increase comfort level and decrease the likeliness of getting skate bite later on down the road. You can do this at nearly any local hockey shop.
- Use the right pair of socks. Using thick socks will just bunch up in your skates and produce more friction allover your foot (especially on the top of your ankle, where lace bite happens). Invest in a good pair of socks that are made purposely for sports. Some pairs even come with some extra added benefits that can improve your game. A great pair of socks that we and a lot professional hockey players use are the Recovery Compression Socks by Vital. These socks will also help prevent lace bite due to their material, quality & fit making them worth the 29$.
- Tie your skates properly. All hockey players tie their skates differently. A lot of the time though, lace bite has to do with the way a pair of skates are tied. Those of you who tie your skates super tight are likely to get skate bite. We’re not saying this is bad – you just have to be careful. If you begin to start feeling pain, maybe it’s time to start loosening your skates a little. A good way to tie your skates is to tie them tight at the bottom (the toe area), leave them a little looser over the middle region of your foot, and then tie them tighter again at the top. Your skates will still feel tight, and you’ll be putting less pressure on the lace bite prone area.
Curing Lace Bite
While lace bite won’t go away unless you take a complete break from skating, there are a few methods that can be used to improve on it. Assuming that you currently have lace bite, here are some things you can do to help cure or limit the pain associated with lace bite without having to stay off your skates (in order from most effective to least effective):
- Invest in lace bite pads. There are several different kinds of pads you can purchase that give you some extra cushion and protection, making the problem noticeably less painful and allowing it to heal faster at the same time. There are two different styles of pads – pads that go directly on your ankle, or pads that are attached to the top of your skate. The A&R Pad sits on top of your skate, adding some extra thickness and protection, helping to prevent & cure lace bite pain. This is a great pad and does wonders for its cheap price of 19$. The only down side is that some players find it looks ugly on the outside of your skate as it is all black. This is purely a question of esthetics.
Another popular pad option is the Bunga Pad. These are slightly more expensive and are worn directly on your ankle and have a gel pad to provide extra padding.
- Use Sponge. Cutting up an old sponge to make it fit right in your skate can be your next best alternative. Try
different kinds of sponge and make sure to place them where you’re experiencing the lace bite. You’ll have to try skating with the sponges in to see if they’re helping at all, but it’s definitely a possible solution to your problem. Many players that experience lace bite go this route – they have their cut-up sponge pieces and carry them wherever they go, road trips and all. If this works for you, sponge will be your new best friend.
- Try 2nd Skin + Pro-wrap. This combo can really do wonders for lace bite. 2nd Skin products are innovative gel pads that can be used just about anywhere to reduce friction and rubbing. The circle, square, and rectangular gel pads make for a perfect fit in any lace bite situation. Cut out a few pieces of 2nd skin, stick them on your affected area, and then use pro-wrap (a foamy rap used by physiotherapists) to secure the gel pads in place and also add a little extra cushion. Use some physio tape to make sure the pads and pro-wrap won’t move around, and you’re good to go! Remember to use the gel pads directly on your skin, as they won’t stick very well on socks. You can pick both of these up at your nearest drugstore or pharmacy.
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