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Are Your Skate Laces Biting?

Learn How to Identify and Treat Lace Bite


Does it feel like your inline skate laces are biting? Even if your skates appear to be a perfect fit, there is always a chance that you may get lace bite. Lace bite is a severe irritation on a skater's feet that is caused when the pressure of tightened laces causes a rash or blisters on the feet. Lace bite is accompanied by pain on the extensor hallucis tendon along the top of the foot and up the lower leg.

What Causes Lace Bite?

Lace bite can occur on both feet but may only affect one foot, since feet are not always perfectly matched. This happens for several reasons:

  • The skater's feet may be slightly different sizes - affecting the skate boot fit.
  • One foot could have been previously injured creating sensitive areas.
  • On occasion there may be a flaw in the boot itself that affects one foot more than the other.
  • Sometimes the boots are not flawed, but the boots are just not the right size or model for a skater's needs.

In some cases, lace bite injuries can be resolved by just loosening the upper boot skate laces just enough to take pressure off the middle area of the foot while keeping the lower laces tight enough to keep the heel securely seated. There are other things a skater can do to prevent this injury:

  • Soften up your figure or hockey skates by baking them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Take your skates in to a professional skate shop and have them bumped, stretched relined or padded to conform better to your foot.
  • Allow time for your skates to break in. Sometimes lace bite only lasts until the skates are broken in.
  • Try bunga pads or other silicone products that help reduce the pressure and pain on the front of the ankle.
  • Replace your tongues with double felt tongues, premium sponge tongues or even lambs wool tongues for more padding.
Other Sports Injuries

Skating injuries are always lurking on the horizon. Some may be overuse injuries and others may be acute or traumatic. Learn about the things you can do to prevent, identify or get professional treatment for some common inline skating injuries:

Please note this document has not been medically reviewed, and the information may not be medically accurate.


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