Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What a Tangled Web We Weave...er, Lace

The wait is finally over!  Thanks to everyone who commented on my last article, "Changing Wheels."  The response was amazing.  Thanks to those who offered their own personal tips and tricks (if you haven't gone back to read the comments, I recommend you do so)!  Well, without further ado, the lucky G Spot readers who will get something from "Shocker's Box O' Goodies" are:

  • Ashley Dawn
  • Kyrstin Krist
  • Tracy
  • Amanda Brown
  • Amanda Duncil
  • Shari Konst

If you see your name, congratulations!  Shoot me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com with your mailing information (name, address, phone number optional) and I'll get your goodies in the mail ASAP!  If your name didn't get picked this time, keep trying!  I try to do these types of give-aways as much as possible...who knows, there might be something at the end of this article...*wink wink*

Whether you won and are anxiously awaiting a package delivery or you're trying not to be too sad over the fact you didn't win this time, let's distract you with a topic I've encountered frequently over the years...

Recently, I've had quite a few skaters ask me to recommend laces that won't break or shred after just a few practices while other skaters have issues lacing their skates so that their feet stay put without having the laces pulled so tight their feet end up cramping and/or going numb.  Here are a few informational nuggets I've learned throughout the years and suggestions for some tried-and-true as well as new-to-the-market laces to take a look at the next time you're in the market.

But first, there's the little matter of length.

Size DOES Matter
Laces come in many sizes...laces at 2N1 Skate Shoppe range from 45" to 110," which can confuse even the most veteran skaters.  Let's go over which lengths work best for the many styles of Roller Derby boots.  The following is a GENERAL overview on the most common lace lengths you'll find and which boots they SHOULD fit.  A few factors will cause the wearer to need a different length than the one listed below; such as, how tight/loose boots are laced, whether the laces wrap around the ankle or plate, and number of eyelets used (see the "Skate Comfortably" section below for different lacing examples).

Antik Waxed Skate Laces in 4 Lengths

45" - Shoes or may be used as a pair for each boot to create 2 different tensions.

54"-60"-66" - Youth skates, Jackson, Sure Grip, or other skates with less than 9 pairs of eyelets.

72"-81" - Most adult Roller Derby boots with at least 9 pairs of eyelets.

96"-108" - Hockey, Figure Skating, and High-Top Boots such as the Antik AR1 or MG2.

Lasting Laces
Some laces seem to start to shred immediately after you've threaded them through your eyelets...well, I'm happy to tell you those days are no more!  Longer lasting options are now available, such as:

Colorful Crazy Laces come in 3 Sizes
Crazy Laces
It used to be the only option for seriously durable laces came from the same company that brought us Play wheels and Bounce toe stops...Crazy Skate Co.  They are no longer the only game in town as far as lasting laces go, but they are the only company that offers their laces in a rainbow of colors.  Crazy Laces come in 3 sizes and the number of colors available varies by length.

Waxed Laces
Antik, Luigino, and Sure Grip offer waxed laces in a variety of lengths, which are not only long lasting, but also stay in place once tied.  I suggest these for skaters who prefer their laces super tight and get annoyed when they come undone when skating.

Kevlar Reinforced Laces
I haven't been able to test these Kevlar Reinforced Laces out yet but they sure seem like they would be pretty impossible to shred.  Definitely an option for skaters tired of repeatedly breaking laces.

NOT Your Old Skates!
New Custom Skates Built at 2N1 From Soccer Cleats!
I have noticed that many skaters have serious foot/lower leg cramping issues that won't seem to go away when they get their first non-Rookie pair of skates.  It baffled me for a long time...especially with those skaters whom I personally fitted and know they are wearing properly fitted boots with all the correct accouterments (plates mounted correctly with kingpin angles, wheels, and bearings specifically picked out for the skater).  Finally, after watching a skater lace up, I realized these skaters were treating their new skates as if they were the same as their old ones!

Rookie skates (at least the ones we sell at 2N1) run around $175 and are made to last around 1-3 seasons of Roller Derby practices/bouts/tournaments/boot camps.  At the end of their lifespan, they are usually floppy sacks of leather barely being held together by patches, shoe-goo, and sheer willpower.  Skaters have to lace them a specific way to keep their feet from going numb while also making sure the skates aren't going to fly off the track when performing cross overs or running on their toe stops.

When skaters receive their next pair of skates, they are in the habit of lacing a certain way, but when my clients come to me for upgraded skates, they should not only fit them like ballerina slippers, but also be able to hug their feet without having the laces pulled taught and their heels should be cupped by the boot in such a way they won't slip out yet are as mobile as if they were wearing nothing.

This is one of the many reasons why it is so crucial to have a good rapport with your Roller Derby gear supplier.

Skate Comfortably
There are many different ways to lace skates.  The best method for you depends on factors like foot shape, high/low/normal arches, type of skates, skinny/normal/fat ankles, and personal preference.  I will post a different method, including pictures, for the next few blog posts since we have already discussed quite a bit of information and I'm sure your attention is waning (thanks for sticking around this long!). 

Want to know what's happening in this picture? ------------------------------>
Stay tuned to the next article to find out!

For my next giveaway, I'll be giving away one of my popular DerbyPunk Wine/Liquor Bottle Stoppers to one of the followers of my new Etsy store, The ShockerKnot.  When you head over there, why not check out the other Roller Derby inspired items I've created and find the perfect gift for any Rollergirl (including yourself!)!

The giveaway will happen at the end of June 2014, so if you are reading this article after that date, you missed out on this particular opportunity; however, I regularly run contests and giveaways either here, on FB, or through one of my other various media outlets, so keep stalking me and I'm sure you'll be able to get in on some Shocker action soon.

Until we skate again!

P.S. The G Spot now has a FaceBook Page!  Keep track of new articles as well as current and upcoming contests by "Liking" the G Spot on FB...by doing that, you may be entered to win something in the future...