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JR Boucicaut

G-Form Lace Bite Pads

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I'd first like to thank JR and the G-Form team for the opportunity to long term review their lace bite pads.

An overview of myself, I am 26 years old, have been playing hockey for almost 23 years now. I am currently skating about 3 times a week, wearing RBK 11K's. In the Fall/Winter, this number jumps to about 6 times a week on average. I play ALOT of hockey. Naturally, a small problem like lacebite, turns into a HUGE problem when playing this often. Having a cut on the exact place where you are putting pressure to cut the ice? Not a good thing for a hockey player.

During the winter season, I was having a pretty large amount of trouble with my ankles. I love my skates TIGHT, and the 11K's are absolute tanks, so there's not a lot of leeway. Right around the eyelet where the lacelock is, was my major area of discomfort. By tying my skates so tight in the middle, I was getting some serious lacebite around that area. I was desperate to solve this problem, as I was getting a large buildup from the continual lacebite. Eventually, I tried the "sponge" method one of my friends recommended, where you take a kitchen sponge, cut a hole in the middle, and put them on your ankles in the place where the lacebite occurs. A few things about this method: a) it doesn't work. At all. b) you will look absolutely ridiculous doing this. I pretty much just soldiered through it, but I was desperate for a solution, because it was causing me a fair bit of pain, it even caused me to miss a game or two. I tried a bunch of different things, from wearing no socks, to three pairs of socks, to taking off the lacelock on the skates. None of it helped.

Upon recieving the G-Form lacebite gel pads, first impressions were shock. The thoughts that went through my head were: a)this is a GREAT idea, and b) WHY hasn't anyone came up with these yet!? The gel pads themselves, are a small square, and extremely malleable. At the same time, however, they are dense, and soft. They have a side that is adhesive, and will stick to the inside tongue of your skates. Basically, they will distribute the stress from the laces evenly amongst the pad, so you won't feel the pain in your ankles. An ingenious addition, is if you get the adhesive wet, it will unbond, allowing you to change the pads to another skate! It really is a great idea from the outset, and it looks like they will defintely help relieve some of the stress on my upper ankles.

My first skate with them on will be tonight. I play alot of forward, so I pivot on the inside alot, resulting in some pain in the lacebite area. I am anxious to see how they perform, will be back to update as soon as I can!

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Time for an update, finally!

I've played about 10 times or so since I have received these. I had a bit of trouble getting them on, as the huge felt tongues on the RBK 11K's wasn't really responsive, but I managed to get it to stick after applying some pressure. I had some issues keeping them in place the first time, as they shifted around while I was putting my skates on, but I simply repositioned them. After playing with them a few times, there are firmly gripped, and locked in place now. Feels like they were made for my skate, even with the flopped tongues.

Now, the exciting part, performance. When I have them on my tongues, I don't even notice them. The gel is very subtle and responsive, but it doesn't interfere with any motions in any way. It's there to simply distribute the pressure evenly to reduce the pain of the laces. After my first skate with these, when I took my skates off, I didn't have the sore, red marks on my ankles that I am typically accustomed to. My pain was actually reduced my a bit, it was quite amazing.

Fast forward to now, after having used them multiple times. The laceration marks I was getting from the lacebite are completely gone, and I am almost painfree. I can now tie my laces as tight as I want above the lacelock without worrying about pain cutting in to my ankle. As a result, I can actually tie my skates properly, the way I like them, and it has greatly improved my performance. Members of my team are now actually remarking how I was "flying out there", and "destroying it". All due to the addition of a slight piece of gel pad, that is cunningly designed, and works flawlessly.

100% recommended for anyone with lacebite troubles. With proper use, I fully believe this product to be exceptionally useful, and a great asset to have if needed.

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Checking in once more, after a long time on my lacebite pads.

It's been more than a month since my last post, playing 5 times a week now. The pads have seen quite a long of action at this point. They are still going strong, as I will outline a few key points as follows:

- A lot of people have been experiencing trouble with the adhesive. I never had a huge problem, since I have the huge white felt tongues on my 11K's, so there was a lot of grip for the pads to stick. Lately, I have noticed they do not quite grip as well as they did in the past. I tried the method of re-adhering them with water to no avail. They don't have very much stick left in them. I suppose this is to be expected, since I have been using them an insane amount. I just added a bit of glue, and they stick just fine now.

- They still perform wonderfully. I would have thought my now they would have been run in to the ground, or at least be a bit ragged or a little torn, but this is not the case. They are still as vibrant and responsive as the day I opened the package. The gel within is superiorly resilient, and holds its shape and place wonderfully.

- My lacebite issues have completely faded. No more ankle pain or cuts for me. I don't even notice that kind of thing anymore, since the pads have grown to be a part of my skate now. Once again, if you have form of problem with lacebite, or ankle pain, give it a shot. You won't regreat it.

Finally, I'd once again like to thank JR, MSH, and the G-Form Lace Bite pads team for sllowing me to demo these. The experience was wonderful, as well as the product. My sincere thanks to all of you.

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It's been awhile since my last update, mainly cause I have taken on a new full time job, the end result of which, is instead of playing 6-9 times a week, I'm lucky to get in once every 2 weeks. Hopefully that will change!

Everything with the pads was excellent, however, I did have some difficulty with them staying on at one point. This is due to the fact I have RBK 11K felt tongues, and much of the felt was sticking to the pads, and tearing off, resulting in the pad not being sticky, just densely covered in fluff. This was a tricky issue to solve, but, similar to what a previous poster did, the best approach was to simply sow a corner in, and they just just fine.

Update on performance: the pads don't even have a dent in them. Still look like when I got them in the box! They perform exactly as well as when I got them, excellent protection, and I can barely even notice I have them. I actually forget I even use them sometimes, until one of my teammates asks me what the black things on my skates are! Great product, doesn't even deteriorate with time! The only issue is the adhesive. Rewetting and adjusting each time, gets a bit tedious. But if you can pop a quick stitch, no worries.

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