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Vet88

Why you shouldn't lace up tight.

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Lots of research referenced to back this up (warning - it does delve deeply into things), note the dates of the research as they are all recent. All the new research I'm finding is pointing towards dropping eyelets and looser laces to support ankle articulation. If your knees ever wanted a reason as to why you might want to change from those fully laced, extra cranked around the ankle lacing patterns that most of the "dated" advice out there tells you to do, this is it.

https://adamvirgile.com/2019/08/08/the-impact-of-ankle-motion-on-ice-hockey-performance/ 

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Good article, although the paragraph about motivation to leave the eyelet undone seems out of place in an academic paper.  The rationale behind it has zero impact on the data and all of those guys tuck their tongues now anyway.

Using vertical displacement as a positive data point at first seemed odd but it makes sense as you can’t push horizontal and there will be a vertical element to the vector which should correlate to acceleration and speed.

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I see an article like this, and then I think of Sidney Crosby cranking down on his top eyelet. 

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to have the top eyelet tight and still have ankle flexion.

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24 minutes ago, pgeorgan said:

I see an article like this, and then I think of Sidney Crosby cranking down on his top eyelet. 

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to have the top eyelet tight and still have ankle flexion.

But he skips the second eyelet and wears a flexible skate.  It is data, a study which references other studies and adds to the body of knowledge.  

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41 minutes ago, BenBreeg said:

But he skips the second eyelet and wears a flexible skate.  It is data, a study which references other studies and adds to the body of knowledge.  

Indeed. But the messaging around the top eyelet controversy I think is doing a disservice to others. 

Nobody will argue that ankle mobility is paramount. However, skipping the top or second eyelet is a solution to a problem created by the trend towards ultra stiff skates. Versus some sort of new paradigm in skating technique, which it most certainly is not. 

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3 hours ago, pgeorgan said:

Nobody will argue that ankle mobility is paramount. However, skipping the top or second eyelet is a solution to a problem created by the trend towards ultra stiff skates. Versus some sort of new paradigm in skating technique, which it most certainly is not. 

Nailed it!

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I don’t see anyone claiming it is a new paradigm, I think you are tilting at windmills.  As long as I can remember people have viewed one of the purposes of skates to do the work of supporting the ankle.  Tendon guards used to have eyelets, guys used to tape tendon guards to their shinguards, lace tighteners, etc.  The stance of the desireability of greater degrees of ankle mobility is not a widely held view for the general population.  Stiffer skates do make the problem worse.  How messaging around lacing solutions is doing a disservice is a mystery.  You going to convince them to make softer skates?

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6 hours ago, pgeorgan said:

Versus some sort of new paradigm in skating technique, which it most certainly is not. 

Paradigm or evolution? If you told any coach 10 years ago that one of the fastest ways to skate up the rink was lateral cross overs you would have been laughed off the rink. Even with his near perfect bio mechanics, could McDavid use his lateral cross overs as effectively in boots from 20 years ago? And traditional power skating techniques, aka Laura Stamm, long considered a gold standard are now been rethought with different techniques and approaches been developed. All of this because of changes in boot technology, design and analytics.

Ever since boots have been made, manufacturers have been trying to make them stiffer with the belief that reduced ankle articulation would lead to better and faster skating. Reduced ankle articulation would shift the control of the skate to the biggest and strongest muscles in the legs - glutes, quads etc - and this would enable more stability and control. Lace up as tight as you can was part of this paradigm (originally they had to because the boot really offered no other support). Then over the last 10 years or so new materials in boot design created ultra stiff boots but the lacing message remained the same, generally coming from established people in the sport like players and coaches who have been around for years - that's what I was taught so that is what I will teach.

My belief is that the data and research coming out now and over the next few years will alter boot design away from the quasi ultra stiff ski boot, for a technique and health perspective. The boot will evolve into a design that has different flex zones incorporated into it. From under the ankles upwards you will be able to get different, custom flex zones, the boot will still wrap around the foot but the ankle will be able to articulate within a form fitting boot. We have never had this mix of design before (stiff lower / flexible upper), graf was starting down this path with its flex zone but the rest of the boot technology was behind what other manufacturers were producing. How such a design might change or create a new paradigm for skating we can only speculate at this point but I would suggest that the changes in boot design over the last 10 years or so has led to different approaches in skating techniques and that we will continue to see this in the future as technology in boots continues to evolve and skaters learn to take advantage of this.

Edited by Vet88
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13 hours ago, Vet88 said:

Paradigm or evolution? If you told any coach 10 years ago that one of the fastest ways to skate up the rink was lateral cross overs you would have been laughed off the rink. Even with his near perfect bio mechanics, could McDavid use his lateral cross overs as effectively in boots from 20 years ago? And traditional power skating techniques, aka Laura Stamm, long considered a gold standard are now been rethought with different techniques and approaches been developed. All of this because of changes in boot technology, design and analytics.

Ever since boots have been made, manufacturers have been trying to make them stiffer with the belief that reduced ankle articulation would lead to better and faster skating. Reduced ankle articulation would shift the control of the skate to the biggest and strongest muscles in the legs - glutes, quads etc - and this would enable more stability and control. Lace up as tight as you can was part of this paradigm (originally they had to because the boot really offered no other support). Then over the last 10 years or so new materials in boot design created ultra stiff boots but the lacing message remained the same, generally coming from established people in the sport like players and coaches who have been around for years - that's what I was taught so that is what I will teach.

My belief is that the data and research coming out now and over the next few years will alter boot design away from the quasi ultra stiff ski boot, for a technique and health perspective. The boot will evolve into a design that has different flex zones incorporated into it. From under the ankles upwards you will be able to get different, custom flex zones, the boot will still wrap around the foot but the ankle will be able to articulate within a form fitting boot. We have never had this mix of design before (stiff lower / flexible upper), graf was starting down this path with its flex zone but the rest of the boot technology was behind what other manufacturers were producing. How such a design might change or create a new paradigm for skating we can only speculate at this point but I would suggest that the changes in boot design over the last 10 years or so has led to different approaches in skating techniques and that we will continue to see this in the future as technology in boots continues to evolve and skaters learn to take advantage of 

A little off topic.  You mention lateral crossovers being the fastest way to skate up ice as being a newer revelation.  Since I switched profiles on my skates to something that has more steel on the ice at the rear portion of the blade (11' single profile to a quad 0.5 profile) I noticed a HUGE difference in my crossovers.  Do you think these newer profiles being more common are what is now driving the lateral crossover conversation?

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9 hours ago, caveman27 said:

Lange was ahead of its time. Using ski boot technology for stiffness, but incorporating a hinge to allow for some forward flex.

vintage-stan-mikita-lange-hockey_1_ec809

 

I had roller blades like this.

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14 hours ago, Beflar said:

Do you think these newer profiles being more common are what is now driving the lateral crossover conversation?

I don't think profiles on their own are driving lateral crossovers, they are just one of the pieces of the puzzle that are driving advances in skating. By trying different profiles, hollows, steels, sharpenings, holders etc skaters are able to select the most beneficial combination to suit their style of skating. Think of it as incremental changes, 1% here, 1% somewhere else, add them all together and now you are talking significant change. fwiw the last I read was that McDavid uses a 10' radius and Barzal was on a triple when he won the fastest skater comp. 

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1 hour ago, Vet88 said:

I don't think profiles on their own are driving lateral crossovers, they are just one of the pieces of the puzzle that are driving advances in skating. By trying different profiles, hollows, steels, sharpenings, holders etc skaters are able to select the most beneficial combination to suit their style of skating. Think of it as incremental changes, 1% here, 1% somewhere else, add them all together and now you are talking significant change. fwiw the last I read was that McDavid uses a 10' radius and Barzal was on a triple when he won the fastest skater comp. 

McDavid is on a combo.  Has been since Minor Midget.  Funny to is that he cranks his skates. Just doesn't use the top and is shin pad over. 

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1 hour ago, oldtrainerguy28 said:

McDavid is on a combo.  Has been since Minor Midget.  Funny to is that he cranks his skates. Just doesn't use the top and is shin pad over. 

I recall seeing a release from Tydan back in 2019 that said he was using their Performance blade on a 10' radius. Lol, "using" could be a very subjective word in this release. McDavid is one of those outliers, one of the lucky 15% of the population that has neutral alignment. As Dr Lockwood said, his bio mechanics are so good he could skate just as fast in skates with no laces.

An aside question, are you traveling with the USA / Canada team later this year? 

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1- it would be nice if people would add to the dialogue instead of just the lazy use of emojis

2- I find it interesting since you brought her up that Laura Stamm has been warning of overly stiff skates and their impediment to ankle mobility for at minimum 20 years, regardless of how the approach to mechanics has changed

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One of the reasons I will ride my Nexus V-cuts (Tech Mesh) into their grave is that skates today are too stiff.  I need that forward flex and when I have demoed the newer, ultra stiff skates, I can't skate in them at all.  

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4 hours ago, BenBreeg said:

1- it would be nice if people would add to the dialogue instead of just the lazy use of emojis

Guilty

Once you start dropping eyelets. To me you've basically admitted your skates are too stiff. 

Not poo-pooing the value of some of these tips. They have their place. I mean, they wouldn't exist if they didn't offer some sort of value, perceived or otherwise. It's not for everyone and some aspects can be addressed by switching hardware. A softer boot or ditching those waxed Elite laces will help with forward flexion. Adding some custom insoles for proper heel and arch support. If you want to dig a little deeper you can see if your holders are aligned and shimmed to met your specific needs. 

I always said, it's not the hammer, it's the carpenter. Well, that's a total crock. The hardware matters.

Edited by stick9
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9 minutes ago, stick9 said:

Guilty

Once you start dropping eyelets. To me you've basically admitted your skates are too stiff. 

Not poo-pooing the value of some of these tips. They have their place. I mean, they wouldn't exist if they didn't offer some sort of value, perceived or otherwise. It's not for everyone and some aspects can be addressed by switching hardware. A softer boot or ditching those waxed Elite laces will help with forward flexion. Adding some custom insoles for proper heel and arch support. If you want to dig a little deeper you can see if your holders are aligned and shimmed to met your specific needs. 

I always said, it's not the hammer, it's the carpenter. Well, that's a total crock. The hardware matters.

Sure, but all of these aren’t zero sum.  First, even low end skates are extremely stiff.  I keep my son in middle tier price point and he still skips the top eyelet.  Ditch the waxed laces if waxed laces are causing an issue.  All the rest of the things you mentioned are valid but not lacing so tight or skipping is something that can be experimented with at zero cost.  Even in big cities, trying to find someone who knows about shimming is a needle in a haystack search.

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2 minutes ago, BenBreeg said:

Sure, but all of these aren’t zero sum.  First, even low end skates are extremely stiff.  I keep my son in middle tier price point and he still skips the top eyelet.  Ditch the waxed laces if waxed laces are causing an issue.  All the rest of the things you mentioned are valid but not lacing so tight or skipping is something that can be experimented with at zero cost.  Even in big cities, trying to find someone who knows about shimming is a needle in a haystack search.

You know, I thought about that as I was typing that post. It's a shame really. I think a lot of players are leaving performance on the table because they are being forced to use hardware that doesn't really suite their needs. 

Skates and sticks can have a negitive impact on your performance. You can't tell me a skate is all about length, depth and heel lock. It's not. Flex and wrap are huge factors.

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12 hours ago, Vet88 said:

I recall seeing a release from Tydan back in 2019 that said he was using their Performance blade on a 10' radius. Lol, "using" could be a very subjective word in this release. McDavid is one of those outliers, one of the lucky 15% of the population that has neutral alignment. As Dr Lockwood said, his bio mechanics are so good he could skate just as fast in skates with no laces.

An aside question, are you traveling with the USA / Canada team later this year? 

Well except for this past summer I have worked with him every summer since he made the show and I have never not seen him in Step steel and on a combo. So there is that and take it for what it is. As for the Tour i sure hope something happens but I do not see it being likely at this time. Maybe 2022?

 

As for the whole leave laces loose theory  I have done extensive treadmill work with high end clients and players as in the one study that were in True vs there old skates had much better forward flexion even doing them all the way up. As it said in the one study the Mako was the best fitting and performing skate even when done up. So seeing as that skate and True are based on the same idea that would ring true to the video I have shot with clients. And I know Dr Lockwood (former business partner) would agree that fit is paramount. Proper fit means laces can be done up snuggly and still have the correct amount of forward flexion for optimal performance. 

Edited by oldtrainerguy28
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On 4/15/2021 at 7:13 PM, Vet88 said:

My belief is that the data and research coming out now and over the next few years will alter boot design away from the quasi ultra stiff ski boot, for a technique and health perspective. The boot will evolve into a design that has different flex zones incorporated into it.

I can't believe this isn't already happening. It just makes sense.

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So many people missed out on the Easton Mako skates. We are loyalists though so I can understand. If it weren't for my desire to randomly change things up, I would've missed out how well the Makos worked for me. It was the first time I really didn't over-tighten my laces and, as a result, I felt much more comfortable skating.

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On 4/17/2021 at 4:52 PM, oldtrainerguy28 said:

Well except for this past summer I have worked with him every summer since he made the show and I have never not seen him in Step steel and on a combo. So there is that and take it for what it is. As for the Tour i sure hope something happens but I do not see it being likely at this time. Maybe 2022?

 

As for the whole leave laces loose theory  I have done extensive treadmill work with high end clients and players as in the one study that were in True vs there old skates had much better forward flexion even doing them all the way up. As it said in the one study the Mako was the best fitting and performing skate even when done up. So seeing as that skate and True are based on the same idea that would ring true to the video I have shot with clients. And I know Dr Lockwood (former business partner) would agree that fit is paramount. Proper fit means laces can be done up snuggly and still have the correct amount of forward flexion for optimal performance. 

My VH were great, I did not like the True Skates.  Got another pair of pro return VH and they are still better than the True in my opinion in terms of fit and performance.  Do you feel Graf provides a proper fit compared to other brands?  

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On 4/18/2021 at 10:47 AM, 218hockey said:

I can't believe this isn't already happening. It just makes sense.

This is already happening. Look at the new 100k skates.

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