Unbreakable Hockey Laces

July 14, 2011 in Hockey by Tom Henderson

I’ve been playing hockey for years… and in just about every league I have ever played in I’ve held the record… the record for number of times a player has retightened their skates in a game.

I’ve recently cut down the number of times I’ve had to tighten my skates, with the purchase of a new pair of MLX skates.

My MLX hockey skates, new in box!

I’m no mechanical engineer, but it’s my opinion that MLX skates are leaps ahead of the other major manufacturers in several areas of technology. One of those areas is the heat-moldable properties of the materials they use in their skates. After completing the (at home, in your own oven) heat-molding process, these skates really fit your feet! This precision fit is a major reason I don’t feel the need to retighten my skates countless times every game anymore. Unfortunately, the skates you wear aren’t the only variable in the mix. The skate laces also play a big part in this scenario.

When I ordered my new My MLX skates, they arrived with a pair of fairly light weight (almost "airy" quality) skate laces. I believe they are made of 100% cotton, but at first glance they seemed to be really cheap laces. At first, I thought they were supplied with the skates as a manufacturing cost-cutting measure. After a couple of skating sessions with them, I decided to replace them with a pair of A&R White Wax Laces.

A and R White Waxed Hockey Skate LacesThe A&R laces are much thicker and denser, and feel to be a high quality lace. Unfortunately, the first pair of A&R laces I used only lasted four games until a skate blade across the arch of my right foot sliced the lace in half. Until I could get to the store to buy another pair of laces, I put one of the original MLX laces back into the skate. Upon skating with the two different laces in, I noticed that the MLX lace was staying just a bit tighter than the A&R lace.

I thought, "Wow, these MLX engineers have thought of everything! They have even created a lace that holds it grip and doesn’t stretch". Unfortunately, upon checking out the MLX website I didn’t find where you could order the original laces, and if they did the shipping & handling fees would have been prohibitively expensize. I found an awesome, gotta-have "Revolution" t-shirt on their site for $14.99… bit it’s shipping was $24.00. Since it’s about the same amount of hassle to ship a pair of laces as a t-shirt, I assumed the S&H would be proportionate and decided not to pursue even asking them about the laces.

Although I’m slightly nervous that the original lace in my right skate might break at any time, I left it in as a sort of engineering test. Following an additional four hockey games and several hours of public skate ice time, the lace is still holding its own.

In preparation for the upcoming summer hockey league, I was thinking about laces again. In a clear and focused moment, (in the same place I get so many good ideas, while washing my hair) the thought of what I needed came clearly to mind: kevlar hockey skates laces!

Just last night, I mentioned to my wife, "I’d be willing to pay $15 or $20 bucks for a pair of kevlar laces that didn’t stretch". Was any manufacturer already making kevlar laces? Sunday afternoon I did some searching and found a company making them, Unbreakable Hockey.

On a couple of online bulletin boards, I read several comments about the high cost of the laces ($21.95) and whether there could really be such a thing as an unbreakable lace. No one professed to have actually purchased a pair.

Getting back to my first thoughts in this article… the fact that every pair of laces I have ever owned gradually stretched or slipped while wearing them, forcing me to retighten my skates much more often than I would prefer. From my personal experience, it seems like A&R laces take about 6 games or skating sessions worth of tightening and retightening to get the stretch out of them. Following that they seem to hold their tightness much better, although they still seem to loosen up a bit more than I would prefer.

Unbreakable Kevlar and Nylon Waxed Hockey Skate LacesCan a $21.95 pair of laces made from DuPont kevlar and high tensile-strength nylon from Unbreakable Hockey, L.L.C. be the answer to my quest? We’ll find out soon enough, as I ordered a pair of them last Sunday afternoon.

Are they actually unbreakable? That’s really not my primary concern. What I’m really hoping for is a pair of laces that are both non-stretch and slip-resistant.

I’m expecting delivery any day now. I’ll present my opinion once I’ve had an opportunity to lace them up and give them a couple of games worth of testing.

Until then…