A lot of people switch between waxed and unwaxed . I personally prefer unwaxed. Waxed laces (waxed everywhere) are definitely easier to tie. However after using them for a month or so they begin to feel horrible and greasy, they also can be hard to get a good grip when tying them. Some people find Unwaxed laces harder to tie tightly without having to re-tie the laces after 20-30mins on the ice, this is mostly down to personal preference as both have advantages over each other. On a number of occasions I’ve had my waxed laces snap on me, unwaxed have not. However the ends blow out on the unwaxed laces and are very hard to get through the lace holes (eyelets) on your skates, while waxed laces are not as bad. If you are having trouble keeping your skates tight I’d definitely try out the waxed laces and see if they make a difference.
Waxed laces have are meant to have one big advantage over regular laces, they are designed to stay tight without having to tie them over and over. They are also meant to give the skater the ability to have specific areas of the skate loose and others tight (but doesn’t seem to work for long periods of time).
Advantages of waxed laces
- Stay tight after being tied
- Easier to put through skate eyelets
- Meant to last longer
- Allow you to control how tight specific areas of your skate are (i.e. lose mid portion and tight top)
- Waxed tips are easier to grip and tie
- Does not stretch (as they are stretched before the wax is applied, then they harden)
- Some feature fused tips (no more plastics ends that come off while putting through your skates eyelets)
- Water tight (last longer)
Disadvantage of waxed laces
- Hard to untie
- Waxed wears off and feels horrible
- Rough on the hands – Not everyone likes the feeling of waxed on their hands when tying skates
- Can sometimes snap unexpectedly
Advantages of unwaxed laces
- Easy to get hold of
- Lots of colours (if you think thats cool)
- Soft on the hands
Disadvantage of unwaxed laces
- Not as easy to get tight without having to re-tie them
- Look horrible when worn out
- They get thinner and thinner as you use them
- Cant have different portions of your skate tie separately (unless you use more than one lace per skate)
- Not as easy to grip without the wax
- Aglet (the little plastic end of the lace) do not last as long (depending on brand)
- Don’t last as long
- Not easy to lace as they always slide
- Stretches when tying
- Don’t have fused tips
- Water soaks in (won’t last very long)
The major brands you’ll find on the market are A&R laces and Pro Guard.
- Pro Guard laces are pretty fluffy and thick.
- Elite Hockey Prolaces (high quality)
- A&R laces are generally pretty tightly woven and not at all fluffy.
The brand of laces will definitely control the life time and speed the break down, there isn’t anything more annoying than the aglets breaking and not being able to get the lace through the eyelets on yours skates, spend the extra and go for a premium brand that will do its job properly.