New New Laces for the New New Year | Golden Skate

New New Laces for the New New Year

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
1. Disclosure. A representative of Derby Laces (https://derbylaces.com/) provided me and other skaters with free samples of laces for a field trial. There were no conditions stipulated; in particular, neither I nor the other skaters are under any obligation to provide a review.

2. Background. About a year ago, I posted a thread titled “New Laces for the New Year” (https://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?79116&p=2338999#post2338999), in which I reviewed the line of CORE laces (https://derbylaces.com/product-category/derby-laces/waxed-core-laces/). Those laces are manufactured by Derby Laces primarily for roller-derby-skate boots; however, as I discussed in my review, they also function well for many figure-skate boots, and perform better than several widely used figure-skate laces.

3. New New Laces.

(a) EDGE Laces. Derby Laces has just released the new line of EDGE laces (https://derbylaces.com/product-category/derby-laces/waxed-edge-laces-4-5mm/) specifically targeted for figure-skate boots. Except for dimensions and color options, the EDGE laces are substantially the same as the CORE laces. The EDGE laces are narrower and thinner than the CORE laces; see details below. The EDGE laces are better for some figure-skate applications, while the CORE laces are better for other figure-skate applications; see guidelines below.

(b) Field Trial. I and five other skaters participated in the field trial with pre-production samples of EDGE laces. We included skaters who skated intermediate and advanced freestyle and intermediate and advanced dance. Some skaters also worked as coaches. Figure skate boots worn in the field trial included (a) Jackson Elite, previous leather model (two skaters), (b) Jackson Elite, current 5000 series synthetic model, (c) Jackson coaching boots, unknown previous leather model, (d) Harlick custom dance boots (two skaters), and (e) Riedell intermediate boots, unknown leather model. All skaters in the EDGE field trial (except for the Riedell skater) previously participated in the CORE field trial.

As in the CORE field trial, the common positive response from all skaters was that the EDGE laces stayed tied tight throughout a session; whereas, with their previous laces (supplied by the boot manufacturer or a generic accessory manufacturer), they had to stop and re-lace one or more times.

4. Common Features for EDGE and CORE Laces.

(a) Materials and Construction. The laces are flattened hollow tubes braided from all polyester fibers, and treated with wax. The wax is light, smooth, and pliable. These waxed laces are not stiff like cardboard and are not tarry: skaters with previous bad experiences with other waxed laces (in particular, waxed hockey laces) should not shy away. The tips (aglets) are integrally molded (thermally fused) from the lace material itself: no separate tips that can be pulled off. If a tip should develop a crack (e.g., if a skater with exposed blades steps on a tip), the fused fibers remain compressed, and the tip can still be threaded through eyelets. In contrast, with standard laces, when a tip comes off, the previously encased fibers mushroom; and the bare end cannot be threaded through eyelets.

(b) Advantages of EDGE and CORE over Other Laces. The materials and construction of the EDGE and CORE laces provide the following advantages over other laces:

* The wax on the laces hit the sweet spot. Not too little, not too much ... just right. Not too slick, not too tacky ... just right.

* Pulling on the laces gives a secure feeling. The wax serves as a lubricant as a portion of the lace is pulled tight through an eyelet, across another portion of the lace, or around a hook. The wax and surface texture of the lace also help anchor a portion of the lace once it has been pulled tight. As an added advantage, these laces are gentle on a skater’s fingers.

* Laces stay tight throughout a session; no re-lacing needed.

5. Different Features between EDGE and CORE Laces.

(a) Length. CORE laces are currently available in lengths from 36 in (91 cm) to 134 in (340 cm). EDGE laces are currently available in lengths from 72 in (183 cm) to 158 in (401 cm). The longest lengths, in particular, will accommodate the needs of specific Jackson boots that require extra-long laces. In the overlapping range of 72 in to 134 in, the specific lengths of laces are not all identical between the two lines. As previously discussed, CORE laces were originally targeted for the roller-derby market; whereas, EDGE laces are targeted specifically for the figure-skate market. In the 72 in to 134 in range, the following increments are currently available:

CORE

72 in (183 cm)
84 in (213 cm)
96 in (244 cm)
108 in (274 cm)
120 in (305 cm)
134 in (340 cm)

EDGE

72 in (183 cm)
81 in (206 cm)
90 in (229 cm)
100 in (254 cm)
108 in (274 cm)
114 in (290 cm)
122 in (310 cm)
134 in (340 cm)

(b) Width and Thickness. The manufacturer specifies the following widths under tension: 6 mm for CORE and 4.5 mm for EDGE. I measured:

i. Width (unstretched/stretched state): 7mm/6 mm for CORE; 5 mm/4.5 mm for EDGE

ii. Thickness (unstretched/stretched state): 1.7 – 1.8 mm/1.5 – 1.6 mm for CORE; 1.1 – 1.2 mm/1.1 – 1.2 mm for EDGE

* Measurements taken on 10 points along a single sample of new, unused lace
* Unstretched: laces relaxed
* Stretched: laces pulled tight under tension
* Width: nearest 0.5 mm
* Thickness: nearest 0.1 mm

(c) Colors. Roller-derby skaters are apparently colorful characters: CORE laces are currently available in 27 colors and patterns. EDGE laces are currently available in the three traditional figure-skate colors: black, white, and tan.

6. Guidelines for Selection between EDGE and CORE.

With a couple of exceptions, the choice between EDGE and CORE is largely a matter of personal preference: the easiest way for a skater to decide is to try them both. Below are some guidelines based on my own personal experiences, as well as the experiences of other skaters. For shorthand in the discussion below, I will use the term “typical” to refer to Riedell and Jackson boots and laces.

(a) Harlick Boots. Harlick boots have smaller than typical eyelets. Skaters with Harlick boots should choose the narrower and thinner EDGE for easier lacing.

(b) Edea Boots. Edea specifies special lacing procedures, and Edea laces are wider than typical. Skaters with Edea boots should choose the wider and thicker CORE laces, since they are a close match for Edea laces.

(c) Jackson, Riedell, and Other Boots. Jackson laces are wider, but thinner, than Riedell laces. Skaters who have used both Jackson and Riedell laces should choose CORE if they prefer Jackson over Riedell, and should choose EDGE if they prefer Riedell over Jackson.

(d) Other Considerations.

i. Aesthetics. Some skaters prefer the aesthetics of sleek, slender laces. These skaters should choose the narrower and thinner EDGE.

ii. Small Hooks. Some boots have small hooks. Skaters with such boots should choose the narrower and thinner EDGE to reduce the chances of snagging laces on small hooks.

iii. Double Lacing. Some skaters prefer to double lace along the top rows of hooks; i.e., they lace up the rows of hooks, and then re-lace down one or more rows of hooks before tying the bow. These skaters should choose the narrower and thinner EDGE to accommodate two loops under a single hook easier.

iv. Differential Lacing. Some skaters prefer to vary the tension along different zones; e.g., looser near the toes and tighter over the instep. These skaters should choose the wider and thicker CORE: the snugger fit through the eyelets and the greater contact area maintain differential tension better.

v. Length. As described above, some of the lengths in CORE and EDGE are the same, but others are not. In some instances, CORE or EDGE might provider a better match for a particular target length.

vi. Color. Skaters who prefer colors beyond the traditional black, white, and tan should choose CORE (27 colors and patterns currently available).
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
Hrm.... I have Risports. I have a pair of Core laces in my bag that I am planning on replacing the manufacturer's laces with soon. From your post it sounds like sticking to Core is the right idea, but I love trying new things ;)
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Hrm.... I have Risports. I have a pair of Core laces in my bag that I am planning on replacing the manufacturer's laces with soon. From your post it sounds like sticking to Core is the right idea, but I love trying new things ;)
The field trials so far have not included Risports. But a new shop in my area recently started carrying Risports, and their laces looked very similar to Edea laces (just on visual inspection, no measurements), for which CORE is the better match. Since you already have the CORE laces, just try them out. If you find they are too snug, then try the EDGE.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
How do these compare to Graf laces? Graf are the only laces that last me more than 1 month...
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
The field trials so far have not included Risports. But a new shop in my area recently started carrying Risports, and their laces looked very similar to Edea laces (just on visual inspection, no measurements), for which CORE is the better match. Since you already have the CORE laces, just try them out. If you find they are too snug, then try the EDGE.

I like to keep a lot of pairs of laces in my bag to toss at people at my rink when needed, so I just went ahead and ordered more with one pair of the Edge. If I don't like them, someone at my rink will lol
 

Silver Ice

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I’m using the Derby Laces SPARK right now in my skates. Do you know if they’re comparable to the CORE or EDGE?

I haven’t used them long. I wanted to try them out for new colors.

Thank you for the detailed reviews!
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I’m using the Derby Laces SPARK right now in my skates. Do you know if they’re comparable to the CORE or EDGE?

I haven’t used them long. I wanted to try them out for new colors.

Thank you for the detailed reviews!
Derby sent me a sample of SPARK laces several years ago, before they introduced CORE. SPARK isn't comparable to either CORE or EDGE. CORE and EDGE are both manufactured from waxed polyester fibers. SPARK is manufactured from metallic-coated fibers. It uses no wax; but it has a strong grip because the surface texture is rough, with an abrasive feel. What boots are you using them on? SPARK laces are even wider than the CORE. I can't find my sample right now, but Derby lists the width of SPARK as 7 mm under tension. I had an old pair of Riedell Royals at the time, and I had a hard time threading SPARK through the eyelets. I was also concerned about potential abrasive damage to the eyelets, since, in high-end figure-skate boots, the eyelets are simply punched into the uppers and are not reinforced with grommets.

Since your boots can handle wide laces, and you want new colors, try CORE; you can choose from 27 (!) colors and patterns. They don't have the metallic sheen of SPARK, though.
 

Silver Ice

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Derby sent me a sample of SPARK laces several years ago, before they introduced CORE. SPARK isn't comparable to either CORE or EDGE. CORE and EDGE are both manufactured from waxed polyester fibers. SPARK is manufactured from metallic-coated fibers. It uses no wax; but it has a strong grip because the surface texture is rough, with an abrasive feel. What boots are you using them on? SPARK laces are even wider than the CORE. I can't find my sample right now, but Derby lists the width of SPARK as 7 mm under tension. I had an old pair of Riedell Royals at the time, and I had a hard time threading SPARK through the eyelets. I was also concerned about potential abrasive damage to the eyelets, since, in high-end figure-skate boots, the eyelets are simply punched into the uppers and are not reinforced with grommets.

Since your boots can handle wide laces, and you want new colors, try CORE; you can choose from 27 (!) colors and patterns. They don't have the metallic sheen of SPARK, though.

Thank you for the info! I skate in Riedell fusions, and I didn’t notice any issues lacing the skates as the tips are narrow enough and the lace themselves fold over easily enough. But I had been changing out the laces quite frequently a few weeks ago as the boots came with laces that were too short for me, I didn’t like the feel of the ones I put in after, and then the next pair I got were mislabeled and too short. When I was online ordering, I saw the SPARK and figured I’d give them a shot. I didn’t consider the possibility they could harm the eyelets; the only complaint I have about them is that because they are so wide and stiff they don’t sit as flush to the skate unless I tie them tighter than I like to.

But I ordered a pair of the CORE so maybe I’ll like those better.

Thanks again for the write up and information!
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Curious where everyone is ordering the laces from - what retailers (online) carry them or is this the manufacturer site?
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Curious where everyone is ordering the laces from - what retailers (online) carry them or is this the manufacturer site?


CORE and EDGE are available directly from the Derby Laces website (https://derbylaces.com/). Shipping to US and Canada is free for purchase of 2 or more pairs; shipping to other countries is free for purchase of 4 or more pairs. Expedited shipping available at extra cost. CORE can also be ordered from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Derby-Laces-...ywords=derby+core+laces&qid=1583870579&sr=8-2). EDGE has just been released; I don't see it listed on Amazon yet.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Thank you for the info! I skate in Riedell fusions, and I didn’t notice any issues lacing the skates as the tips are narrow enough and the lace themselves fold over easily enough. But I had been changing out the laces quite frequently a few weeks ago as the boots came with laces that were too short for me, I didn’t like the feel of the ones I put in after, and then the next pair I got were mislabeled and too short. When I was online ordering, I saw the SPARK and figured I’d give them a shot. I didn’t consider the possibility they could harm the eyelets; the only complaint I have about them is that because they are so wide and stiff they don’t sit as flush to the skate unless I tie them tighter than I like to.

But I ordered a pair of the CORE so maybe I’ll like those better.

Thanks again for the write up and information!
I had a similar experience with the SPARK. The tips could pass through the eyelets OK; but the laces were so wide, that they couldn't pass through without folding over. Also tricky looping over the hooks. In that instance, the lace is definitely too wide to use with that boot. I think you'll be happy with the CORE. In the CORE field trial, an advanced freestylist used them on her Riedell Aria, and she loved them.

ETA: I don't know for a fact whether SPARK will cause abrasive damage to eyelets in figure-skate boots. Just something that I was concerned about. I think I told the manufacturer at the time that if they ever considered a narrower version of SPARK for figure-skate boots, they should first check whether there would be excessive abrasive wear on unprotected eyelets after repeated lace-and-unlace operations.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I like to keep a lot of pairs of laces in my bag to toss at people at my rink when needed, so I just went ahead and ordered more with one pair of the Edge. If I don't like them, someone at my rink will lol
That's very considerate and generous of you. Also makes you an outlier. When I approached skaters for the field trials, I was surprised that only one knew what length they needed. I thought they would either know or just reach into their bag and look at their spare. Surprise, only one girl had a spare pair; and the only reason she did was because she was preparing for her first competition, and her coach told her to always bring a spare pair to a competition. Her coach, however, didn't have a spare pair for herself, and also didn't know her own length. I ended up bringing a tape measure to the rink, and had skaters remove a lace from a boot so I could measure the length.
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
That's very considerate and generous of you. Also makes you an outlier. When I approached skaters for the field trials, I was surprised that only one knew what length they needed. I thought they would either know or just reach into their bag and look at their spare. Surprise, only one girl had a spare pair; and the only reason she did was because she was preparing for her first competition, and her coach told her to always bring a spare pair to a competition. Her coach, however, didn't have a spare pair for herself, and also didn't know her own length. I ended up bringing a tape measure to the rink, and had skaters remove a lace from a boot so I could measure the length.

:eekn:

Have we all not learned our lesson from the Tonya Harding broken laces incident at the Olympics (or for those who are too young, at least the re-creation in the I, Tonya movie)?

Keep a spare pair (or two) in your bag people - you never know what can happen. Your idiotic mom can even cut your laces off by mistake while trying to trim the skate tape (yes, I've done this to my skater, but alas we had spares!)
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
:eekn:

Have we all not learned our lesson from the Tonya Harding broken laces incident at the Olympics (or for those who are too young, at least the re-creation in the I, Tonya movie)?

Keep a spare pair (or two) in your bag people - you never know what can happen. Your idiotic mom can even cut your laces off by mistake while trying to trim the skate tape (yes, I've done this to my skater, but alas we had spares!)

Yes, and skaters should really know their proper length, rather than depending on a skate tech (or random sales person) or sizing chart on the web. One girl I know bought new laces when her old ones were worn out and ready to ker-snap. I was with her when she was swapping out her laces. The new ones were waaay too long. I pulled my tape measure out of my bag, and measured her old laces ... about 120". I looked at the wrapper for her new laces ... 146". I asked her why she bought laces that long. She said she didn't know her length, and went with what the skate tech at her pro shop told her to get.
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
:eekn:

Have we all not learned our lesson from the Tonya Harding broken laces incident at the Olympics (or for those who are too young, at least the re-creation in the I, Tonya movie)?

Keep a spare pair (or two) in your bag people - you never know what can happen. Your idiotic mom can even cut your laces off by mistake while trying to trim the skate tape (yes, I've done this to my skater, but alas we had spares!)

I have sliced my laces on my right foot doing axels and doubles lol. I don't know how other people don't have extra laces on hand. But I also super super love the Core laces and attempt to convert everyone ;) I even bought my husband a pair of black ones for his work boots because he was complaining about them not keeping tension where he wanted them.
 

JSM

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
I just had the Edge laces on my boots for a few weeks. They were too thick for my boots (I’m in SP-Teri KT-2) and did cause damage to several eyelets. I also couldn’t get them properly wrapped around the hook on the tongue, and therefore had some slippage there. I liked them otherwise, they did stay tight through the foot in the places I wanted them to, but ultimately went back to my previous laces.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I just had the Edge laces on my boots for a few weeks. They were too thick for my boots (I’m in SP-Teri KT-2) and did cause damage to several eyelets. I also couldn’t get them properly wrapped around the hook on the tongue, and therefore had some slippage there. I liked them otherwise, they did stay tight through the foot in the places I wanted them too, but ultimately went back to my previous laces.
Have you mixed up EDGE with some other lace? I think it went on sale at most about two weeks ago, so I don't see how you can have skated on them for a few weeks, and then switched back. I'm not familiar with SP-Teri KT-2, but it's hard to imagine eyelets smaller than Harlick, and EDGE works with Harlick with no issue. I also can't see how waxed polyester fibers could damage eyelets. Are you talking about SPARK?
 
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