Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stiff Boots Rescue--Katz Straps

Since we're in the run up before Christmas, with prezzies and giftees on everyone's mind, I thought I'd add one more thing to the list: Katz Straps.

I use these every time I skate

Say you're breaking in new boots, or you have stiff boots and want more ankle bend, but you don't like the feel of your boots with the top hooks unlaced; What do you do?

Well, a few years ago I met a former professional skater turned coach, Kathy Hurd Carillo. She showed me how she used homemade elastic straps to loop over the hooks for speed lacing. I liked that idea, and I started using heavy ponytail holders to hold my top hooks together. These kinda held the top hooks together, but not firmly enough.  And they broke. And they popped off unexpectedly. And one pair stained my boots (thank goodness they weren't in my hair!). But they were (marginally) better than nothing.

Then, this summer, I ran into Kathy again, and she told me she had invented Katz Straps to do what I wanted! They hold the top hooks with enough firmness to keep them together, but have enough elasticity to allow for deep ankle bend even in new boots!

These straps are made of industrial grade U.S. manufactured elastic and come with their own little carabiner to attach them to your skate bag. They're sized to perfectly fit over your hook--not too big, not too small.  They're even USFSA approved, which I think means you can wear them in competitions. You can also dye them with RIT dye.  Although the ones in my pictures are white, I know there are guys that  use them so I guess she makes them in black too.

I'll never lose them
I've tried both the regular size and a slightly larger pair, so she can make custom sizes. They really make skating in stiff boots easier, and as a side benefit keep your lace ends tucked out of the way. On her website Kathy has other benefits related to jumping, of which I am completely Ice Dance ignorant, so check it out.


You can reach Kathy at her website, and order them from her there.

Love 'em. Love 'em. Love 'em.

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