A rare question, indeed, but one I wish more skaters asked. Unless a blade or a toepick slices through one or you have one unexpectedly snap on you, laces are easy to forget about. Luckily, staying on top of your lace care is just as easy.
Every time you lace up your skates, you’re pulling hard on them which inevitably causes them to stretch over time and lose their strength. Why does it matter when laces stretch? Arguably, the whole point of having laces is to provide structural support for your boot. Skaters will often tell me their skates feel more supportive after they’ve changed their laces. It’s a simple fix for boots that just aren’t as tight as they used to be.
My recommendation is to change your laces every 120 hours of skate time. A good rule of thumb (when you get your skates sharpened every 40 hours) is to change laces every 3rd sharpening. However, if you’re heading into testing or competition, change your laces about two weeks before your big day, even if you changed your laces before the 120 hour mark. You want fresh laces for competition because you want to have the most structural integrity you can have. I’d also advise you to purchase an extra pair or two of laces when you buy your boot so you have them readily available.