How to Lace Running Shoes, According to the Experts
Whether you fall on the side of bunny ears or loop, swoop and pull, sometimes our laces need a little tweaking to make our running shoes fit just right.
If you’re experiencing discomfort or slipping while running, that doesn’t necessarily mean your shoe is the wrong size. Sometimes all you need to do is adjust your lacing technique to fix common running issues like cramped toes or heel slippage.
We spoke with shoe expert Stephanie Blozy, the owner of Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford in Connecticut, to bring you three alternative lacing systems that allow you to customize your shoe fit exactly to your foot.
“Customization is important because there is no average foot type or shape,” says Blozy. “Shoes are meant to fit 80 percent of the population out of the box, but about 20 percent need to customize our shoes through lacing or other techniques.”
Although the traditional crisscross lace remains the most common style, there are plenty of alternatives to try.
“People think you have to hit every eyelet, but you don’t,” she says. “The objective of shoelaces is to keep the shoe on your foot, in whatever way works. When you use these special methods your shoe will stay put.”
Running specialty stores like Blozy’s have the expertise to help you select and customize shoes for a perfect fit. They are also the hot spot to find this year’s award-winning Harmony Road shoe for distance runners.
If you’re experiencing heel slippage, foot pain or the dreaded black toenail, check out Blozy’s lacing techniques to fix these common running problems.
A common issue for runners is feeling like your foot is slipping out of the back of your shoe.
“The heel doesn’t slip all the way out, it’s just the sensation of the heel sliding, which is different and uncomfortable,” she says. “This heel slip is always the biggest issue.”
“What we do in that case is the heel lock, which secures the heel because the heel collar really grabs the foot.”
Lace your shoe normally, then insert each lace into the highest eyelet on the same side, but don’t pull all the way through so you leave a loop on each side. Cross the laces through the opposite loop and pull tight, then tie a normal bow.
Runners are used to tenderness, blisters, bunions and bumps on their feet. In this case, Blozy recommends creating a window around the sore spot to alleviate the discomfort.
“I have a big bump on the top of my foot and every time the shoelace hits it, it causes discomfort,” she says. “By creating a window around the lace, it removes some of the pressure."
Instead of lacing back and forth, string the laces vertically around the sore spot. After the laces pass the tender area, return to traditional crisscross lacing and tie normally.
Up and Away Tie
Every runner knows that black toenails are part of the sport, but there’s a simple fix to a cramped toe box. This method lifts the laces to relieve pressure around the toe area and top of foot.
“If you have any volume or height to your foot, this lace pushes the zigzags up and away from your foot and toes so you have extra space,” she says.
Pull your laces through the bottom loop with about one-third of the lace in one hand and two-thirds in the other. Lace the shorter end through the top eyelet on the opposite side, forming a diagonal lace across the length of the shoe. With the other lace, zigzag back and forth through every eyelet on both sides. When you get to the top of the shoe, tie normally.
How do you lace your running shoes? Let us know by tweeting @Reebok!