Tips On Proper Shoe Lacing

People can fine-tune the fit of their athletic shoes by using their shoes’ variable eyelets. However, very few people know how to adjust the lacing variations on their shoes. Tips on proper shoe lacing are presented.

Remember when Pop taught you how to tie your sneakers? You thought you had mastered a skill that would take you through life. Sorry. There’s more than one way to tie an athletic shoe. “Manufacturers actually design shoes with variable eyelets so you can fine-tune the fit. Problem is, nobody does it,” says orthopedic surgeon Carol Frey, M.D., of Long Beach Memorial Hospital. If you have a high arch or narrow heel, the common crisscross pattern we all learned as toddlers may feel too tight on top or wobbly in the back. Discomfort, blisters, even rollovers can result. Dr. Frey says the following lacing variations adjust for the most common athletic foot problems.


Tips for Lacing Shoes

Narrow foot

Use the eyelets that are set wider apart on many running and cross-training shoes. This brings up the sides of the shoe more tightly across the top of a narrow foot.

Wide foot

Lace using the eyelets found closer to the tongue of the shoe to provide more width to the lacing area. It’s like letting out a notch on your belt.

lacing shoes 2

Foot pain

If you have a bump on the top of your foot or pain from a tendon injury, leave a space in the lacing to alleviate pressure. Simply skip the eyelets at the point of the pain and lace through the next set of eyelets.

High arches

Lace your shoes so the laces travel in a straight line from eyelet to eyelet. Start by lacing the bottom two eyelets. Then take the left lace, skip an eyelet and poke it up through the next eyelet on the left side of the shoe. (Dotted lines in the illustration show where the lace is hidden from view.)

Next, bring the lace across the tongue and poke it through the opposite eyelet. Now take the right lace, poke it up through the eyelet directly above, bring that lace across the tongue and push it through the opposite eyelet. Repeat. By avoiding the crisscross effect, you eliminate the pressure points on the tongue of the shoe that cause pain on the top of your foot.

Ingrown toenails or corns

This lacing pattern suspends the laces and lifts the fabric away from injured toes. Start by poking the shoelace through one of the top eyelets; leave enough threaded through to tie the shoe off when you’re finished. Next, thread the longer section of lace through the opposite bottom eyelet. Then lace across, then diagonally up, then across again, and so on, always lacing over the section of lace running from the top of the shoe to the bottom.

Slipping Heel

lacing shoes1

To keep your heel from sliding and avoid blisters, you need to snug the top of the shoe. To do it, lace normally until you reach the second-to-last eyelets at the top. Instead of crisscrossing, poke the laces up through each eyelet and down through the eyelet above it. Next, thread the lace across and under the loop you formed with the opposite lace, then tie the shoe.


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