How To Lace Running Shoes? How Proper Shoe Lacing Elevates Your Running Game!

how-to-lace-running-shoes

In the world of running, every detail counts. From selecting the ideal pair of running shoes to fine-tuning your training regimen, each aspect contributes to your overall performance and comfort.

However, among the often-overlooked details is the art of lacing your running shoes.

Your lacing technique can significantly impact your running experience, affecting your foot stability, comfort, and even your risk of injury.

This article delves into the science and art of lacing your running shoes and explores why it’s a crucial element in your running gear repertoire.

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How To Lace Running Shoes – Infographic

We invest time in finding the ideal running shoes and the best fit, and we scrutinize factors like arch support, pronation control, and overall shoe design.

Yet, in our pursuit of the best footwear, the significance of lacing often gets relegated to an afterthought.

But how many ways do you know to customize the fit of your running shoes?

Lacing might seem like a straightforward task, but it turns out it’s far more nuanced than simply crossing those laces over and under.

Without further ado, let’s explore various lacing techniques and their specific benefits. Whether you’re dealing with wide feet, high arches, or a desire for enhanced performance, there’s a lacing solution tailored to your needs…

Here’s an infographic with all the lacing techniques and their benefits. Right below that, we’re going to discuss every technique in detail and provide a video explaining the steps to follow:

how-to-lace-running-shoes-infographic

Runner’s Loop for Heel Slippage

The Runner’s Knot, also known as the “heel lock” or “lace lock,” is a lacing technique that comes to the rescue for runners experiencing heel slippage in their shoes.

This common issue can be both uncomfortable and potentially lead to blisters or other foot problems during runs.

The Runner’s Loop creates a snug harness around your heel. It locks your heel in position, preventing it from moving up and down, thus reducing heel slippage.

This technique can be especially helpful for those with narrow heels or shoes that have a bit too much room in the heel area.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Begin your lacing pattern as usual, feeding your laces through the bottom eyelets.

2. Once you reach the second-to-last set of eyelets, instead of crossing the laces over, you’ll feed each lace directly upwards through the same-side eyelet. This creates a small loop on each side.

3. After creating the loops, cross the laces over and insert them into the loops on the opposite side. It’s as if the laces are “locking” your heel in place.

4. Finish lacing up the shoe as you normally would.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

Related:

Want to uncover the running shoes that fuel David Goggins’ legendary runs? Give it a read!

Window Lacing for Pressure Points or High Insteps

Window lacing, also known as “High Instep Lacing” or “Pressure Point Lacing,” is a valuable technique that caters to runners with high insteps or those who experience pressure points on the upper part of their feet.

High insteps can sometimes make finding the right fit a bit challenging, as traditional lacing may create tight spots and discomfort.

Window lacing provides a solution by allowing for extra space where needed and relieving pressure on specific areas of the foot.

Here’s how to apply window lacing:

1. Start by lacing your shoe normally until you reach the problematic area. This is typically where you experience pressure points or discomfort due to a high instep.

2. Instead of crossing the laces directly over each other, create small “windows” on each side of the shoe. To do this, insert the lace coming from the bottom into the next higher eyelet on the same side, skipping one eyelet.

3. Repeat this on both sides of the shoe, creating parallel diagonal lines of lacing, leaving a small space between them.

4. Continue lacing the shoe as usual above the problematic area.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

Wide Forefoot Lacing Technique

As the name suggests, the wide forefoot lacing technique is designed to accommodate runners with wider forefeet who experience discomfort and/or tightness or those who simply prefer a bit more room in the front of their shoes.

The technique allows for additional room in the forefoot area and helps alleviate pressure and discomfort in the toe area by creating extra width in the lacing pattern.

Overall, it’s a simple adjustment that enhances your running experience, reduces pressure on the forefoot, and prevents issues like blisters or discomfort, ultimately allowing you to focus on your run without distractions.

Here’s how to use this technique:

1. Start your lacing pattern normally until you reach the area where you’d like to provide more width – typically, the forefoot or toe box.

2. Instead of crossing the laces directly over each other, create a small loop on each side by inserting the lace from the bottom into the next higher eyelet, skipping one eyelet in the process.

3. Repeat this on both sides of the shoe, forming loops on either side.

4. Continue lacing your shoe as usual above the widened section.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

Having wide feet? These are some great running shoes for wide-footed runners.

Lacing Technique for Wide Feet in General

Lacing Technique for Narrow Heel & Wide Forefoot

Some runners have narrow heels and wider forefeet, which makes finding shoes that fit perfectly in both areas a bit tricky. However, this technique ensures that the heel remains securely locked in place while providing extra space and comfort in the forefoot area.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

Tired of the struggle to find the perfect running shoes for your narrow heel and wide forefoot? Discover top recommendations and essential tips for a more enjoyable running experience.

Lacing Technique for Narrow Feet

Narrow feet can sometimes make it challenging to find the right fit, as standard lacing may not provide the required snugness.

This technique is a valuable adjustment to your running shoes, especially if you’ve experienced discomfort or instability due to your foot’s narrow shape.

This lacing technique ensures your shoes don’t feel overly roomy or loose, providing the necessary support and ensuring a snug, secure fit without excess room or slippage.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

If you have narrow feet and the search for the ideal running shoes has been a challenge, our article, “Finding the Right Running Shoes for Narrow Feet,” is your solution.

It provides expert insights and recommendations to ensure your feet find their perfect fit for a more comfortable and enjoyable run.

Too Tight on Top Lacing Technique

For runners battling with the discomfort of top-of-foot pain, our article “Tackling Top-of-Foot Pain with the Right Shoes” is a must-read. It offers expert advice and shoe recommendations to alleviate this common issue, helping you get back to pain-free and enjoyable runs.

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Lacing Technique for Tight Midfoot

This lacing Technique is for runners who experience discomfort in the middle part of their feet. This allows for extra space and alleviates pressure in the midfoot area.

It ensures a more comfortable fit and prevents issues like discomfort or hot spots caused by tightness.

Here’s how to use the technique:

1. Start your lacing pattern as you typically would, ensuring the laces are evenly tightened until you reach the high midfoot area where you require additional room.

2. Instead of crossing the laces directly over each other, create a “loop” on each side by inserting the lace from the bottom into the next higher eyelet, skipping one eyelet in the process.

3. Repeat this on both sides of the shoe, forming loops on either side.

4. Continue lacing your shoe as usual above the adjusted section.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

Lacing Technique for Flat Feet

Flat feet can lead to an increased risk of discomfort and injury during runs, making it essential to customize the lacing pattern for better foot support.

This lacing technique is, of course, specifically crafted for runners with flat feet/fallen arches. It ensures that the arch of your foot receives the necessary assistance, reducing the risk of overpronation and providing greater comfort and stability.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Begin your lacing pattern as usual until you reach the area where additional arch support is required, typically the midfoot area.

2. Instead of crossing the laces directly over each other, create a “loop” on each side by inserting the lace from the bottom into the next higher eyelet, skipping one eyelet in the process.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

If you’re a runner with flat feet and have been searching for the best running shoe fit, look no further. Our article “Choosing the Right Running Shoes for Flat Feet” offers expert advice and top shoe recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

Lacing Technique for Toe Pain

This lacing technique is for runners who experience discomfort or pain in the toe area, whether it’s due to issues like bunions, black toenails, or general sensitivity.

It ensures that there is extra space around the toe area,

  • Alleviating pressure and discomfort.
  • Promoting better circulation.
  • Preventing issues like bunions or black toenails from worsening.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Begin your lacing pattern as you typically would until you reach the toe area where you’re experiencing pain or discomfort.

2. Instead of crossing the laces directly over each other, create a “loop” on each side by inserting the lace from the bottom into the next higher eyelet, skipping one eyelet in the process.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

If you’re dealing with the discomfort of Hallux Rigidus, our article “Finding the Right Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus” is here to help.

Lacing Technique for Swollen Feet

This technique aims to provide relief and accommodate the natural changes in your foot size.

It allows for extra space for your swollen feet and ensures a more comfortable fit, reducing the risk of tightness, discomfort, and circulation issues.

Here’s a video for step-by-step instructions…

Reef Knot for Better Hold

The Reef Knot, also known as the “Square Knot,” is a fundamental lacing technique that provides a strong and secure hold for your running shoes. It creates a symmetrical and balanced knot that won’t easily come undone during your run.

It’s especially valuable when you’re tackling challenging terrain, racing, or simply want to avoid the hassle of constantly retying your shoelaces.

While the Reef Knot doesn’t address specific foot shape issues, it’s a basic yet vital technique that ensures your shoes stay securely fastened throughout your run.

It provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your performance rather than constantly checking and adjusting your laces.

Here’s how to tie a Reef Knot:

1. Begin your lacing pattern as you typically would, ensuring the laces are evenly tightened.

2. Cross the right lace over the left lace, forming a simple overhand knot.

3. Pull both laces through the loop created by the right lace going over the left.

4. Tighten the knot by pulling both laces in opposite directions.

Related:

Curious about the running shoes that power Cameron Hanes’ legendary runs? Dive into the details by giving it a read!

Why Lacing Matters

It’s time to dispel the myth that lacing is a one-size-fits-all endeavor. In reality, the way you lace your shoes can impact several critical aspects of your run:

1. Foot Stability

Different lacing techniques can provide varying levels of stability for your feet. If you struggle with foot slippage or excess movement inside your shoes, the right lacing pattern can address these issues, ensuring a snug and secure fit.

2. Comfort and Pressure Distribution

The pressure points on your feet can determine how comfortable your run is. Choosing the correct lacing method can alleviate discomfort by evenly distributing pressure and reducing the risk of hot spots and blisters.

3. Injury Prevention

Runners often grapple with injuries, such as black toenails and shin splints, caused by improper lacing. Learning the right techniques can mitigate these risks, allowing you to enjoy your runs injury-free.

4. Performance Enhancement

Believe it or not, proper lacing can have a positive impact on your running performance. It can contribute to more efficient energy transfer, allowing you to maintain your pace with less effort.

Lacing Running Shoes FAQs

How should running shoes be laced?

Running shoes should be laced according to your specific needs. Different lacing techniques can address various concerns, including heel slippage, pressure points, and arch support. The key is to customize your lacing pattern to achieve a snug, secure, and comfortable fit that suits your foot shape and running style.

Should running shoes be tight laced?

Running shoes should not be overly tight. They should be comfortably snug to provide support and stability, but not so tight that they cause discomfort, restrict circulation, or lead to issues like blisters. The lacing should be adjusted to your individual comfort and needs.

Should shoes be laced over or under?

Whether shoes should be laced over or under is a matter of personal preference. Both methods are valid, and the choice depends on comfort and the specific lacing technique you’re using.

Wrap-up

In conclusion, the way you lace your running shoes isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; it’s a critical aspect of your overall running experience.

The various lacing techniques explored here, whether addressing specific foot shape concerns, preventing common issues like heel slippage or toe pain, or accommodating changes in foot size due to swelling, offer a valuable toolbox of solutions.

By customizing your lacing pattern to your unique needs, you can achieve a snug, secure, and comfortable fit that enhances your performance and minimizes the risk of discomfort or injury. These techniques allow you to focus on what truly matters – the joy of running and achieving your goals.

So, the next time you lace up your running shoes, consider the nuances of your foot shape, potential pain points, or the extra support you might require.

Experiment with different lacing techniques to discover the perfect fit that ensures a distraction-free, pain-free, and ultimately, more enjoyable running journey.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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