Running Shoe Lacing 101: Techniques for Happy Runners Feet

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

Let’s talk about something we all do every time we head out for a run – lacing up our running shoes. Now, you might be thinking, “Tying shoelaces? That’s child’s play!” But hold on, because there’s more to it than meets the eye!

You see, the standard lacing method might not be the best fit for your running feet. Different lacing techniques can work wonders for various foot problems. Whether you’re battling toe pain or dealing with a slippery heel, the right running shoe knot could be the game-changer you need!

So, in today’s article, we’re diving into the world of shoelaces and exploring my all-time favorite running shoe lacing tips and guidelines. We’ll discover how these nifty techniques can solve common running issues and make our runs more comfortable and enjoyable.

Are you ready to up your lacing game and experience a whole new level of running comfort? Awesome! Let’s lace up those shoes and embark on this exciting journey together. Trust me; your feet will thank you for it!

Let’s dive in and unravel the secrets of perfect running shoe lacing! Ready, set, go!

Heel-Lock Lacing

Alright, fellow runners, let me share a little secret that could put an end to those pesky heel slips during your runs. Imagine you’re in a marathon, and with every stride, your heel is playing a little game of peek-a-boo inside your shoe. Not fun, right? But fear not, because I’ve got a nifty technique called the Heel-Lock Lacing, and it’s here to save the day!

This lacing method, also known as the marathon loop, is like having a secret weapon against heel slipping. It’s all about taming that wild heel movement and keeping it snugly in place, so you can conquer those miles without any distractions.

Now, picture this: your running shoes are like a cozy home for your feet, and you want to make sure your heels stay securely nestled inside, just like Goldilocks finding the perfect fit in the three bears’ house. Not too loose, not too tight – just right!

So, here’s how the Heel-Lock Lacing works its magic. First, lace up your shoes normally, crisscrossing the laces all the way up to the top two eyelets, including that extra one at the very top.

Then comes the magic touch – pull each lace up on the same side, skip the second-to-top eyelet, and slide the laces normally into the top eyelet on that side. But wait, we’re not done yet – now, create a loop. Voila! You’ve got two little loops, one on each side of the shoe, holding your heel in place.

But remember, my fellow runners, don’t go overboard with the tightening. We want to keep those heels happy, not feeling like they’re in a vice grip! Just a snug and secure fit will do the trick, so your ankles can enjoy a pain-free running experience.

Overall Wide Feet

If you’ve ever felt like your shoes are trying to squeeze your feet into submission, fear not – I’ve got a genius lacing technique that’ll give your tootsies the space they deserve. It’s time to break free from the narrow shoe struggle and embrace the Wide Feet Wonder!

Imagine your feet as adventurous explorers, eager to roam freely inside your shoes, but the narrowness of the shoe feels like a tight alleyway, limiting their exploration. Well, fear no more, because with this lacing technique, you’re about to open up a world of comfort and freedom for your feet!

Picture this: your running shoes are like the gateway to a wide and open meadow, and with each step, your feet can prance around like happy little gazelles, liberated from the constrictions of narrow shoe confines. It’s like your feet are saying, “Finally, some breathing room!”

So, here’s how the Wide Feet Wonder works its magic. First, start lacing up your shoes in the good ol’ crisscross way. But now comes the exciting part – skip every second row of eyelets on both sides, like skipping rocks on a tranquil lake. By doing this, you’re creating little windows for your feet to enjoy the view and spread out comfortably.

Now, tighten up the laces as usual, but not too tight! We want your feet to feel cozy, not like they’re trapped in a shoe straightjacket. As you lace up, you’ll notice the laces forming a beautiful horizon of horizontal lines all the way up the shoe, like a picturesque sunset on the horizon.

With the Wide Feet Wonder, you’ll have the freedom to move, wiggle, and savor each step without any discomfort. Your wide feet will thank you, and you’ll feel like you’re running on cloud nine, gliding through your runs with newfound ease and joy.

The Window Lacing

If you’ve ever felt like your foot is protesting during your runs, going numb or feeling irritated, it’s time to pay attention to those precious tootsies. You might just have a high instep, and don’t worry, you’re not alone in this adventure!

Imagine your foot as a majestic mountain, with the peak being that little bigger part in the middle and near your ankle. It’s like your foot is showing off its high arches and saying, “I’m unique, and I deserve a perfect fit!”

So, let me introduce you to the ultimate solution for your high instep woes – the Window Lacing technique, also known as box lacing. It’s like giving your foot a cozy window seat inside your shoe, where it can stretch out and enjoy the ride without any pressure points.

Picture this: your shoe is like a snug, little house, and the Window Lacing creates a magical window that your high instep can peek out of, feeling relieved and cozy. It’s like giving your foot a gentle hug and saying, “There, there, no more discomfort for you!”

Now, here’s how to work this shoe magic. Start by unlacing your shoe from the top three eyelets down to the one just below the pressure point, giving your foot some breathing space.

Next, it’s time to create that enchanting window. From the outside of the shoe, take the end of the lace up and skip a hole, like a skipping stone gliding across water. Then, lace straight up to the next eyelet, crossing the lace over like a graceful dance move. The lace should run up the outside of the shoe, then get inserted into the next hole.

Now, repeat this magical window creation on the inside of the shoe, giving your foot the perfect fit it deserves.

And that’s it! You’ve now mastered the Window Lacing technique, and your high instep will forever thank you for the extra room and comfort.

For A Wide Forefoot

Hey there, runners experiencing some pesky tightness in the front of your foot! If you’ve ever felt like your shoe is giving your toes a tight bear hug, fear not – I’ve got a fantastic lacing technique that’ll loosen things up and set your toes free!

Now, let’s imagine your shoe as a magical slipper, but alas, it’s feeling a bit too snug around the front, like Cinderella’s stepsister trying to fit into that glass slipper. Well, don’t worry, because with this lacing technique, you’ll be saying “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo” to tightness and hello to comfort!

Picture this: your shoe is like a cozy nest for your foot, but the front part needs a little extra room to let your toes wiggle and breathe. It’s like giving your foot a mini vacation, so it can savor each step without any discomfort.

So, here’s the secret sauce – the Front Foot Freedom technique! While getting a wide shoe is usually the way to go for a wide foot, this method might just be the magic wand you need if you’re already stuck with a tight-fitting shoe.

Now, let’s get to it! First, unlacing your shoes all the way down to the bottom, so they’re threaded straight across the bottom eyelet on both sides. We want to create a smooth canvas for our lacing magic!

Next, starting with the lace on the lateral side of your shoe (the outer side), lace up to the second hole from the inside and push it through like a little peekaboo. Then, repeat the same on the other side, creating a little window for your toes to breathe and relax.

Now, keep repeating this magical window-creation method all the way up the shoe, giving your toes that extra freedom they deserve.

Finally, tie off your laces at the top as you’d normally do, and voilà! Your feet will thank you for the extra space and comfort.

And here’s a little bonus – this technique might even help soothe and prevent those bothersome running bunions, like a gentle massage for your feet!

Diagonal Lacing

If you’ve ever felt like your shoes are a bit too tight or too short at the toe, fear not – I’ve got a lacing technique that’ll come to the rescue and provide your toes with some much-needed wiggle room!

Now, let’s imagine your shoe as a snug little cocoon for your foot, but alas, it’s putting a bit too much pressure on your precious toenails. It’s like your toes are throwing a tiny tantrum, saying, “Give us some breathing space, please!”

So, here’s the magic spell – the Diagonal Lacing technique! It’s like a gentle lift for the toe box, creating a cozy little haven for your toes to spread out and release the pressure.

Now, let’s get lacing! First, unlacing your shoe completely – we want a fresh canvas for our toe-friendly creation!

Starting on the side of the shoe, thread the end of the shoelace into the bottom eyelet closest to your big toe, as if inviting your toe to join the party.

Now comes the fun part – start lacing from the eyelet at your big toe, moving all the way up to the eyelet at the top on the opposite side, like a zigzag dance across the shoe. Then, crisscross by threading the lace at each bottom diagonally, and at the top, lace them parallel to each hole, like a symphony of diagonal lines.

As you lace up, you’ll notice your toe box getting a little lift, creating the perfect space for your toes to stretch and breathe

And just like that, you’ve worked your magic! Once you reach the top, tie the lace as normal, and your toes will be forever grateful for the extra room and comfort.

Tips on Shoe Laces

Now that you’ve mastered some awesome lacing techniques to level up your running shoe game, let’s talk about another crucial factor in the ultimate shoe experience – the laces themselves!

Believe it or not, the quality of your laces can make a world of difference. You wouldn’t want to embark on a magical quest with a worn-out shoelace that’s just barely holding on, right?

Fear not, though, because most running shoes come equipped with laces that are long enough to accommodate various lacing techniques. So go ahead, give those awesome methods we’ve discussed a whirl using your trusty current laces!

But wait, there’s more – if you find that your laces are feeling a bit too snug or they’ve seen better days, it’s time for new laces! Choose ones that match the length and shape of your shoes.

Having knot-tying woes? fret not. You can switch from round to flat laces or vice versa, and see which style works like a charm for you. It’s like discovering the perfect incantation for your running shoe spell!

And here’s an exciting tip – dabble in the world of different lace materials! Try out laces made from natural fibers like cotton, or delve into the realm of synthetic fabrics. See which one feels like the ultimate potion for your foot comfort and runs like a charm.

Get The Right Running Shoes

Let’s not forget the holy grail of the ultimate running shoe experience – finding the right pair of shoes in the first place! While lacing techniques are awesome, the perfect fit starts with the perfect shoe.

So, if you’re unsure about how to find your soulmate shoe that suits your foot type and running needs, don’t worry! Seek the wisdom of the shoe wizards at your nearest running specialty store, and they’ll guide you on the magical path to shoe enlightenment. Or, you can check out our full guide to finding your running shoe match!


There you have it ! Now you know more than average runner how to lace your running shoes for the perfect fit and comfort. The rest is really up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

David D.

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