Posted by Alison on 30th November 2006
After purchasing a fancy new pair of shoes, you are keen to hit the trails. The shoes felt great in the running store’s tame, carpeted environment, but hitting the rocky trails for the first time, you notice your heel slips a bit, forefoot feels a bit pinched or your big toe hits the front of the shoe.
Before slinking back to the local running store with muddy shoes in hand and asking for an exchange, try these clever lacing techniques to fine-tune your shoes’ fit.
Loop lacing works wonders for snugging up a shoe’s overall profile, especially if you have narrow heels, or when running downhill, your toes hit the front of the toebox.
Take the laces from the second-last eyelet and feed them back through the top eyelet on the same side, creating a small loop on the top of each shoe. Then cross the laces over your foot and feed them through the loop on the opposite side. Pull on the lace ends to snug up the loops over the laces, enough to secure your heel.
This technique will help trails runners who have a high arch, wide forefoot or bunions or a “hotspot” resulting from inflamed nerves in the foot.
Unlace your shoes either to the midfoot or all the way to the forefoot, depending on where you need the extra space. Then instead of passing the laces across your foot, feed them through the eyelet on the same side, leaving a gap over the wider or bulging area of the foot. Then finish by cross-lacing as usual.
LOCK AND LOAD
If you find loop lacing puts too much pressure on the top of your foot, another way to snug up the fit is to use an overhand knot, crossing the lace over itself three times (also called a Surgeon’s Knot), and pulling it snug to secure the foot.
Combine this knot with the hitch-lacing technique to keep a secure fit despite the looser lacing below it.
This technique is also effective for locking down the heel in shoes that don’t offer twin eyelets suitable for loop lacing.