Lacing Techniques for Runners
Find the right lacing technique to improve comfort and fit.
Lacing plays an important role in your running toolkit. It not only affects your running performance and overall comfort but simple changes in lacing styles can often correct common issues like heel slippage and blisters.
As foot types and running styles vary, there are a variety of lacing techniques that are tailored for runners. Whether you’re lacing up a brand new pair of shoes, or want to fix heel slippage, find the right fit with our helpful lacing technique guide.
Remember, while some of these tips can help address minor issues, we always recommend seeking advice from a medical professional if your problems persist.
Lacing Techniques to Address Common Issues
If you’re feeling discomfort or a lack of performance, there are a handful of lacing techniques which can help give you a more comfortable fit that supports your foot type and running style.
It’s important to note that changing your lacing technique can fix some issues, but if your shoe isn’t the right fit for your foot or foot type, it can’t rid the problem. Always make sure you’ve got a combination of the right shoe and lacing style.
"My heel keeps slipping or moving around in my shoe."
Heel blisters or excessive wear in the back of your shoes are common signs of heel slippage.
A “heel lock” style of lacing will prevent your heel from slipping out of the shoe and reduce excessive movement of your foot in the shoe. This helps reduce friction that causes blisters and excess wear.
1- Lace shoes in the usual criss-cross pattern until the second-to-last eyelet.
2- Then thread the lace through the last eyelet so that the lace comes out on the inside of the shoe, creating a loop between the last two eyelets.
3- Finish by crossing your laces and inserting them through the loops that you’ve created and pull tightly securing the shoe around your foot, and then tie shoes as normal.
This technique ensures your laces don’t become loose and prevents your heel from slipping out of the shoe.
"My shoes always feel like they are too tight."
If you feel like your shoes are too tight on the top of your foot, a “parallel” or “straight bar” style of lacing that evenly distributes the laces for better comfort may help. If a change in lacing style doesn’t alleviate the tightness, make sure that your shoes are the right fit for your foot size, width and foot type. We recommend visiting a Running Expert Store
for help with this.
1- Lace the shoes in a parallel fashion, by skipping alternate eyelets for each lace and running the lace up the side of the eyelets to reduce pressure.
2- Tie up the shoe as usual.
If a change in lacing style doesn’t alleviate the tightness, make sure that your shoes are the right fit for your foot size, width and pronation style.
"I feel pain in my toes."
If you often get black toenails and feel pain in your toes, try a lacing technique that lifts the toe box, giving your toes more space.
1- Begin by lacing from the eyelet at the big toe to the eyelet at the top on the opposite side – so it goes diagonally across the whole shoe.
2- With the other lace, ensure it’s about 10cm longer than the other lace and criss-cross it across all of the eyelets.
3- At the top, tie the lace as usual.
Lacing Styles for Your Foot Type
If you have high arches, you can adjust your lacing to alleviate the pressure from middle section.
1- Start lacing normally with a criss-cross.
2- In the middle section, thread the shoelace only through the side eyelets.
3- Criss-cross through the final two eyelets and tie as normal
For a wide forefoot, try a lacing technique that gives you more space in the toe box.
1- Begin by threading the shoelace only through the sides.
2- From the midfoot onwards, start tying with a criss-cross.
3- Finish with a criss-cross through the final eyelets.
If you have a narrow foot, you should make sure your lacing style tightens the shoe.
1- Start by lacing the shoes normally with a criss-cross.
2- Next, skip an eyelet and thread the lace in a criss-cross.
3- At the end, lace in a usual criss-cross pattern.
Overall Wide Feet
If you have generally wide feet, use a lacing technique that loosens the entire shoe and gives the foot more space.
1- Begin lacing in a normal criss-cross
2- Then thread the shoe in a criss-cross every other eyelet
3- Tie at the end as usual
For a high midfoot, ease any pain by relieving the pressure in this area.
1. Lace the shoe normally with a criss-cross.
2. Then thread the shoelace only through the sides.
3. After the point where bruising has occurred, start tying with the crisscross again.