Tying your running shoes is second nature. Make a couple loops, twist them together and pull—you’re on your way out the door.
But the standard lacing right out of the box might not be the best option for your feet. If your heel is slipping or your toes are hurting, knowing how to lace your running shoes could fix the problem. (Although, some problems could be from wearing the wrong size shoes for your feet, so make sure you know how to choose the right running shoes.)
Here are four common fit problems and how you can lace your running shoes to fix them:
The heel-lock (also called marathon loop) lacing helps keep your heel in place. If you feel your heel slipping up and down in your shoe, try this to lock your foot in place.
Note: Don’t tighten the laces too much. It can put excess pressure on the front of your ankle, which can also be uncomfortable.
Runners with a high instep might feel pressure on the top of their feet with a normal lacing pattern. The high instep lacing technique can help make a shoe more comfortable.
If your shoe feels too narrow, try this lacing technique for wide feet. It’ll give you a little more space in the to box and midfoot, which could be enough to let you run comfortably. This is also a good trick to use if you’re going to be on your feet for an extended period of time—like in an ultramarathon—and you know that your feet will swell.
Note: The technique should create horizontal laces all the way up the shoe instead of crossing over in an X pattern.
If your shoe is hurting your big toe, try using this diagonal lacing system to alleviate the pressure. Here’s how.