Lacing techniques for running shoes

Ever stood on the start line of a race and looked at other people’s running shoes and noticed different lacing techniques for running shoes?

Well, it turns out it’s not just a fashion thing to look cool (well… for some it might be), but there are very good reasons why some runners lace their shoes up differently.

Standard lacing techniques work for some but not all – just like the shoes we wear.

There are lots of lacing techniques for running shoes appropriate each foot type. The way we lace up our shoes could improve the comfort, support and ride of that shoe. Whilst researching for this blog, we came across lots of different techniques you could use but here, we have highlighted some of the more common techniques to consider.

High arches:

If you pronate or supinate then you are likely to have high arches. This lacing technique will provide the support you need – notice the middle section is different to relieve tightness.

Too tight:

If your shoes feel too tight then you may wish to consider this lacing technique. A lot of runners use this technique to ease the pressure at the top of the shoe and avoid the shoes rubbing on the upper part of your foot. The laces are evenly distributed to add comfort right across the top of your foot.

Heel slipping:

Keeping your foot stable within the shoe is really important. If you feel as though your heel slips then this could affect your performance but also develop unwanted injuries and accidents. In this particular example, you will notice a loop lacing lock to provide additional support to prevent the heel slipping.

Black toe nails and toe pain:

A common problem with long-distance runners, if you get black toe nails or feel pain in the toes then you may wish to try this lacing technique. This technique provides space in the forefoot so your toes can expand and avoid discomfort.

Wide forefoot:

This technique is for those who have wide feet and need more space in the toe box. Basically, it loosens the entire shoe to give your foot more space. Some manufacturers offer shoes in wide fit, so you might want to consider buying a shoe to accommodate wide feet first and see how that feels before using this lacing technique (unless you have really wide feet!).

Narrow foot:

If you have narrow feet, then you should try this lacing technique. It will tighten the shoe to make it feel more secure and give you the support you need. The key is for the shoe to feel secure but not too tight that it could lead to numbness and bruising.
High midfoot:

This technique is ideal for those who over pronate and avoids the midfoot area of the foot to improve stability. Simply skipping one or two laces, provides that additional comfort.

Wide feet in general:

This lacing technique loosens the entire shoe to give your foot more space. Some runners who have wide feet will particularly benefit from this technique but bear in mind, some manufacturers offer shoes in wide foot ranges.

So next time you’re on the start line and you see other runners with fancy shoe lacing techniques, it is to provide the support they need and improve their performance. Go on, give it a try!