Shoe Lacing Techniques

There are many different ways to lace shoes. The most common complaints with shoe fit are too much pressure on the top of the foot, numbness on the top of the foot, or slipping of the heel.high arch area of pain

Notice the convex curve on the top of the foot in the image to the right. This foot has a normal to slightly high arch.

When people attempt to tie their shoelaces loosely to keep pressure off this area, the heel slips. But, tying the shoelaces too tight may put pressure on the bony structures, nerves, or blood vessels on the top of the foot.

The following images will demonstrate some methods for tying shoelaces to help keep pressure off the top of the foot.

Lacing technique 1:

Shoe lacing technique for pain on the top of the footPlace the shoelaces through the first two holes normally and then skip the next two holes, by lacing on the same side. Do not cross the lacing at the third and fourth holes. At the fifth hole, the shoelaces cross again.

This will vary based on how many shoelace holes are in the shoe. The laces are looped back under the lace between the 6th and 7th eyelet to increase the tightness and provide a better fit.

This technique will relieve pressure to a large portion on the top of the foot. This is helpful for those with high arch feet and large bone spurs on the top of the foot. The drawback of this technique is it may allow for too much room in the middle of the shoe, causing the foot to slide back and forth. It depends on the shoe style.

Lacing technique 2:

Shoe lacing technique 2Place the shoelaces through the first two holes as you would normally and after going through the third hole, cross over and skip the fourth holes and finish lacing as you would normally.

This will also vary based on how many shoelace holes are in the shoe and where the area of pain or pressure is on the foot. The laces are looped back under the lace between the 6th and 7th eyelet to increase the tightness and provide a better fit.

This technique will help to relieve pressure on the central portion of the top of the foot. The crossing pattern creates more stability and prevents sliding of the foot within the shoe. The drawback of this technique is that it may not relieve enough pressure from the top of the foot to eliminate numbness or pain.

Lacing technique 3:

Shoe lacing technique 3Place the shoelaces through the first four holes as you would normally. After the fourth hole, cross over and skip one hole. This will finish at or near the last lace hole in the shoe. Again, this will vary based on how many shoelace holes are in the shoe.

This technique will help to relieve pressure on the top of the foot closer to the ankle. Nerve entrapments can occur in the area. The drawback of this technique is not tying the laces tight enough to prevent heel slippage.

Lacing technique 4:

To minimize heel slippage try the following lacing technique shown on the shoes below. Place the shoelaces through the first 4 holes (may vary with different types of shoes) and at the 4th hole cross over to the 5th. Place the shoelace on the same side and make a loop. Cross the laces and bring the shoelace through the loop on the opposite side. This helps with heel slippage, but the drawback is more difficult to untie the shoes.

Lacing techniques shown in a shoe

Recent research suggests that lacing a running shoe both higher and tighter leads to more effective use of the running shoe.