How to Lace Running Shoes to Prevent Injuries

Choosing running shoes that fit perfectly is one thing, but lacing them to avoid injuries is another thing. Experts say that how you lace your shoes can affect your performance and overall running experience. Most runners slip on a pair of running shoes and they don’t feel anything wrong, however, when they start jogging around or on the treadmill, they start to feel some pain. At this point, they might be having some injuries. Learning to lace running shoe properly can ease common foot-related woes while maintaining good health. Below are the top ways to lace running shoes to prevent injuries.

Squished Toes

This technique allows your feet to move inside your running shoes more freely thus alleviate the pressure on your feet. When lacing each shoe, you should skip the bottom pair of holes, which are nearest to the toe. Meaning, you start threading the second pair of holes and lace upward towards your ankle.

You should also tighten the laces and use the normal pattern you usually use to secure your running shoes. But, avoid too much tightening as it can be a bit uncomfortable.

Black Toenail

Black toenail method helps prevent irritation by lifting the shoe’s toe box. Start with the bottom pair of holes and lace them normally, however, make the outer section of lace twice as long as it is on the inner side. Take the shorter sides from the inside through the top hole on the shoe’s opposite side. Bring the longer piece up through the next hole on the opposite side. Then take it down through the hole across from it. Do the same to the remaining holes and the other shoe.

Heel Blister

This shoe lacing method allows the shoe to be more snug around the ankle. Here, you should lace all the holes except for the set located closest to your ankle. Thread one end of the lace through the next hole on the same side of the shoe while leaving enough slack in the lace to form a small loop. Do the same to the other shoes. Then bring each lace through the loop on the opposite side and pull to tighten. Finally, tie the shoes as you normally do.

Lacing Techniques for Various Sizes

Apart from the basic lacing shoe to avoid injuries, it’s important you learn to lace shoes depending on their sizes. All shoes are made different; we have instances when there are areas wider or tighter than the other. It becomes a bit tricky if your foot doesn’t have the standard size. Now, how do you tie laces for different shoe sizes?

1. Wide Forefoot Lacing Technique

If your foot is wide, you might find some relief in this lacing technique. Having a wide forefoot isn’t something unusual and we have companies that offer wider shoe models. When lacing for wider feet, just feed the laces up each side of the shoes and finish by using a crisscross technique at the top. If this technique doesn’t work, you should consider buying shoes for wider feet and then lace them as stated above.

2. Narrow Feet Lacing Technique

Having a narrow foot means that even if you get the length properly, chances are your running shoe will feel roomy at the heel, forefoot or a combination of the two. This lacing method helps to perfect the grip for a narrow foot. Having a less foot isn’t that popular but you can find shoes that fit your feet. When lacing, crisscross the laces as usual, but add a loop-lacing lock halfway up the shoes to double the laces over your midfoot to ensure a tighter fit. Remember to give some room for the foot to flex or the toe to splay for better performance. Ease the pressure of the lacing, because too tight laces could hinder proper blood circulation resulting in numbness.


When choosing a running shoe, consider those with long laces to allow for the runner’s loop and be able to do any of the above lacing tricks comfortably. Additionally, any worn out laces should be replaced with new ones that match both the shape and length of your previous pair. For those with loosening knots problems, they should switch from round to flat laces. You might also want to switch from synthetic material like nylon laces to a natural fiber like cotton. Remember, most shoes come with laces that have an equal lifespan as the shoes. So, if you’re on your third or fourth set of laces, it might be time you replace your running shoes too.

All images by Pixabay


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