Best Ways to Lace Running Shoes for Wide Feet, High Arch, and More

Lace Running Shoes Techniques for Foot types &Issues

Running is one of the most straightforward sports to get into, and all we would want is a good pair of running shoes. But finding the right size isn’t the only thing you need to do to get the most out of your running shoes. The proper tying of your running shoe laces is essential, too. The risk of getting injured is higher if you do not use the ideal technique to tie running shoes.

Not all shoes are designed to support every foot’s shape and size. Some could be tighter or wider in different foot spots. As a result, it can get difficult and cause discomfort and irritation when you start putting on the running shoe for an extended period.

If you’re feeling a lack of performance or discomfort, many lacing methods help give you a more comfy fit that supports your running style and foot type.

There are more than a dozen ways to tie your running shoes. Every technique changes the feel and fit of your running shoes. In addition, appropriate lacing can help reduce blisters, pain, soreness, and more.

What Is Shoelace?

The shoelace is a woven tape that draws the shoe together to hold it to the foot. A shoelace includes only two parts: the woven band that pulls the shoe firmly together (usually made from spun polyester, polypropylene, textured polyester, nylon, and cotton). The second part is the aglet, a hard plastic end that helps push the shoelace through the eyelet and is made of pure plastic.

Why Are Shoelaces Important?

Though finding the proper lacing is crucial to secure fit and comfort of the feet, Most people ignore lacing when they buy or use running shoes.

Unfortunately, many people think that to lace running shoes, they only need to tie the laces properly to prevent tripping over them and nothing more. So, they mostly crisscross laces in their running footwear or bind them in any way they think convenient, regardless of what random lacing patterns can do to their feet.

It might seem like an exaggeration, but your way of lacing shoes can influence your run. For example, tying your shoes too tight can stop the proper flow of blood or cause inflammation of the instep. In some cases, it might end with muscle tension, cramping, and injury.

However, The wearer can lace his/her running shoe with different methods; each has its reasons and benefits, and we will learn some of them in the following lines.

How to Choose the Right Running Shoe Lace Techniques

Running shoes are mass-produced. This means that they may not fit all types and shapes of feet and may not adjust to all the subtle differences. However, knowing the proper running shoelace techniques may help relieve any pain resulting from running in shoes that aren’t 100% suitable for you. Here is how to decide on the proper shoe lacing techniques for runners.

  • Try on your running shoes for a while. Then, try walking or running for a bit while they’re on. Check for areas of discomfort in your shoes. Where does it hurt?
  • Tightness and difficulty in the movement should be good indicators of which running shoe tying techniques to apply.
  • To find a suitable lacing technique, it is essential to be aware of your foot issues (if you have).
  • The material of laces plays a significant role in the functionality and effectiveness of tying. We prefer laces made of Nylon or Spun Polyester; they are durable and suit the different lacing styles.

Lace Running Shoes for Normal Foot With No Issues

If you have standard-sized feet and don’t have problems with any feet, the classic crisscross lacing technique will be ideal for you as it will keep your feet snugly set up in your shoes.

Criss-Cross Pattern

It is the most widespread, easy-to-tie, and comfy lacing technique used. The laces crisscross as they work their way up the shoe. The crisscross lacing technique is known for its ease of use and simplicity, no matter the number of eyelets along with the shoe.

It provides an optimum equal balance through the shoe as crossovers take place on the sides and are not pushed against the foot at the top. Therefore, it is considered a suitable technique for any person with a standard foot type to tighten any running trainers and sports shoes or any activity that needs a snug fit.

Crisscross Lacing Technique

Steps:

  • Feed the lace from the inside of the bottom eyelets to the outside on both sides.
  • Cross the lace’s ends diagonally to the opposite next eyelet (feed the lace from the inside to the outside).
  • Repeat the method to all left and right eyelets until it is completed.
  • Pull the ends of two strings together and tie a knot.

Lace Running Shoes for Different Foot Types

Tying running shoelaces is essential as it impacts how your shoes fit and feature. However, different lacing methods are designed for different foot types. Here are some running shoe lacing methods you can apply depending on your foot type.

Overall Wide Feet

This technique will do the magic for you if you have wide feet. It loosens the entire shoe and provides your shoe with more breathability room. This lacing technique works great with various sizes and helps you get more space for optimal comfort.

lacing technique for wide feet runners

  • Begin with the bottom eyelets. Then, feed the lace from the outside to the inside on both sides.
  • Lace the shoe using the simple crisscross lacing style.
  • Make sure to skip every upper eyelet on both sides until lacing is completed.
  • Pull the ends of two strings together and tie a knot.

High Midfoot

This form of lacing is called “Gap Lacing” or “Window Lacing.” It is especially beneficial when you want to take out the lace over a sensitive area of the foot to release pressure. Gap lacing can also be helpful for jogging and running as it gives more flexibility and eliminates pressure from the foot.

High Midfoot Lacing Technique

  • Begin by facing the lace at the bottom of the sneaker and feed them through the first pair of eyelets.
  • Feed the ends diagonally through the next higher set of eyelets.
  • As the shoelace gets to the foot’s sensitive area where the point of pain begins, loop the right side of the lace through the upper eyelet (at the same side), then feed the lace through the inner side of the next eyelet (at the same side).
  • Repeat the previous step with the left side of the lace.
  • Continue to feed the ends diagonally through the next higher set of eyelets until lacing is complete.
  • Pull the ends of two strings together and tie the knot.

Wide Forefoot

This lacing pattern is similar to the lacing technique used for runners with midfoot (Gap Lacing) with only one variation. The gap is not positioned in the midfoot section but in the forefoot section. Thus, it provides more room for the forefoot and toebox. The wide forefoot lacing technique features no crossovers over the sides of your running shoe and forms a gap, enabling it to spread wider at this section and helping to relieve pressure.

People with wide forefoot can sometimes experience pressure or discomfort across the toebox. This lacing technique allows the foot to relax in the footwear without stress on the foot’s sides.

Wide Forefoot Lacing Style

  • Face the lace at the bottom of the footwear and feed them through the first pair of eyelets (from outside to inside).
  • As the shoelace gets to the foot’s sensitive area where the point of pain begins, loop the right side of the lace through the upper eyelet (at the same side), then feed the lace through the inner side of the next eyelet (at the same side).
  • Repeat the previous step with the left side of the lace.
  • Loop both laces through the next eyelet of the opposite side.
  • Continue to cross the laces through the opposite eyelets until the last eyelet.
  • Pull the ends of two strings together and tie the knot.

Narrow Feet

If your foot moves around in your shoes during your run, then you experience narrow feet. To keep your feet in place, you need to create a lock with your laces. It provides additional upper support to grab the feet and lock them onto the platform.

Narrow Feet Lacing

  • Feed the lace from the outside of the bottom eyelets to the inside on both sides.
  • Cross the ends of each lace diagonally to the opposite next eyelet.
  • Pass the ends through the upper eyelets on the same side to create a lock.
  • Cross your laces back over through the lock.
  • Repeat the last two steps until the lacing is completed.
  • Tie the ends of two strings as usual.

Solution 2:

If you have a narrow foot, applying the approach below is an excellent technique to tie the laces without restricting any motion. It should tighten your footwear more than typical methods.

 Lacing Style for Narrow Feet Runners

  • Begin with the bottom eyelets. Then, lace the shoe using the previous crisscross lacing style.
  • Make sure to skip the middle pair of eyelets on both sides.
  • Continue crisscrossing until the lace is completed.
  • Tie the ends of two strings as usual.

Flat Feet

If you have a flat foot, it implies that your arches aren’t well supported; they are most likely too flexible & most or all of your feet touch the bottom when you run. Now, the fact that the arch of your feet touches the ground has already been bad enough since it causes undesirable stretching, which may then damage the ankle, bones, and ligaments that keep everything together.

Something else that may happen if you have a flat foot is that your foot might roll to the within when running, called overpronation. Overpronation is fairly bad because this causes your foot, ankle, hips, and knees to become out of alignment when running, which is very painful.

The pattern described below is called “Midfoot Lock Lacing”; it features a lock at the midsection part to support your arch.

Lacing style for Flat Foot, Flat Arch Runners

 

  • Begin with the bottom eyelets. Then, lace the shoe using the simple crisscross style.
  • String your laces through the second eyelets (on both sides).
  • Now, Create a lock at the midsection. Next, pass the ends through the upper eyelets on the same side to create a lock.
  • Cross your laces back over through the lock.
  • Continue crisscrossing the laces until it is completed.
  • Pull tightly to lock the laces, tie the ends of two strings together, and make the knot.

Wide Forefoot and High Arch

This condition also causes your feet to ‘roll out‘ a little more than usual when running, which can create gaping in the heel counter of some softer footwear. tying technique for runners with high arch and wide forefoot

  • Bypassing the first lacing eyelets to help give some space in the forefoot.
  • Begin by facing the lace at the bottom of the sneaker on the second pair of eyelets.
  • Tie straight across on the inside and out throughout the eyelets.
  • Feed the ends diagonally through the next higher set of eyelets.
  • Straight up the eyelets to the upper eyelets on both sides.
  • Continue to feed the ends diagonally through the next higher set of eyelets until lacing is complete.
  • Keep in mind that you might want to unlace the very top eyelets.
  • Tie the ends together as usual.
  • Note* if you experienced heel slippage when applying this technique, you could create a heel lock using the extra top eyelets.

Flat Feet and Narrow Heel

This technique is beneficial for people with narrow heels and flat feet. The arch is firmly held down onto the innersole by lacing both midfoot and the top of the shoe, creating a snug supporting fit for the ankle and the heel.

Lacing technique for Flat Feet with Narrow Heel

  • Begin with the bottom eyelets. Then, lace the shoe using the simple crisscross style.
  • String your laces through the second eyelets (on both sides).
  • Pass the ends through the upper eyelets on the same side to create a lock.
  • Cross your laces back over through the lock.
  • Repeat the last two steps and stop at the second-from-top eyelets.
  • Bring each lace straight to both sides’ top eyelets, creating a loop.
  • Cross the ends of the lace under the opposite loop section.
  • Pull the ends of two strings together, and make the runner’s knot.

Notes:

  • If you can’t decide what lacing techniques suit you as you don’t know your arch type, you can do a simple test to find out. First, Step into the water first, then onto a piece of paper. When you look at the print of your foot, you will see one of the three common types, Normal arch, Flat arch (flat feet), or High arch.

Types of Foot Arches

  • If you are not sure if you have wide feet or not, check the following tables.

Foot Height and Width

Men’s Shoe Width Chart
SizeE (wide)D (medium)C (narrow)
53.6″3.4″3.2″
63.7″3.5″3.3″
73.8″3.6″3.4″
83.9″3.8″3.5″
94.1″3.9″3.6″
104.2″4.0″3.8″
114.3″4.1″3.9″
124.4″4.3″4.0″
Women’s Shoe Width Chart
SizeE (extra wide)C/D (wide)B (medium)A (narrow)
53.95″3.55″3.2″2.8″
64.05″3.7″3.3″2.95″
74.2″3.8″3.45″3.05″
84.3″3.95″3.55″3.2″
94.45″4.05″3.7″3.3″
104.55″4.2″3.8″3.45″
114.7″4.3″3.95″3.55″
124.8″4.45″4.05″3.7″

 

Lace Running Shoes for Different Foot Issues

Continue reading to learn about simple lacing techniques you can apply to deal with different foot issues.

Heel Slipping / Narrow Heels

Also referred to as “Heel Lock,” “Runner’s Tie,” “Runner’s Knot,” “Loop Lacing Lock,” or “Lock lace.” The heel lock lacing technique is recommended to help reduce heel slippage, prevent twisting the shoe under stress, and provide maximum ankle support. Actually, Heel slipping is a common problem. Therefore, many running shoes come with two extra eyelets at the top made specially to apply a heel lock way.

The upper part gets pulled into a triangular shape when drawing the lacing tight, functioning as “pulleys” to give a greater tightening.

The heel lock offers more friction, which could help prevent loosing of the knot, especially when using slippery synthetic shoelaces. In addition, this sort of knot helps alleviate foot discomfort — significantly soreness over the top of the foot.

If you’ve found a pair of running shoes that fulfill all of your needs except for a bit of heel slippage, or you experience it through your running routine, this technique can be the ideal solution.

Heel Lock Lacing

  • Begin with the lowermost eyelets; lace the shoe using the simple crisscross lacing style – but stop at the second-from-top eyelets.
  • Bring each lace straight to both sides’ top eyelets, creating a loop.
  • Cross the ends of the lace under the opposite loop section.
  • Pull tightly to lock the laces, tie the ends of two strings together, and make the runner’s knot.

Solution 2

If the heel lock technique appears to add too much stress on your foot’s top (especially during long runs), Here is a second lacing technique that is a better solution as it squeezes your heel in the back of the shoe and prevents the heel slipping.

Lacing Technique to Prevent Heel Slippage

  • Lace your shoes using the crisscross method.
  • Bypass the eyelet that is second to the top and thread the laces from inside to outside through the shoe’s extra top eyelets.
  • Pull the laces comfortably; you don’t have to tighten them.
  • Tie the knot as usual.

Toe Pain / Black Toenails

If you usually feel pain in your toes, get black toenails, or experience forefoot discomfort, the diagonal technique lifts the toe box, providing your toes with more room and reducing the risk of toe pains.

Toe Pain Tying Style

 

  • Begin straight across on the outside and feed them in the bottom eyelets.
  • Feed The left lace side diagonally from the eyelet at the big toe to the top opposite eyelet.
  • Place the right shoelace under the cross-section and feed into the upper opposite eyelet.
  • Repeat the last step until lacing is completed.
  • Tie the ends of two strings together and tie the knot.

Shoe Is Too Tight on Top

If you experience tightness on the top of your foot when you put on your footwear, Straight Bar lacing will be an ideal solution. It is Also known as ‘Parallel Lacing’ or ‘Lydiard Lacing.’ Straight bar lacing is recommended to reduce stress on the upper of your feet.

Note* It’s essential to know that this lacing technique only performs on shoes with an even number of eyelets as the lace needs to feed the running shoe an even number of times so that both ends meet in the middle to tie together.

Start by facing the shoelace through the bottom eyelets from the outside, then feed one end through the left eyelet and thread the other through the right eyelet.

Lacing Style for Runners Feel Shoe is Too Tight On Top

  • Feed the left end straight to the upper eyelet from the inside, then pull them outside.
  • Repeat the process like the left side for the right end but skip one eyelet.
  • Switch running up on the inside and throughout the outside until lacing is finished.
  • Tie up the ends of two strings as usual.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is also known as numb feet, numb toes, interdigital Neuroma, or Neuroma. Morton’s Neuroma is the nerve inflammation that moves around the front foot’s bones and provides feeling to your feet’ smaller toes. Any pressure that squeezes the front foot, such as wearing tight shoes, will shrink the front foot joints.

Tying shoes for Morton’s Neuroma condition is bypassing the bottom holes to offer more space for the front of your foot to decrease stress on the forefoot.

Lacing Style for Runners with Morton's Neuroma

  • Bypass the bottom pair of eyelets.
  • Lace the shoe using the crisscross lacing style – but stop at the second-from-top eyelets.
  • Bring each lace straight to both sides’ top eyelets, creating a loop.
  • Cross the ends of the lace under the opposite loop section.
  • Pull tightly to lock the laces, tie the ends of two strings together, and make the knot.

Bunion

The bunion is a knobby protrusion at the base of your big or pinky toe. Bunions can be particularly painful for runners and might lead to other severe problems.

The bunion step-over lacing style is an excellent lace-up technique you can use to give you extra room to accommodate your bunion.

Lacing technique for foot with bunion issue

  • Begin with the bottom eyelets.
  • Bypass the eyelet near your big toe.
  • Continue lacing up using the crisscross lacing style until it is completed.
  • Pull the ends of two strings together and form the knot.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is triggered when the plantar fascia, very sensitive fibers that go from your rearfoot to your toes underneath your foot, becomes swollen. Commonly, this occurs due to wearing improper shoes, training too much, wearing high heel shoes, or running on areas that produce a great deal of shock, such as cement. After the inflammation begins, it could be challenging to eliminate. The discomfort is often so severe as it becomes difficult to walk or run. For some runners, the pain will gradually increase until it becomes nearly intolerable; for others, the pain starts suddenly and is serious from the starting point of symptoms.

We tried many different lacing techniques and found that the ‘Parallel Lacing‘ technique is the most suitable technique for dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. This technique is tight enough to cushion and surround your feet without being so uncomfortable.

Lace Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

  • Feed the left end straight to the upper eyelet from the inside, then pull them outside.
  • Repeat the process like the left side but skip one eyelet for the right end.
  • Switch running up on the inside and throughout the outside until lacing is finished.
  • Tie up the ends of two strings as usual.

Tie a Secure Knot

There are many methods to tie your shoe’s knot. Nevertheless, when considering running security in the first place, we have chosen the one ideal approach to secure your running shoes fast and long-lasting.

Ian’s Secure Knot

It is a secure shoelace knot with a well-formed, simple tying technique. Ian’s secure knot won’t come undone on its own!

Ian's Secure Knot Pattern

  • Grab the left side over the right.
  • Put it under then over the right side.
  • Make two loops and place the right side over the left.
  • Wrap each loop around through the middle.
  • Pull each loop out to the side and slide the coils together.

Useful Lacing Tips

Regardless of the size and shape of your ft, below are lacing tips that can help ensure you get optimum benefit from your sneakers:

  • It’s essential to know that changing your lacing style can fix some problems, but it can’t fix the issue if your shoe isn’t fit your foot type correctly. So always ensure you’ve got a combination of the suitable running shoe and lacing technique.
  • When choosing running sneakers, go for the ones that have the most eyelets. It will allow you to quickly adjust the laces to guarantee the shoe greatest fits your foot.
  • Generally, loosen your laces just before you wear your running shoes. Pushing your foot into sneakers with tied laces will add pressure to the eyelets and the sneakers’ backs, developing unnecessary wear.
  • For the best fit, begin usually lacing your sneakers at the eyelets near your toes.
  • When lacing your running shoes, make sure the laces are lying flat, mainly because twisted laces might rub the tops of your foot.
  • Remember to change your laces during the daytime. Feet increase with activity and heat, so you’ll have to loosen your laces as your day progresses.
  • If you are about to buy a new pair of shoelaces, Make sure to purchase the laces with the proper length. The number of shoe eyelets determines the lace’s length (also known as lace holes) rows that your sneakers have. Check the Below table:
Number Of EyeletsShoelace Length
3-436 Inch
7-854 Inch
9-1060 Inch
11-1272 Inch

 

How to Stop Laces Coming Undone When Running?

We are trying to prevent shoelaces from coming undone while running. The problem is that when you run, your shoelaces can come undone because of the friction against the top eyelets. This can be annoying and dangerous if you trip on your shoelaces. We are trying to reduce friction against the top eyelet holes so that your shoelaces will stay tied while you run.

Below are some tips you can do to prevent your shoelaces from coming undone while running.

  • First, make sure the knot is secure. You can use a double or triple knot to ensure extra tight laces.
  • Second, you can use less slippery shoelaces materials. There are many different types of shoelaces on the market, and some are more likely to come undone than others. Choose a lace made of a material that will grip the shoe and stay in place.
  • Third, shorten the shoelaces if they are too long. If the laces are too long, they are more likely to come undone. You can either buy shorter laces or trim them down to size yourself.
  • Fourth, roughen up the shoelaces with coarse sandpaper. This will create friction and make it harder for the laces to slide through the eyelets on your shoes.
  • Finally, apply a grippy product to the shoelace surface. This could be something like hairspray or clear nail polish. Apply it liberally to both sides of the lace and let it dry completely before tying your shoes.

Read more: best pattern to keep your shoelaces tied

Final Thoughts

Whether you have Adidas, Nike, Saucony, Asics, New Balance, On-Running, Puma, or any other running shoes, it is important to find the right lacing pattern that suits your needs and adapts to your feet. Every single lacing way features its functionality. For instance, the heel lock lacing technique is more appropriate than gap lacing if you need heel support.

Whatever lacing way you decide, you need to tie your sneakers up in a kneeling-down position to ensure that leg’s shin is at the front of the sneaker you are tying up. It efficiently assures the foot is appropriately situated within the footwear and that not a lot of tension is put into the laces, as this would boost the risk of stress fractures of lower limbs and shin splints. However, most running shoes come with integrated design features that minimize this risk and aid with tying, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and essential to develop good habits.

You already know that running is essential. However, it is similarly vital to correctly, comfortably, and adequately lace running shoes to get the maximum benefits of running and never experience foot issues.

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