Lacing up your Shoes Properly makes a World of Difference

It was said long ago that running is the easiest sport to practice, as all you require to participate is a good pair of running shoes.

More often than not, upon purchasing said running shoes from the store, we often tend to neglect such nuances as the way in which the shoe laces are tied, except of course to make them equal in length (a habit for those amongst us suffering from a mild case of OCD).

Being a frequent runner/jogger, I tend to find my feet screaming in agony a few times after a lengthy run.

The reason?

Simple: the way you tie your shoelaces.

The standard criss-cross method, albeit most commonly practiced, can wreak havoc upon your flappers. I remember reading somewhere that your laces had to be tied tightly so as to achieve a proper mesh between your feet and shoes, causing them to merge into one instrument of running pleasure. Also, it prevents your feet from moving around in your shoes which could cause abrasion which may result in injury.

That however, was not the case, as a tightening of the laces caused excruciating pain mid run along the sides of the feet, forcing one to adapt many a different form of running from wild goose to funky chicken.

The answer to my painful conundrum came in the form of a post I read on RunnersWorld.com (link)

They cited the following as being the most complained about pains during running, and next to each, a description (and instructional video) on how to alleviate said pain.

1) PROBLEM: “MY SHOE RUBS ONE SPOT ON THE TOP OF MY FOOT.”

Solution: Eliminate pressure on a “hot spot” by lacing around it, not directly over it.

2) PROBLEM: “MY BIG TOENAIL TURNED BLACK.”

Solution: Lift the upper material above your big toe up and off it.

3) PROBLEM: “MY SHOE IS TOO TIGHT ALONG THE TOP OF MY FOOT.”  (my complaint)

Solution: Use parallel lacing to secure your foot without putting pressure on the top.

4) PROBLEM: “MY TOES FEEL CRAMPED.”

Solution: Reduce forefoot constriction by using four shoelaces instead of two. (by far the most ingenious solution!)

And here is an illustration of solution 3:

side by side comparison of different lace-tying method

side by side comparison of different lace-tying method - left being the new method.

ready to run

Ready to Run

The end result?

Having the ability to run the following distance without feeling the pain of constricted feet.

It made a world of difference.

So try it. Become a better runner today by simply changing the way you tie your shoelaces!

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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