Footwear Lacing Tips

If you find that the muscles in your feet just can’t relax when you are running, this article may be of use to you.

The traditional methods of lacing running shoes involves very tight and secure lacing techniques which do not allow for movement of your feet. This often results in tightening of the foot muscles which begins a chain reaction leading to tightening of the leg muscles. The technique outlined below can result in relaxation of the foot muscles and you should observe a noticeable difference whilst running.

Your legs will remain relaxed throughout your training which will be a huge relief on those long runs! This lacing system allows the foot to spread out and relax. It also allows the foot to breathe while ensuring that the heel is secure within the shoe.

  1. Start by running the lace straight across the bottom, over the tongue and downward into the shoe. Make sure both sides of the remaining lace are equal.
  2. Without crossing, skip under to the second set of holes, then over to the third set of holes.
  3. From the third holes to the fourth holes, cross the laces over the top of each other and insert downward into the holes on the opposite side. Continue this crossing technique until you reach the second-to-last set of holes.
  4. String the lace into the last holes upward from underneath. Create a small loop with each end by threading the lace back into the same hole.
  5. Slide the remaining lace from the opposite side into the hole.

Other recommendations:

  • Once the shoe is tied, the laces over the top of the arch should be loose enough to comfortably allow your finger to fit.
  • You should feel that the shoe fits securely at the heel and that the lacing is relaxed over the arch of the foot. You should notice it feels roomy at the forefoot.
  • If you feel that the shoe feels too loose initially, don’t worry! Your foot will learn to relax and make use of the extra room.
  • To test out how this lacing may be beneficial for you, try lacing only one shoe in this manner while leaving the remaining shoe laced as per your normal methods. After running for a few kilometers assess the difference in feeling between your legs. You should notice that your leg with the new lacing system is more relaxed because your foot muscles have been allowed to spread out and relax.

Happy Training!
(Source: Altra Zero Drop Footwear


If you're interested in more lacing tips, check out our updated guide here!