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Simple shoe lacing techniques to optimise comfort!

Our podiatrists at FALL ensure that every component of the shoe is suitable for YOUR feet - this even includes the lacing technique. Believe it or knot, there are many different ways to tie your shoelaces to maximise comfort for Wide or Narrow feet, high arches, bunions or hammertoes or even for the dreaded runner's black toenail!

Wide Feet or Bunions

Tightness in the forefoot can result in excessive crowding of the toes - lacing up the forefoot too tightly can contribute in forming or irritating corns, calluses, blisters or nerve entrapments (e.g. Morton's Neuroma). Often something as simple as skipping the last shoelace eyelet can do the trick!

Racer's Loop for heel slippage or narrow feet

Ever notice the two extra eyelets at the top of your running shoes? They actually exist for a functional purpose! The "Racer's Loop" (otherwise known as "Heel Lock Lacing") helps prevent heel slippage which can lead to blisters, discomfort and biomechanical inefficiencies.

1. Start with a standard "crisscross" shoelacing method, leaving the final 2 lacing eyelets at the top.

2. Take the left lace and use it to create a loop in the top-left eyelet.

3. Repeat the same process with the right laces.

4. Cross each remaining lace and insert them through the opposite loops.

5. Pull tightly towards your toes, and then tie up your lacing knots as per usual.

High Arches

People with higher arches or insteps often find footwear too tight in the midfoot region. There may or may not also be a "bone spur" present. Higher depth footwear, combined with this specific lacing technique can help prevent rubbing, numbness or pins and needles.

1. Start with a standard "crisscross" shoe-lacing method until you reach the highest part of the instep or bone spur.

2. Instead of crisscrossing the lace through to the opposite eyelet, insert the laces directly above in the eyelet on the same side to provide some extra room in the midfoot.

3. Proceed to crisscross the laces up as per usual.

Runner's black toenail

If you often get black or painful toenails, it is likely that your toenail is rubbing on the toe box due to insufficient depth or space. Try out this lacing technique which lifts the toe box when you walk or run.

1. Start by inserting the lace from the eyelet closest to where your big toe sits.

2. Pull the lacing all the way through to the highest eyelet diagonally on the opposite side.

3. With the other lace, criss-cross it across all of the eyelets.

3. At the top, tie the laces as per usual.

More information

For more information about lacing techniques or footwear advice, Call on 08 9316 3010 or email at

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