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3 Lacing Techniques To Deal With Foot Ailments

Like brushing your teeth or putting on pants, tying your running shoes is something you’ve done thousands of times—but you likely have never given much thought to your technique. If you are having trouble with the fit of your kicks, consider one of these lacing ideas to cure what ails.

Swollen Feet? Try Parallel Lacing.

If your feet expand on the run, making your shoes fit too snugly, the straight-bar lacing trick may provide relief.


1) Thread into the hole next to your big toe and then up through the hole just above that one on the same side.

2) Take the first end of the lace and bring it across to thread down through the hole closest to your pinky toe. Then skip a hole and thread up through the third hole on the same side.

3) Continue directly across the shoe and down through the third hole on the other side. Then skip a hole and thread up two eyelets higher on the big-toe side.

4) Take it across the foot and thread down through the same eyelet on the pinky side, and up through one of the top two eyelets.

5) Repeat with the lace end loose at the bottom until you’ve reached the top.

Big Toe Pain? Try Diagonal Lacing.

If you have a sensitive little piggy, this technique will lift the upper off your foot to give your toe some room.


1) Lace through the hole at the top of your shoe on the outside of your foot.

2) Take the lace down to the bottom of the shoe, skipping the holes in the middle, and thread through the inside bottom hole (closest to your big toe).

3) Take the lace across the center and through the outside bottom hole.

4) Lace back up in a traditional zigzag pattern and tie to secure.

Heel Blisters? Try Lock Lacing.

Securing the top of your shoe will inhibit how much friction your heel experiences with every stride.


1) Lace your shoe normally, stopping before the final hole (the one that usually goes unlaced at the cuff of the shoe).

2) Take the lace on the right side and lace it through the top hole on the right side to make a loop; repeat on the left.

3) Thread the right lace through the left hole you’ve created and the left lace through the right hole.

4) Tighten by pulling laces out to the side before tying to secure.

Jessica Sebor

Jessie Sebor is the Vice President of Women's Running at Competitor Group. After finishing her first marathon at age 18, Jessie has run everywhere from Singapore to Prague and competed in hundreds of races including the Boston Marathon and the Bare Dare, for which she won the title of National Nude Running Champion. Jessie’s work appears at, Ultrarunning Magazine and has been selected for Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Essays. A former romance novel editor, it’s at Women’s Running where her true passions lie. You can reach her at