By Geoff Rand
Somewhere between learning to wipe your own butt and driving a car, you likely were taught how to tie your shoes. It’s an essential task that most of us do mindlessly everyday. I’d venture to guess the majority of us tie them the same way, cinching up the laces, tying a single overhand knot, and finishing it up with a single knotted bow.
While the standard way of tying a shoe might work fine for a casual walk to the store, it may not be the best choice for running or many of the activities we do in the Box, like lifts or box jumps or jumping rope. If your shoes are laced too loose, they’re going to come untied which could cost you time in retying them during the WOD, or worse, you could lose the shoe and possibly even injure yourself.
Ok, so I’ll just tie them tighter, you say. Not so fast. Having your laces cinched down too tight can cause pressure points on your instep which can cause pain, fight against the foot’s natural tendency to swell on long runs, and can limit foot and ankle mobility. I learned from long road marches in the Army that boots that were too tight caused horrible foot pain.
The key to perfect lacing is to have the shoe secure enough that it doesn’t allow the heel to rub around, which can cause blisters, while keeping the laces snug, but not overly tight to the point they are cutting off circulation. I present Lock Lacing.
Ever wonder what all those extra eyelets are for on your shoes? We’re going to use some of them now. For Lock Lacing, lace your shoes up as you normally would, but skip that top “common” eyelet and instead lace through the one further towards your heel. This photo illustrates it better.
Next, make two loops by not pulling the laces all the way tight. Take the free ends and thread them through the loop on the opposite side. Like this.
Finish by tying them off like you normally would. You may need to vary the placement of the loops and what eyelets you use based on what is available on your shoe. This video is a good demonstration of the whole method.
The goal is to keep the heel in place and to take pressure off the instep since you don't need to crank down on all the laces. It is a secure and comfortable way to tie.
Lock lacing is a good general method for most of what we do. It may feel a bit weird at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. Lock lacing is not the only way to tie your shoes, and in Part 2, we’ll look at a few ways to help alleviate common foot problems by varying how you lace up your shoes.
Try out Lock Lacing and let us know what you thought of it in the comments.