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Do You Know How to Tie Your Shoes?  Part 2

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In Part 1 of How to Tie Your Shoes, we discussed lock lacing, a way to prevent heel slippage.  But did you know that there are several other lacing techniques designed to address a multitude of foot issues?  Check out this chart and see if any of them apply to you.


This link also shows how-to videos for all those lacing techniques.

This link shows a few alternatives with good photos of the lacing methods.


Proper lacing is important, but it means nothing if your shoes don’t fit.  Here are some tips to make sure you get the proper size.

·      Try on shoes in afternoon or evening.  Feet tend to swell during daily activity.  You want to try on new shoes when your feet are at their largest size.

·      Always try on shoes while wearing the socks you will normally wear with them.  This may mean bringing a pair of socks with you to the store.

·      Have a salesperson measure both of your feet, and measure them while standing.  The measurement more accurately reflects your actual size when taken while standing.  And, since foot size and width can vary between a person’s feet, it’s a good idea to verify you are getting the right size.  If there is a difference, chose a shoe based on the larger foot’s dimensions.



When trying on shoes, you should be looking at 3 key areas.

·      Toes - Your longest toe should be approximately one finger width away from the end of the shoe. You should also have enough extra room to wiggle your toes up and down freely, but not so much that the shoes feel loose.

·      Heels - The back of the shoes should snugly hold your heel in place without any pinching or discomfort. It should be snug enough that your heel stays put when walking. Any slippage could cause rubbing and lead to blisters.

·      Width - From the heel to your toes, the shoes should be wide enough to comfortably hug your foot without squeezing. Your foot shouldn’t slip from side to side nor forward and backward in the shoes when walking.

Know that while a shoe states it is a certain size, the robot or person who stitched it could have been off.  If it doesn’t seem right, try another pair.

Hopefully with these tips and alternate lacing methods you can find a shoe that fits and feels right for you.  Have you tried one of these lacing methods?  Tell us about it in the comments.

--by Geoff Rand







Do You Know How to Tie Your Shoes? Part 1

By Geoff Rand


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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.