Runners with wider feet often face challenges around comfort and performance, even if they have purchased a pair of the best running shoes for wide feet. It may surprise you to learn that the way in which you lace and tie your running shoes can have a huge impact on these points. And that you can also alleviate many of the common issues suffered by runners with wide feet by simply changing the way you lace and tie your running shoes.
In this article we’ll look at the different ways you can lace and tie running shoes for wide feet, the benefits of doing it correctly, and some issues that can arise if done incorrectly.
There are more than two ways to lace and tie your shoes
When you buy a new pair of running shoes, they will more often than not be tied and laced either in a standard crisscross pattern, or with one lace from the bottom corner to the top corner with the remaining lace crossing side to side to the top.
If you have wide feet, then both these styles could be contributing to any issues you’re having while running. Your overall foot shape and where your feet are widest will determine which method of lacing and tying your shoes you should adopt.
Let’s look at some examples of lacing methods for different types of wide feet.
1. Overall Wide Feet
One of the favoured methods of lacing for runners with overall wide feet is to miss the 3rd and 5th eyelet on the shoe. This gives the foot more room generally and will solve many of the issues faced by runners with wide feet.
Method: Simply lace the shoe in a standard crisscross pattern for the first two eyelets then miss the next, add one more cross section, and then skip one again and go straight to the 1st eyelet.
2. Wide Forefoot
If you have a wide forefoot but the rest of your feet are a more standard size then this method is for you. By lacing up the side of the shoe for the first three eyelets and then crisscrossing the top 3, you give the forefoot more room but keep the upper part of your foot snug and stable.
Method: Start by lacing up each side of the shoe, the 1st eyelet to the 2nd should be on the interior of the shoe and the 2nd to the 3rd on the exterior. Then crisscross on the interior to the next eyelet then standard crisscross pattern for the remaining eyelets until the top.
3. Narrow Heel and Wide Forefoot
If your foot is narrow at the heel but wide at the forefoot then you may need to try something different to get your running shoes to fit just right. This is an unusual method requiring two separate laces. Using two laces means you can adjust each one, giving you extra control over how your running shoes fit each part of your foot.
Method: With one lace, use a standard crisscross pattern for the top four eyelets. With the other lace, start at the 2nd to bottom eyelets and double loop the 1st, then cross over on the interior to the bottom eyelets and tie the lace at the bottom.
One issue with this method is that you will likely have quite a bit of extra lace left loose. Make sure you tuck this in to avoid tripping up on your laces when running.
How to tell if your shoes are tied incorrectly
Some common issues you may face if your shoes are tied and laced incorrectly for your foot shape are:
- • Discolouration of your toes
- • Heel pain
- • Feet slipping out of the shoe
- • Discomfort around the upper part of your foot
- • Blisters
The good news is it’s easy to address these issues by experimenting with lacing and tying your shoes differently. In this article we’ve covered some of the common problems runners with wide feet may face and offered solutions, but it’s not an exhaustive list. If you have a problem that’s not covered here, then please do your research. There’s bound to be a lacing method out there that can help you to reduce or possibly even fix your issue.
So before you go to the expense of splashing out on new running shoes, try changing how you lace your current ones, you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make to your comfort and performance.