Lacing your Boots or Shoes for a Better Fit

Dell Manners gave me an unaccredited article on lacing your shoes/boots for a better fit. Since our feet are key to almost any activity that we do, a quick review of common issues may be of interest.

  1. High Instep/High-Volume Foot
    1. If the top of your foot falls asleep or you have an irritation on the top of the foot, you may have a high instep. This causes your foot to take up a large volume of your shoe.
    2. To alleviate the irritation, follow the lacing pattern below to give you more space
    3. Use the eyelets closest to the tongue of the shoe. This technique gives the foot more space.
  2. Low-Volume/Narrow Foot
    1. If tightening your laces doesn’t prevent your foot from sliding around in your shoe, you may want to lock the laces to eliminate the excess volume in the shoe.
    2. Or use the eyelets farthest from the tongue of the shoes. This will bring up the side of the shoe.
  3. Heel Slippage
    1. In either the two holes farthest away from your toes or the last hole and that odd hole that is past the curve of the shoe
    2. Use every eyelet, making sure that the area closest to the heel is tied tightly while less tension is used near the toes. When you have reached the next-to-last eyelet on each side, thread the lace through the top eyelet, making a small loop. Then, thread the opposite lace through each loop before tying it.
  4. Narrow Heel and Wide Forefoot
    1. Use two laces. Thread through the top half of the eyelets and the other lace through the bottom half of the eyelets. The lace closest to the heel (top eyelets) should be tied more tightly than the other lace closest to the toes (bottom eyelets).


Pictures & details: American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society®
Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation,
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