How to Tie Your Athletic Shoes

One of the most important pieces of athletic equipment you’ll own in any sport or in any fitness pursuit is your athletic shoes. And if you’ve gone through the trouble to research the right kind of shoe for your activity or body type, you want to make sure to maximize their life and the results you get. Believe it or not, how you tie your shoes can make a big difference in this regard.

Parallel lacing (rather than criss-crossing) will alleviate pressure on the tops of your feet and toes, as can using two sets of laces, one tied half way up the shoe the other tied from the midpoint to the top. Tie your laces normally but leave an extra loop at the top by lacing up the outside of your shoe and you can get rid of slipping heels. Just lace through the loop and tighten to cinch up the top of the shoe around the ankle without making the rest of the shoe uncomfortably tight.

Besides specialty lacing, take advantage of the shoe’s own design features for properly lacing the shoe. Loops on the tongue help keep the shoe stable and comfortable, so use them. Bungees and other elastics or fasteners are usually meant to be adjusted, so feel free to adjust. No two feet are exactly alike, so if a shoe gives you an opportunity to customize, use it. Similarly, don’t feel locked into only what comes with a shoe. You may prefer elasticized laces or classic cotton laces over what comes standard, so feel free to mix and match. Arch supports or heel cushioning inserts can make a sneaker more comfortable and even extend the life of the shoe. Other lacing techniques to employ include untying and retying shoes each time you wear them rather than sliding shoes on and off. This will keep tension consistently right for you on every wear, and since feet can change by up to a half size during the day, it’s a good idea to tie your athletic shoes to fit how your feet feel at that moment.

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