lacing

Why running shoes have extra holes

For more than 100 years, shoe manufacturers have been giving their customers ways to modify the way that shoes are laced. Just about all shoes come with a standard crisscross pattern. Additional loops, hooks, and related features allow us to modify that standard lacing, as necessary.

 

lacing

The location of the extra holes–also called eyestays.

 

The eyelets at the very top of the eyestay—the holes closest to the ankle—are one of those features. They are most commonly used to accomplish two things:

 

When lacing is needed to fix heel-slipping

Sometimes a shoe, that otherwise fits well, allows the heel to slip up and down. There are a number of different causes, like, the wearer may have a small calcaneus.

If your heel slips while wearing the shoe, there’s an increased risk of developing a blister around your heel area. A lace lock can be used to prevent that from happening. Lace locking increases the tension that the top lace applies against the instep of the foot. The greater the tension, the more the heel stays in its proper place.

 

For those who like it snug

We have fit just about every imaginable foot, and we know that some people like a snug fit. If the wearer played certain sports during his or her formative years—soccer, football, ice hockey, ice skating, field hockey, lacrosse, and other sports where the shoes are worn tightly—you can bet that he equates ‘tight’ and ‘secure.’ When we fit those folks, we will give them a lace lock, even if there is no heel slipping, to see what they think. More often than not, they want to keep the lace lock on their shoes.

 

How to do a lace lock

 

lacing

Lace locking

 

  1. Take the left lace and run it through the top left eyelet—from the outside in—and pass it through until it forms a small loop.
  2. Take the right lace and run it through the top right eyelet—from the outside in—and pass it through until it forms a small loop.
  3. Take the left lace and run it across the tongue and through the loop on the right. Take the right lace and run it across the tongue and through the loop on the left.
  4. Simultaneously pull the ends of both laces down and backward toward the Achilles tendon. Both small loops will fully close.
  5. Adjust the tongue as necessary and tie the shoes like you normally would.
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Phil Clark