Lace up! 4 tying techniques that prevent foot pain

Kristel Gauthier is a member of the 2023 Otto’s Ottawa Power Crew. She is an active member with Run Ottawa and K2J Fitness, has raced in over 60 events. 

By Kristel Gauthier

Did you know that the way you tie your shoelaces can have an impact on your comfort and running performance?

Here are some common issues for runners and how to tie your shoes to help resolve them:

  1. Does your heel keep rubbing on the back of your shoe mid-way through a race? Heel blisters or excessive wear at the back of your shoe is a common sign of heel slippage. A “heel lock” or “runners loop” will prevent your heel from slipping out of the shoe, reduce friction that causes blisters and save you a pair of runners! Those extra lace holes? Yep, that’s what they’re for!
  2. Shoes too tight? A “parallel” or “straight bar” evenly distributes the laces for better comfort. If that doesn’t help, you may need to reevaluate your running shoe
  3. Toe pain and black toenails? Ew. It’s a thing. Try a lacing technique that lifts the toe box giving your toes more room to wiggle.
  4. High arches? Use the “high instep” method which alleviates pressure from the middle of your foot.

There are many different ways to ensure your shoes will get you to the finish line of your Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend event and keep your feet happy! Do your research, try out different methods of lacing up and find the technique that works best for you!