Foot Health

Check your laces

When buying new walking or running shoes, there are a variety of factors to consider including foot type, type of activity, mileage, and environment. One of the things we do not think about are the laces and how they can help to support and protect the feet.

Most shoes come pre-laced but there are different lacing techniques that could make your shoes more comfortable, customize to, and support your feet.

There are many ways to tie your shoe laces and the way that you tie them can affect how your shoe feels and the way it fits. Most people won’t change the way their shoes are laced after leaving the shop, but it can be beneficial to change the lacing for specific foot conditions. The following are some examples of how to tie laces.

High-arch lacing can help alleviate tightness and add comfort to your shoe’s fit by opening up the middle of the lace pattern.

Steps: Lace the shoe with a crisscross through the first set of eyelets. Thread the shoelace only through the sides. Tie up the shoe through the next two eyelets or more as usual.

Effect: The middle section will alleviate tightness and add comfort to fit. This will give the foot more space and tightening the laces won’t overly tighten the fit.

Skipping an eyelet and using crisscross lacing can make your running shoes tighter.

Steps: Begin by lacing the shoes with a crisscross. Skip an eyelet and thread the shoelaces in crisscross fashion. Lace with the usual crisscross pattern and tie up the shoe.

Effect: Tightens the shoe more than the usual techniques by lacing through the eyelets furthest from the tongue. The two sides of the shoe will be drawn together effectively making the shoe a tighter fit.

Do your running shoes feel too tight? This method evenly distributes the laces for less pressure and added comfort.

Steps: Lace the shoelaces in parallel fashion without the standard crisscross. Thread by feeding the shoelaces underneath every other eyelet. Tie up the shoe as usual.

Effect: The laces will be evenly distributed for added comfort.

High mid-foot

By skipping one or two laces, you can create more space for the mid-foot.

Steps: Lace the shoe with a crisscross. Thread the shoelace only through the sides around the midfoot. After the point of discomfort, start tying with a crisscross again.

Effect: The pressure is minimized at the side.

Heel slipping

This lacing technique can help provide greater support to the ankle and make sure your shoe isn’t too tight.

Steps: Lace the shoes as usual until the second-to-last hole. Go straight up into the final hole without crisscrossing the laces. Thread the shoelace through the loop onto the other side. Tie the shoe up as usual.

Effect: The ankle gets more support, but the whole shoe isn’t too tight.

Generally wide feet

This style of lacing can help loosen the entire shoe to give your foot more space and comfort.

Steps: Lace the shoe with a crisscross. Thread the shoe in crisscross fashion every other eyelet. Tie up the shoe as usual.

Effect: Loosens the entire shoe and gives the foot more space.

Wide forefoot

Wide forefoot lacing can allow for more space for the forefoot and in the toe box of your running shoe.

Steps: Begin by threading the shoelace only through the sides. From the midfoot upwards, start tying with a crisscross. Tie up the shoe as usual.

Effect: The forefoot gets more space in the toe box while fitting properly on the rest of the foot.

Black toe nails
and toe pain

This pattern of lacing can help lift the toe cap of your running shoe to give your toes more space and prevent toe injuries.

Steps: Lace the shoelace from the big toe to the top eyelet on the opposite side. Thread the other side of the shoelace at each bottom diagonally and at the top parallel to each hole. Tie up the shoe as usual.

Effect: The toe cap will be lifted meaning the toes have more space.The lace is not evenly centered when you start, and you don’t know if you’ve pulled it too far to one wide or the other until it’s fully laced.

Changing how your shoes are laced can provide support and also relieve a number of foot complaints. If you’re still finding it difficult to get your shoes to fit securely, make an appointment to see the podiatrist for expert advice and evaluation – you may need an orthotic device for your shoes for support and to improve the fit. 

• For more information, email us at or visit To see a podiatrist, telephone 325-2996 for an appointment, visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, or call 394-5824 for an appointment; or visit Bahamas Surgical Associates Centre on Hilltop Medical Centre off 4th Terrace Collins Avenue. In Grand Bahama, call Lucayan Medical Centre at 373-7400 for an appointment.

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