Runners tend to be detail-oriented. They keep training logs, track the weather, and shop for special shoes. Some runners even ditch the traditional way of lacing their shoes in favor of a more tailored approach to their shoestrings.
Lacing is actually a science. In a 2008 study at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany, researchers found that the tightness and pattern of how runners laced up directly affected impact force and pronation.
Maybe you've been frustrated that your feet just don't feel the same in the new version of your favorite running shoes. Maybe you're coming back from an injury and want to ease back into a regular routine. Maybe you're fending off the dreaded black toenails.
Whatever the case, before lacing up for your next run, try one of these lacing techniques to stay injury-free and primed for your next race.
Wide Forefoot1 of 6
How to do it: From the toe of your shoes, thread the laces up the sides of your shoe through a few eyelets until you reach the middle of the shoes. Cross-lace until you reach the top and tie.
Why it works: This gives your toes and forefoot room to splay while running and helps with ball-of-foot problems, such as metatarsalgia.
Narrow Foot2 of 6
How to do it: For a snugger fit, cross-lace the shoes up to the midfoot and add a loop by pushing the laces back through the same hole where it exited, leaving a small loop. Then, thread the ends of the laces through the opposite side of the shoe. Continue cross-lacing to the top and tie.
Why it works: This technique adds more laces, thus, more security around the middle of the foot.
High Arch3 of 6
How to do it: Start this lacing technique by cross-lacing as usual at the toe of the shoe and then threading the laces up the sides of the eye row once you get to the middle of the shoe. Continue cross-lacing until you get to the top and tie.
Why it works: This technique gives your midfoot room and loosens up the shoe across the arch of your foot. This is especially good for runners suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Heel Slipping4 of 6
How to do it: Cross-lace up the shoe, but add two small loops at the last eyelets by pushing the laces back through the same hole. Then thread those ends of the laces through the opposite side of the shoe and tie tight.
Why it works: The loop lock at the top of the shoe creates a tight fit around your ankles, keeping your heel from slipping. This helps with blisters and other pain caused by the heel slipping.
Big Toe Troubles5 of 6
How to do it: Thread one end of the lace through the eyelet at the top of the shoe opposite your big toe. Pull through, but leave enough lace to tie at the end. Pull the lace through the eyelet closest to your big toe at the toe of your shoe. Bring the lace through the bottom eyelet and up through the eyelet opposite your big toe. Continue lacing diagonally up toward the inside of the shoe until it reaches the top, then tie.
Why it works: This technique pulls the shoe around your big toe up and away from your nail. This is a good lacing technique for black toenails, bleeding toes, corns or hammer toes.