Customize Your Shoes With These Tricks

You went to a running specialty store, tested out several models, and bought a pair that felt great. So why are your new running shoes rubbing you the wrong way? Even if you are fitted with a pair that suits your arch type and weekly mileage, your feet may have characteristics that make the seemingly perfect shoe less than comfortable over the long haul. Luckily, the solution could be as easy as relacing your shoes, says Richard Bouch?, D.P.M., of the Sports Medicine Clinic in Seattle, who provided the techniques below. "Before you get a new shoe, try adjusting the lacing to enhance the fit," Bouch? says. "It's a small change that can make a big difference."

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How to Pick the Right Running Shoes

PROBLEM: "MY SHOE RUBS ONE SPOT ON THE TOP OF MY FOOT." Solution: Eliminate pressure on a "hot spot" by lacing around it, not directly over it.


Technique:
Place a lipstick smear on your hot spot. Slide your bare foot into your shoe and take it out. The mark on the underside of the tongue tells you which set(s) of eyelets to skip. Lace your shoe until you reach the eyelet before the spot. Take the lace back under and pull it up through the next eyelet on the same side. Take the lace across and continue to lace. Repeat this on the other side. You'll have an empty spot on the tongue where no laces cross it, which should eliminate your pressure point.


PROBLEM: "MY BIG TOENAIL TURNED BLACK."
Solution: Lift the upper material above your big toe up and off it.

Technique:
Thread one end of the lace through the eyelet next to your big toe. Pull the end of that lace up to the last eyelet on the opposite side, bringing the lace through to the outside. Leave just enough slack at the top to tie a bow. Take the remaining portion of the lace straight across toward the outside of the shoe and then diagonally up toward the inside of the shoe. Repeat until all of the eyelets are laced. When you tug on the outside lace, it will pull the material above your big toe up and off your nail.

More: How to Avoid Common Foot Problems

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