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Shoelaces have been in use for thousands of years. They have affixed every type of material to the bottoms and tops of our feet. Shoe wear has evolved over the years and we have improved what we wear and how we wear it, but with all of the advancement it have become a multi-million dollars industry and we still see people with foot pain.
I was at a road race the other day and a person came up to me complaining of foot and shin pain. I look down and saw two running shoes with laces so loose that the loops had slack in them. I asked if he always ran with his shoe like this. The answer was yes. I asked if the shoes moved around a lot and, yep, the answer was indeed yes.
As a runner and athletic trainer, I want to share some simple solutions to potentially solve that foot and lower leg pain. Some of the most frequent problems that people complain about are: shoes rubbing the tops of the feet, toes feel too restricted, the shoe feels too tight on the top of your feet, or your heels slip up and down. If this is the case you may find that using an alternate shoe lacing method will reduce your pain.
The laces included with most shoes have almost no stretch to them. Depending on where the pain is on your foot and how it is manifesting itself, you can try a variety of shoe lace techniques to relieve pressure on the problem spot and, hopefully, you will alleviate the problem.
If you have a wide foot, leave the first few eyelets unlaced.
If you have a high instep (arch), skip all but the very few tip eyelets and lace up the sides with no crossover.
If you have a narrow foot, double back through the extra loops in the mid foot for greater tightening.
Remember that foot size and type will largely determine how well your shoes will fit. If you continue to have trouble, a specialty retailer like Track Shack would be your best bet to work with their well trained shoe expert to render perfect assistance.