How to Lace & Tie Running Shoes – A Runner’s Guide

how to tie running shoe laces

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just getting started on the track, the way you lace up your running shoes can make all the difference in your comfort and performance. Let’s dive into three essential lacing techniques that every runner should have in their toolkit, ensuring a snug fit and a pain-free run.

1. The Runner’s Loop: Locking in Heel Stability

Ever experienced the discomfort of your foot slipping forward, causing your toes to collide with the front of your shoes? The runner’s loop is your remedy:

  • Lace your shoes in the standard crisscross pattern until you reach the second eyelet below the top on each side.
  • Instead of crossing over again, pull each lace end up on the same side, creating a loop.
  • Cross the laces over, inserting each end into the loop on the opposite side.
  • Tighten the loops, securing the lace on each side, and finish with a standard shoelace knot.

Many modern shoe designs accommodate the runner’s loop, providing extra lace length and specific eyelet alignment for this purpose.

2. Window Lacing: Banishing Pressure Points on the Top of Your Foot

If you’ve ever felt discomfort from pressure points on the top of your foot, the window lacing technique, also known as “box lacing,” can offer relief:

  • Unlace the shoe down to the eyelet just below the pressure point.
  • Lace straight up to the next eyelet and cross the laces over.
  • Complete the rest of the lacing in your preferred manner.

3. A More Secure Knot: Ensuring Laces Stay Tied

The standard shoelace knot we learned as kids might not always hold up during a run. Here’s a quick guide to distinguish between a “granny” knot and a more secure “reef” knot:

  • Tie your knot the usual way and perform a pull test by grabbing the top eyelets and pulling sideways.
  • If the loops skew, you’ve tied a less dependable granny knot.
  • To transform it into a reef knot, reverse the path of the lace as you form the second loop, ensuring it tightens with movement.

Remember, lacing techniques enhance comfort, but getting the right fit initially is paramount. Consider consulting a footwear expert at a specialty store for a personalized fit.

Shoe Laces: The Final Touch

Most running shoes come with laces designed for lacing tricks like the runner’s loop. If you’re replacing worn-out laces, match the shape and length of your previous pair. Consider switching to flat laces if you experience issues with knots coming loose or explore different materials for a tailored experience.

In the pursuit of the perfect run, your lacing technique is your secret weapon. Experiment with these methods, find what works for you, and hit the track with confidence. Happy running!


  • Kyle Moore

    Kyle founded Kalook to merge his professional life with his love for the outdoors. When not working, Kyle enjoys hiking through nature, biking, camping, relaxing at the beach, exploring snowy terrains and forest walking.

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