We’d all love it if there was such a thing as a perfect fit with a pair of hiking shoes. But we know that’s not really the case. So I’m going to show you some lacing techniques today to show you how to make that shoe fit a little bit better and hold your foot in place. Because everyone has different shapes and volumes in their feet, not one single lacing system or technique is going to work for everyone. If you have a lower volume foot, or a low arch to no arch you may be able to use techniques that put pressure and tension over the top of the foot. If you have a high arch or a very high volume foot, that may not work for you. It may put a little too much pressure and restrict circulation and there may be other techniques that you can use to work around that. So, a first general double overhand knot to show you is to start to tie your boot like you would start to tie a lace, but go underneath a third time and pull that tight. It’s kind of a lock lace, so there it’s holding tension on its own without a knot behind it or me holding it. And you’re going to be able to lock this section of the shoe off from this section. So you can almost tension here and here differently by using something like this. This double over hand knot can be used down here at the base if you wanted to. You can lock it in here at the low part of the ankle or even at the top where you’re tying the knot off. So let’s say you really want to secure your ankle at the back of the boot. This is what most people are looking for most of the time because you either have a shoe that’s maybe a little too long for you and you’re foot’s sliding forward and banging the boot giving you that black toe or sore toe. Or maybe the shoe’s a little too short and your toe’s already set at the front of the boot and you want to hold that ankle and your foot to the back of the boot to prevent it from pressing to the front of the shoe. So, if this is comfortable for you, you can start with that double overhand knot. Lock off some tension through here. Make sure you do leave enough fluidity and movement through the laces here for the rest of your foot to be comfortable. And the second part of this gets a little trickier. Especially if you have, like I do on this boot, a speed lacing system where the lace moves in and out freely. I’m not going to be able to secure it there on its own very well. So you would start by going through both speed laces on both sides, so you basically skipped eyelets almost .Then you’re going to take your laces, cross over like that and on the other side we’re going to do the exact same thing. We’re tucking that lace underneath the long lace that’s coming up between the top two eyelets or speedlocks. It makes this web system – when you watch when I pull this, it’s pulling from here and here so you have a top and a bottom point that are pulling into more of a central location. You see how that really snugs the ankle of that boot up on me. And I would do another one of those double over hands. Pull this tight to get that tension and then put that knot behind it. It’s going to give me a little bit of help holding that tension there so I can tie a knot without losing that. Tighten it. For extra back up I always put a double knot in things. And that really secures your ankle to the back of that boot. It’s going to be more difficult for your foot to slide forward and move around and get that toe banging going on. It also will help prevent slippage here. It makes it more difficult for your foot to rise in and out of the boot in the back because you’ve created a lot more pressure here and tension that’s holding that in. So let’s say that you’re having problems with pressure on top of your foot or your feet swell, especially after you hike, or you feel like your shoe is not quite wide enough. You’re looking for a way to get a little more width out of it. A good option would be to, you can see here I’ve already unlaced the boot and then re-laced it back through these three eyelets – just running them up the sides and basically skipping a lot of back and forths. You can do that double overhand lace lock here. And then you could lace your boot up the same the rest of the way. You could use those other techniques if you want to lock your ankle in as well. But the nice thing here is that it basically gives the top of the forefoot here a little bit of room to breathe and expand through there. If you have a high arch, this technique works very well. Or just a high volume foot, you may find this to be a lot more comfortable. A final thought to keep in mind when you’re using different lacing techniques is that when you do skip eyelets or you loosen the boot in different places, you may lose the ability to attach that boot as securely to your foot, so you need to find what works for you. And remember there is no constant rule that you must lace your boot a certain way. There are a lot of different techniques out there. Find one that works for you and hopefully your feet will be more comfortable.
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