Imagine you’ve stumbled on something you don’t want and realize that you haven’t laced your shoes properly. This is very common and frustrating at first and if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis pain, the situation couldn’t get worse.
So, here’s a quick overview of how To lace your shoes for plantar fasciitis or arch support:
- Start by only threading the shoelace through the sides of the shoe.
- Begin lacing with a crisscross pattern from the midfoot onward.
For additional comfort and support, you can also try these techniques:
- Skip one or two laces around the midfoot to create more space for the arch.
- Use the “Surgeon’s Shoelace Knot” for extra support during long-distance activities.
For relief of plantar fasciitis pain, make sure your shoes are snugly fitted and supportive. If changing the lacing technique does not help, check that your shoes are the correct size, width, and pronation type for your feet.
The Painful Plight of Plantar Fasciitis for Runners
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects many runners. It is characterized by inflammation and pain in the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes.
For runners, this can be a particularly debilitating condition, as it can make it difficult or even impossible to run without experiencing severe pain. The repetitive impact and stress on the feet during running exacerbates this condition and makes runners more susceptible to it.
Plantar Fasciitis Pain: Why Shoe Lacing Is Important?
While there are several treatment options available for those with plantar fasciitis, one often overlooked aspect is proper shoe lacing. Proper lacing techniques can help alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia and reduce pain during physical activity such as running.
The right lacing technique can also improve overall foot support, stability and balance by keeping feet in place within shoes. This not only helps alleviate stress on the feet, but also minimizes risk of injury while running.
Without proper shoe lacing techniques in place, those with plantar fasciitis may risk further damage to their feet while running or other physical activities. Therefore, it’s crucial for runners to take time to learn how to lace their shoes properly if they are dealing with this painful condition.
Basic Lacing Techniques
Criss-Cross Lacing Technique
The criss-cross lacing technique is the most common method for lacing running shoes. It involves alternating the laces over and under each set of eyelets in a diagonal pattern.
While this technique provides a secure fit, it can also place pressure on the midfoot and cause discomfort for those with plantar fasciitis. To alleviate this pressure, consider skipping an eyelet in the middle of the shoe to allow more flexibility in that area.
Straight Bar Lacing Technique
The straight bar lacing technique involves running the laces straight across each set of eyelets, creating a horizontal bar pattern. This technique can be useful for those with wider feet or high arches as it allows for more room in the midfoot while still providing a secure fit.
However, if pressure is still felt on the plantar fascia, try skipping an eyelet or loosening the tension of the laces in that area.
Loop Lacing Technique
The loop lacing technique involves creating loops with each end of the lace and threading them through each successive set of eyelets until they meet at the top. This technique can be beneficial for those with narrow feet as it allows for more customized fit adjustments throughout the shoe.
However, similar to other techniques, it may still place pressure on certain areas of the foot such as the plantar fascia. To modify this technique, try loosening or tightening specific loops to relieve pressure where needed.
Overall, these basic lacing techniques provide a foundation for runners to achieve a comfortable and secure fit in their running shoes. By modifying them to alleviate pressure on specific areas such as the plantar fascia, runners can reduce discomfort and increase enjoyment during their workouts.
Heel Lock Lacing Technique
Introducing Heel Lock Lacing
The heel lock lacing technique is a modification of the traditional criss-cross lacing that creates extra support around the heel and midfoot. This technique is especially helpful for those with plantar fasciitis because it helps to reduce movement and pressure on the foot, which in turn reduces pain.
This can reduce slipping or rubbing, which can cause blisters or aggravate plantar fasciitis symptoms. Additionally, this technique can help prevent lateral movement of your foot inside your shoe, which may also contribute to discomfort.
To execute this technique, follow these steps:
- Begin by lacing your shoe normally until you reach the second-to-last eyelet.
- Take each end of the lace and insert them into the opposite eyelets. 3. Cross both ends over each other.
- Take each end of the lace again and insert them into the loop created by crossing them over.
- Pull tightly to create a snug fit around your midfoot.
- Continue with criss-cross lacing until you reach your final eyelet. Make sure not to lace too tightly as this may cause discomfort or restrict circulation in your foot.
The fit should be secure without cutting off circulation and causing any further pain. The heel lock lacing technique can provide runners with plantar fasciitis with more support around their midfoot and reduce unnecessary movement within their shoes, making a significant difference.
Window Lacing Technique
The Benefits for Those with High Arches or Flat Feet
The window lacing technique is an alternative way of lacing your shoes that creates a gap between the tongue and the upper part of the shoe. This gap, or “window,” can be adjusted to relieve pressure on certain parts of the foot.
For those with high arches or flat feet, this technique can help reduce discomfort and provide better support. For those with high arches, this technique allows for more space in the middle of the shoe where the foot tends to curve upward.
This relieves pressure on the top of the foot and provides more room for movement. For those with flat feet, this technique creates a tighter fit in certain areas, providing better support and stability.
To properly execute the window lacing technique:
- Begin by unlacing your shoes completely.
- Take one end of your shoelace and insert it through one eyelet on one side.
- Bring that same end across to the opposite eyelet on the other side and insert it through that eyelet.
- Pull both ends evenly so that they are equal in length.
- Take one end and insert it through the next eyelet up on the same side as where it started.
- Bring that same end across to the opposite eyelet on that same side (creating a diagonal).
- Insert that end through that eyelet.
- Repeat steps 5-7 until you reach your desired height for your window (usually 1-2 inches).
- Finish lacing up your shoes as usual above your window.
By creating a small “window” in your shoe’s laces, you can alleviate pressure points around high arches or flat feet while still maintaining a comfortable fit throughout your run or workout.
The Parallel Lacing Method: When to Use It
While not as common as traditional lacing techniques, the parallel lacing method can provide relief for those with plantar fasciitis. This technique involves lacing the shoes so that the eyelets run parallel to each other instead of criss-crossing.
This allows for more even pressure distribution and can reduce irritation on sensitive areas of the foot. The parallel lacing method is particularly useful for runners whose feet tend to roll outward or inward while running, as it can help stabilize the foot.
Skip Eyelet Lacing: A Creative Solution
Another less common technique that may be useful for those with plantar fasciitis is skip eyelet lacing. This technique involves skipping one or more eyelets in the middle of the shoe and then continuing to lace up as usual.
By skipping these eyelets, you allow for a looser fit in that area, which can alleviate pressure on sensitive parts of your foot. Skip eyelet lacing is particularly useful if you have a prominent bone on top of your foot or if you have an arch that requires extra support in certain areas.
Using Multiple Techniques Together
While each of these techniques can be used independently to help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, using multiple techniques together can often provide even greater relief than just one alone.
For example, combining heel lock lacing with skip eyelet lacing may be particularly effective for runners who need extra heel support but also experience pressure on their midfoot.
Experimenting with different combinations of these techniques until you find what works best for your unique needs is essential for getting the most out of your running shoes and avoiding future injuries or discomforts.