The Lace Lock: How to Make Your Running Shoes Fit Better

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If you normally have problems getting your running shoes to fit, you’re potentially putting yourself at risk of blisters and black toenails – but, there might be a simple solution. And it’s just down to how you tie your laces…

woman in sports kit tying her shoe laces

How I Discovered the Lace Lock

I recently decided I needed new trainers – not least as I was in Texas and heading off to an outlet mall in San Marcos which had a New Balance shop – my trainer brand of choice.

I pretty much always buy my trainers at a discount – either at an outlet mall, or in the last season’s colour sale as I’m not normally bothered about what my shoes look like, only that they fit.

Rather foolishly though this time I didn’t write down what type of trainer I normally buy before I left – this left me with row after row of shiny shoes to choose from – one pair of which were purple. Cancel everything I just said about not caring about the colour.

Thankfully, they were also the most comfortable pair of the four types I tried on – the only issue being that because I have super wide feet and one foot slightly bigger than the other as normal there were some issues getting both feet to fit.

I could either have the left slightly too tight or the right a tiny bit too loose (my normal choice) – which was when the fabulous sales assistant came to the rescue. ‘Do you know about the bunny ears lace?’ She asked adding, ‘It’ll tighten the shoe on that right foot.’

A minute later she’d done something complicated-looking with the laces which, yes, completely changed the way the shoe felt on my foot as I ran up and down the shop – I immediately made her do it again twice to show me what it was.

Frantic googling later revealed it’s actually called a Lace Lock – why has no-one taught me this before? I might still have a normal toenail on my second right-hand toe if I’d learned this years ago!

So, in case you have also missed out on this useful wisdom – and also have one foot bigger than the other, Here’s what you need to know…

This What the Hole At The Top of Your Trainers is For!

Have you ever noticed this and wondered why it was there? This is the answer – it’s the one ringed below.

still life of a purple trainer - it's a close up of the laces and the holes at the top of the shoe that you use for a lace lock

How to Tie the Lace Lock

Start by lacing up your shoes just as you would normally, but then when you reach the top, don’t tie them in a bow like you do normally.

Instead, feed the lace backwards and downwards through that extra hole to create a small loop, do the same on the other side – think like you’re creating bunny ears on either side of your shoe!

Now feed the loose part of the lace through the loop on the opposite side. It should look like the below when you’re finished

still life of a training shoe showing lace lock steps 2 and 3

Finally, to tighten the lace pull both sides out and downwards so both sides tighten and you create the flat vertical lace below.

Now feel how much more secure your shoe is.

Training shoe showing the final step of the lace lock

You then just tie your shoes as normal. It’s genius – and means I now have pretty purple trainers – that fit and hopefully will get through this summer without a black toenail I need to hide!

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