How to Lace Running Shoes: Unlocking the Secret to Peak Performance and Comfort


Every runner, whether a beginner or a seasoned marathoner, knows the profound impact a pair of well-fitted shoes can have on their performance. But beyond the shoe’s cushion, arch, and design lies another critical component: lacing. How you lace your running shoes can dramatically influence your running experience, from optimizing your stride to ensuring top-tier comfort.

At The Shoe Business, we’re not just passionate about giving you the best running shoes; we’re dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of them. Our commitment extends to helping runners lace their shoes effectively, optimizing both performance and comfort.

The Science Behind Shoe Making and Lacing

Modern shoe manufacturing is a blend of art and science. Each shoe is meticulously designed, keeping in mind the athlete’s needs, the terrains they’ll traverse, and the distances they’ll cover. This intricate process gives birth to the ultimate performance gear.

Design Phase:

The shoe’s overall structure, including where the eyelets are placed, is determined.


Models are made to test and refine the final product.


Here, machines play a crucial role. Our shoe-making machines ensure precision and consistency, translating designs into tangible products.

But what about the laces? The positioning of eyelets, the shoe’s structure, and its materials all influence how a shoe should be laced. A well-laced shoe can help in distributing pressure evenly, enhancing the shoe’s grip and the runner’s stride.

Materials Matter: The Relationship Between Shoe Materials and Lacing

Every running shoe is a symphony of various materials, harmoniously coming together. From the breathable mesh upper to the cushioned midsole, each component plays a part in the shoe’s overall function. Here’s a quick list of common materials you might find in your running shoe:

Mesh: Provides breathability and flexibility.

Synthetic Leather: Offers durability without adding weight.

EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate): Commonly used in midsoles for cushioning.

Rubber: Used in outsoles for grip and durability.

When it comes to lacing, these materials matter. For instance, shoes with a softer mesh upper might require a different lacing technique compared to ones with a rigid synthetic leather upper. Lacing too tightly on soft mesh can cause it to tear, while lacing too loosely on hard materials might not provide the snug fit you need.

Popular Lacing Techniques for Running Shoes

While the process might seem straightforward, there are numerous ways to lace up your running shoes. Each method has its distinct benefits, designed to cater to different runners and their unique needs. Here are some of the most popular techniques:

Standard Criss-Cross Lacing:

This is the method you’ll most often see on running shoes right out of the box. It’s simple, effective, and works for most runners. The laces zig-zag across the shoe, providing even tension.

Loop-Back Lacing:

Preferred by sprinters, this technique ensures the shoe grips the foot snugly. It involves looping the laces back on themselves, which tightens the fit and prevents the shoe from slipping off during high-speed runs.

Ladder Lacing:

This technique gives the feeling of a solid, well-anchored fit. Laces run vertically and horizontally, creating a ladder-like appearance. It’s great for those who need extra stability in their run, including heavy runners.

Gap Lacing:

Have a high instep or wider feet? Gap lacing can be your go-to. It allows for a section of the shoe to be less tight, creating a ‘gap’ that offers relief to pressure points.

For those seeking a unique touch or an even better fit, insights from custom shoe makers can be invaluable. They often have tricks up their sleeves, fine-tuned from years of crafting personalized shoes.

Customizations and Advanced Lacing Techniques

Beyond the standard techniques lie an array of advanced lacing methods, many of which have been championed by professional runners. Here’s a closer look:

Window Lacing: Ideal for runners with high arches. This method reduces pressure on the top of the foot by skipping a couple of eyelets.

Heel Lock: Perfect for those experiencing heel slippage. The laces loop around the last two eyelets, locking the heel into place.

Bunion Lacing: Designed to relieve pressure off the bunion area, this technique skips lacing over the bunion, providing comfort.

Mistakes to Avoid When Lacing

Lacing might seem like a simple task, but certain common errors can hinder your running experience. Here’s what to steer clear of:

Over-tightening: While a snug fit is desired, over-tightening can impede blood flow, leading to numbness and discomfort.

Mismatched Lace Lengths: If one end of your lace is longer than the other, it can lead to uneven tension and might even cause tripping hazards.

Not Adjusting for Terrain: Trail running requires a tighter grip than a casual jog in the park. Adjust your lacing based on the challenge ahead.

Keep Learning: Dive Deeper into Shoe Design and Lacing Techniques

The world of shoe design and lacing is as intricate as it is fascinating. Every runner’s foot is unique, and as such, understanding the nuances of

shoe anatomy and lacing can truly elevate your running game. Beyond just the foundational techniques, there’s a wealth of knowledge waiting to be discovered.

At The Shoe Business, we’re consistently updating our platform with the latest insights, trends, and innovations in the realm of shoes. Our blog is a treasure trove of articles, guides, and tips curated specifically for avid runners and shoe enthusiasts alike. We encourage all our readers to dive deeper, explore our content, and stay informed. Who knows? The next lacing technique you come across might just revolutionize your runs!


The journey from lacing up your shoes to hitting the tracks is one filled with subtleties that make a world of difference. As we’ve delved into, the art of lacing isn’t just about securing your foot within a shoe; it’s about optimizing fit, ensuring comfort, and enhancing performance. From the tried-and-true Criss-Cross Lacing to the specialized Bunion Lacing, there’s a technique for every foot and every need.

But the crux of it all? Lacing matters. The right technique can safeguard your foot health, enhance your running performance, and ensure that every stride you take is one step closer to your goals.

For those of you keen on delving deeper or perhaps seeking personalized advice, our team at The Shoe Business is always here to assist. Whether it’s a specific query about lacing or a general footwear concern, don’t hesitate to reach out. After all, every runner deserves the best, and we’re committed to ensuring you get just that.