Just like no one boot will fit two people the same way, not one single lacing technique will work for everyone.
With these 3 simple boot lacing methods, you will enjoy your hikes more with a better fitting boot. And your feet will thank you.
So what exactly are the different boot lacing techniques?
There are so many different ways to lace your boots, but the following three tried and true techniques are often used to relieve different types of common foot discomfort on the trails:
1. The Surgeon's Knot
This knot will help protect your heel from excessive lifting, and prevent you from heel slippage. The last thing you want is a blister on your heel from your heel sliding around in your boot.
First, pull out any slack in the forefoot of the boot, making it nice and snug on the top of your foot.
Next, find the hooker eyelet that's located closest to your heel. Tie your first surgeon's knot just below this point. To tie the surgeon's knot, simply wrap the laces around each other twice, and pull them tight.
Thread the laces through the hook and tie a second surgeon's knot.
Finally, finish tying your boot like normal. The surgeon's knot is unlikely to slip so your boots shouldn't loosen up as you hike.
2. The Window Lacing
The window lacing technique will help relieve irritating pressure points on the top of your foot.
First, unlace the boot until just below the pressure point.
Then re-lace it, but don't cross the laces over the painful area. Rather, go straight up from one eyelet to the next.
Finally, cross the laces over and finish lacing as normal.
3. The Toe-Relief Lacing
The toe-relief lacing relieves pressure in the toe box. This method is a stop gap solution for relieving pain that starts during your hike. It is especially helpful to anyone using an older pair of hiking boots. When you put a lot of miles on the trail, your feet and toes can swell more easily.
Start by completely unlacing your boot.
Then, lace it back up, but skip the first set of eyelets. This way, the toe-box of the boot will stay looser, taking some of the pressure off of your toes.
Here are a few videos you may find helpful.
Wearing proper hiking socks can also help prevent blisters and rub spots. If your toes always hurt in your boots, after trying different lacing options, you probably need to try a different pair. Make sure you know how to choose the best hiking footwear for the trails.
The technique that works best for you will greatly depend on the size and shape of YOUR feet, and the hiking boots you have.
What is your favorite way to lace up your hiking boots? If you have another clever way to lace your boots up for a great fit, we would love to hear it.