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How Do I Lace My Boots For Walking Hiking

2024-04-25

How Do I Lace My Boots For Walking / Hiking?

Timberland Boot Laces

Hiking boots are a must-have for anyone who takes this pastime seriously. While you might feel perfectly comfortable in your everyday trainers, when you go up a mountain or through unfamiliar terrain, that won't be enough. For example, your trainers may not have enough grip to keep you from tumbling down a rocky ledge. You may also regret them if you have to cross any streams along the way. Investing in a good pair of hiking boots can make the journey not as challenging and help you focus on having a good time.

If you already have a good pair of boots with the right fit, did you know that you can actually wear them wrong? Even the best walking shoes can sometimes slip off your heel, give you blisters, or have you limping at the end of the day. It's all about the right way to lace them. So before you go on your next day hike or decide to backpack around South America, take a few minutes to learn the best lacing techniques to save you a world of pain.

What Length of Laces to Use for Walking Boots

Walking boot laces and hiking boot laces are made to last, similar to the hiking shoes themselves. They are usually round, crafted from braided fabric that is both sturdy enough to keep your shoe in place and elastic enough to let your foot breathe. Some boots, however, will have flat laces as well. Typically, the laces that come with your hiking boots are good quality. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to keep replacement hiker laces on hand in case they break in the middle of a hike.

Depending on the boot, there are different shoelace lengths, so if you want to ensure your boots are secure, it's essential to pick the right one. The easiest way to do that is to measure the laces your boots currently have. But if that's not possible, you can estimate the length by the number of eyelets your boots have. For instance, 91cm/36" will fit a boot with up to four eyelets, and 114cm/45" is for up to five eyelets. It's also advised to sometimes go one size up in case your boot is wider than the norm or if you use a more intricate lacing method.

How to Lace Walking Boots

The main issues that lacing techniques focus on are safety, comfort, securing your foot in place, and relieving tension in areas that feel tight or sore. Learning how to fasten your footwear according to your specific need is supposed to make it feel like a natural extension of your foot. We'll start with basic lacing techniques and progress to more advanced and specialised methods.

Surgeon's Knot

This lacing technique can be used in conjunction with other lacing methods, so it's a good starting point. It can be helpful, especially if you feel your heel slipping when you walk downhill or if you tend to get blisters around your heels. The reason for that is usually too much room at the top of your foot. The surgeon's knot helps you fasten your boot there and around your ankle.

  1. Push your heel as far back in the boot as possible.

  2. Find the two pairs of hooks closest to where your foot's top begins to curve forward. You will tie a surgeon's knot at each of them.

  3. Pull the bootlaces tightly to ensure the boot doesn't slack.

  4. Wrap the laces around each other like you would tie a regular knot, and then wrap them a second time.

  5. Pull them tightly and run them through the following hooks.

  6. Repeat the double wrap and finish lacing the boots through the hooks in a regular criss-cross pattern.

Window Lacing

As opposed to the surgeon's knot, the window lacing technique is best used when the boot feels too tight in certain areas. For instance, if you tend to get blisters around your toes, creating a window in the laces can alleviate the rubbing. Or, if your ankles feel too cramped, a window can prevent pain in the area in the long run. The lacing technique is pretty straightforward.

  1. Identify the area that's bothering you.

  2. Lace using a regular, tight criss-cross up until that area.

  3. Run the laces through the side eyelets instead of the opposite ones to create an opening in the lacing.

  4. Continue with the criss-cross about the window.

You can also add a surgeon's knot above the window to fasten it. However, remember that this may add tension, which can counter the relief the window is meant to provide.

Toe Relief Lacing

As mentioned above, window lacing at the very bottom of your hiking boots can help ease toe pain. However, it may not be enough if the boots keep rubbing and creating blisters. In this case, remove your shoelaces completely, and lace them up again, while simply ignoring the first pair of eyelets. This should provide enough space for your toes to be blister-free in the short term. In the long run, you may want to consider buying a new pair of better-fitting hiking boots.

Ankle Relief Lacing

It is essential to secure your ankle when you go backpacking, to avoid injuries and pain further up your legs. Yet, sometimes your hiking shoes can feel uncomfortable if you lace them tightly all the way up. While you may be tempted to leave out the top hooks, this is not a good solution long-term, as it will reduce your ankle support. A better technique is to lace in the opposite direction. Take your shoelaces entirely off, and start lacing them from the top hooks, criss-cross, all the way down. Then tie a knot at the bottom pair of eyelets. It may look funny, but your ankles will thank you.

More Quick Tips for Lacing

There are a few more things to consider when you lace up your boots, no matter what technique you use, that will help them fit better on your feet.

  1. Lace your boots with your feet already inside to help you figure out where to pull tighter and where to keep them loose.

  2. Make sure your foot is at a 90-degree angle, and it's better if you're sitting down as well.

  3. Make sure that the tongue is centred. If it isn't, it will create uneven pressure, which will cause more rubbing and blisters.

  4. Choose a good pair of socks. They should be long enough to prevent the boot from rubbing against your bare skin. They should also be breathable.

Going Lace-Free

No lace walking boots are also an option to consider. These hiking boots will either have rubber on the sides to help pull them on easily or a zipper. Some hiking trainers have an adjustable strap to help secure them more around the foot and added toe support to make climbing easier. If you choose no lace boots, you need to ensure that the size is perfect, as you won't have a way to adjust it around your feet with the different lacing techniques.

Happy Feet Equal Happy Backpacking Trip

As you can already tell, there are multiple lacing methods to ensure that your foot is safely secure in your boots. So whether you decide to go on a hike, a walk, or a backpacking trip, you don't have to worry about blisters, rubbing, or sore feet. In fact, employing the best lacing technique for you and choosing a good pair of boots from our store will ensure that you don't think about your feet at all. You will just enjoy your trip and nothing else.