How to Lace Up Running Shoes

Something that many people may not consider when putting on their running shoes is that the way you lace them up makes a difference.

There are a variety of different running shoe lacing techniques that you can use, and each one has different advantages and disadvantages.

There are three main types of shoe lacing techniques we'll talk about today, including window lacing, the runner's loop, and an even more secure knot known as the reef knot.

How to Lace Up Running Shoes

Window Lacing

The first type of lacing method you can use is known as window lacing, and this is a great way to take pressure off of the pressure points on the top of your foot. 

If you find that your previous lacing method was hurting the top of your foot, then you might want to switch to this window lacing method. 

This type of lacing is also known as box lacing. Let's take a quick look at how to lace up your shoes in this manner.

  1. First, unlace both of the shoes down to the eyelets that are just below the point on your foot where you are feeling the pressure.

    Window Lace
  2. Instead of crossing back over like you usually would, re-lace the shoes by going up to the next eyelet and then crossing over the laces, effectively missing one of the crosses.

    Window Lace
  3. After you pass the pressure point on your foot, you can continue lacing the shoe in the way that you usually would.

    Window Lace

Runner’s Loop

One of the most common ways to tie running shoes is known as the runner’s loop. If you find that your heel is not firmly locked in place, and that your foot keeps moving around in your shoe, particularly at the heel, then the best method of tying up shoes is the runner’s loop. Follow the directions as indicated below to tie your shoes up in this manner.

  1. Start off by lacing your shoes up as you normally would, crisscrossing the laces until you get to the second eyelet below the top on both sides of the shoe.
  2. Now, instead of crossing over the shoe again, you're going to take each end of the laces and pull them up on the same side, and put them into the eyelet on the same side. This effectively forms a loop.

    Runner’s Loop
  3. You will now take each lace and pull it through the loop that you just formed from the other side of the shoe.

    Runner’s Loop
  4. To shrink the loop down a little bit, you can take the lace ends and pull them up and out several times.

    Runner’s Loop
  5. You can then finish this off by tying up your shoelaces as you usually would.

The Reef Knot

The reef knot is one of the most secure knots that you could possibly use for any kind of running shoe. Now, don't get the wreath not confused with the granny knot. The issue with the granny knot is that as you move in your shoe, the knot actually loosens. This is that classic shoelace knot that you were probably taught as a kid.

If you notice that the loops of the shoelaces don't face sideways, but rather face up and down the shoe, then you've probably tied yourself a granny knot, which is not what you want. What you need is a reef knot, and if you follow the instructions as listed below, that's exactly what you end up with.

  1. Tie up your shoes as you normally would by crossing the laces and making sure that they are snug. Form the first loop the same way that you usually would when tying the regular granny knot.
  2. However, instead of proceeding normally, you're going to reverse the lace path as you create the second loop. For instance, if you always take the second lace and pass it over the top of the first loop, then here you're actually going to pass it under the loop.
  3. You can now finish the knot and give it a pull to see that it doesn't come undone.

Final Thoughts

How to Lace Up Running Shoes

What also needs to be said here is that the vast majority of running shoes should come with shoelaces that are long enough for you to create the runners’ loop. A pro tip is that if you find that your knots keep loosening, switch from round laces to flat laces, as they hold a bit better.

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.