Solving the Mystery of That Extra Shoelace Hole

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I don't know about you, but I've always wondered about that weird extra little hole at the top of my gym shoes.  In fact, there have been several times that I've tried to lace through it regularly, but then dismissing it as some kind of manufacturer defect, as it seemed to serve no valid purpose.  Well, it HAS a totally legit purpose:  to stop your feet slipping forward in your shoes and getting blisters!  Who knew?

Known as a "lace lock" or "heel lock," the correct lacing of that extraneous little hole provides you with a tighter, more secure, fit when running for long distances.  It creates some extra friction between the laces at your ankle so you can keep the ankle and heel area tight, without having to tighten the whole shoe. Here's how to do it:

If you have a narrow foot and always feel like there is too much room in the middle portion of your shoe, in addition to a loop lock at the top of the shoe, create two to three loop locks at the mid foot, which will allow for a much tighter fit. 

If you have a wide foot and feel like you cramp up at your toes because the bottom lace gets too tight, you can modify the lacing by running the shoelaces straight up the side of the shoe until you reach the mid-foot, where you can commence the criss-cross lacing to allow good support over the arch and up. 

This handy little trick also works on shoes that don't have the extra hole.  In that case, you can just use the standard top hole to tie the loop lock. Try it in your hiking boots, your climbing shoes, or any pair of laced shoes that can use a little extra snugness.  Remember to make sure that your laces are snug and not overtightened, which can make for a high unpleasant running or walking experience.

Lastly, before relying exclusively on the loop lock for a good fit, it would be best to start with a correctly and well-fitting shoe. 

I hope you found this helpful. If you did, please share! 

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