How to lace your running shoes

Most running shoes have two plastic eyelets close to the top of your foot, where the laces are tied. Why are these eyelets shaped differently than the other ones?

Running shoes are laced differently from dress shoes. Dress shoes are laced in a criss cross manner all the way to the top, and then tied.

Running shoes use criss cross lacing up to the last two eyelets closest to the top of the foot. The lace from the second last eyelet comes up from the bottom, then arches up and goes down through the top eyelet on the same side. The lace then crosses to the other side and through the other side's loop. It is then brought to the center for tying.

If you've done this right, you should have the lace pulling against the loop of lace which in turn pulls on two eyelets, not just one. This load sharing is very important, because it distributes the load across the top of your foot. This becomes noticeable on long runs, when you want to have as much load distribution on the tops and bottoms of your feet as possible.

That's why the top two eyelets are designed differently. The running shoes I'm most familiar with -- Saucony and New Balance training shoes -- have the top two eyelets made from a single piece of plastic for structural strength.

The running experience is much more comfortable with properly laced shoes. Once you've laced your running shoes like this, it will be almost impossible to lace your other athletic shoes any differently.

LaggedyAnne /msgd me: "I do this with all my shoes. It's delicious."