Open Toe Lacing System for Helping Foot Pain

Here’s the lacing technique that we started doing at our running store to help fix our customer’s foot problems. This in combination with Hawk selling shoes “too big” to people with foot problems was the first way we proved out a need for shoes to actually be shaped like feet.

It works well for nearly every foot type—those with wider feet especially love it.  Back when I managed the running store, about three fourths of customers preferred & used this lacing.   This unique lacing system allows the forefoot complete room to expand and breathe while securing the heel and preventing “lace creep”.

Simply skip straight under from the first set of lace holes to the second without crossing, and then skip straight over to the third set without crossing.  Lace as usual up to the second to last set of holes.  At this point, create a pulley system by threading straight in to the last hole without crossing and simply dropping the lace from the opposite side in to the hole you have created.   Relax your forefoot and Run Natural!


Free Forefoot Lacing Technique (Altra)

-It is recommended to have the laces over the top of the arch/instep be loose enough to be able to slide a finger under them after the shoe is tied.
-The lacing should fit snug at the heel, relaxed over the arch, and wide open at the forefoot.
-It may feel “too loose” at first—this is good—the foot will learn to spread out and relax within a few minutes to a few days.
-Try lacing only one shoe this way & going for a run.  You may notice after a few miles that the entire leg with this lacing system is more relaxed than the other leg.  If the foot muscles can relax, there is a chain reaction to the rest of the leg.


Free Forefoot Lacing to Reduce Foot Pain

-Golden Harper graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and did his collegiate studies on running technique & running injuries. He grew up working in his family’s running store, was an All-American Cross-Country runner, and holds a world-best for a 12-year old in the marathon at 2:45:34.