GEAR GURU LACES
Just about all boots rely on them, so make sure you’re getting the best out of your laces.
Walking boot laces need to be tightened enough so they are firm, but do not restrict foot movement or circulation. So they should feel comfortable and allow ankle movement, while keeping the heel in place to prevent blisters.
Laces often incorporate synthetic fibres, which make them slippery and less prone to wear from friction. Such fibres allows the laces to slip a little through the eyelets and move with your foot for comfort. The drawback, though, is that they can loosen during a walk.
Various lacing patterns and techniques can help hold your foot in place and prevent laces slipping.
Lace your boots as usual up the forefoot, but before continuing on to the ankle, wind the laces around each other two or three times (left). This creates extra friction and prevents the laces loosening below this point. This is great for maintaining a snug fit around the forefoot while leaving the ankle more mobile.
When winding the laces through the hooked eyelets near the top of the boot, thread them from the top down, then back over themselves to the next eyelet (above right). This also increases friction for a snugger fit and less slippage. It’s worth remembering that on easy terrain there may be no need to lace your boot all the way to the top, further improving ankle mobility.
These lacing techniques can be used in combination to create the perfect balance between a robustly laced boot, with minimal lace slippage and freedom of ankle movement, for blister-free comfort.
Learning to lace up correctly helps ensure comfort and safety out on the hills.