Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Great tips for lacing your day hiking boot

Changing how a hiking boot is laces can affect its comfort and support.
Photo courtesy of Aspsusa/Photoree.
Many day hikers think there’s little difference between lacing a shoe and a hiking boot. In some instances, that’s true. Still, a hiking boot is a different beast than a shoe. It takes you over terrain that is more rugged and generally has to support more weight, since you’re lugging a backpack or a child carrier. Because of this, you may want to lace your hiking boot differently than your tennis or dress shoes.

For a more comfortable fit that provides good support, follow these basic guidelines when lacing hiking boots:
g Aim for taut lacing – Without being tight, the laces should touch the boot evenly and strongly from the toes to the top. That means no loose spots.
g Stop slipping laces with a loop – If you can’t keep laces from slipping on a hook, try lacing “down” a hook rather than “up.” This creates a loop about the hook, eliminating slippage.
g Redistribute pressure with a boot heel lock – If the laces are applying pressure unevenly against your foot, use a boot heel lock. This is done by looping the lace between two hooks. To do that, run the lace through the hook from above then continue upward.
g Reduce pressure over instep by skipping – Should you have a high instep that creates pressure over the front of your foot, don’t cross laces over the tongue in the sensitive area. If you’ve laced your boots tautly, twigs and other debris won’t get past the tongue into the boot.
g End cuff pressure via above hook lacing – If cuff pressure leaves your skin irritated, run the laces over the top of the highest set of hooks then tie a bowknot.

Remember that everyone’s feet are different. What works for one person may not work for another, and there is no definitive way that everyone should lace their hiking boots.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.