By Andy Hyslop
Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your running shoes whether you’re running on road, off road, fell running or orienteering.
The Sling SystemMost running shoes come with two laces holes at the top. One is positioned where you would normally expect it to be, at the apex of the upper. The second hole is positioned just past the apex on the ankle side. The Sling system utilising the top two lace holes. If you thread your laces through the second hole in the normal way you will find that the laces cut into the front of your ankle. Consequently many people just ignore the second hole, not knowing what it's for. The way to utilise both holes is by a kind of loop/sling system. This has the advantage of pulling the upper in from the direction of the Lacing Systems-3.jpgheel, which in turn gives a closer fit and more support. Because the top of the lacing is coming off the middle of the loop between the to holes, the laces don’t dig into the front of your ankle while the loop provides the angle to be able pull the upper in from the heel. Taped laces threaded down through the lacing system. I've been using this system for a long time and I have even created an extra loop in any shoes that don’t come with one. If you are doing any off road running, and particularly fell running or orienteering this
system is highly recommended.
Knot SecurityArguably, if you're road running, a regular overhand knot will work well enough, but if you are running off road, vegetation, mud and general hard going are going to conspire to loosen your laces before very long. There are a couple of systems that can be used to prevent your laces coming undone: The Booth Knot: This is pretty simple in that it merely requires an extra turn on the usual overhand knot that you would tie in lace loops. The downside is that these knots can be very difficult to undo when muddy and wet.
Tape up: This system is regularly used by orienteers who spend most of the time running through rough undergrowth and forest. You can tie your laces with an overhand knot but then take a length of insulating tape, about 7cm to 10cm, and wrap both loops and ends into one bunch. Once secured, if the resulting bunch is a bit long thread it down through your laces to keep it out of the way. This system has never failed for me and I prefer it over the Booth Knot for ease of use. The key to the Sawtooth System is get it right at the start. Notice how the right hand lace loops up through the next hole up to create the diagonal pattern.