As a runner, I’ve always been curious about the functionality of every little feature in my running shoes. And one thing that often puzzled me was the last hole in my shoelaces. What was its purpose? Was it meant to be used or was it just a design element?
After doing some research and experimenting with different lacing techniques, I discovered that the last hole in running shoes actually serves a practical purpose. It can provide added stability and support to your feet, especially if you have narrower or higher arches.
The last hole, also known as the “runner’s loop” or “heel lock,” is located at the top of the shoe, near the ankle. It is an extra lace hole that is often overlooked or ignored by runners. However, when utilized properly, it can make a significant difference in the fit and comfort of your running shoes.
So, how exactly do you use the last hole in your running shoes? Let me break it down for you:
Lacing Technique: Heel Lock
To start, make sure your running shoes are laced up normally until you reach the last hole. Instead of going straight across from the previous hole, insert the lace into the last hole from the outside, creating a loop on each side.
Next, cross the laces over each other and thread them through the loops you created. This creates a small, tight loop around your ankle.
Now, pull the laces tight to secure the loop. You will notice that the loop cinches down, providing a snug fit around your ankle. This additional tightness helps to lock your heel in place and prevent any slippage or movement while running.
Benefits of Using the Last Hole
The heel lock technique offers several benefits for runners:
- Improved Stability: By securing your heel, the last hole helps to minimize any side-to-side movement that can cause instability and lead to injuries. It enhances the overall stability of your foot within the shoe, allowing for a more efficient stride.
- Reduced Blisters: A common problem for runners is blisters caused by friction between the foot and the shoe. The heel lock technique can help alleviate this issue by keeping your foot in place and reducing excessive rubbing and chafing.
- Enhanced Arch Support: If you have high arches or feel that your shoes lack sufficient arch support, using the last hole can help. The extra snugness around the ankle can provide added support to the arch, promoting a more comfortable and stable running experience.
When to Use the Last Hole
The use of the last hole depends on personal preference and the fit of your running shoes. If you find that your shoes feel loose around the ankle or if you experience heel slippage during runs, using the last hole can be beneficial.
However, it’s essential to ensure that the lacing is not too tight to the point of discomfort or restricting circulation. Experiment with different lacing techniques and adjust the tightness until you find the perfect balance for your feet.
In conclusion, don’t overlook the last hole in your running shoes. It may seem like a small detail, but it can have a big impact on your running experience. By utilizing the heel lock technique, you can improve stability, reduce blisters, and enhance arch support. Give it a try and see how it enhances the fit and comfort of your running shoes.