Journal 02 - Boot Laces

          In my opinion, boot laces don’t get enough love. A lot of the comfort, quality and feel of a boot or hiking shoe is put on the shoe itself. Although this is a majorly important factor, there’s tricks you can do with laces to aid ailments and make the boot and the hike itself a lot more pleasurable.  
Here’s a short list, with images explaining some of these (including the one I use) their benefits and when to use them as a short handy guide to re-tying your shoes.  
1) – Surgeon's knot 
  1. Pull out any slack in the laces, snugging the boot over the top of your foot. 
  2. Locate the two pairs of lace hooks closest to the point where the top of your foot begins to flex forward; you’ll be tying a surgeon’s knot at each of these pairs. 
  3. Wrap the laces around each other twice, then pull them tight; be sure to run the lace directly up to the next hook to “lock” in the knot’s tension. 
  4. Repeat Step 3 at the next highest set of lace hooks. 
  5. Finish lacing the rest of your boot in your usual way 
2) – Window or gap Lacing  
Technique -  
  1. Begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets. 
  2. At each eyelet pair, cross the ends, feeding under the sides and out through the next higher set of eyelets. Repeat until the ends are below the sensitive area (or ankle area). 
  3. The ends are run straight up the sides to the next higher set of eyelets, creating the gap. 
  4. Starting above the sensitive area (or ankle area), resume criss-crossing up the shoe until lacing is completed. 
  • There are no shoelaces running across the gap and pressing into the foot.
  • There are no crossovers holding down the sides of the shoe on either side of the gap, allowing it to spread wider at that point
3). Toe relief  
If your toes are in a world of hurt, this stopgap measure can help you make it back. This simple trick works by relieving pressure in the toe area. 
Technique -  
  1. Completely unlace your boot.
  2. Lace it back up—but skip the first set of hooks; this opens up the toe box and takes some pressure off your digits.
If your toes always hurt when you hike, it’s time to get a different pair of boots as your toes may be hitting the tip of the boot, if you’re like me your feet will expand when doing long walk (this honestly makes buying new shoes a nightmare) 
These three should be all you’d need on hike, if things go wrong. There’s pain or you cant get back in a few hours. The window or gap technique is our go too, because depending on where you place the gap it can also alleviate ankle issues. 
This being said, if your shoes are falling apart, laces won’t help! Please take care of your feet. 
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