Who would have thought the humble lace would cause foot and ankle blisters, but they can. Here are some helpful tips on what may work for you in preventing these types of blisters.
Laces coming undone during your race is annoying and dangerous, so spend some time before race day, getting the lacing pattern, material and lace locking methods correct and practice beforehand.
The material and the shape of the lace needs to be considered before starting your marathon race, round shaped laces tend to slip more than flat laces and more likely to come undone.
An absorbent material like cotton will soak up more water and become heavier, causing the lace to flap on the skin around the ankle, this repetitive action, over marathon distances, will eventually cause a blister. Polyester, Nylon, and Kevlar laces may be a better option, in that they don’t absorb as much water, but they can become loose, if not secured correctly as they are more slippery to touch.
Whatever laces and technique you choose, ensure the lace loops and lace ends are either cut to size or secured away in the lacing crossings at the front. This way, they won’t catch on the floor, picking up the surrounding debris, causing them to flap around the ankle, creating blisters.
Easy laces- are laces that are stretchy and incorporate a locking device where the bow would be, some athletes like this mechanism of laces but there is a downside too.
If you have feet that swell during an event, there is less control with easy laces to be able to adjust the lace over an area of pressure, during the marathon.
Adjusting the lacing patterns on the top of the shoe, can give you much more width and depth in the shoe, especially over bony prominences that are prone to blistering. (for eg Bunions and high arched feet)
Check out the and the different lacing techniques for your running shoes below.
Feet can often move around in the shoe and this action can also cause blisters around the toe area, heels and under the balls of the feet.
Lace locking refers to the different ways to tie laces up around the ankle, securing the foot in the shoe and reducing the movement which causes blisters. This is such a simple technique that can make such a difference.
Blisters caused by too much foot movement in the shoes, was a really common problem we saw in the medical tent at the London Marathon, this could have been so easily prevented with lace locking.
Check the video below for three ways of lace locking in different types of footwear, choose one that works for you, in preventing those types of blisters. Ensuring you have got one less thing to worry about whilst running your race.