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Beginner Basics: Corrective Boot Tying

Having boot trouble on the trail? You might be able to save your day, and your feet, just by using these simple lacing solutions. Combine them as necessary to get the comfort you want.

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PROBLEM 1: Toes getting pinched? Loosen the toe area laces and tie a simple square knot (right over left, then left over right) to keep them from creeping tight.

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PROBLEM 2: Arches and instep hurting? Or are the heels and balls of your feet sore from being squashed down by tight laces? Tighten the toe area to taste, then route your laces to avoid the painful areas atop your foot.

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PROBLEM 3: Have too much heel lift? Tie two twists into each lace right at the ankle flex point.

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Then tighten hard on the second/upper tie-off.

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Then finish with a two-twist version of the square knot, so it’s easier to untie.

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PROBLEM 4: Shins hurting? This is a normal problem with new, stiff boots. Try using the heel lift solution, and then finish your lacing on the next-to-last lace hooks.

Photos by Jennifer Howe / howephoto.us