Lace them up: Shoe lacing tips to alleviate pain

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Choosing the right pair of shoes to wear on a regular basis plays a major role in avoiding injury and ensuring the long-term health of your feet, as well as your entire body. Not only do ill-fitting shoes make you uncomfortable all day, but they can also cause foot pain or aggravate pre-existing conditions. The best fit for you depends on your daily use, but the way you lace your shoes can also increase your comfort and help you avoid pain or injury.

For runners or other athletes, it is best to purchase shoes from a shoe fitting specialist who can properly measure your body mechanics and fit.

Certain lacing techniques can help prevent injuries, alleviate pain and relieve foot problems. While the conventional method of crisscrossing laces from the bottom to the top works for most people, alternative lacing techniques can help with:

  • Common Heel Slippage – lock lacing helps pull your foot back into the heel of the shoe.
  • Boney Prominence (irritation at the top of the foot) – creates the extra room you need for a less irritating fit.
  • Darkening of the Toenail – allows your big toe to have a little extra room.

Depending on your foot problem, custom orthotics can also be used to make your shoe more comfortable.

Your feet swell slightly throughout the day, so trying shoes on in the afternoon when they are bigger will help you find a more accurate size.

Most running shoes are good for anywhere from 300 to 500 miles, but if your shoes start to break down, fall apart, or don’t fit the same as they used to, it may be time to look for a new pair. If you are experiencing any of these conditions or pain in the feet, it is important to get them checked out and properly treated by a podiatrist.  Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of podiatrists and related healthcare providers dedicated to educating individuals about proper footwear, and caring for patients with foot problems or conditions.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Titorya Stover is a podiatrist at Triad Foot Center and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group.  A Lancaster, South Carolina native, Dr. Stover graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Health Science degree before attending Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, where she earned her Doctor of Podiatric medicine with a dual master’s degree in Public Health and Biomedical Science. Dr. Stover was also a Chief Resident physician of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at the VA Medical Center in Northport, New York; and a Fellow of Sports Medicine and Surgery at the Specialty Surgical Center at UCLA and the Motion Picture and Television Fund affiliate.