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Boot lacing techniques/styles

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:24 pm
by jdenyes
Hey interweb fellows, I have a question and I was wondering if you can help me out.

I got a pair of la sportiva nepal evo gtx's lightly used for an awesome discount, and I really love the functionality of the boot, my physio calls them 'the monsters' but personally i think they are a little magic. I don't get blisters, a bit of soreness on the sides of the big toes, but the heel feels great. The problem is, I get bruising on the top of my feet, over the arches. It feels fine on a two day mountaineering adventure, but at the end of the trip the tops are slightly swollen and discolored... too much pressure clearly. With no blisters, happy feet otherwise, an awesome boot and a huge discount, I feel like i can optimize these bad boys a bit.

I saw some tips on youtube, and am definitely going to check them out, but does anyone with high arches have a similar problem? does everyone tie their boots with the standard crisscross method? tips from the more experienced would be appreciated!
thanks for helping out a noob :D

Re: Boot lacing techniques/styles

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:56 pm
by pvnisher
Try the thinner tongues? Perhaps your have the thick ones in there?
If there is a pressure spot, then sometimes I'll skip the laces in that spot. I had a pair of very tall leather boots that would crease uncomfortably when I'd walk, so I skipped the laces at the ankle which helped a lot.
In my Nepals I do the standard lace up the foot, (to the locking ring), then go straight up to the top of the boot and do the next three DOWN.
The knot is then at the ankle rather than the top of the boot. I find it allows me to snug up the heel well, and also let the top of the boot flex better for steep decents.
You might be able to get away with having them a bit snug at the base of your toe, then quite loose over your arch, then snug again. Or you could thread them straight up the sides (with no crisscross) for a few eyelets as long as it was just over the arch. I don't think that'd make them wobbly as long as you didn't do it for a bunch.
A friend of mine cinches his boots down like he's trying to tie an outlaw to the train tracks. I tie mine rather more loosely.

Re: Boot lacing techniques/styles

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:33 pm
by splattski
I have extremely high arches and LOVE the fit of my Nepals. So far I have always left in the extra tongue padding.
I don't do anything fancy with the laces, but utilize the locking eyelets to max effect: set lower lace tension, lock, then set upper lacing (snugger). Remember that the easy-pull eyelets allow you to put a ton of tension on the laces, so relax when putting them on. You can always tighten them later if needed.

On other boots, I've had good success with fiddling. I have skipped eyelets, used locking lace technique (run lace OVER the hook first, then under, which tends to lock the laces at each eyelet for more 'spot' control) and also gone around one set of eyelets twice (especially on the cuff- if there is enough lace, you can go up then down. The basic physics is that each turn around a set of eyelets puts X closure force, so going twice doubles that. Or omitting a set of hooks reduces the closure force at that area. Or you can get real snazzy and omit ONE hook and lace assymetrically. Be creative!

Re: Boot lacing techniques/styles

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:30 am
by jdenyes
Hey guys thanks for the tips!

I will check out the tongue situation, maybe that's it, although I think I will try some of adjustments with skipping an eyelet, and going through the top down to the ankle, sounds logically like it would probably help a lot. Its really tempting to go to town hauling on the laces, but I do think the essential fit of the boot works, no blisters no sore toes, but just some wiser tying strategies.

Hopefully it will help! :-) Good to know I am not the only one who has to fiddle a bit. Wouldn't life be simpler if both feet were even always the same size? :-D

Re: Boot lacing techniques/styles

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:07 pm
by pvnisher
Very few people have feet that are identical in size. The trick is to figure out (and remember) which one is bigger, and by how much!

Re: Boot lacing techniques/styles

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:50 am
by jdenyes
Update: the boots DO fit and are truly spectacular!

I just came back from a five day mountaineering course, 12+ hours a day in the boots, and didn't have a single problem! I changed the lacing strategy, so skipped one of the eyelets and had an open spot high above my arch. Then I left the locking eyelets slightly loser, and went straight up the hooks, then downwards while crossing them. Bam, no bruises, no blisters, super comfortable, super waterproof, super great for scrambling and rock climbing.

If you're having trouble with your boots I would definitely recommend changing up the laces before giving them up as a bad rap!