Effects of different shoe-lacing patterns on the biomechanics of running shoes

J Sports Sci. 2009 Feb 1;27(3):267-75. doi: 10.1080/02640410802482425.


In the present study, we examined the influence of shoe lacing on foot biomechanics in running. Twenty experienced rearfoot runners ran in six different lacing conditions across a force platform at a speed of 3.3 m . s(-1). Foot pronation during contact, tibial acceleration, and plantar pressure distribution of the right leg were recorded. The test conditions differed in the number of laced eyelets (1, 2, 3, 6 or 7) and in lacing tightness (weak, regular or strong). The results show reduced loading rates (P < 0.05) and pronation velocities (P < 0.01) in the tightest and highest lacing conditions. The lowest peak pressures under the heel and lateral midfoot (P < 0.01) were observed in the high (seven-eyelet) lacing pattern. Regular six-eyelet cross-lacing resulted in higher loading rates (P < 0.05) and higher peak heel pressures (P < 0.01) than seven-eyelet lacing, without any significant differences in perceived comfort. The low lace shoe conditions resulted in lower impacts (P < 0.01) and lower peak pressures under metatarsal heads III and V (P < 0.01), which is probably induced by the foot sliding within the shoe. A firm foot-to-shoe coupling with higher lacing leads to a more effective use of running shoe features and is likely to reduce the risk of lower limb injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cohort Studies
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Running / physiology*
  • Shoes*
  • Sports Equipment*
  • Young Adult