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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is fast approaching on October 20th, 2019. You have been training hard for the marathon so here are a few tips to get you feeling your best:

Have the right footwear

Photo of a man tying his shoe lace - A closeup of a man tying his shoe lace resting his foot on a steal fence, after a run work out. He is wearing a red sweater, black shorts and sports shoes. In the distance the sun is setting giving a nice warm light.

Most marathon runners have their favourite trusted brands that they spend months training in. Months before the marathon, you should check the wear pattern on your soles to make sure they will be in good shape for the big day. If you find you are tilting too much on the inside/outside of your heel or there is excessive wear under the balls of your feet then they are too worn out for a marathon. New shoes can take a few weeks to break in so make sure you run a few weeks/months in new shoes to get used to them.

Wear the right socks


Socks are just as important as good shoes during the day of the marathon. The right socks can help reduce blisters, calluses and corns and they can help keep your feet dry. Seamless socks can reduce friction and aid in redistributing pressure points. Sock material is another important consideration. Consider buying Bamboo socks or socks with moisture wicking technology as opposed to 100% cotton which can hold in too much moisture. If your feet or legs get swollen during a run, try Sigvaris Running Compression Socks. Compression stockings can help reduce swelling and aid in keeping blood flow to your muscles to keep them energized for longer.

Moisturize your heels

If you have cracks in your heels or feet, you should take care of them before the marathon to avoid problems with your performance. Two weeks before the marathon start moisturizing your heels and feet every evening. Products with excellent ingredients to help heel cracks and dry skin are Gehwol Soft Feet Cream, Gehwol Salve for Cracked skin, Dermal Therapy and Camillen 60 Intense Fissure Cream. Avoid walking around barefoot, especially around hard surfaces, to prevent further complications with dry cracked heels.



Wear your orthotics

Orthotics are excellent devices for helping with shock absorption and increasing stability. You need to make sure you have run with your orthotics weeks and even months before the marathon. It is very important to not wear new orthotics the day of your marathon as they can cause blistering, rubbing, instability and soreness if they are not broken in.

Don’t change anything the day of the marathon

You have spent weeks or months preparing for this marathon, perfecting your technique, wearing the right shoes and socks so don’t change anything the day of the marathon. It’s important to remember, there are no last minute changes that can drastically improve your technique. It is the weeks of preparation that will help you succeed.

Get a medical pedicure 

Runners feet are prone to developing bruised and damaged nails, calluses, corns and blisters more so than the average person. At least two weeks before your marathon, get your feet ready by getting a medical pedicure at Feet First Clinic. Our highly trained Chiropodists will safely trim your nails, help fix cracked or bruised nails, and take care of any calluses and corns.

Relax after the race
After spending all day running, you need to take care to relax your muscles and feet. You can relax at home with Gehwol foot bath and afterwards for added relief moisturize your feet with Gehwol Warming Balm.

4 Reasons You Have Pain on the Bottom of Your Foot

Pain on the bottom of your foot can significantly alter your lifestyle.

Because so much of what we do every day involves our feet, it’s important to take the proper precautions and treatments to ensure our feet are feeling at its best. But, because we’re on them so much, whether it’s for work, exercise, or for pleasure, our feet are susceptible to injury.

Below, we break down four common injuries and reasons for why you may be experiencing pain on the underside of your foot.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries among runners, let alone the general population. The pain comes from irritation of the plantar fascia, a thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. You generally feel pain in the heel and the arch.

If you experience plantar fasciitis, follow the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Giving your body rest allows the inflammation to go down, and for the irritation of the tissue to subside.

Plantar Fasciitis

An additional trick: fill a bottle full of water and freeze it. Once frozen, while sitting, rest your foot on the bottle and roll back and forth. This acts as both a massage tool to break up the tissue and encourage blood flow, as well as a way to reduce inflammation with cold therapy.

Depending on the circumstance, custom orthotics may also help with plantar fasciitis by providing additional heel support. Ill-fitting footwear could be one of the causes of the injury in the first place, so a simple solution like new shoes or orthotics may be your best bet. Additional prevention measures include calf raises, foot doming and towel pickups.

If you have persistent heel pain, schedule a diagnostic assessment with our own licensed Chiropodists (foot specialists), use the booking form below or call 416-769-FEET(3338).

Heel spurs

A heel spur is a bony outgrowth on the underside of the heel. A spur could be the reason you experience pain on the bottom of your foot. 

If you experience intense heel pain that seems to get worse over time, a heel spur may be the culprit. Heel swelling and a visible bump on your heel are also signs that you may be experiencing a heel spur.

Unfortunately, without surgery, there’s no way to remove a heel spur. But, with the proper treatments and precautions, you can limit the damage and pain associated with the injury. Stretching and strengthening exercises, properly fitted custom orthotics, over-the-counter insoles, and taking ill-fitting footwear out of rotation can all help with heel spurs.

Typically, as is the case with most injuries, heel spurs develop because of overuse. Recurrent strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect to the heel bone can cause heel spurs . In response to stress, the heel bone “fortifies” itself by depositing extra bone on the existing bone.

If you experience pain in the toe area, a bone spur in that area may too be the culprit.

Morton’s Neuroma

Have you ever felt like there’s a pebble in your shoe that you can’t seem to get rid of? It may be Morton’s neuroma.

Morton’s neuroma is a type of nerve compression syndrome which involves nerves in the lesser toes. It is characterized by fibrosis and thickening of nerve tissue between the third and fourth intermetatarsal space and is a result of repetitive trauma. Pain is typically in the area between the third and fourth toes.

Because of the area of the injury, ill-fitting shoes, specifically those with a narrow toe box, can be the cause. By forcing your toes inwards and squeezing them into a small area, you put more pressure on your third and fourth toes. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, high-heeled shoes have been linked to the development of Morton’s neuroma. Many people experience relief by switching to lower heeled shoes with wider toe boxes. Sometimes corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary.

Common treatment methods include custom orthotics, wearing shoes with a wider toe box, like Altras for example, and using metatarsal pads, which are placed under the ball of the foot and act to open the intermetatarsal space and reduce irritation of nerve tissue.


There are many types of tendonitis in the foot, but sesamoiditis is pain in the tendons close to your big toe. This type of pain is prominent in athletes including gymnasts and runners because of the pressure on the ball of the feet.

According to Healthline, the primary symptom of sesamoiditis is pain that develops under the ball of the foot. The pain tends to build gradually, and you may notice some swelling or bruising. Often, bending and straightening your big toe can be difficult, and you may experience popping sensations when you walk.

As tendonitis is inflammation and overuse of the tendons, sesamoiditis is exactly that: overuse of the tendons near your big toe. Also, tenderness near your toes is a sign as is the toe’s flexibility. Typically, mild cases of sesamoiditis are treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medicines. If pain persists, visit a professional to be properly diagnosed and for best next steps.

Our Toronto foot clinic is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic.

We are located at 2481 Bloor Street West

Have pain on the top of your foot and not the bottom? Read about why you might be experiencing pain on the top of your foot.

Heel Spur: Causes and Prevention

A heel spur is a bony protrusion or growth from the underside of the heel bone. It forms over time due to repetitive muscular and ligament strain from activity such as walking, running, and jumping. It is a condition often associated with plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the fibrous tissue that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot, causing heel pain. Contrary to popular belief, a heel spur itself does not cause pain at the heel; rather it is the soft tissue injury associated with it.

The heel spur is simply the reaction to the problem at hand, not the cause. These associated soft tissue injuries usually cause a sharp pain at the heel with the first steps in the morning or with the initial steps after rest. Some report the pain turns into a dull ache and comes back with increased activity throughout the day.

You can definitely increase your risk of developing a heel spur and associated heel or plantar arch pain by:

  • Wearing unsupported footwear
  • Not addressing fault foot mechanics and abnormal gait patterns
  • Increasing weight bearing activity, especially in sports that require you to run and jump
  • Being overweight

Heel Pain

Although a heel spur can only be removed by surgical means, the associated pain from various soft tissue injuries can be managed through conservative means such as rest, ice, proper footwear, custom foot orthotics, and daily stretching.

Look for shoes that have a cushioned sole with arch support rather than a shoe that is completely flat. A good shoe will also have good torsional stability, a firm heel counter, and a roomy toe box. In addition, for home shoes, opt for sandals or slippers with a cork foot bed and again, arch support is a priority.

Talk to your local Chiropodist for advice on custom foot orthotics. A custom insole will support your foot in all the right places and correct any harmful compensations or abnormal gait patterns. Furthermore, a heel pad may be added to provide additional cushioning or a horseshoe pad which will offload the heel spur/area of pain.

Finally stretching the muscles and tendons of the foot will reduce tension in these soft tissues as well as strengthen them.

Calf stretched against the wall and on a step are particularly helpful. Remember to hold your stretch for 15-30 seconds, repeating the exercise 10 times on each leg.

Calf Exercises

For more information on heel spurs and effective treatment options, book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists at Feet First Clinic.

We are open six days a week!

Solve Your Ankle Pain with Supportive Shoes

The most popular shoe style used for ankle support is the high-top — this shoe style extends above the ankle. Lots of basketball players sport high-tops because they want to reduce their risk of ankle injuries from jumping, landing, falling and getting hit by other players.

Sadly, there’s no scientific proof that high-top sneakers prevent more injuries than low-top sneakers on the basketball court. The height of the heel cover might not matter when it comes to support. So, what will make a shoe better for your ankles?

A Good Fit

Shoes that don’t fit properly are more likely to lead to foot conditions and injuries. You should come to Feet First Clinic to have your feet measured and get the best fit.

A Strong Tread

Look for rubber soles with strong tread. These give your shoe grip and support on different terrain, preventing your feet from sliding or slipping when they hit the ground.

Orthotic Inserts

Orthotic inserts will keep your feet steady while you’re moving and increase shock absorption in your shoes. When you get them custom-made, orthotics can alleviate discomfort from arch problems, musculoskeletal conditions and recovering injuries.

Causes of Ankle Pain

Long-term foot conditions can cause ankle pain and discomfort just as severe as a sudden sports injury. Here is a brief list of examples:

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone. When the muscles can’t absorb the shock from impact, the bones take the damage. Unlike a break, stress fractures deal with small shocks from repetitive activities. They’re overuse injuries found in athletes like runners and basketball players.

Chronic Ankle Instability

The medical condition called chronic ankle instability might be easier to recognize as the common term “weak ankles,” where someone frequently rolls or turns their ankles. This condition often happens to people who had a previous ankle sprain that didn’t heal properly.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendinitis is a condition caused by the chronic strain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The swelling and pain affect the heel and surrounding areas, including the ankles. People notice the symptoms of Achilles tendinitis the most when they’re exercising.

High Arches

Up to 20% of the population have feet with high arches. The problem with high arches is that they don’t distribute shock evenly throughout the foot, only letting it hit the ball and heel. The uneven distribution leads to symptoms like heel pain, ball of foot pain and ankle pain. Click here to read more about high arches and what other foot conditions they are closely connected to.

If you’re not sure what’s the cause behind your ankle troubles, you should visit a chiropodist. They will diagnose the issue and present you with effective treatment options. Book an appointment at the foot and ankle clinic right after you notice any suspicious symptoms.

Whenever you’re dealing with foot pain, you need to investigate your shoes. The wrong types of footwear could be contributing to that pain, meaning the right types of replacements can offer relief. Anyone who is living with ankle problems should get themselves a new pair of supportive shoes.

In Everything Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means spending time with family and friends. It also means spending a lot of time staying inside preparing, cooking and eating. It is important to be mindful about proper footwear at home especially during the holidays when we spend the most time walking around barefoot.

Recent studies find that it is not recommended to walk around barefoot at home when you have hardwood floors, laminate or ceramic floors. When we strike our heel, the pressures from the ground are absorbed by our heels by means of pronation. However, most people who are “heavy footed” lack proper shock absorption and with every heel strike those hard ground reactive forces are being transferred to the joints at an alarming force.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, people who walk with a “slap foot” have too much shock absorption and lack the ideal structure for proper pressure redistribution. If you are experiencing any heel pain, pain in the balls of the feet or your feet just feel tired – then you are definitely putting your feet at more risk by walking around barefoot. We often suggest wearing Birkenstocks as slippers for inside the house.

Birkenstocks have a cork footbed which is one of the best materials for shock absorption. The arch support also helps balance your foot and heel in the proper position for shock absorption. Also, straps around the ankle and the arch create a more stable platform for support. If you find Birkenstocks too hard or uncomfortable, a great alternative is Mephisto which have a softer footbed but equal support and shock absorption as Birkenstocks.

mephisto clog
Mephisto – Thea

If you find you are susceptible to corns or calluses or you have been struggling with a painful corn or callus, then it is necessary to be wearing shoes inside the house. Calluses occur due to pressures not being absorbed properly while corns occur usually within a callus due to excessive pinpoint pressure.

Excessive swelling can occur in the ankles and feet if you are standing for long hours. Along with the swelling, the veins can be overworked and eventually become twisted and bulge out as varicose veins. Compression stockings help promote circulation and prevent varicose veins and swelling.

compression stockings science

It is recommended to wear them while standing or sitting for long hours to make sure circulation is constantly flowing.

This year enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays with friends and family with pain free feet legs and feet.

Toronto Pumpkin Fest

If you’re looking for something exciting to do for the Thanksgiving weekend, plan a trip with your family down to a massive pumpkin patch at Downey’s Farm in Caledon, Ontario, just a 30-minute drive from Toronto.

Since Toronto Pumpkinfest is an outdoor event, there are several things you will want to prepare for beforehand.

The most important item to think about is footwear.

Fall weather can be unpredictable so be sure to check the weather the day of to prepare accordingly. Most outdoor events tend to be pretty muddy so wearing waterproof hiking shoes or boots is a safe choice. Be sure to check your shoes for any cracks or wear before the start of the season.

If you are looking for new footwear, brands such as Clarks, Portofino, Ara, Mephisto and Naot have a great selection of stylish and supportive footwear.

comfortable footwear
(From left to right) Clarks, Mephisto and Ara

Stay warm with proper fitting thermal socks or Merino wool socks which have moisture wicking properties to keep your feet dry. If you have tired or heavy legs that are prone to getting cold, consider ordering a pair of Sigvaris Merino Wool compression stockings.

merino wool compression

Compression stockings are graduated, which means they are tighter at the ankles and looser at the calves, which helps promote continuous circulation. If you are living with Raynauds or are prone to chilblains, Pyro Socks for Cold Feet by Infracare allow your feet to stay warm with their bio-material.

After spending all day outside, you can relax your feet at home, soak them with Gehwol foot bath and moisturize it with Gehwol Warming Balm.

Click the here for more details about Toronto Pumpkin Fest.

Why You’re Experiencing Pain On Top of Your Foot

Your feet hurt, your muscles ache, and your joints are sore. What’s going on?

If you experience pain on the top of your foot, there are a number of injuries that may be the culprit.

Pain on the top of your foot is a relatively broad term. That’s because there are so many different issues that can arise from the foundation of our bodies. We do after all use our feet every day. Typically, one injury can lead to another as well, given the interconnectedness of our muscles, joints, and tendons.

Below we outline four common injuries and reasons you may be experiencing pain on top of your foot.


Tendonitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon. For those experiencing top-of-foot pain, tendinitis of the tibialis anterior tendon may be the cause. The tibialis anterior is a far-reaching muscle that originates two-thirds up your lower leg, and extends down to the top of your foot and connects to your metatarsal bones.

Another source of tendinitis may be in your extensor tendons, which wraps across your ankle and extend through the top of your foot. These tendons sit between the bones and the skin, making them prone to injury, and aggravation because of tight shoes. Tightness, overuse, friction, and improper fitting shoes can all be contributing factors.

With all tendinitis, the best course of action includes rest, icing to reduce inflammation, anti-inflammatories for the same reason, and toe grip exercises. If the root of the problem is improper shoes, visit the clinic for a foot assessment and we’ll get you into the proper footwear.

Bone spur

Bone spurs are bony outgrowths as a result of osteoarthritis. Although heel spurs are common, pain specifically on the top of your foot is more likely a toe spur.

As your joint cartilage breaks down, your body responds by growing additional bone as a defence mechanism. Bone spurs develop in order to fortify and stabilize the joint by building additional calcium deposits. Because of the outgrowth, there are a number of symptoms that arise.

Symptoms of a bone spur – also known as osteophyte – include pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, grating sensations, swelling, and seeing bony projection itself.

Pain On Top Of Your Foot
Bone spur on top of the big toe (left foot).

These symptoms are particularly prevalent in athletes who participate in high-impact sports. Those who run, or do gymnastics and ballet are particularly prone, as are older people. Symptoms may get worse over time if not addressed. Plus, you may experience any combination of these symptoms.

Treatment isn’t always necessary, since a bone spur may not cause you any pain or reduce your quality of life. If you experience pain, visit a professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

You cannot remove the bone spur without surgery. But, if you fix the problem at its root, and take certain precautionary steps, bone spurs won’t necessarily be painful, and surgery won’t be necessary. In any case, surgery is a short-term solution as a bone spur can re-develop. Certain treatments include weight loss, changing shoes, hot and cold therapy to reduce inflammation, and anti-inflammatories.

If you do require surgery, the course of action is to either remove the bone spur entirely or to fuse the bones together. Recovery time can vary, and as always, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

Read more: All You Need To Know About Bone Spurs.

Stress fracture(s)

If the pain is sharp, you may have a stress fracture. A common area of stress fractures is within the area of your midfoot, where your metatarsals are located.

They are the first metatarsal, second metatarsal, third metatarsal, fourth metatarsal, and the fifth metatarsal. These bones connect your toes, and are put under pressure during high-impact activities like running.

You may also be experiencing metatarsalgia, a more general term used for any pain found in the ball of the foot, where the metatarsals of the foot lie. This pain often occurs under the second and third metatarsals. In that case, wear shoes with a low heel and a wider toe box to reduce stress to your feet.

If the root problem is faulty foot mechanics, corrective custom foot orthotics will help to increase support and stability in the foot and ankle as well as redistribute plantar pressures.


Neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes, often referred to as a ‘pinched nerve’, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may experience pain in the ball of your foot, a burning sensation, or tingling, depending on the severity. Similarly, it can feel like you’re walking with a pebble in your shoe.

Causes of neuroma include biomechanical deficiencies, trauma, improper footwear, and repeated impact and stress. We encourage you to read more about neuroma on our injury-specific page.

In terms of treatments, simple fixes include:

  • Metatarsal pad or neuroma pad – these types of padding are placed under the ball of the foot and act to open the intermetatarsal space and reduce irritation of nerve tissue;
  • Wear shoes with wider toe box, and lower heels to reduce pressures applied to the front of the foot;
  • Custom foot orthotics – these custom-made devices can help further offload the forefoot and control and biomechanical abnormalities;
  • Injection therapy: An alcohol solution can be injected into the nerve site at regular intervals to decrease size and subsequent pain.

If you are experiencing pain at the ball of your foot, book an appointment with one of our licensed chiropodists at Feet First Clinic.

Getting Your Feet Ready for Autumn

Your feet have just survived summer in sandals and the drastic change to boots can come at a price. Feet can be extremely dehydrated in the summer as people as people are not moisturizing them as regularly. When your feet are in shoes, any skin conditions can be extremely exacerbated.

Autumn is the perfect time to get your feet back in shape with a few helpful tips:



At least once a week, soak your feet in epsom salts for 15 minutes and then take a foot file/pumice stone around callused areas. Foot soaks are also known to increase circulation to the feet and aid in keeping skin healthy and moisturized. If you are a person living with diabetes, immunocompromised or have a difficult time reaching you feet, then book an appointment with one of our Chiropodists to have a medical pedicure to remove all the dry, cracked, hard skin.

Epsom Salts


Daily applications of moisturizers can help prevent painful deep cracks in your heels and prevent the further build up of hard skin. An ideal time to moisturize your feet would be after a shower or before bedtime and put on socks after to hold the moisturizer in. Recommended products are Gehwol Salve for cracked skin, Gehwol Foot cream and Dermal Therapy.

Take a break from nail polish

Nail polish has extremely hard chemicals such as Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate and Toluene which can cause nails to peel, turn yellow or cause permanent damage. If you are dealing with nail fungus, it is highly recommended to avoid wearing nail polish. Nail polish creates a perfect dark and impenetrable barrier in which fungus thrives in. If you have dry and brittle nails, also avoid wearing nail polish and moisturize with Vitamin E oil for strengthening the nails.

Find the proper footwear

The change from sandals to shoes can be a difficult transition for most people. Your feet can change drastically in only a few short weeks of wearing unsupported shoes; sometimes even causing more permanent damage. Be sure to wear shoes that are not completely flat, have some sort of arch support and a small heel or wedge.

Ara Fall 2019 Collection

If you are experiencing any pain in your feet, be sure to book in with one of our Chiropodists for an assessment.

Never ignore pain, it is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.

Gout: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

If you have a red, swollen, warm, painful big toe and it came about relatively suddenly perhaps in the middle of the night, you may have gout.

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Elevated levels of uric acid lead to the formation of crystals which deposit into a joint resulting in the joint becoming red, hot, swollen, and painful. The initial attack of this condition is usually sudden, symptoms lasting for about a week. The most common joint it affects is at the joint that connects your big toe to the rest of the foot.

Gout is predominantly seen in men around the age of 60. People who have existing health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease are also more likely to get gout. In addition, dietary choices such as frequent consumption of red meats, shellfish, as well as alcoholic beverages can increase your risk.

If you think you may have gout, a Licensed Chiropodist will be able to manage your pain and ease the symptoms.

The main goals of therapy are to terminate a painful attack and prevent recurrences. In general, management of gout involves a prescription oral medication such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory called, Indomethacin.

Then, to help decrease pain, a Chiropodist will aim to immobilize the joint temporarily. This can be done via pads and tape. Your footwear choices are also something to consider. Wearing shoes with increased toe-box depth, increased width and rigidity in the sole can help reduce pain.

If gout related pain becomes chronic, more permanent solutions such as a custom foot orthotic with a rigid extension to reduce mobility in the affected joint may be recommended.

Book an appointment with a Chiropodist at Feet First Clinic today for a full assessment and more information on how to manage gout attacks in the foot.

Shoelace techniques that can reduce foot pain

You wear your shoes for hours on end, if not for the entire day. We all know how shoes are traditionally tied, but have you ever considered tying them in a different way?

Picture this scenario: you’ve chosen the right shoe, done the strengthening and rehab exercises, and still experience pain. Rather than overhauling your shoes, or being frustrated with your strength exercises not working, there may be a simple solution. The culprit may be pressure on various parts of your foot, which can cause foot pain.

For a greater explanation, read this excerpt from Harvard Health Publishing at Harvard University. “If you’re one of them [who experiences foot pain], you might want to try a simple solution that may bring relief — adjusting your shoelaces, especially on your athletic shoes. Today’s mass-produced shoes often don’t accommodate the quirks of individual feet, which may be wide or narrow or have arches that are high or low. Retying your shoes can make adjustments for those differences, and in some cases, ease your pain.”

Simply tying your shoelaces in a specific way could be the solution. Below, we break down various methods beyond the basic shoelace techniques.

For a heel lock

This shoelace technique reduces slippage and blisters around the heel. Through the locking mechanism around the top of the foot, this trick ensures a snug fit around the circumference of the shoe. However, it can also put additional stress on the Achilles tendon so beware of how tight you keep your shoelaces.

The key here is to use the extra eyelet at the top of the shoe. Once you’ve weaved your shoelaces through the second to last eyelet, insert the shoelace into the final eyelet on the same side. Then, extend that same lace across and through the loop you’ve made on the opposite side. This method locks your heel into place and keeps your shoe snug all around the top of the shoe.

For a heel lock, option two

Rather than using all eyelets possible, this technique is similar to the above. The one exception is that you skip the second to last eyelet and go straight to the heel lock as outlined above.

For toe pain

Shoelace techniques 2
The diagonal lacing lifts the toe box and follows the natural curvature of your foot.

This shoelace technique reduces pressure on your toes, and can lessen the likelihood of pesky black toenails. The diagonal set up ensures a snug fit across the top of your feet. Plus, it alleviates tightness within the toebox. Start off by taking one end of the shoelace and feeding it through the bottom eyelet, and then work your way back up the shoe. Once you get to the top, you then tie the laces as you normally would, using the extra lace from the top of the diagonal, and the end you just weaved through.

For a high arch

Shoelace techniques
Notice the gap in the middle of the tongue to reduce pressure above a high arch.

This cross-over lacing trick opens up some area on the top side of the foot above the arch. By using the bottom and top eyelets while skipping the middle, the foot stays snug in place while offering relief above your arch. Weave your laces as you normally would, but skip a row of eyelets to leave a gap. This gap is the area of relief.

For wide feet

If you’re someone with wider feet who can never seem to find a shoe that’s just the right fit, this technique might be just for you. To use this trick, start from the beginning, and weave your laces through the first eyelet as you usually would. Then, skip an eyelet each row, and tie normally at the top.

This method loosens the entire shoe and offers relief alongside the outer edges of your feet.

For other shoelace techniques and methods, as well as video tutorials, visit For additional shoelace techniques, tricks and tips, check out this article on Self and this piece at On Running.

Shoe lacing techniques should only be used for experimental purposes and may not provide a long-term solution to your foot problems. If pain persists, identify the cause of your foot pain or discomfort and get immediate care by visiting our Toronto foot clinic. Book your appointment today.