WASHINGTON — The secret is out about the mysterious shoestring holes on the top of your sneakers — it turns out they are there for a reason.
Most runners, hikers and walkers don’t even bother with them. But anyone who gets blisters along their toenails should take a second look.
“The top two eyelets are there to lock the foot and ankle towards the rear of the shoe,” says Dr. Lee Firestone, a podiatrist with Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic.
He says when people run or hike downhill, the foot tends to slide forward, and that can create blisters on toes. Athletes tend to think they need different shoes or socks, when all they may really need is to lace properly through the top eyelets.
It’s a technique Firestone — an experienced marathoner and running coach with the Montgomery Country Road Runners — has taught to patients and elite athletes. And he says he is not surprised that a video explaining “the lace lock” has gone viral on the Internet.
Firestone says a good athletic shoe is essential, and reputable runner stores have staffers who can teach customers the proper lacing for their feet. It is important year-round but especially in the sticky D.C. area summer when feet swell and sweat more and the risk of blisters is higher.
Watch the viral video explaining how to do the “lace lock”: