Lydiard Lacing: How To Avoid Injury

What do middle school skate-boarders hanging out at the nearest strip mall have in common with Arthur Lydiard, perhaps the most influential distance running coach of all time? The way they tie their shoes of course!

Have you struggled with pain on the top of your foot when wearing running shoes (or indeed any shoe)? Often this pain can be cause by a high instep that forces the top of your foot to jam into the upper portion of a shoe.

Maybe you have returned shoe after shoe, hoping to find the proper model to aid your woes (then no doubt one year after finally finding your perfect shoe, the shoe company "updated" it and you were back to square one). Well hopefully we can solve your problem forevermore with one quick lesson.

Perhaps you have seen skateboarders wearing those big skateboard shoes. If you take a close look, often you will notice that the shoes have parallel laces as opposed to the crisscross laces to which we are accustomed. That lacing method, believe it or not, is attributed to Arthur Lydiard.

His reason for utilizing it was to relieve pressure from the feet of the distance runners that he coached. His training plan called for an incredibly large mileage base. So when his athletes were running 120-140 miles a week, the last things they needed were tight laces cutting off circulation to their weary feet.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty of tying these shoes:

  1. Basically, you are going to start at the bottom of the shoe. 
  2. Put the lace through the top of the lowest eyes on each side of the shoe (L1 and R1; make sure the two sides of lace are evenly long).
  3. From there you will go to the lace on the right-hand side and bring it up through the bottom of the second eye (R2), cross to second eye on the left (L2) and go in through the top.
  4. Swoop that same lace underneath to L4 (note- you are skipping L3) and bring the lace up through the bottom then swing it over and go in the top of R4.
  5. Continue until complete.
  6. For the lace that began on the lowest left eye (L1), bring it up and through the bottom of L3, over and through the top of R3 and continue the same pattern.

Now that was probably quite confusing, so I would recommend watching the video below to get a better idea of how to utilize the Lydiard Lacing method.