Knowing how to properly lace your soccer shoes, or cleats, can make a serious impact on the comfort, safety and performance of your soccer game. According to the Houghston Sports Medicine Foundation, getting the proper fit out of your soccer shoes can help improve your performance while reducing the risk of injury as result of a twisted ankle or other shoe malfunction. For best results, set aside 30 minutes or more to fully lace and test your shoes to make sure you have the perfect tightness and freedom of motion.
Step into your unlaced soccer shoes and place them in an area where you can clearly see the holes and eyelets. Hold both ends of one shoelace to determine the middle point of the lace and place that directly above the lowest set of shoelace holes near the toe of the shoe.
Insert the ends of the lace evenly into the lowest pair of holes until the middle of the lace is sitting directly between the holes. Thread the right end of the shoelace through the left hole directly up from the lowest hole. Pull the lace until it all the way through before bringing the left end of the shoelace through the right hole directly up from the lowest, making sure to cross over the right end in an “X” shape.
Continue threading each shoelace end through its opposite hole, forming a crisscross pattern all the way to the top of the shoe. Pull firmly on each string as you lace up to make sure it is snug and tight against your foot, while still allowing a free range of motion at your ankle.
Finish your lacing by looping the shoelace on any extra hooks or eyelets on the top ankle area of your soccer shoe. Perform a basic shoelace knot and walk around in your shoes to test the comfort of your lacing job. Unlace your shoes to tighten or loosen the strings as needed.
Visit a soccer shoe store or sports store and have your foot measured if you feel there may be complications in your foot size. Soccer plays with narrow heels, low arches, high arches or wide feet can use specific intricate lacing patterns to help augment their condition.
Contact your doctor or personal physician if you are unsure whether or not you are healthy enough to play or compete in soccer.