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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Power Lacing: A Secret to Excellent Shoe Stability


Power Lacing was designed in the 1980's by a runner I believe for better stability while running. It was at a time when everything started with the word Power--power lunchs, power meetings, Power Bars, power walks, etc. Power lacing gives excellent added rearfoot stability making B shoes function like A shoes (using your grammar or high school grading system--I am a teacher at heart), and stability shoes function like motion control shoes. Many of my patients who need cushioned shoes for shock absorption can add orthotic devices and power lacing to get the same benefits of a stability shoe with more shock absorption. I estimate power lacing adds 10 to 20 % more stability for pronation or supination control in most patients in solving their biomechanical problems.
Power lacing is started by identifying the top three eyelets in a shoe. They are numbered for reference with #1 being closest to the achilles tendon (back of the heel). The photo above shows the top 3 eyelets on one side. You always use #1 and #2, and if you have short laces, you can skip #3 entirely.


The photo above shows the third eyelet skipped and eyelets #1 and #2 being used to create the needed dog or rabbit ears.


The photo above shows the side view of the third eyelet being skipped with the dog ears being created for power lacing going into and through #2 and then back into #1.



The photo above shows the above view of the initial power lacing step creating dog or rabbit ears with the #2 and #1 eyelets, skipping the third eyelet.


Following the creation of the dog ears, the lacing from the right side is put through the loop on the left, and the lacing from the left side is put through the loop on the right.


This next step is done with the patient's foot in the shoe. The laces on both sides are tugged equally ( the photo only shows my hand on the left hand side). The tugging or pulling should stay to the outside of the shoe gentlely drawing the sides of the heel counter towards the foot.


The photo above (without the corresponding foot in the shoe) demonstrates how the shoe lacing should look after the tugging is completed. The patient should feel the side of the heel in closer contact with the shoe without the feeling that the circulation is being cut off. By keeping the loops to the sides, not the front of the foot, the patient should not feel that the front of the ankle is too tight. It can take several attempts to get the handle on doing this.


This photo demonstrates another lacing tip that is actually not part of power lacing, but one I teach all the time with power lacing. When you are ready to tie the laces, instead of making one loop and then making the bow, try 2 loops before making the bow. This allows for less loosening of the laces while exercising. It can be very helpful in long distance events, or at least in activities that take a long time to complete.
Good luck with your power lacing!! I hope it helps you.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.