How To Tie Hiking Boots To Prevent Blisters (Master The Art Of Laces)

You’re ready to head out onto the trail like the wilderness master you are, but the question is are your hiking boots tied correctly? There are actually several different methods you can use, and knowing all of them can save you a fair amount of discomfort while trekking. 

To tie hiking boots to prevent blisters, the best method to use is the surgeon’s knot. However, you also have the option of heel-lock lacing if that doesn’t quite float your boat. Already suffering some pain on your hike? Toe-relief and window lacing are here to help. 

If you want to learn how to tie your boots like a pro, our quick guide below takes you through all the ins and outs as well as some handy visual aids that will make life easier. 

Hiking Boot Basic Ties:

#1 The Surgeon’s Knot 

The surgeon’s knot prevents your heel from being lifted unnecessarily and ensures a secure fit around your entire foot. Here’s how to do it. 

You need to start by pulling out any slack in the boot through the laces, ensuring it is nice and snug around your foot. Next, find the hook eyelet that is located closest to your heel and tie the knot at this point. 

To tie the knot, pull the laces around each other twice and then pull them tight. Now, pull the laces through the hook eyelet closest to your heel and tie the second surgeon’s knot. Once this is done, you can finish tying your boots as normal. 

#2 Heel-Lock Lacing 

A heel-lock lacing method is great for preventing blisters while you are hiking or running. It will prevent your heel from slipping to create a sturdy footbed for it. If your heel is still loose even after lacing, you might have boots that are too big. Here’s how to tie the knot. 

First, you’re going to want to create two loops on the outside of the shoes. Ensure they are threaded outwards and take them from the first top hole to the second – they will now be threaded inwards. 

Now, you will want to cross over the laces through the opposite loops from inside the hiking shoe. When you have done that, pull them tight in order to lock the heel in place. You can then tie your shoe as you would normally. 

#3 Toe-Relief Lacing 

If your toes start to hurt during a hike, you can use this lacing method to relieve the pain. However, if they hurt regularly from the moment you put your boots on you probably have the wrong size and you need a new pair that fit better. Here’s how to lace for toe relief. 

To start with, fully unlace your boot. When you go to lace it back up, skip the first set of eyelets so that there are no laces above your toes. This way, there is less pressure on your toes and the toe box remains more open and flexible while you walk. 

#4 Window Lacing 

Window lacing is perfect for those who have pressure points on the top of their feet that might be causing them discomfort when they hike. Here’s how you can pull off this handy knot. 

Unlace the boot until you reach just below the pressure point on your foot. Next, you relace the boot but don’t cross it over the painful area. Instead, go straight up from one eyelet to the next. Once you get above the painful area, you can cross the laces and finish lacing as normal. 

Read Here: How to tell if your hiking boots are too big


How to tie boots without laces showing 

Tying your boots without the laces showing is actually incredibly simple. All you need to do is tie your laces as normal and then take the tied part at the top and slip it underneath the tongue of your shoes. There you have it, a clean finish with no laces showing. 

How to lace boots with hooks

Lacing boots with hooks is really easy, and they offer more flexibility when you are hiking. The surgeon’s knot is the easiest to use with these boots, and you can lace them up the ankle or below, depending on your personal needs. Hooks also make it easier for quick unlacing. 

Final Thoughts 

You’re a lace-tying pro now thanks to this guide, and the visual aids should give you an excellent idea of how to tie your hiking boots efficiently. When you’re hiking, remember to tie your boots in a way that the laces are easy to cut in case you injure yourself. 

Have you enjoyed this chapter in our guide to outdoor living? If so, you should check out the rest of our informational pieces. Everything from how to stay safe in the wilds to how to dry boots efficiently even if you aren’t at home. Whatever you need, we have the answers.