How to Tie Hiking Boots to Prevent Blisters

How to Tie Hiking Boots to Prevent Blisters

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Hiking is a wonderful pastime, and it can be loads of fun, but the fun will quickly end if you get painful blisters. You may think you have the wrong boots, but actually, it could be that you haven’t tied the laces properly.

If the laces are too loose, your feet can slip around inside the boots, and the friction will cause blisters. Moreover, if the boots are tied too tightly, there will be pressure on your feet, which will also cause blisters.

This article discusses how to tie hiking boots to prevent blisters while out enjoying nature. Let’s get started.

How to Tie Boot Laces to Avoid Blisters

There are a few ways you can lace your hiking boots to help you avoid getting painful blisters: toe-relief lacing, the surgeon’s knot, window lacing, and heel-lock lacing.

Toe-Relief Lacing

If you need more room in the toe box of your hiking boots, toe-relief lacing is an excellent method. This will give you that room and help prevent blisters on your toes.

Remove the laces and then re-lace the boots. Next, begin with the second-row eyelets or hooks. These are found at the top of the foot on most hiking boots. Skipping that first row will give you that extra room you need in the toe box.

The Surgeon’s Knot

When you are going to be on steep terrain, it is crucial that the knots in your laces don’t slip, which can cause your heels to slip and lead to blisters. This is an easy knot to tie, and it is also very versatile. Not only is this a great knot for hiking boots, but it can also be used for anything that needs a secure knot.

Instead of using the traditional crisscross lacing method or a square knot with one loop, wrap the laces twice around one another. Once you do this, all you have to do is pull on the laces or the knots to tighten them. Many videos on YouTube will show you how to properly use this lacing technique.

Window Lacing

This lacing technique will help alleviate the pressure points at the top of your foot. This technique is suitable for those with high arches or swollen feet because it will keep the boots from rubbing against the tops of the feet, and you won’t end up with blisters.

First, look at the eyelets to see where there is pressure. Then, remove the laces to the hooks located just beneath the pressure point. Next, re-lace the boots to the eyelets or hooks just above that pressure point. Instead of crossing the laces on top of that pressure point, cross them above it.

How to Tie Hiking Boots to Prevent Blisters

Heel-Lock Lacing

When your heels slip around inside your hiking boots, it can lead to blisters forming. Heel-lock lacing can prevent this from happening. This lacing technique will lock the boots at the heel, so your feet don’t move around.

Lace the boots as you normally would across the top of your feet to get a fit that is snug but doesn’t put too much pressure on your feet. Pull the end of one lace and then thread it across the flex point at the base of the ankle (the hooks or eyelets are located here).

Attach one part of the lace to the lower of these eyelets, then wrap the other part around the top of the foot twice, thread it through the eyelet, and then bring it to the upper hook. Finish by wrapping the first lace around the second one, which should be at the bridge of the foot. Then you can continue lacing the boots as you usually would.

Consider Your Foot Type

The lacing technique you use should ultimately come down to your foot type. Not every method will work for every foot type. For example, some people have high or flat arches; some have narrow feet, while others have wide feet. Some have normal-sized feet.

Don’t worry if your boots aren’t laced the same way your friends lace them. What matters the most is how they feel once they are laced, not how the lacing looks. As long as you don’t end up with blisters, that is the most important thing.


The two leading causes of blisters from hiking boots are pressure and slippage. Simply using a different lacing technique can mean the difference between a comfortable hike and one that is miserable because you are suffering from the pain of blisters. Try out these various techniques to see which works best for you. Happy hiking!

1 thought on “How to Tie Hiking Boots to Prevent Blisters”

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Safety: A Beginner's Essential Handbook - Hike Ventures

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