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How to Prevent Heel Slippage in Running Shoes

Running is a physical activity that anyone can enjoy. You’re out for a run, in the groove and feeling as if you can do anything. Then, little by little, you notice that your foot feels odd. It’s not staying where it should in your shoe. Before long, your heel is feeling irritated. Maybe a blister is forming. You slow down and stop to stare at your running shoes as if they have betrayed you. You limp home, and wonder why your expensive running shoes are killing your feet.

The problem might be heel slippage. Heel slippage is a problem that many runners experience. It is uncomfortable, but luckily it is also preventable.

When your heeling is slipping, you might find yourself constantly re-tying your shoelaces, which is annoying and disrupts your run. Fortunately, you can stop heel slippage by following the tips below.

This article teaches you how to prevent heel slippage in running shoes, including tips on how you can lace your shoes differently to help your shoes fit your feet better.

How to Prevent Heel Slippage in Running Shoes: Three Easy Tips

Socks absorb sweat and prevent moisture from accumulating inside shoes. They help minimize odors. However, a better-quality pair of running socks has more benefits.

When choosing socks, make sure that you buy a pair that is non-slip. Non-slip socks will lessen the possibility of heel slippage in running shoes. This kind of sock might cost more than a regular pair, but it is worth the investment.

  • Get properly fitted for running shoes, and a buy pair ideal for your feet.

Some runners wear shoes that are a half size bigger or smaller than their actual shoe size. They can probably use them, but they won’t fit comfortably around the heel area. It is important to remember that not all shoe sizes fit the same. Before buying a new pair, try it on first. Even better, go to a specialty running store and ask for an expert’s opinion.

It is also important to understand that shoe sizes change as we age. Wearing the right size will reduce the risk that the heel of your shoe slips off of your foot.

  • Use good quality shoelaces

Surprisingly, the shoelaces that come with running shoes are not always of the best quality. The best shoelaces stay firm and withstand wear and tear during extraneous activities.

How to Prevent Heel Slippage with Shoelaces

There are specific ways of tying shoelaces that can help prevent heel slippage. Among them are:

  • Lock the shoelace at the upper part of the shoe. This tying system will help pull your foot back into the heel of the shoe and prevent it from slipping off. It will also improve the comfort of your shoes.
  • If you have a narrow foot and it keeps on sliding around too much inside the shoes, tighten the laces, especially in the midfoot. Sometimes, though, this may not be enough. So, try lacing them using a pattern in which the lock ends up at the top of the shoes. It will help minimize the volume inside the shoe for a more secure fit.
  • The problem with shoelaces is that they constantly get loose. They are tight and comfortable for a minute, but before you know it, they are already losing grip, causing the heel to slip inside the shoe. To solve this dilemma, use a bowless tying system. This will save you from re-tying the laces every time they get loose.

The bowless tying system allows you to wear your shoes snuggly without tightening the laces. When you pull the laces, they won’t move and will cause a minor pressure on the tongue of the shoes. This pressure comes from your heel, hence securing your heel inside the shoes and reducing the risk of tendonitis and similar foot problems.

  • Avoid folding over or bending the heel when you slip on your shoes. You can use a shoehorn, which provides support and maintains the shape of your shoes for a longer period.

Reasons For Heel Slippage

Heel slippage is inevitable, but taking the few precautions listed above will help reduce the possibility. There are several reasons why heel slippage in running shoes happens. Among them are:

  • The shoes are not put on properly.

This is the most common reason for heel slippage. The heel is loosely secured inside the shoes, so it easily slips. The good thing is the solution is very easy. When you wear the shoe, simply push the heel firmly back and tie the shoelace tightly.

  • You are wearing a pair that doesn’t fit right.

It is important to have a pair of shoes that fits perfectly. That being said, it can be difficult to find the right shoe. Some people have long narrow feet. Some people have feet with a broad forefoot and a narrow heel. Others have a thicker heel and narrower forefoot. Even though there are hundreds of options in running shoes, it can be hard, if not impossible, to find one that makes your foot feel at home. There are times that you get shoes that are a bit too long, or too wide, and they become loose in the heel.

To solve this dilemma, add a heel grip or a cobbler insert in the back of the shoes. This will make the foot come forward a little bit, and secure the heel in its proper place inside the shoe.

However, if the shoes are generally too large, adding an insert will complement the space or volume. If it doesn’t solve the problem and you still feel uncomfortable, buying a new pair with a better fit is advised.

  • The heel stiffener that comes with your running shoes is hard and has the wrong shape for your foot.

It is usually made of thermoplastic or plastic-impregnated leather, which is stiff and doesn’t follow the shape of the foot. These are the kinds of stiffeners that usually come with inexpensive running shoes.

To solve this, try inserting a cobbler that shapes the heel a bit. If this doesn’t work well, experts would recommend you get another pair with a better fit.

  • When the shoe is new, the materials are relatively stiff.

Many modern shoes don’t require much in terms of breaking in, but some shoes still benefit from a couple weeks of light wear before the hard workouts begin. Materials can be stiff right out of the box, which cause heel slippage. New shoes need to be broken in until they bbecomesofter and more flexible. You might feel pain at first, but it will pay off once the parts loosen up a bit according to your foot structure and running stance.

Final Words

There are different methods to prevent heel slippage in running shoes, but the most important trick is, in fact, not a trick at all: wear shoes that fit you perfectly. If the shoe is a bit too large or small, even by just a half-size, it will not comfortably fit in the heel area.

If you already have a pair of shoes that are too large for you, that’s okay too. You can simply try to insert a cobbler in the heel part to prevent your foot from slippage.

It is important to secure your foot inside your running shoe to make you feel comfortable while on the go and to prevent foot pain or injuries. Running can be an integral part of your lifestyle, so you have to make sure that you wear the right kind of shoes according to your foot structure and running style.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

The Wired Runner