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Lacing - Try preventing blisters, or the dreaded black toenail, with a “Heel Lock” or “Lace Lock”.

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
Considering the probability that footware is the most important piece of equipment a pilgrim takes, I would submit a video demonstrating the use of the perhaps not-so-well known 'Heel lock' lacing technique.
It utilises the two top sets of eyelets.
As the name suggests its purpose is to lock the heel into the back of the shoe thereby preventing the foot from moving about, and the toes from banging into the front of the shoe.
I find it works like a charm independent of the lacing technique used on the lower eyelets.
NB
If you don't have the extra offset eyelet at the very top, just use it on the top two sets of eyelets you do have.


My preferred lower lacing system is the Lydiard /Ladder /Bar lacing technique. Its purpose is to decrease the amount of pressure exerted on the top of the foot.


Regards Gerard
 
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FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Thanks so much for posting this. I saw a YouTube video a number of years ago on the heel lock but was unable to find it again when I was ready to walk. Now I can give it a try,

frm
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
Thanks Gerard! I'm going to give both of these a try. I've got a narrow heel, which means fitting and heel rubbing are almost always problems for me.
Andrea
 
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2018
Ian Fiegan's lacing website is a mine of info. Lots of different styles, yes, heel lock is great, lace lock is another name, and if your shoe is still too loose, stick a cut-to-shape piece of felt under the tongue. This stops slipping as do felt heel pads. No felt? (it's available as 'chiropodists' felt in the better UK chemists in various thicknesses). Try panty liners. Replace if damp.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Considering the probability that footware is the most important piece of equipment a pilgrim takes, I would submit a video demonstrating the use of the perhaps not-so-well known 'Heel lock' lacing technique.
It utilises the two top sets of eyelets.
As the name suggests its purpose is to lock the heel into the back of the shoe thereby preventing the foot from moving about, and the toes from banging into the front of the shoe.
I find it works like a charm independent of the lacing technique used on the lower eyelets.
NB
If you don't have the extra offset eyelet at the very top, just use it on the top two sets of eyelets you do have.


My preferred lower lacing system is the Lydiard /Ladder /Bar lacing technique. Its purpose is to decrease the amount of pressure exerted on the top of the foot.


Regards Gerard
When training spend some time walking tippy toe and don't dodge those surfaces that require using toe pressure. So much of the Camino is on cobble stone type surfaces so the toes get a real work so toughen them up.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ian Fiegan's lacing website is a mine of info. Lots of different styles, yes, heel lock is great, lace lock is another name, and if your shoe is still too loose, stick a cut-to-shape piece of felt under the tongue. This stops slipping as do felt heel pads. No felt? (it's available as 'chiropodists' felt in the better UK chemists in various thicknesses). Try panty liners. Replace if damp.
A great tidbit of advise I'd personally not seen before. I bring Compeed on my caminos and love it for treating hot spots. It's kind of thick and has great sticking power...might it work under the tongue for the purpose you describe?
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
When training spend some time walking tippy toe and don't dodge those surfaces that require using toe pressure. So much of the Camino is on cobble stone type surfaces so the toes get a real work so toughen them up.

Although, we did street walking on our preparation for our first camino, we did not do enough. Our feet were sore and ached....although they never blistered. Since that time, at least 60 percent of walking preparation is on pavement so our feet are tough when we go. Also, I never talk a bath on the Camino, just showers as my feet soften quickly.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I've only walked two Camino's thus far but both were blister free thanks in large measure to this lacing technique:. https://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/know-this-hiking-boot-lacing-technique-the-heel-lock
Thank you for posting the link. This is indeed the video I have recommended for the last 7 or 8 years. It contains many pearls of wisdom such as the double overhand knot, missing some eyelets, as well as the heel lock technique. It is well worth study.
However, the use of boots has been drastically reducing during the 10 years I have been Camino oriented so I felt the time warranted a fresh approach.
Kind regards for the Christmas season,
Gerard
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
A great tidbit of advise I'd personally not seen before. I bring Compeed on my caminos and love it for treating hot spots. It's kind of thick and has great sticking power...might it work under the tongue for the purpose you describe?
It might but it would probably also make talking a bit difficult!
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I've got a narrow heel, which means fitting and heel rubbing are almost always problems for me.
Andrea
Hi Andrea,
Did you see that suggestion from Camino Chrissy re using Compeed patches. One each side of the heel might give some relief.
Kind regards and Merry Christmas to you!
Gerard
 
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Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I think Compeed could ooze stickiness around the edges and ruin your socks, unless you cover them with tape. Engo patches are designed to eliminate some types of blisters by covering problem areas in your shoes or boots. https://goengo.com/
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think Compeed could ooze stickiness around the edges and ruin your socks, unless you cover them with tape. Engo patches are designed to eliminate some types of blisters by covering problem areas in your shoes or boots. https://goengo.com/
I've used Compeed on my toes for hot spots and nothing oozed out, nor stuck to my socks...just saying.
I'm sure Engo could be another option, although I've never used it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
It took me many Caminos to finally figure out my best solution for avoiding black toe nails, back of heel blisters and the like. I tried the various lace techniques, the Vaseline over the socks, larger toe box etc. but in the end I found by upsizing my boots by one whole size worked for me. I always thought shoes should fit well and feet shouldn't swim around in them, only to discover that a certain amount of freedom is a good thing.

Also I discovered a great remedy for hot spots and best of all it is free. If starting from SJPdP or up in the mountains, look for barbed fencing and you are sure to find bits of sheep wool that you can pick up. The wool when placed over the tender toes/foot areas act as a natural cushion with amazing wicking properties to reduce moisture. Share some with you new camino friends and look like the wise pilgrim healer. Also save a little for placement in your ears for a quiet nights sleep :}
 
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AndreaCT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
Hi Andrea,
Did you see that suggestion from Camino Chrissy re using Compeed patches. One each side of the heel might give some relief.
Kind regards and Merry Christmas to you!
Gerard
Thanks Gerard,
I've been using merino wool socks and Hokas for a few years now on all of my local hikes and on two of my treks to Spain. I have been extremely lucky to not get blisters. In Spain, there were a couple of times that I could feel a hot spot on my heels and I applied Compeed before anything developed. So far, blister free on the Camino! I'm looking forward to trying your lacing suggestions to see if hot spots become history.

Merry Christmas back to you!
Andrea
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
I think Compeed could ooze stickiness around the edges and ruin your socks, unless you cover them with tape. Engo patches are designed to eliminate some types of blisters by covering problem areas in your shoes or boots. https://goengo.com/
Hi Theresa,
I actually have a pair of merino wool socks that still have Compeed residue on the heels, even after continuing to wear and wash them for quite awhile now! As soon as I put my socks on the memory of the exact spot where I put on the Compeed comes flooding back into my brain. I have to laugh because of all the incredible scenery, the amazing people that I met and the beautiful towns and cities that I walked through, one of my strongest memories is the rock where I sat to put on my Compeed! I'll check out Engo - thanks!
Merry Christmas! Andrea
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Take a care that lock lacing does not put too much pressure at the top of your foot or ankle - it can result in tendonitis. In the days when I wore shoes or boots on camino I would get shooting pains up the front of my legs if the top of my laces were too tight. Regardless of the lacing, I always seem to lose toenails due to the top of my toes hitting the top of my shoes or boots.

Now I wear open toed sandals I have neither problem. A few others, but not those!
 

John Phillips

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF September 2018
Finisterre/Muxia October 2018
CDN June (2019)
I live and walk in an area of thick clay which can almost suck the boots off your feet.
I find that lacing the boots from the top eyelets to the top hooks and then back down helps.
Many boots do not have eyelets at the top
 

Roby

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May/June 2018
I don’t know what this shoe tying system is called but it’s the best.
If you are able, buy shoes with this kind of lacing and you will never have problems with laces.

salewa.jpg
 

Thebee6

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sept-Oct 2018)
1616946369734.png
I brought this set of lacing diagrams on the Camino with me, and found that the little adjustments a couple of the methods made for me kept my very fussy feet relaxed and relatively happy. I shared the diagrams with a German friend whose feet were a mass of blisters soon after he started. After he bought a pair of women's ankle-high panty hose to use as sock liners, his blisters mostly healed, but he was dogged by irritation on the outside of his little toes. He used diagram #6 and found instant relief. A millimeter or two of ease or snugness can make a difference...
 

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