Sometimes all that’s needed to solve a long-standing problem is a nudge in the right direction, from the right person.
I’ve got to thank reader Staci K. for giving me my latest – and much-needed – nudge. Staci has solved the only issue I’ve ever had with my Invisible Shoe minimalist huaraches. She did that by showing me, via photos on her blog, a slightly different way of lacing them.
First, a brief introduction to Staci. She’s a South African, who runs barefoot and in Invisible Shoe huaraches. Incredibly, she’s not only done the Comrades Ultra marathon (one of the world’s premier ultras), but she did it in her Invisible Shoes! When I looked at photos on Staci’s SheRunsInSandals blog, I noticed that her lacing was slightly different from mine.
When I lace my huaraches, I run the lace that goes from between my toes to the outside of my foot runs at about a 45 degree angle to the fore-aft axis of my foot. (I also laced my Barefoot Ted huaraches the same way.) I did that because it followed the directions given by both Barefoot Ted and Steven Sashen of Invisible Shoe.
The only issue I’ve ever had with either of my pairs of huaraches is that, on long runs (i.e., over 25K), the knot on that front-to-side lace grinds into my skin a little. (I have a fairly high instep, which exacerbates the pressure there.) The skin on top of our feet is very thin, so that slight grind, over a long run, results in a nasty little flesh wound that can take days to heal. Band-aids and Krazy Glue help, but they don’t solve the problem.
When Staci laces her huaraches, the lace runs along the fore-aft axis. coming straight up towards the centre line of her ankle. The following image from her latest race report shows what it looks like.
Yesterday, I tried lacing my huaraches Staci’s way. And hey presto! No pressure and grinding. I think the problem may be solved. I’m going to the new lacing pattern on a run soon, to see it works the way I think it will.
I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t come up with this modification on my own. It is, after all, a pretty logical solution. But I’m glad that Staci gave me the nudge that she did. A big tip of the huarache hat to her!