I was reading another post about properly lacing hiking boots, and while it talks about methods for tying the laces, it doesn't address how tight the laces should be on properly tied hiking boots.

So how do I know when the laces are tightened properly? How tight is too tight?

  • 1
    Tight so that they do not open but they should not hurt you Jan 15, 2016 at 15:34
  • 1
    This is pretty much personal preference
    – user2766
    Jan 15, 2016 at 16:17
  • @Liam is it? I thought too loose or too tight could lead to injury. Jan 15, 2016 at 16:29
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    might be worth clarifying the conditions you'll be using them in - e.g. the tightness of the boot will influence its ability to insulate your feet in cold
    – tomfumb
    Jan 15, 2016 at 17:01
  • Your feet will will let you know when your boots are too tight.
    – ShemSeger
    Jan 15, 2016 at 21:55

2 Answers 2


When they are tight enough to prevent movement within the shoe/boot but not so tight that it causes discomfort.

A little too loose is actually worse than a lot too loose. A little too loose will guarantee a blister, while a lot too loose will reduce your ankle support.



how tight is too tight?

Probably something that doesn't come off while walking in tall grass, but does come off quick when you want it to, also fast to tie up again is the knot you are looking for.

I usually prefer Ian's Secure knot. Such a brilliant link!

There is a pair of shoes which have a slightly longer laces which I deliberately didnt change, with them I use Mega Ian's knot.

I don't know if anybody has tried the method below or not, but this worked for me:
I have shoes with ankle support (whether they are good or bad is different question), When I am done tieing the shoelace, I do a bit of stretching and see if it restricts my ankle movement by any means. If it does, I loosen it up a bit and then I am good to go. For what I have observed, if you tie up too tight, with usual hiking shoes you won't feel much of a difference in the tarsal region and overall foot, but you will where the neck of the shoe comes in contact, either near the ankle (if they are not ankle-high) or above the ankle where the shin begins (if they have ankle support).

A side-note: Elasticity of the shoelace also comes in picture when its about how secure a knot is!


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