Problem with boot eyelets

12:59 p.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
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Hello, I am trying to find out if anyone has ever run into this problem or knows a good solution for it. I hike about twice a week and own a pair of Lowa, vasque and scarpa boots as well as a couple pairs of lighter trail shoes, but I really prefer heavier your more supportive boots. I have a problem with the lace of my boot catching on the backward facing open eyelet hook(for the laces) of my opposite foot when my feet pass each other. In the last five years I have fallen from this four times and when I fall I fall extremely hard and broke my arm pretty severely once and injured my hip in another fall. It happens extremely unexpectedly and my feet are essentially tied together. I know that I have an unusually narrow gate base and that my feet past closer when I walk to one another than the average person. I always talk my laces into the boot is much as I can between the tongue and the edge of the boot, which causes some pressure points that I can get over but this sometimes works its way out after walking a couple hours and this is when I fall. I have also tried talking the laces back under the tied laces  like cyclists do to keep their laces out of their chain but to be able to get the lace under the tied lace I cannot lace my boots comfortably tight.I was is a figure skater and had this problem there as well and always wore over the state tights to keep my laces away. I have cut up a couple pair of skating tights and used them over the top of my boot on occasion and they ended up shredded and not completely useful by the end of a hike, plus they run about $20 a pair and I could not afford to use a pair every time I went hiking. I have bought three different pair of gaiters and for some reason they absolutely drive me crazy in their bulkiness. Because my feet do you pass close together the excess material always kind of rubs the other boot and makes noise and I know it's probably stupid but that along with the general bulk on my feet just drives me crazy after a couple hours of walking especially with the silence. Hiking is how I get away from stress but it just sets off a sensory annoyance that builds and builds and stresses me out a lot more than getting out to hike de-stresses  me. I have also tried turning my socks down over the top of my boot but have just completely ruined quite a few pair of nice hiking socks when seeds and burs get so tangled in the looser looping of the inside lining of the sock and are absolutely impossible to remove.  this sock trick is a perfectly good solution in certain seasons and for certain trails though. I want to know if anyone has run into this problem and knows some sort of solution that I'm not thinking of or a product that would solve this, they make tight fitting neoprene figure skate covers that would be absolutely perfect if they fit over my hiking boots and didn't have the issue of the Tye in  under the skate. Is there any sort of tight close fitting gaiter available that would cover this top part of my boot or some sort of boot cover that would do the same thing possibly even that is meant for some other sport or discipline that I could just make do with that anyone has come across? I have also extensively searched for any type of these eyelets that are closed and maybe clip and somehow or sit extremely close to the boot but I do not know the technical name of this boot feature so searches have yielded very little. I've asked two cobblers if they could remove them and put in grommet eyelets and they both told me that just the way the ankle boots were made it definitely would not provide ideal support anymore and would make the boot break it down much more quickly and neither of them knew of closed Eyelets avalable. This is an issue that I feel like I have reasonably solved and I have tried to think of every option and I often forget about it but when my methods fail it can be extremely catastrophic. I usually hike alone and a good portion of most of the trails I take do not have phone service, I hadnt fallen in probably a year and a half but fell again this morning and know that I obviously just need to start wearing the gaiters that bother me and get over it but wanted to see if anyone had any other solutions because I would prefer not to wear them. Thank you for your time

6:12 p.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
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If I understand your problem, it is the loose ends of the lace on one boot gets tangled in the lace hooks of the other boot.  I have experienced this, too, it sure is unnerving (to say the least) whenever this occurs.  I do three things to address this problem:

  1. When I tie the knot, I bias its location, so the knot is positioned at 10:30 for the left boot, and 1:30 for the right boot (assuming 12:00 is straight ahead).  This reduces the chance of the knot itself getting fouled in the lace hooks.
  2. I also tie, double tie, triple tie - whatever number of re-ties required - to take up all the loose lace in knots.
  3. Make sure the knot is well tied, as a loose knot will undo the rest of your efforts.

Ed

 

8:11 p.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
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Have you tried using gaiters? From your description, a pair of ankle gaiters would cover the top of the boots, extending down over much of the lace area. The eyelet hooks would be covered along with the laces. An added benefit is that gaiters keep dust, gravel, and other stuff from getting in to the boot tops, along with shielding the hooks and covering the laces.

There are several good companies that make ankle gaiters (or taller ones up the calf for more full coverage).

9:41 p.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
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It might look stupid, but maybe a hair scrunchie would work. Or as Bill S. said, ankle gaiters since they tend to be more form-fitting than the calf- or knee-height style. In the army, guys who didn't tuck their pants into their boots often used "blousing bands," which were elastic bands with Velcro at the ends. These would probably work, too, and should be easy to find online. 

10:16 p.m. on October 6, 2016 (EDT)
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https://www.trailspace.com/gear/dirty-girl-gaiters/gaiter/#review2773

I use them on Trail runners but I don't see why you cant give them a shot,,,They don't make noise...Their not ment for snow..They keep scree and other things out of your shoes..But I think this would work for you... 

11:58 a.m. on October 7, 2016 (EDT)
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Tie your boot laces in an square knot.  Tuck remaining end of laces into the boots beside your outside ankle of each leg.  I've been doing that for about 35 years now.

3:57 p.m. on October 7, 2016 (EDT)
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i don't tuck my laces into the boot for the reason you articulated.  it creates pressure points.  tuck the loose ends underneath the lacing on the outside of the boot.  both pair of limmer boots i hike in have hooks at the top (ankle height) of the boot, and i have never had boot laces snag on the hooks the way you describe b/c they are tucked under the lacing.  this photo illustrates; i have been doing this with hiking shoe/boot and running shoe laces since high school to avoid tangling them with stuff.  (this isn't how i normally do my laces on shoes at work, BTW).  
lacing.jpg

November 13, 2019
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