The Irish soft shoes are made out of soft leather, so they do not need to be tied tightly against the foot like you would with other dance shoes. If your shoe is too tight, it will stretch and become misshapen over time. Irish soft shoes should only feel snug around the ball of your foot when you first put them on; after a while, they will stretch to fit your foot perfectly.
The Irish soft shoe is a traditional Irish dance shoe that has been worn for centuries. The shoes are comfortable and easy to lace, but many people have trouble with them because they seem so unfamiliar. This article will show you how to tie your shoes the right way in 14 simple steps.
How to Lace Irish Soft Shoes: Step by Step Guide
Here are the simple steps to follow:
Step 1: Get the shoe.
The Irish soft shoes are made out of leather, so they will be stiff when you first get them. Place your finger inside the hole on top and gently pry it open before slipping in your foot. If you try to put a very tight shoe onto a not-yet-stretched foot, it may be more difficult to get on and will be more likely to tear at the seams.
Step 2: Position your foot correctly in the shoe.
Make sure that you are sitting down with one leg crossed over the other, or standing up straight (with your weight equally distributed between both feet). If you try putting shoes on when you are laying down or sitting, you will not be able to make the final steps of tying your shoe.
Step 3: Pinch the footbed (bottom) of the shoe between your feet
By pinching this leather part, you are making it easier for the laces to pass under and over each section. This technique also makes sure that there is even pressure on the ball of your foot around the hole. You can start with a single pinch or try double pinching for more tension.
Step 4: Put one lace into each side of both shoe holes.
The first time you put on this type of shoe, it may be difficult to get the laces in place because there is no initial opening. If you have a friend to help, this is the time they should come in handy. You can also try using a tool like a bent wire hanger or wooden dowel that will allow you to pry open the hole from inside without damaging it too much.
After getting your laces into place, make sure there is even tension on the front and back of the shoe.
Step 5: Pull one side of each lace so they are snug against your skin.
If you tried lacing up a stiff pair of shoes, then it may take some time to get them tight enough that they do not slide around on your feet when walking or dancing. Irish soft shoes should only feel snug around the ball of your foot when you first put them on; after a while, they will stretch to fit your foot perfectly.
Step 6: Straighten out and even up each lace so there is an equal amount left hanging down from both sides.
If one side has more excess lace than the other, it may cause friction and blisters on your foot. The excess lace should be even with the middle of each shoe hole by this point, so fold it over and out of the way for now.
Step 7: Take one side in each hand and pull gently to tighten them up.
If you find that there is still too much slack in either lace, then make sure you are pulling evenly and not favoring one side over the other. The tension should be about equal on both sides at this point, but you can adjust it as needed to make sure that your foot is completely comfortable in its shoe.
Step 8: Cross each lace once more around the top of the shoe.
This part should only take a few seconds. You can either do a simple X-Pattern by bringing the lace across from left to right and then crossing over itself, or you can try an alternating criss-cross pattern for more security.
Step 9: Pull each side of the laces so they are snug against your foot again.
You should be able to feel that there is a lot of tension on the laces by now, so you should be able to get it just right without too much trouble. If your shoe still feels like it is slipping around on your heel or does not feel very snug against the footbed (bottom) at this point, then go back and tighten up one more time.
Step 10: Make sure there is an equal amount of excess lace on both sides.
Once again, this part should only take a few seconds; if you are new to lacing shoes then it may take slightly longer the first couple times around. You can simply use your fingers or toes to pinch the lace and hold onto it while you tie up each shoe.
Step 11: Bring each lace up and make one last loop around the top of your shoe.
This is another simple step; you can either use a single knot or try double-knotting for more security. You should be able to tie both shoes in about half an hour, but if it takes much longer than that then there may be a problem you need to fix.
Step 12: Tighten the laces and make any final adjustments by pulling on each side of your shoe.
Once again, there should only be tension in each lace when they are first tied; if it feels like they do not have much slack at all then chances are good that you may have tied them too tight. If this is the case, then you will need to undo the knot and try again in a few minutes when your foot has had a chance to adapt.
Step 13: Trim off any excess lace using strong scissors or wire cutters.
If you do not have something on hand that can be used for cutting, then you should be able to use your fingers or toes to pinch the excess lace together and hold it into place. You can also try using a lighter if there is enough slack that you are not concerned about burning yourself; just make sure that both sides of the shoe have been heated evenly before trying this method, as one side may burn faster than the other.
Step 14: Put on your new Irish soft shoes and enjoy!
You should have a comfortable pair of laces now, as long as you follow the instructions carefully from start to finish. There is no special trick or technique involved in tying them correctly; it just takes some patience and practice each time you put them on before you get it just right.