Shoe tongue falls to left! DIY solution?
March 4, 2006 3:43 PM   Subscribe

The tongue of my left shoe keeps falling over to the left, causing discomfort, ankle bruising, and general grumpiness. What can I do?
posted by sirion to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total)
Sounds like your shoe doesn't fit. Am I missing something?
posted by tiamat at 3:53 PM on March 4, 2006

Buy a pair of shoes without renegade tongues? See also: Duct tape.
posted by disillusioned at 3:54 PM on March 4, 2006

How's the tongue of a shoe cause bruising? I too am missing something.
posted by xmutex at 3:54 PM on March 4, 2006

Sew a little piece of cloth or leather to part of the tongue, and thread the laces through it. Most athletic shoes have this feature.
posted by muddgirl at 3:58 PM on March 4, 2006

To be more clear, sew it on so it forms a flat loop. Am I making sense?
posted by muddgirl at 3:58 PM on March 4, 2006

tiamat: Shoe is actually very comfy as long as the tongue stays put in the center. The right shoe, for example, has a tongue that stays put and is very nice.

xmutex: If you were to stick a half-inch chunk of leather in the wrong place, it would add quite a bit of pressure to, say, your ankle, every time you stepped.
posted by sirion at 4:11 PM on March 4, 2006

I've had old pair of convers that did this. The simple fix is to sew the tongue to the uppers about halfway up the tongue - but not so far up that it makes getting it on difficult. You only need to tack it down on the side it is sliding away from. Not sure why this happens, but it is annoying.
posted by qwip at 4:12 PM on March 4, 2006

Can't tell from the photo if these have them, but some shoes have slots sewn in them, through which you thread the laces. This prevents the slide-over, since the tongue is held in place by the dynamic tension between the two laces. It would be relatively easy to cut holes in the tongue to create these slots, if need be.
posted by frogan at 4:55 PM on March 4, 2006

For me, this happens for both feet with almost any shoe. I always assumed it was just because of the shape of my feet (so why it happens to only one of your feet, I have no clue). My DIY 100% certified punk rock no-sewing-required solution?

Just lace one loop of the laces halfway/two thirds of the way up the tongue under the tongue, rather then over it as you normally would. This will do a reasonable job of keeping the lace straight. Might bother you if you have beefy round laces, but if you use flat laces you probably won't notice.
posted by The Wig at 5:08 PM on March 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

Take a look at Nu-Balance athletic shoes. They have a 1" long, 1/4" wide strip of material sewn vertically about 60% of the way up the tongue. Only the top and bottom of the strip are sewn on, leaving a loop. You thread one lace (or two if you're anal) through the loop, which keeps the tongue from moving.

Any shoe repair shop, or friend with a heavy-duty sewing machine, could put this on for you.
posted by KRS at 5:15 PM on March 4, 2006

I tend to agree with tiamat -- it sounds like your shoe doesn't fit really well. (You do know that your feet are not necessarily the same size, right? Maybe you need a shoe ½-size smaller on the left.)

One thing you could try short of mutilating the tongue yourself as above is Ian's Shoelace Site. There are a variety of different ways to tie shoes there and one might fit your foot a little better. I'd play with more tightness down at the base of the tongue, if I were you.

Personally, I have a high instep and I always hated buying shoes until I found a catalog place (Wissota Trader, there are others) that offers all manner of specialized widths, half-sizes, and extended sizes. I now wear an 11½ EEE to compensate for my high instep, and it has made a world of difference.

Other ways to compensate might be gel or foam (cheaper) insoles to hold your feet up against the tongue better without too much pressure, or spacers you can put around your heel to force your foot forward. I've never seen a side spacer, though -- maybe you have really narrow feet, in which case the special sizes are even more recommended.
posted by dhartung at 11:43 PM on March 4, 2006

This one sounds like it might work.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on March 5, 2006

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