How to Keep Shoe Tongue (Without Loop) From Sliding

It’s downright annoying to look down on your shoes and see that one or both of the tongues slip to the side. Even after fixing them, the tongues will slide again after a few minutes.

So, how to keep a shoe tongue from sliding?

Insert one of the lace tips through the loop, but instead of going across to the other side, go back to the same side and insert the lace through the next eyelet. Do the same for the other lace tip. The tongue won’t slide because it is now anchored by the lace.

But what about shoe tongues that don’t have tongue loops? In this post, we will show you how to keep shoe tongues in place, with or without loops.

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Why Do Shoe Tongues Keep Sliding?

As frustrating as it is, a shoe tongue can keep sliding to the side because of an unfortunate manufacturing defect. It can also slide to the side due to the unique shape of your foot.

Athletic shoe tongue can slide to the side (image courtesy of u/lc929 on Reddit)
Converse shoe tongue can slide to the side (image courtesy of u/ItWasRyan on Reddit)
Vans shoe tongue can slide to the side (image courtesy of u/JLeww69 on Reddit)

As you can see in the pictures above, shoe tongues can slide to the side, no matter what type of shoes they are. Here are the two reasons explained in greater detail:

1. Manufacturing defect

One of the reasons why a shoe tongue can slide to the side is due to a manufacturing defect. 

Because shoes are made in large quantities, sometimes there would be parts of the shoes that are made imperfectly. In the case of tongue sliding, the tongue of a shoe can be sewn together with an uneven amount of fabric.

This imbalance is what causes the shoe tongue to slide to one side. As the shoe bends as you walk, the tongue will slowly move to the side because one side is heavier than the other.

Sadly, this is something that you cannot control. It doesn’t matter whether they are Converse, Vans, Nike, or Adidas. What you can do is to check the shoes before buying them. 

2. The unique shape of your foot

Another reason why a shoe tongue keeps on moving is because of the shape of your foot.

There are different types of foot shapes because humans are highly individual creatures. Heck, even your right foot and your left foot aren’t even identical.

Because of the unique shape of your feet, including the varying level of arches, one of your shoe tongues can slide to one side due to imbalance.

For example, a person with a flat foot on the left can experience the shoe tongue slide, while the other shoe tongue remains perfectly in place on the right foot due to its medium arch.

The good news, the hacks you are about to learn can solve this issue.

How to Keep Shoe Tongue From Sliding

Knowing why shoe tongues slide is great, but how do you actually keep them in place?

Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve if your shoes have tongue loops. They are basically small strips of fabric in the middle of each shoe tongue.

You will only need to spend one or two minutes lacing your shoes because most shoes, sneakers, and boots have these so-called tongue loops.

1. Unlace the shoe until the tongue loop is visible

If your shoes have tongue loops, start by holding one of the shoes and unlacing it until the tongue loop is not covered by the lace anymore.

While doing this, make sure that each side of the laces is equal in length. Otherwise, the tongue can slide to one side because of the uneven pressure caused by uneven laces.

If the laces are uneven, be sure to unlace each shoe all the way and insert the laces properly.

2. Insert the lace through the tongue loop

Starting with one lace tip at a time, insert the lace through the tongue loop. Do the same with the other lace tip until both lace tips have gone through the loop.

While it’s rare, some shoes and sneakers have vertical slits cut into the tongue instead of tongue loops. Fortunately, these slits work the same way as tongue loops do.

3. Instead of going across, go back to the same side

Once you have both lace tips through the loop, take one of the tips and go back to the same side where it came from, instead of going across to the other side.

The idea is to take the lace tip that has gone through the loop and insert it through the next eyelet on the same side. Do the same for the other lace tip.

Put another way, you would want the lace tip from the right side to go through the loop and then go through the next open eyelet on the same right side.

4. Finish inserting the lace normally

Once both lace tips have gone through the loop and gone back through the same side, you can continue lacing the shoe normally until you have reached the top.

Amazingly, the shoe tongue won’t slide because it is now anchored by the lace. Don’t forget to do the same with the other pair of shoes.

How to Keep Shoe Tongue in Place Without Loop

Unfortunately, some canvas shoes like Converse and Vans, are made without loops on their shoe tongues. So how to keep a shoe tongue in place without a loop?

If a shoe doesn’t have a tongue loop, unlace the top two pairs of eyelets. Insert the laces through the second-to-last pair of eyelets behind the tongue, not on top of it.

Then, insert the remaining laces through the last pair of eyelets at the top. By inserting one row of the laces inside the tongue, it will not slide because the laces are holding it in place.

If for some reason, you don’t like lacing your shoes this way, you can first try to make sure that both shoe tongues are centered when you lace them up. Also, make sure that the outside edges of each tongue are underneath the eyelets on both sides of the shoes.

You will also need to ensure that both shoe tongues do not have creases on them. Some sneakers, like Converse, are notorious to have tongue creases due to their thin fabric.

A good habit to prevent shoe tongues from slipping is to take the time to straighten out any creases before you lace up. Also, make sure that the laces are tight, top to bottom.

If the laces are uneven, take the time to unlace everything and insert the laces properly, from the bottom all the way to the top. Often, uneven shoelaces can cause the tongues to slip.

By doing these simple tricks, you should be able to keep any shoe tongue in place.

Bottom Line

And there you have it, the complete guide on how to keep a shoe tongue from sliding. You have also learned how to keep a shoe tongue without a loop in place.

Whether they are Converse high-tops, Vans SK8-Hi, or athletic sneakers, you can wear them with ease knowing that their tongues won’t be sliding anytime soon.

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