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Ian's Shoelace Site Lacing Your Shoes Home

Out of some 43000 possible ways of lacing a shoe with six pairs of eyelets,
I'll present several practical combinations on this page. If you were after
ways to TIE your shoelaces, see my Shoelace Knots page instead.

Lacing Your Shoes
Are all of your shoes, runners and boots still laced up the way they were when you bought them? If so, have a look at some of the many fascinating ways of lacing, either for different functions or just for appearances. Then, take the plunge! Whip out those laces and re-do them to suit your needs or your personality.
Twelve Useful Ways To Lace Shoes
Criss Cross Lacing Criss Cross Lacing
This is probably the most common method of lacing normal shoes and boots. The laces simply criss-cross as they work their way up the shoe.
Ian's Rating:
Traditional
Simple to lace
Corrugates shoe
Over Under Lacing Over Under Lacing
A variation of Criss Cross lacing that alternates between running over and then under. It's my own preferred method for runners & boots with many eyelets.
Ian's Rating:
Decorative
Faster & easier
Less wear & tear
Straight (European) Lacing Straight (European) Lacing
This method of straight lacing shoes appears to be more common in Europe. The laces run straight across pairs of eyelets, giving a neat result.
Ian's Rating:
Shortens laces
Neat on top
Messy underneath
Straight (Fashion) Lacing Straight (Fashion) Lacing
This variation of straight lacing, sent to me by Tyrell Pedersen, eliminates the mess by running the underlying laces vertically instead of diagonally.
Ian's Rating:
Neatest looking
Slightly difficult
Only for even pairs of eyelets (eg. 6, 8)
Straight (Lazy) Lacing Straight (Lazy) Lacing
This is a "lazy" variation of straight (fashion) lacing where one end runs straight from bottom to top whilst the other end steps through the eyelets.
Ian's Rating:
Neatest looking
Only for even pairs of eyelets (eg. 6, 8)
End lengths shift
Shoe Shop Lacing Shoe Shop Lacing
Commonly found on new shoes in shoe shops, this method is another "lazy" variation of traditional straight lacing.
Ian's Rating:
Lazy way of lacing
Shortens laces
End lengths shift
Display Shoe Lacing Display Shoe Lacing
Shoe stores often use this reversed version of Criss Cross Lacing on their display shoes in order to end up with the lace ends neatly tucked away inside.
Ian's Rating:
Neat display shoe
Easier to loosen
Harder to tighten
Ladder Lacing Ladder Lacing
This distinctive lacing, sent to me by Ron Belanger, is used by U.S. paratroopers and ceremonial guard units wearing jump boots with white laces.
Ian's Rating:
Neat & distinctive
Shortens laces
Harder to tighten
Double Back Lacing Double Back Lacing
Terribly awkward, but effective if you're desperate to shorten long laces. Of the millions of useless variations, this method could be considered "possibly useful".
Ian's Rating:
Shortens more
Stays very tight
Terribly awkward
Bow-Tie Lacing Bow-Tie Lacing
So named for its visual similarity to bow-ties, this method makes the most efficient use of lace and thus is useful for "lengthening" short laces.
Ian's Rating:
Lengthens laces
Comfort "zones"
Loose fit
Double Helix Lacing Double Helix Lacing
This method was invented and patented by Monte Fisher for faster lacing of boots. See Monte's own beautifully animated web site: http://www.lukefisher.com/lacing
Ian's Rating:
Decorative
Fast & easy
Asymmetrical
Riding Boot Lacing Riding Boot Lacing
Unlike the others presented here, this method is specifically for riding boots (such as the Dehner 9 Eyelet Field Boot) in which the part that is tightened and loosened is at the middle of the boot (near the ankle). This means that they lace up from both ends and fasten in the middle.
Ian's Rating:
Unusual layout
Neat appearance
Specific use only
Lacing Variations
Segmented Lacing Segmented Lacing
This variation divides the lacing into two or more "segments", each of which can be laced up as tightly or loosely as necessary to achieve a comfortable yet secure fit for "difficult" shoes or feet.
Ian's Rating:
Customisable
Many uses
Looks messy
Bi-Colour Lacing Bi-Colour Lacing
By popular request, here's a way of lacing to end up with two different colour laces alternating up the shoe, exactly like my bi-colour illustrations.
Ian's Rating:
Very decorative
Work required
Slight discomfort
Other Lacing Information
Aglet Repair (Page Under Construction)
I'm often asked about aglets, the plastic or metal sleeves at the ends of shoelaces. Mostly it's to answer a trivia question, but often it's about how to replace them.
Of the thousands of possible lacing combinations, most of which are highly impractical, the above methods have a few things in common: They are simple to do, look neat, bind strongly, and have practical uses.

Which Method Should I Use?
Darker "Yes" boxes are second-best choices.
Desired Feature Criss
Cross
Lacing
Over
Under
Lacing
Straight
Euro.
Lacing
Straight
Fashion
Lacing
Shoe
Shop
Lacing
Display
Shoe
Lacing
Ladder
Lacing
Double
Back
Lacing
Bow-
-Tie
Lacing
Double
Helix
Lacing
Riding
Boot
Lacing
Traditional YES Yes
Decorative Yes YES
Distinctive YES Yes
Unusual look Yes YES
Easier to tighten
& loosen
YES Yes
Less wear and tear
from friction
Yes YES
Stronger binding
(harder to loosen)
Yes YES
Less tension on knot
(no jamming)
Yes YES
Quicker to loosen
(eg. Triathlon T1)
Yes YES
Neat lacing for
display shoes
Yes YES
"Shorten" laces
slightly
Yes YES
"Shorten" laces
significantly
Yes YES
"Lengthen" laces
significantly
YES
Adjustable
comfort zones
YES
Less corrugation
of shoe
YES Yes
Riding boots that
tighten in middle
YES

Regardless of the lacing method you choose, finish it off in style
with my own Ian Knot, the World's Fastest Shoelace Knot.

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Copyright © 2004 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.



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