How To Lace Boots Properly

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PHOTO CREDIT: Men Boots

Let’s get one thing clear, this is not a guide about how to lace shoes, it’s about the very best ways to lace shoes. “And the point is?” you ask. Well, we’ll look at some alternative shoe lace patterns that will help you make a stylish statement with your footwear. Read this definitive guide to find out how you can make lacing shoes a lot more stylish than you’d think. 

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How To Lace Boots

Wouldn’t it be nice to know a little trick or two when it comes to tying laces up in the first place? It takes just a few seconds yet saves you plenty of time. We all know how to put laces in shoes, that’s pretty straight forward, but learning how to thread shoe laces is essential, to avoid being a walking safety hazard.

The reason we’re focusing on laced boots in particular, is that they can be a bit trickier to handle than a simple trainer or brogue. There’s a lot more lace going on. Badly laced up boots can also cause a problem when it comes to fit, especially with high top styles.

There’s nothing worse than getting a new pair of boots only to find out your feet slip and cause you blisters, especially when you’re dealing with specialised shoes like walking boots, the laces need to be correct. Lacing can make a big difference, so instead of discarding the culprits and wasting your money, there’s a far better solution. Learn how to tie them up well to secure your feet into place and prevent any shoe-related injuries.

How Lace Boots Properly Mens Street Style Fashion Footwear
PHOTO CREDIT: Outfit Ideas HQ

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How To Thread Shoelaces

There are so many different ways to tie shoe laces but before we get into them, let’s take a quick look at the traditional way to lace up your boots.

  • Step 1 – Start by threading your laces through the bottom-most eyelets from underneath. Do this on both sides.
  • Step 2 – Cross the laces over and repeat the process at the next set of eyelets. Repeat until you reach the top-most eyelets.
  • Step 3 – Tie your laces as usual to create the bow.
How Lace Boots Properly Shoelaces Traditional Lace Pattern Men Fashion Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Ali Express

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Lace Patterns

The lace pattern’s also important, let’s move onto some alternative ways to lace up your boots that will improve the general fit.

Heel Lock

This technique is frequently used by climbers and runners who need to ensure their shoes don’t turn against them and cause them blisters. The heel lock is a secure, firm lace pattern that should really hold your foot in place. Often hiking boot laces work really well to create this pattern.

How Lace Boots Properly Shoelaces Shoes Tie Steps Guide Men Fashion Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Primer Magazine
  • Step 1 – Once you’ve laced your boots up traditionally, do not cross your laces over at the top. Lace vertically at the top two hooks or eyelets.
  • Step 2 – Then cross over and thread the lace under the vertical line you have just created.
  • Step 3 – Repeat for the other side.
  • Step 4 – Pull to tighten the laces then tie together as usual using a normal knot to create the bow.
How Lace Boots Properly Shoelaces Shoes Tie Up Steps Guide Men Fashion Style copy
PHOTO CREDIT: Primer Magazine

Over-Under

This technique is another way of really securing your foot into place and also creates a nice alternative lace pattern.

  • Step 1 – Start by threading your laces through the bottom-most eyelets from the outside. Do this on both sides.
  • Step 2 – Cross the laces over and thread through from underneath at the next set of eyelets.
  • Step 3 – Cross the laces over again and thread through from the outside at the next set of eyelets.
  • Step 4 – Repeat the process to the top, alternating crossovers from underneath and on top.
  • Step 5 – Tie your laces as usual to create the bow.
How Lace Boots Sneakers Over Under Crossover Mens Street Style Fashion Footwear
PHOTO CREDIT: Lace Anchors

Army Lacing

As the name suggests, this lace pattern is used a lot in the military. This could be down to the fact that they need to wear very rigid, sturdy boots and this pattern allows the tough leather material to flex more easily. By placing the crossovers on the inside, you get a more comfortable fit, as the rigid material isn’t being restricted.

  • Step 1 – Start by threading your laces through the bottom-most eyelets from underneath.
  • Step 2 – Do not cross the laces. Instead, thread them straight up and through the next eyelet.
  • Step 3 – Cross the laces over on the inside and thread them through the next set from underneath.
  • Step 4 – Thread straight up again and continue the pattern.
  • Step 5 – Tie your laces as usual at the top.
How Lace Boots Army Military Lacing Pattern Shoelaces Men Fashion Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Penn Live / Life Time Gear

How To Lace High Tops: Ladder Lacing

This pattern looks great on boots with laces and lots of eyelets like high tops. Neat, stylish and secure.

  • Step 1 – Start by threading your laces through the bottom eyelets from underneath.
  • Step 2  Do not cross the laces. Instead, thread them straight up and through the next eyelet.
  • Step 3 – Next, cross the laces and thread under the vertical lace on the opposite side before threading straight up and through the next eyelet.
  • Step 4 – Repeat the process and tie at the top.

Cool Ways To Lace Shoes

For those of you looking for a more stylish rather than practical approach, try these alternative lace styles that will give your shoes a unique look.

How To Do Straight Laces

Straight or bar shoe lacing patterns results in a very clean and refined look. It may appear very simple in its design but it’s not used as often as the traditional crossover. This makes the minimalistic straight lace stand out a bit more without going too wild in stylistic terms.

  • Step 1 – Create the first bar by threading your laces through the bottom eyelets from outside, in.
  • Step 2 – Pull the laces tight, making sure both ends are even.
  • Step 3 – Take the right lace and thread it straight up and through the next eyelet up from the inside, out.
  • Step 4 – Take the right lace again and thread it across the shoe to create the second bar.
  • Step 5 – Take the left lace and thread it straight up through the next empty eyelet from inside, out.
  • Step 6 – Take the left lace and thread it across the shoe to create the third bar.
  • Step 7 – Repeat the process again alternating right and left laces.
  • Step 8 – Once you reach the top, tie your laces as usual.
Bar Straight Lace Boots Shoelace Men Style Fashion Footwear
PHOTO CREDIT: Dererstezug / Brooklyn Boot

There is also another method to create the same effect that does not require you to alternate laces. Some find this technique easier.

  • Step 1 – Create the first bar by threading your laces through the bottom eyelets from outside, in.
  • Step 2 – Take the right lace and thread it through the top-most eyelet from inside, out.
  • Step 3 – Adjust the lace length to make sure you have enough to tie a knot with at the end.
  • Step 4 – Take the left lace and thread it straight up and through the next eyelet up from the inside, out.
  • Step 5 – Next, thread it straight across and through the opposite side’s eyelet to create the second bar.
  • Step 6 – Thread it straight up and through the next eyelet up on this side from inside, out.
  • Step 7 – Then thread it straight across to create the third bar.
  • Step 8 – Repeat the process to the top then tie laces as usual.

Spiderweb Lacing

This pattern looks far more impressive and difficult than it is to actually create. It’s A great way to show off your footwear.

  • Step 1 – Begin at the second-from-bottom eyelets and thread your laces through in a horizontal line from underneath.
  • Step 2  Next, thread them straight down and through the bottom eyelets.
  • Step 3 – Cross the laces underneath and thread from inside out, through the third-from-bottom eyelets i.e. not the eyelets directly above but the next ones up.
  • Step 4 – Do not cross over. Instead, tuck your laces under the vertical line beneath, going from the outside edge towards the middle.
  • Step 5 – Cross the laces over and thread through the next eyelet up, going from underneath.
  • Step 6 – As before, do not cross over but thread the laces under the vertical line beneath, going from outside towards the centre of the shoe.
  • Step 7 – Cross the laces again and thread through the next eyelet up from underneath.
  • Step 8  Keep repeating this process until you reach the top and tie as usual.
Lace Boots Spiderweb Lacing Pattern Shoelaces Men Fashion Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Boot Dog / Fieggen

Diamond Lacing

Diamond lacing looks particularly good with trainers or sneakers and works really well in a contrast colour to your shoes. If you’re into your colour, go wild with your combinations. But if you’d like to blend this look into your everyday outfits, try a classic black and white combo.

  • Step 1 – Begin by threading your laces through the bottom eyelets from inside to outside.
  • Step 2 – Skipping an eyelet, take the right lace and thread it diagonally across and through the third-from-bottom eyelet, going from outside to inside.
  • Step 3 – Repeat with the left lace, creating a cross in the middle.
  • Step 4 – Going underneath the cross, thread the right lace straight down and through the eyelet you skipped before from inside, out.
  • Step 5 – Repeat with the left lace.
  • Step 6 – Take the left lace again and this time thread it diagonally across through the next eyelet available.
  • Step 7 – Repeat with the right lace.
  • Step 8 – Next, take your laces and thread them straight down and through the eyelet directly underneath from inside, out – don’t worry, this eyelet is not supposed to be empty and should already have lace going through it.
  • Step 9 – As before, take your left lace and thread it diagonally across to the next available empty eyelet and repeat with the right lace.
  • Step 10 – Then, thread both laces straight down and through from the inside, into the eyelet directly below which will already have lace through it.
  • Step 11 – Keep repeating this process until you reach the top and tie a bow as usual.

Different Ways To Lace Shoes

Here’s a great video that demonstrates how to lace your boots for a stylish finish and gives you a few different shoelace patterns to consider.

Tips On How To Do Laces

Now that you know how to do shoelaces, here are some pointers that will give you the very best finish.

  • Consistency is key – To avoid looking messy, always cross your laces in the same manner. In other words, always cross right over left or left over right.
  • Mirror image – Not many will think about symmetry. For a perfect result, cross your laces in opposite patterns on each shoe to mirror the effect.
  • Fix up, look sharp – A correctly tied shoelace will sit straight and not crooked.
  • Consider length – Different lace patterns will require different lace lengths. For a straightforward style, choose shorter lengths to avoid having too much excess at the end. For more elaborate patterns, ensure you have plenty of length to experiment with.
How Lace Boots Brogue Lacing Pattern Shoelaces Men Fashion Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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How To Lace Boots

  1. For the most straightforward tie, use the traditional crossover lace pattern.
  2. For something a bit more secure, take inspiration from runners and adopt the heel lock – a very slight variation on the traditional.
  3. You can always secure your foot throughout the shoe by lacing in an over-under crossover pattern.
  4. If your boots are made from tough leather, try the army lacing pattern for a secure but flexible fit.
  5. Wearing high tops with lots of eyelets? Ladder lacing is for you.
  6. If you’re opting for something a bit more eye-catching, experiment with elaborate patterns with spiderweb, diamond or bar lacing.
red wing boots for men
PHOTO CREDIT: Reddit

On That Note

There are almost as many ways to tie your laces as there are varieties of boot. A little bit of attention to your lacing can set you apart from the ordinary folks down the street. Knowing how to tie your boots is essential when it comes to a comfortable and stylish fit so it’s worth getting to grips with it. when you’d just like to create a subtle nod to your fashionable flair, it’s always handy to know an impressive pattern or two.

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By Sunna Naseer

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