We all know the importance of a good shoe – they can make or break an outfit and can be the difference between a comfortable walk and a blistered one. But did you know that how you lace your shoes can also make a difference?

Yes, the way you lace up your shoes can really affect how they fit and feel. So, if you’ve been having issues with your trainers slipping off or feeling too tight, it might be time to re-think your lacing technique.

The different ways to lace shoes

There are a variety of ways that you can lace your shoes, ranging from the plain and functional to the most creative. You can find instructions on over sixty shoe lacing patterns! It really depends on whether you're trying to improve your fit or going for a certain type of look. It can also depend on the activity you are performing (walking, running, climbing, etc.)

Let’s have a look at some of the most common shoe lacing techniques.

Criss cross lacing

This is probably how you lace up your shoes most of the time. To do a standard criss-cross lace, just start at the bottom of the shoe and cross the laces over each other as you work your way up. Then, tie your shoe with a bow!

 criss cross lacing

criss cross lacing

Diagonal lacing

If you feel pain in your toes when walking or running, you might need more toe-space. This lacing technique can provide a solution. To do a diagonal lacing, run the shorter lace from the first eyelet to the top of the opposite side. This way, the lace will sit diagonally across the shoe. Then lace your shoe all the way up and tie as usual.

Gap lacing

If you have high arches, you might notice your shoes wear away more quickly at the bottom. This can also cause pain in your feet as they’re constantly slipping forward. Gap lacing is the best technique to alleviate pressure on the foot. Just start with a standard criss-cross lace, then thread the lace through its own side eyelets in the middle section. You can skip one or two crossovers, depending on how loose you want the shoe to fit.

Lock lacing

If your shoes always seem to slip off at the back, lock lacing is an excellent solution. This technique provides increased tightening, reducing slippage at the heels. Lace your shoes in the usual cross-cross style, stopping at the second-to-last eyelet. Lace the final eyelets outside to inside to create twin loops. Then insert the left lace through the loop you have created on the right. Repeat for the other lace and pull tight.

Ladder lacing

This is a lacing technique that's typical of military boots: you can use it to lend a distinctive style to your trainers. Start by running the lace straight across the inside and out through the bottom eyelets. Run the ends up and into the next higher set of eyelets, then straight across, feeding under the vertical lace sections on the opposite side. Repeat until the shoe is fully laced.

 ladder lacing ladder lacing

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