The most useful ways to tie your laces with the top methods. As youngsters we’re taught how important it is to keep your laces tied. Don’t trip over a stray shoelace! Know that the way you tie your laces, can also have an impact on the functionality, fit and comfort of your shoes.
The traditional zig-zag pattern for lacing your shoes is one of the least functional methods! This method tends to lose tension quickly, leading to heel lift and painful blisters. Lace bite is also common with this method, increasing the pressure between your ankle and the tongue of your footwear. Pull evenly and do not over tighten. Replace worn laces with Ironlaces.
Ian Fieggan, the inventor of the World’s Fastest Shoelace Knot (yes, it’s a thing!), mentions there are almost 2 TRILLION ways to tie shoelaces. Different methods have unique benefits and drawbacks!
You don’t have to memorize all 2 trillion options to get what need! Just check out this list for the most useful shoe lacing methods for work or sport.
The Most Useful Shoe Lacing Methods
#1: Lock Your Heels In Place With Lock Lacing
Ever wondered what that extra eyelet is for on the top of some sports shoes? It’s so you can lock your shoelaces in place using the lock lacing technique! The lace lock creates “pulleys” or a binding friction. Holding your foot in place to prevent slippage, heel lift, and blisters. Hiking or running, this lacing method is a must-have. Here’s how to lock your laces:
- Lace your shoes like normal until you get to the second-last eyelet.
- From the second-last eyelet, run the ends vertically on the outside of the shoe and in through the last eyelet.
- Cross the ends, then feed them through the loop you just created between the last two eyelets.
- Tighten and tie your shoes.
Place a lock pattern anywhere you feel you need extra tension in your shoes. Add a lock in the middle two eyelets instead of the top two for more support at the base of your shoe. Combine this technique with any of the other methods listed below for even more support and functionality! Ironlaces are a great option here, as they have ZERO stretch.
#2: Bush Lacing For Hiking or Biking
Hiking or biking, it’s important to keep your laces out of the way. This technique maintains even pressure over your entire foot and tying your laces off to one side, reduces the risk of a snagged shoelace.
This inside-out style of shoe lacing might look strange, but it has impressive benefits:
- Eliminating gaps under the horizontal laces that could get caught on the brush while hiking.
- Distributes pressure evenly across the whole upper half of the foot, providing a more comfortable fit.
- Keeping loops and loose ends away from hazards like bicycle chains or undergrowth.
Maximize the benefits of this technique. Follow these steps for one shoe, then repeat in reverse for the other. Hikers, position your knots on the inside to keep your laces away from the undergrowth. Bikers, position your knots on the outside to avoid chains and other moving parts. Here’s how it’s done:
- Begin with your laces straight across on the inside of the shoe, with the ends poking out through the bottom eyelets.
- Choose which side you want the knot to be tied on. On that side, run the end straight up and in through the next eyelet, then straight across through the opposite side.
- Have an odd number of eyelet pairs? Run that same end straight back on the outside, doubling back and tucking the end under the loop you just created, similar to the heel lock method above. Then, take the other shoelace tip and run it straight across horizontally on the inside before continuing.
- Run both ends up on the outside, skipping one eyelet on the way up.
- Run both ends horizontally across on the inside and out through the eyelets directly across.
- Repeat until your shoelace aglets are poking out of the top two eyelets on one side, then tie as normal.
#3: Progressive Lacing for Wide Feet
If you have wide feet or shoes that are too tight in the wrong place, blisters, bunions, and calluses can result. This progressive shoe lacing technique uses steeper angles near the toe than at the ankle, providing extra room for wider feet.
Creating a progressive shoe lacing pattern on shoes with 8 sets of eyelets:
- Start with your laces running horizontally on the inside and out through the 3rd set of eyelets from the top.
- Cross the ends and feed in through the 3rd set of eyelets from the bottom.
- Run both ends straight down on the inside and out through the bottom set of eyelets.
- Cross the ends and run them in through the fourth set of eyelets from the top.
- Laces crossed again, run them under the sides and out through the second set of eyelets from the top.
- Cross the ends one more time and run them under the sides and out through the top eyelets, then tie.
#4: Keep Your Shoes Permanently Tight With A Knot
This method is useful for skates, work boots, or any footwear that you’d like to be able to slip on and off without losing tension in the toe. Adding a knotted segment into your laces can lock them in place as tight as required. Then, simply loosen the area above the knot to take off your boots.
Adding a knotted segment to your laces:
- Use shoelaces that are slightly longer than usual to accommodate the knot.
- Lace your shoes as normal until about the middle of the shoe. Tighten your laces up to this point as tight as you would like. Remember, you’re going to be locking this in place so make sure you’re happy with it and can still comfortably remove your shoe!
- Add a reef knot by looping the left end over the right end and through, then loop the right end over the left end and through. Tighten to lock in place.
- From here, lace the rest of your shoes as normal. Now your laces will maintain tension at the toe permanently. Just loosen the section above the knot to take your boot off!
#5: The 2-1-3 Method To Avoid Lace Bite
Lace bite is a sharp pain caused by irritation and uneven pressure on the front part of your ankle. It’s a common issue for hockey and soccer players but also happens in work boots. The more you wear the offending skates or boots, the worse the pain becomes.
Luckily, there is an easy way to prevent lace bite without sacrificing the fit of your boot. Called the 2-1-3 method, and it works like this:
- Lace your shoes as normal until you reach the ankle area.
- Cross the ends on the inside and poke them out through the second set of eyelets up (skipping one set of eyelets). This is row 2 in the sequence.
- Cross the ends on the outside, and run them in through the eyelet below. This is row 1.
- Cross the ends on the inside, and run them out through the second set of eyelets up (skipping one set of eyelets again). This is row 3.
- Tighten the laces and continue in a normal zig-zag pattern to finish lacing, then tie.
Maintaining firm pressure on the ankle, you can prevent the rubbing and slipping around that causes lace bite. This is handy when your breaking in new footwear. Already suffering from lace bite? You will want to reduce pressure instead of increasing it to relieve pain. That’s where our next tip comes in!
#6: Gap Lacing
Suffering from lace bite but still need to wear your cleats, skates or work boots. There’s an easy way to reduce pressure on your ankles and get some pain relief.
Adding a gap in your lacing to avoid the area of discomfort, prevents additional rubbing or pressure that causes pain. In taller boots, you can also increase flexibility at the ankle using this method. Here’s how it’s done:
- Lace your shoes normally until just below the area of sensitivity.
- Run the ends straight up the sides and in through the next set of eyelets, creating a gap in the zig-zags over your ankle.
- Once you’ve passed the ankle, go back to crisscrossing as normal.
If you want your laces tighter, you can position the vertical lines on the inside of your boot instead of the outside. Remember the gap doesn’t have to be over your ankle, it can be placed anywhere you feel too much pressure!
#7: Keep Your Laces Tight With A Double Helix Pattern
This lacing style is extremely functional and pretty to look at! Tucking the outer diagonals under the inner ones, you can increase friction, which creates a locking effect as you lace up your boots.
This method is particularly effective climbing shoes or any footwear where firm support is needed. Here’s how to recreate it:
- Start with your laces straight across at the bottom set of eyelets. Poke the left end out through the bottom-left eyelet, and feed the right end in through the bottom-right eyelet.
- Run the right end diagonally up on the inside of the shoe and out through the next highest eyelet on the left.
- Run the left end up diagonally on the outside, tucking it under the diagonal you just made in the middle to lock it in place. Then, feed it through the next highest eyelet.
- Continue up the shoe, running the diagonal on the inside first then tucking the diagonal on the outside under it as you cross over. Repeat until you get to the end of the shoe, then tie your shoes.
#8: The Train Track Lacing Method to Protect Your Laces While Skateboarding
It’s not unusual to go through a pair of shoelaces in sports where you drag your foot or use the top of your foot like soccer. This is particularly true when you’re using traditional flat laces! Many popular styles put the high points of your shoe (and therefore, your laces) in the direction of friction or travel, which is sure to wear them down over time.
This train track lacing pattern minimizes high spots and extends the life of your laces without sacrificing the tightness of your shoe. Plus, it just looks cool! Here’s how to create a train track shoelace pattern:
- Start with your laces straight across the inside of the shoe with the ends poking through the bottom eyelets.
- Run both ends straight up on the outside and in through the next set of eyelets.
- Cross both ends straight across on the inside of the shoe and poke the ends through the occupied eyelet on the opposite side. Take care that the aglet (the hard end of your laces) doesn’t catch on the shoelace fibers on the way through.
- Repeat up the shoe, tightening as you go.
Square or Granny, it’s not a question of your hipness, rather your knots.
The Prefect Square Knot. Do you know the difference from a granny knot?