How to Lace Boots: The Quick and 7 Easy Ways

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There are different ways on how to lace boots; yet, we’re sure you’re having a hard time choosing the best way to do it. Lacing boots is a quick and simple thing to do; not to mention, it’s more or less a daily task for most of us. Nonetheless, many people seem to get it wrong. Incorrectly lacing your boots can cause various problems to your feet: blackened toenails, blisters, etc., in extreme cases, it can even reduce the lifetime of your boots.

This article covers a good benchmark on various ways of lacing boots for comfort. For more information, keep on reading!

How to Lace Boots: 7 Ways

Below are some of the different boot lacing techniques for you to try. Check them out!

Method 1: Standard Criss-cross


The standard criss-cross is the most common kind of lacing; most shoe manufacturers deliver their products with laces in this style. As easy as it sounds, you can still go wrong with the criss-cross pattern. Here are the step instructions for this typical criss-cross pattern.

Step 1: Start by getting your lace through each eyelet at the bottom. Run the tips from the outside toward the inside, and make sure each part is perfectly balanced.

Step 2: Take one string from either side and thread it across and up to one eyelet, coming from over the tongue diagonally. Do the same with the other once you’ve finished with this string.

Tips: Always finish the same string first, then move on with another so you won’t get mixed up halfway.

Step 3: Lace your boots all the way to the ankle or spare the last two eyelets; this depends on your preference. If there are extra laces, make another wrap around your ankle for more stability.

Method 2: Over-under Lacing


The X lacing, also known as over-under lacing, is a variation of the standard criss-cross lacing. In fact, it’s even easier to do than criss-cross lacing yet offers a more stylish look.

Step 1: Run the lace underneath the bottom eyelets from the outside in. Hold the lace vertically to ensure both parts are even.

Step 2: Starting with either side, cross the lace over the tongue and through the opposite eyelet from the inside toward the outside. Pull the lace and alternate with the other side.

Step 3: Run the lace across diagonally like you do with a standard criss-cross, but this time does it from inside to outside.

Note: This process is applied for footwear with an even number of eyelets. Reverse if your boots have an odd number of eyelets.

Method 3: Straight Bar Lacing


The straight bar lacing technique requires you to put out more effort as it is slightly harder than the two boots lacing techniques mentioned.

Step 1: Start by running the lace across the bottom eyelets; both lace tips should come out from under the loops.

Step 2: With the left lace, run through to the next loop and pull it inside out. Next, go through the eyelet straight across to the right, outside in.

Step 3: With the right lace, run up and skip the eyelet that the left lace ran through, then pull it through the following loop inside out. Next, run through the eyelet straight across to the left, outside in.

Both ends should be running straight up on the inside, with each skipping one loop then coming out two loops higher up.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 until lacing is completed.

Note: If you have an odd number of loops, cross the lace and go through the next loop up inside out. You can hardly see the cross once your boosts are tied up, so there’s no need to worry about the aesthetic of the style being affected.

Method 4: Paratrooper Ladder


The Paratrooper Ladder style is often used to ensure extra safety. US Paratroopers have to make sure their boots won’t slip when they land on the ground, usually occurring in a full sprint pose.

Step 1: Start by running the lace through the two eyelets at the bottom. Hold each tip of the lace vertically and adjust the length so that each side is balanced.

Step 2: Pull the lace through the following eyelets vertically.

Step 3: Cross the lace over the pad and through the curl formed by the two vertical eyelets.

A sign to tell that you’re doing this the wrong way is that you run the lace through an eyelet instead of the curl you’ve already created.

Step 4: Run your shoestring through the next vertical loop, meaning to repeat step 2. But remember to remain the initial order you started with.

Step 5: Redo steps 3 and 4 until you lace the strings up to the top.

If you’re still confused about these lacing methods, especially this ladder pattern, you can check out this video for a more thorough guide.

Method 5: Army Method


You often catch the army lacing method in the military. It is favored by veterans and soldiers as it allows more space and slack.

As you already know, army boots are not the most comfortable footwear out there. Wearing them for too long without proper lacing can cause severe blisters and pain.

The army method serves a good look in day-to-day wear, and you don’t have to be in the military to appreciate this lacing method.

Step 1: String the lace through the eyelets at the end, inside toward the outside. If you have an odd number of eyelets, do the opposite. Hold both parts of the lace to make sure they’re even.

Step 2: Feed one end of the lace diagonally through the next eyelet, inside out. After this, follow the standard criss-cross lacing and finish up with the other end as well.

If you’re doing this right, you should have a straight lace right on top of one of the bottom eyelets and a cross above it.

Step 3: Once you’ve got the string out from the eyelet, run it through the next eyelet up, from the outside toward the inside. Repeat on the other string as well.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you finish all the way up.

Method 6: Ladder Lacing


The Rope Ladder lacing looks great on either combat boots or regular service, serving a rugged, sturdy look.

Step 1: Get your lace to go through the bottom pair of eyelets, inside toward the outside. Equal both sides vertically to ensure even amounts.

Step 2: Make a cross with both sides by pulling the lace-up horizontally. Before feeding them through any eyelets, make a twist out of the cross and pull taut.

Step 3: Pull the string through the next vertical eyelet inside out.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 to finish lacing.

Method 7: Straight European Lacing


The Straight European Lacing is rather elegant yet deceptively simple.

Unlike the previous patterns, you’ll only be working with one end of the shoestring. As easy as it looks, getting the right length of string may take you a few tries.

Step 1: Start by running your lace through each eyelet at the bottom. Run the tips from outside in, and make sure each part is balanced.

Step 2: Depending on how wide your ankle is, make space for 5 – 7 inches of lace on one side. Run the shorter end of the string through the eyelet closest to your ankle of the same side inside out.

Step 3: As for the longer half, run it through the next horizontal loop while ensuring to keep the shorter end right below the cross you’re making.

Step 4: Keep going with the long end of the string by putting your lace over your boot tongue to the next parallel loop, and again, string it through.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 but uses only the longer half of the string. Go all the way until you’re close to the ankle.

Step 6: Once you’ve gotten to the last eyelet, the string should already be inside of your boot. Accordingly, feed your lace through the next vertical eyelet inside out.

At this point, both sides of the lace should be equal for you to tie a knot.


1. What is the best way to lace boots?

There’s no such thing as the best way; it depends on why you want a lace variation to find a suitable one.

The standard criss-cross lacing is the simplest and also easiest. The Rope Ladder is worth trying if you want more feet support and extra ankle security.

Ultimately, the Italian Corkscrew offers more style and elegance if that’s what you’re seeking.

2. How do you tie laces on boots?

You can’t lace boots without tying. Nonetheless, tying laces is a whole separate act from lacing your boots. Essentially, there are 2 basic methods to tie your boots to ensure they stay held all day.

Method 1

Once you have the shoelace firmly laced into the boot, pull them together before making the ‘rabbit ears.’ Then, take both ends of the lace and curl them around the top of the boot, clockwise.

With the leftover lace, put it underneath the first part of the lace and have the ends back out, tucking them into the top of your boot to secure.

Method 2

Start by making a pair of ‘rabbit ears,’ then take your loops and pull them all the way so that the string ends are hidden. Subsequently, tuck the two loops into your boots on either side of your ankle.

3. How does the British Army lace their boots?

The British armed forces lace their combat boots with different military boot lacing methods. The army lacing method mentioned is one of them. This technique allows the feet to breathe more comfortably.

Leather from tactical boots is often harder to flex than regular leather, so the army method lets the boots flex more easily.

4. What are the strongest boot laces?

Until now, Paracord boot laces are the strongest boot laces available.

These laces feature a break strength Type III, which can endure up to 550 lbs of pressure. Additionally, the tips are nickel-plated, making them even more long-lasting.

5. Why are boot laces so long?

When you have boots on all days, your feet will gradually start to swell due to the more rapid blood flow caused by standing, walking, running. The longer boot laces allow you to loosen the secure fit and make space for comfort.

If boots come with standard shoelaces, your feet will feel uncomfortable due to the tightness they endure by mid-afternoon of the day. Accordingly, the blood flow to your feet won’t be consistent, causing your feet to go numb and even potentially crush your bones.

On the other hand, you can try different styles other than criss-cross lacing with longer shoelaces. Manufacturers want to make sure that your shoes are laced up properly in all styles and sizes when they produce long boot laces.

6. Why do Hiking Boots have red laces?

You’ve probably never noticed this, but a wide range of hiking boots come in red laces, yours even!

Another explanation for why hiking boots have red laces, which has yet to be confirmed, is that manufacturers used red laced boots to identify them as hiking boots other than casual work boots.

Back in the early 1900s, America underwent a ‘trend’ of exploring the great outdoors. There was a significant increase in hiking boots that makers started to spring up with a wide range of options. This was where it all began.

Do you get how you can tell a person belongs to a group just by looking at certain items they have with them?

There’s a fancy word for it – Semiotics of Dress. Back then, if someone wore red laced boots, there would be a high chance that they were an enthusiastic hiker.

In Closing

Now that you know how to lace boots try these methods on your newly-bought outdoor footwear or add some spice to your old pair of boots. Either way, knowing a few different lacing methods for yourself is essential to elevate the details of any outfit.

If you have any other questions about how to lace boots, feel free to comment down below. Thank you for reading!

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