How to Lace Up Hunting Boots

When you’re out in the wild, it’s essential to have a good pair of trusty hunting boots that will keep your feet dry and comfortable. One of the most important parts of making sure your boots fit just right is lacing them up correctly.

In this post, we’ll discuss how properly lacing up your hunting boots will help improve fit and performance while out in nature.

How to Lace Up Hunting Boots

heel lock

When it comes to lacing up hunting boots, there are several techniques that you can use to achieve the best fit. The following steps will help you properly lace up your hunting boots:

Thread the Laces:

Start by threading one end of the lace through the bottom eyelet (the lowest hole) on the same side of the boot. Pull the lace through until both ends are of equal length.

Cross the Laces:

Take the left lace and cross it over the top of the boot to the opposite side, threading it through the next available eyelet from the bottom. Repeat the same with the right lace, creating an “X” pattern on the top of the boot.

Tighten the Laces:

Pull both ends of the laces gently to tighten the tension across the bottom of the boot. This will ensure a snug fit around the base of your foot.

Alternate Criss-Cross:

Continue criss-crossing the laces and threading them through the eyelets, working your way up the boot. As you progress, the criss-cross pattern will pull the sides of the boot together, providing proper support to your foot and ankle.

Locking Technique (Optional):

Near the top of the boot, you can use a locking technique to secure the laces in place and prevent them from loosening. To do this, loop each lace around the opposite lace and thread it through the adjacent eyelet. This creates a “lock” that will keep the laces from slipping down.

Equal Tension:

Keep an equal amount of tension on both sides of the laces as you thread them through the eyelets. This will help maintain balance and prevent the boot from feeling too tight on one side.

Final Eyelets:

Once you’ve threaded the laces through all the eyelets, tie a secure knot to keep the laces from coming undone. You can use a standard shoelace knot or a double knot for added security.

Adjust for Comfort:

After lacing up your hunting boots, stand up and walk around to ensure the fit is comfortable and secure. Make any necessary adjustments to the tightness of the laces to achieve the perfect balance between snugness and comfort.

Technique 1:

If you’re looking for a more secure fit with maximum comfort, try lacing your boots in a “heel lock” pattern. This technique locks your heel firmly into the heel of the boot and helps to reduce discomfort from movement and slippage when you’re on the trail.

To use this technique, start by crisscrossing the laces diagonally from one side to the other, as you did previously. When you reach the top eyelets, create a loop with each side of the lace by passing it through the next lower eyelet and crossing it over on both sides. Now tie off your laces in a secure double knot at the top, just like before.

Technique 2:


If you’re looking for more of a customized fit, try lacing your boots in an “X-pattern”. This technique allows you to adjust the tightness of the fit around your midfoot and ankle for even more comfort and security.

To use this technique, start by crisscrossing the laces diagonally from one side to the other, like before. When you reach the top eyelets, pass each lace through the next lower eyelet and cross it over on both sides. Now tie off your laces in a secure double knot at the top.

Once you’ve laced up your boots using either technique, try them on and make sure that the fit is comfortable. If necessary, adjust the laces to loosen or tighten them for a perfect fit.

How Many Ways to Lace Up Hunting Boots?

There are several different ways to lace up hunting boots, and the choice often depends on personal preferences, foot shape, and the intended use of the boots.

Standard Criss-Cross Lacing:

Standard Criss-Cross Lacing:

This is the most common lacing method and is great for even tension across the foot. It’s simple and provides a secure fit.

Ladder Lacing:

Ladder Lacing

This technique creates a visually unique pattern and can help alleviate pressure on the instep of the foot. It’s especially useful if you have a high arch or if the top of your foot is sensitive to pressure.

Loop Lacing:

Loop Lacing

Loop lacing adds extra points of adjustment, allowing you to fine-tune the fit in specific areas of the boot. This can be useful if you have narrower or wider parts of your foot that require different levels of tightness.

Lock Lacing:

Lock Lacing

This technique involves creating a locking loop to prevent the laces from loosening over time. It’s particularly helpful for preventing heel slippage.

Window Lacing:

Window Lacing

Window lacing leaves small gaps between the laces, which can be useful if you have sensitive areas on your feet that need less pressure.

Toe Lock Lacing:

Toe Lock Lacing

Similar to the heel lock, this technique locks the laces around the toe area to prevent your foot from sliding forward in the boot.

Quick Lacing System:

Quick Lacing System

Some hunting boots come with built-in quick lacing systems, which allow you to tighten the laces quickly with a single pull. These systems are convenient and efficient.

Hybrid Techniques:

Hybrid Techniques

You can also combine different lacing techniques to address specific comfort or fit issues. For instance, you might use ladder lacing at the instep and standard criss-cross lacing on the rest of the boot.


What are the different methods for lacing boots?

The most popular methods are standard criss-cross lacing, ladder lacing, loop lacing, lock lacing, window lacing, skip lacing, heel lock lacing, toe lock lacing and quick lace systems. You can also combine different techniques to address specific fit issues or to customize your boot’s fit.

How tight should I lace my boots?

Your boots should be snug but comfortable. Make sure that the laces have enough tension to hold your foot securely in place, but not too much that it becomes uncomfortable or restrictive. Adjust the lacing as needed until you achieve a balance between comfort and security.

Is there a way to keep my laces from slipping?

Yes, you can use the lock lacing technique to secure your laces in place. To do this, loop each lace around the opposite lace and thread it through the adjacent eyelet. This creates a “lock” that will keep the laces from slipping down.

What is the best way to tie a knot in my laces?

The best way to tie a knot in your laces is with a double knot. To do this, make a loop with both ends of the lace and thread them through each other. Then pull tight to secure the knot. This creates an extra layer of security that will prevent the laces from coming undone.

How often should I replace my laces?

Your laces should be replaced when they start to fray or show signs of wear and tear. This will ensure that your boots have a secure fit and provide long-lasting comfort. If you lace your boots regularly, it’s best to replace the laces every few months.

What is the best way to store my laces?

When not in use, it’s best to store your laces in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. This will help keep them in good condition and prevent them from becoming brittle or fraying over time. You can also hang them up on a hook or loop them around a door handle – just make sure you don’t leave them in a heap on the floor!

Can I use my laces for other types of shoes?

Yes, you can usually use your lacing techniques and even some of the same laces for different types of footwear. However, it’s always best to check that the laces are suitable for your particular shoes before you start. This will ensure that they have enough tension to hold your feet securely and comfortably in place.

Are there any tips for taking care of my boots?

Yes! Take some time each week or month to clean, condition, and inspect your boots. Clean them with a damp cloth and a mild detergent, and use a leather conditioner or waterproofing spray to keep them in good condition. Inspect the soles and laces for signs of wear and tear, and replace them as necessary.

Finally, remember to always store your boots away from direct sunlight and moisture. This will ensure that they last longer and remain in good shape over time.

Final Thoughts

Lacing up your hunting boots correctly is an essential part of getting the perfect fit. It can take some trial and error to find the best lacing technique for you, but once you have it figured out, you’ll be able to enjoy all-day comfort and support during your hunts. Be sure to replace your laces regularly and take good care of your boots, and you’ll be able to make the most of every hunting trip.


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Leo Massy
Leo Massy, the hunting boots expert, seasoned hunter, and owner of the Hunting Boots Store located at 1460 West Franklin Street, Dothan, Alabama. With a deep love for the outdoors and a wealth of knowledge in hunting boots, Leo is the go-to resource for hunters of all levels.
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