How to Lace Up Different Types of Shoes

How to Lace Up Different Types of Shoes

You’d be surprised at not only the stylish ways to tie your laces, but the ways which will benefit you in a health aspect.

Lacing a trainer isn’t the same as tying them. Lacing a trainer is how you pull the laces through each individual eyelet to ensure that the shoe or trainer stays comfortably around your foot, whilst tying the shoelaces is what fully secures them into place.

You may need to tie different types of shoes in different ways. We’ll run through the most common ones below:

How to lace up running shoes

When it comes to running, the way you lace your running trainers will not only allow for better running performance, but will also offer more comfort.

If you are having problems with your running shoes slipping off your heel, or if they are giving you blisters, the reason could fall down to being that they aren’t laced up correctly.

There is a large variation within human foot type and also the way an individual runs - this means it could take a few test runs with each lacing technique which is definitely better than having to buy a new pair.

Trainer slipping off your heel

The best technique which can fix heel slippage is the ‘heel lock’ lacing technique. Here are the steps:

1. Start by lacing the shoes in a criss cross pattern and stop when you get to the second to last eyelet.

2. Secondly, thread the lace through the last eyelet from the outside to the inside, thus creating a small loop.

3. Finally, cross the laces at the top of and use the made hoops as eyelets and then tighten and tie to secure your foot in-place.

With this technique, your laces are guaranteed to stay tighter for longer whilst also preventing heel slippage.

Trainers being too tight

Running shoes being too tight can be the bane of so many runners' lives. With a lacing technique, referred to as ‘straight bar’, pressure is distributed from tightening your running shoes all over, allowing them to be simultaneously secure and comfortable.

When lacing the shoes to fully optimise the ‘straight bar’ technique, the shoe must be laced parallel:

- This is done by skipping alternate eyelets for each lace whilst running the lace up the inside.

With doing this step, the overall pressure will be reduced.

Even with the use of this technique, the overall tightness to your foot could still be wrong. If this is the case, then it’s time for some new running shoes. At Hirst Footwear, we have a great range of running shoes and trainers to choose from!

Lacing trainers for high arches

For people with high arches, this lacing technique is great as it allows you to have an adjustable part of the shoe around the arches to alleviate some of the pressure which would normally be exerted onto your feet with other lacing techniques.

For this lacing technique, follow these steps:

1. First, start lacing in a normal criss cross pattern.

2. Then, on the second eyelet, feed the lace from the inside and out on the side panels and then back through to the inside on the third. With doing this, you have created your adjustable leverage.

3. Finish the lacing technique with the normal criss cross pattern.

Lacing trainers for a wide forefoot

For people with a wide forefoot, the best technique would be to allow for more room around the toe area.

For this lacing technique, follow these steps:

1. Start with threading the shoe from the outside to the inside on the first eyelets to create a bar across.

2. Next, go from the inside to the outside on the second eyelet, up and onto the third eyelet (also from the outside) whilst keeping the laces on the same side.

3. From here, the shoe can be laced up with the usual criss cross pattern.

Using this technique, you are able to reduce the amount of pressure onto your forefoot with the laces on the outside part of the running shoe. This process can also be repeated but tweaked slightly for people with a higher midfoot, by putting the adjustable laces higher up.

Lacing trainers for narrow feet

If you have a narrow foot type, don’t worry we haven’t left you out, there is a perfect lacing technique just for you! This technique will keep your lacing tighter so that your feet are more secure.

Follow these steps to make your running shoes more comfortable and more supportive:

1. First, lace the shoe in a criss cross pattern.

2. Secondly, skip the fourth eyelet to produce a skinnier criss cross.

3. Finally, continue on from here with a criss cross pattern.

Lacing trainers for wide feet

On the other side of narrow feet are the people with overall wider feet. If this is you and your running shoes are causing you problems, this is the optimal lacing technique for you.

Follow these steps for better performance and enhanced comfort:

1. Start by lacing the first and second eyelets with the normal criss cross pattern.

2. Then, feed using every other eyelet to create a larger criss cross pattern.

With these techniques, it is hard to go wrong, but if you’re still struggling with discomfort and irritation from your running shoes, then it’s time to invest in a new pair.

How to lace up walking shoes and boots

Lacing up hiking boots, walking boots and walking shoes is very important, as improper lacing could be the root cause of a long term injury.

If you are a keen walker or love a hike every now and again, it is still a necessity to make sure you’re equipped with the proper gear.

The lacing technique will also optimise your walking boot and there are multiple varieties to go through for different ways to support your ankles and feet when on a hike.

The best advice before changing lacing technique is to purchase a new pair of laces - this can also add an extra touch of personalisation to your walking boots or shoes.

Lacing up outdoor footwear


When lacing up your walking boots, it all comes down to personal preference, your feet type and how you want your boots to look.


The best techniques to find more comfort and gain further support through your walking boots use a reef knot. To create a reef knot:

1. Simply pull the left lace over the right two times.

2. Then take it under and yank tight.


This knot alone also increases tension and decreases slippage of your foot within the boot.

Heel slipping in walking boots


One of the main concerns with walking boots is that your heel is slipping when walking. Heel slipping occurring could lead to a small fall with serious consequences.


To make sure the lacing technique being used limits heel slippage to almost never, follow the steps below:

 1. Begin by making sure your heel is as far down as it will go.

2. Then, locate the point at which the front of your ankle joins with your leg - this is the point toin which you will tie your boot up as normal in a criss cross pattern.

3. Now they have been laced up to this point, tie a reef knot and then above the reef knot, tie a second.

4. From this point, you then tie the boot up as normal.


Not only will the lacing technique prevent heel slippage, but it will also prevent foot movement within the boot.

How to lace up dress shoes


Got a formal event coming up? Getting all suited and booted? Well, it's common sense that having a perfect tie or a neatly folded pocket square are the usual ways to show off your formal style.


Looking smart also comes down to the way you lace your dress shoes.


Below are 3 types of ways to lace up your dress shoes. For extra style points, it's best to acquire a new set of laces - whether it's to have a pop of colour or replace your worn out laces, that’s up to you.

Criss cross lacing


The usual method is a simple criss cross. This is most likely how your shoes first came when you bought them brand new, but even though it's simple, it still gives that classic, traditional style.


To pull off this method, follow the simple steps below:

 1. Start by pushing each aglet (the plastic cap on the end of a shoelace!) into the first two eyelets at the bottom of the lacing section.

2. With the lace on the right, go under then over, missing out every other eyelet until you reach the top.

3. Repeat this with the lace on the left, criss crossing over each lace bridge.


For a better look when using this method, make sure that your shoes have two separate pieces of leather at the top of the shoe.

Diagonal lacing


Putting your formal shoes into the modern era, you can lace them up using the diagonal method. You can even have your laces parallel to each other, making them extra fashionable.


This method also works with both closed lacing and open lacing.


Follow the instructions below to diagonally lace up your dress shoes:

 1. Have the point of the shoe facing you and then push your shoelace into the left bottom eyelet, then go above to the eyelet to the right.

2. Feed the left shoelace through the bottom left eyelet whilst ensuring the laces are even.

3. Again, taking the left shoelace, thread it through the right eyelet opposite from the outside.

4. Then, using the right shoelace, feed it through the left eyelet.

5. Thread the right shoelace through the opposite right eyelet.

6. Steps 3 to 5 can now be repeated until you reach the top.

7. Now at the top, push the shoelace through the top eyelet and then below the opposite.


The diagonal method does look best with a larger amount of eyelets.

Straight bar lacing


The third method of lacing up your dress shoes is called the ‘straight bar’ technique.


This method of lacing dress shoes is considered the correct method when sporting a pair of closed lacing dress shoes and it’s so simple, you can’t go wrong.


Follow the steps below to traditionally and correctly lace up your dress shoes:

1. Start by pushing both aglets into each bottom eyelet.

2. Then, feed the left shoelace up the inside to the second eyelet, then go over and straight across to the opposite eyelet.

3. Take the right shoelace and run it inside from the bottom eyelet to the third right side eyelet.

4. Then, take the left shoelace and run it up the inside, also to the fourth right side eyelet.

5. Each end of the shoelace now goes straight across to meet the opposite eyelets.

6. The right shoelace then goes inside to the top eyelet and is then pulled out.

7. The left shoelace will run diagonally across the tongue to the fifth and final eyelet.

In the end, when it comes down to lacing your dress shoes, it is all about personal preference.

A shoe that has 6 pairs of eyelets can technically be laced in 40,000 different ways, so the options are almost endless!

How to make turn your lace up shoes into slip ons

Want to achieve that super clean look with your laced up shoes? It’s the new trend for shoes in 2022 to remove the need to tie your shoe laces any more!

The first method is to use the ‘straight bar’ lace up. The instructions to use this method are just above when used for dress shoes. Even though this method is the traditional way of lacing up your shoes for a formal event, it still gives off a snazzy and trendy look and can turn most shoes, like trainers, into slip ons.

It also doesn’t just have to be a lace up technique - you could also use different gadgets to hide your laces away, such as lace anchors which anchor the excess lace behind the tongue causing minimal irritation.

Another gadget that could be used is elastic laces! Coming in a wide range of colour and styles, they allow you to effortlessly slide into your trainers whenever on the go.

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