5 lacing techniques to give your shoe the best fit

Here are a few different ways to lace shoes along with some unique shoe lacing techniques that are fast, easy and can mean the difference between just an “OK” fit and a perfect shoe fit.

I have a wider forefeet and narrower heel. How do I ensure a snug lace?

Shop Laces

1.  Try the butterfly lace, butterfly stitch or loop-lacing lock, which is great for women, as well as children, whose feet often outpace the growth in width.

  • Lace your shoes with the standard cross method up to the next to last eyelet on each side. Thread the lace through the top eyelet, making a small loop on each side.
  • Thread the opposite lace through each loop and pull tight.
  • Finally, tie the laces. This technique tightens your shoe’s ankle collar, creating comfortable stability.

I have incredibly wide forefeet and very narrow heels. Are there other lacing techniques I can use?

2.  Try the double lace, which also works in place of the butterfly lace.

  • Take two sets of short laces, lacing the bottom of the shoe’s lacing system with one set of laces and the top of the shoe’s lacing system with the other.
  • For the bottom lace, use the standard cross method, but leave the lace loose to accommodate foot width.
  • For the top lace, use the standard cross method combined with the butterfly lace.

I’m looking to relieve pressure points on the top of my foot. What kind of lace is snug enough to ensure a good fit, yet comfortable enough to avoid pain or injury?

3.  Try the skip lace, which guards against top-of-foot pain and injury.

  • Lace your shoes in the standard cross method up to the third eyelet on each side.
  • Move each end of the lace straight up the lacing system for the next two eyelets, rather than continuing the cross method.
  • After you've reached the fifth eyelet, resume the standard cross method to the top of the shoe.
  • Once you reach the top, tie the laces.

What’s the best way to lace shoes for those with high arches?

Shop Laces

4.  Try the splay lacing technique.

  • Divide laces into two equal halves.
  • Starting near the bottom, take one end of the lace and “bar lace” by going straight across the top of the shoelace system.
  • Then move the lace straight up to the next eyelet on the same side of the lacing system.
  • Bar lace that set of eyelets as you did before.
  • Now, take the other end of the shoelace and, skipping the set of eyelets just used, move straight up to the next available set of eyelets on the same side of the lacing system.
  • Again, bar lace that side, and continue lacing in an alternating pattern until you reach the top of the shoes.
  • From there, tie the laces.

What are some lacing options for those with hammertoes, corns and nail problems, or other foot problems?

5. The hammer toe lace takes the pressure off problem spots.

  • Give two-thirds of the shoelace length to one end of the lace, leaving one-third on the other end.
  • Take the longer end, bar lace the shoes, lacing straight across the top of the lacing system, then moving diagonally underneath the system but over the tongue, to the next set of eyelets.
  • Repeat to the top of the lacing system.
  • Then take the shorter end of the lace diagonally underneath the lacing system to the top of the shoe, and tie the laces.

My shoes always seem to come untied? Any lacing techniques that can prevent this?

6.  Try the Ukrainian lacing technique. Its snug fit and technique mean you’ll avoid extra knots and trailing laces.

  • Begin at the top and go straight across on the inside and out through both sides.
  • Leave a long loop (about 4 inches) at each side. You’ll use these to pull the lacing tight and complete the knot.
  • Tie a left-over-right-starting knot before feeding the ends through the next lower laces (second from the top).
  • Cross the ends, and feed each side through the next lace. Repeat until you reach the bottom.
  • After reaching the bottom, tie a stopper knot, and lock the ends. This prevents them from pulling out of the bottom laces.

Shop Laces