how to lace shoes best image Lacing sneakers

Everyone thinks they know how to lace shoes, and it’s simple enough if you only care about getting from point A to B without your kicks slipping off. But lacing your shoes properly depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the sneakers on your feet. Different sneakers lace differently, and you wouldn’t lace a performance running shoe the same way you'd lace an athleisure sneaker.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at three different methods for how to lace shoes: when you want your shoes to look their best in photos; for comfort and so you can slip your kicks on and off with ease; and for sports such as running. Each technique has its pros and cons, and where we can, we’ve included pro tips to help you out.

What you need to lace your shoes:

Your sneakers Your laces Your hands

(Kind of obvious, really.)

Now, scroll on to see our step-by-step guide on how to lace shoes the right way.

Method 1: Aesthetic

Step 1: Start from scratch

Step 2: Lace up the first two eyelets

Put your laces through the first two eyelets, making sure the laces stay flat and facing up and away from the tongue.

Step 3: Crisscross to the top

Weave the laces in and out of the other eyelets, crisscrossing as you go. The pattern should be in through the top of the eyelet, across the tongue, and then back in through the top of the eyelet on the other side. Make sure your laces are facing up as you work and keep consistent whether the lace coming from one side crosses over or under the lace coming from the other side.

Step 4: Tongue loop

Keep going until you get to the loop in the tongue (if your shoes have one). Our tip here is to skip the tongue loop entirely because your laces will look cleaner. If you don’t believe us, wait until the side-by-side comparison.

Step 5: Final eyelets

Keep going until you reach the final eyelets. But this time, instead of going through the top of the eyelet, go through the bottom, from inside to out on both sides.

Method 2: Comfort

Step 1: Start from scratch

First, remove the laces.

Step 2: Lace your sneakers

Lace your sneakers the exact way we laced the Air Force 1s, just a lot looser.

Step 3: Pro tip

If you lace them with your foot already in the sneaker, you’ll be able to gauge how tight they need to be so they don’t slip off. Pulling the sides of the sneaker apart as you go also helps create a looser fit while giving the laces a natural look.

Step 4: Finishing touches

Once at the final eyelets, you have several options. You can leave your laces hanging slightly out of the last eyelets. You can tie your laces together loosely for a little more structure and compactness. Or you can tie small knots into the ends of the laces so they hold in place and don't loosen.

Method 3: Performance

Step 1: Start from scratch

First, remove the laces.

Step 2: Lace your sneakers

Your shoes are laced as they normally would be, crisscrossing the laces until you reach the second eyelet from the top.

Step 3: Final eyelets

Once at the second eyelet from the top, instead of crossing over again, put the laces through the top eyelet on the same side, forming a loop.

Step 4: Tongue loop

While we skipped the tongue loop previously, you’ll want to put your laces through it this time as it holds the tongue in place as you run.

Step 5: Tighten the loop

Pull each lace end across and through the loop you just created on the opposite side of each shoe.

Step 6: Tie your laces

Finally, tie your laces as you would normally. _

For an in-depth guide, watch the full video below:

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