Trainer Lacing: 101

Written by Dan | 29/03/2023



Trainer Lacing: 101. An essential part of any outfit, the way you lace shoes can make all the difference. Not only does it affect how they look, but also how they fit and feel on your feet. Maybe you lace diagonally or go for something a bit out there? You can drastically change the way your shoes look and feel.

From traditional lacing to more advanced methods like crisscross or loop lacing patterns, there is a wide variety of options for customizing your shoes to suit any style.

In this post, we will explore different ways to lace up trainers and shoes so that you can find the perfect combination for both form and function.


A pair of white trainers with red trim and fresh laces


Straight Lacing

For dress shoes, it is conventional for the shoelaces to run straight across. This ‘ladder lacing’ is a very easy way to lace your shoes and gives a sleek and professional look. This lacing style can be used on sneakers as well, although it may not be the most comfortable option.

As displayed by this Ted Baker pair, this simple design can be made more interesting by adding contrasting laces. Perfect either for the whole shoe or just one row. Lace straight across into the opposite hole, keeping the same colour pattern on all the eyelets.


Black brogues laced in a straight through style.


Additionally, this way of lacing allows you to use bow tie lacing at the tongue if that’s your style, or for shorter shoelaces, you can carry on to the top and tuck the lace ends in.


Criss Cross Lacing

The most popular lacing pattern is standard cross-lacing or spider web lacing. This is where the left lace starts at the bottom of the shoe. It crosses over and threads through the top of the eyelet. This style requires a longer lace and is very popular for military boots and running shoes.

This way of lacing has a timeless feel and look, creating an X-shape along the length of the shoe. This style also works especially well with hiking boots or other thick-soled shoes. It provides even more support than straight lacing. You can also add a “heel lock” at the back of your shoe if you are looking for extra support and stability.


A pair of Timberland boots with crossed lacing.


This design is usually used for boots and trainers, as it is most convenient for customising for the best fit. Also, it gives support for the whole foot as runs the whole length to make them more secure.

In terms of customising, the crossed shoe lace can be made as loose or as tight as you like. It is definitely a statement to lace boots loosely, giving them an edgier look.

Similarly to the straight lace, you can change the top of the lace to tie your preferred knot.  Alternatively, tuck the laces in for a cleaner look.  Combining lacing techniques can also work. Experiment as much as you can with alternative lacing styles to see which one works best for you and your shoes.


Purple boots with busy lacing


Loop Lacing

This is a more advanced shoe-lacing pattern and works best if you have more than three eyelet pairs. This method can be used for any style of shoe, from running shoes to dress shoes. It adds complexity and dimension to the look by adding loops at each intersection of the laces, creating an intricate design along the length of the shoe.

To start this lacing pattern, thread one lace in an ‘over-under’ pattern from the bottom eyelet and tie off at the top eyelet. The second lace should be threaded in a straight line from bottom to top. They should skip every other fixing and move straight to the next eyelet. When you reach the end, tie off at the top and make sure the ends are even.

The loops don’t have to be symmetrical, as long as they appear neat and consistent. You can adjust the loops for added comfort or fit once laced up.

It doesn’t matter if you have flat laces or standard, this lacing technique will give you a striking diagonal pattern that will really stand out!


A selection of trainers by On Running in green and black.


It is easy to play about with shoelaces in order to mix up the look as they can be completely tailored to the individual. Bringing colourful laces to an otherwise plain shoe or with the pattern of the laces themselves is a perfect way to add interest to your footwear in a subtle way.

The way you lace your shoes can make a statement and add personality, as well as contribute to both form and function.

All the above techniques are perfect for customizing any style of shoe in order to create an individual look that reflects your own personal style.

You can also combine different lacing patterns, creating unique designs across multiple types of shoes. All that matters is that you’re comfortable in your own style!



Start practising today with Mainline Menswear’s huge selection of designer footwear

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