Army Lacing

This inside-out version of Bow Tie Lacing is used on combat boots by various armies. With the crossovers on the insides, the sides of the boots can flex more easily.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique

• For even numbers of eyelet pairs, begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets.

• For odd numbers of eyelet pairs, begin straight across on the outside (grey section) and in through the bottom eyelets.

• At each eyelet pair, alternate between a crossover on the inside and out through the next higher set of eyelets or running straight up on the outside and in through the next higher set of eyelets. Repeat until lacing is completed.


Allows more flex

Loose fit

Harder to tighten

33% longer ends (approx.)


• Combat boots are notorious for being made of thick, sturdy leather that does not flex very easily, making them hard and uncomfortable for any manoeuvering. This lacing eliminates any crossovers that would hold down the sides of the boot, allowing the leather to crease more freely. These creases can be seen clearly in the photo below (the boot with the knife alongside), particularly near the ankle area.

• If you would prefer to have a more rigid military lacing, such as for marching, parachuting, or for preventing ankle injuries in rough or slippery terrain, Ladder Lacing would be a better choice.

• I've been told that Army Lacing is used by the British, Dutch, French and Brazilian armies.

• Army Lacing is also useful for skateboarders. With other lacing methods, some lace segments run across the edges of the shoe uppers, where the high points are quickly chewed through by the grip-tape on skateboards. Army Lacing eliminates those high points, so the laces don't suffer as much wear and tear.

Shoelace Lengths for Army Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: (N/A) 63 cm
25 inch
74 cm
29 inch
77 cm
30 inch
87 cm
34 inch
91 cm
36 inch
101 cm
40 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" 27" 36" 36" 40"

NOTE: These are approximate shoelace lengths for using this lacing on an average sized sneaker. For more accurate lengths, use the Shoelace Length Calculator.

Comparative Length

Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+33% on average).

More details.

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