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
EVEN numbers of eyelet pairs, begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets.
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
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
third photo below, particularly near the
• On the other hand, if you would prefer to have a more rigid 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.
• This lacing is also useful for skateboarders. The rough grip-tape on skateboards rubs across the "high points"
where the shoelaces run over the edges of the shoes, eventually chewing through them. Because this lacing has no
shoelace segments running over the edges, there is less shoelace exposed to abrasion.
Shoelace Lengths for Army Lacing
Pairs of eyelets:
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+33% on average).