Criss Cross Lacing

This is probably the most common method of lacing normal shoes & boots. The laces simply criss-cross as they work their way up the shoe.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique

• Begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets.

• At each eyelet pair, cross the ends, feeding under the sides and out through the next higher set of eyelets. Repeat until lacing is completed.


Traditional look

Simple to lace


Corrugates shoe


Criss Cross is also a preferred lacing method for comfort, mainly because the crossovers of shoelace occur in the gap between the sides of the shoe and thus aren't pressed against the top of the foot.

Criss Cross Lacing Video

Criss Cross Lacing - Factory Variation

Factory variation of Criss Cross Lacing

There is a subtle variation of Criss Cross Lacing that appears in many shoes that come pre-laced from the factory. The lacing starts with the bottom grey section running across the outside and with the first crossover on the inside. The remainder of the lacing is normal.

Visually, this is less consistent and thus less appealing. Functionally, there is little good reason for this variation, with the possible exception of shifting the lowest pressure point up a little.

So what is the main reason for this variation?

Historically, there was a period when manufacturers were shipping shoes with the lace ends fed into the bottom eyelets and simply tucked away neatly inside the shoe. In later years, with greater competition and cheaper labor, manufacturers began lacing their shoes all the way, yet still starting as they always did with the ends fed into the bottom eyelets. This would result in the lacing as we see it today, with a single "inner" crossover at the very bottom.

Shoelace Lengths for Criss Cross Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 71 cm
28 in.
81 cm
32 in.
92 cm
36 in.
102 cm
40 in.
113 cm
44 in.
123 cm
48 in.
134 cm
53 in.
Lengths available: 27" 36" 36" 40" 45" 45" 54"

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

The length of shoelace required for Criss Cross Lacing is the "baseline" length against which all other shoe lacing methods are compared.

More details

Criss Cross Lacing Feedback

"Several years ago I had a pair of deck shoes, with leather laces, that irritated my skin under the bottom lace. I had laced them using the Criss Cross method. I discovered that going back to the Factory Variation relieved the pressure from the bottom lace (grey section) that was causing the irritation."

– George, OK USA.

If you'd like to send feedback about Criss Cross Lacing, please Contact Ian.

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