This simple variation of
Criss Cross Lacing
skips a crossover to create a gap in the middle of the lacing, either to bypass a sensitive
area on the instep or to increase ankle flexibility.
Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets, variation 1
• 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 the ends are
below the sensitive area (or ankle area).
• The ends are run straight up the sides to the next higher set of eyelets, creating the gap.
Above the sensitive area (or ankle area), resume criss-crossing up the shoe until lacing is completed.
Allows more flex
15% longer ends on avg. (variation 1)
29% longer ends on avg. (variation 2)
For normal use, skip one crossover, with the verticals on the outside.
For a slightly tighter fit, skip one crossover, with the verticals on the inside.
For a larger sensitive area or for a looser fit, skip two crossovers.
The gap provides pressure relief in a couple of ways:
• There are no shoelaces running over the top of the sensitive area.
• The sides of the shoe are not held down by the crossovers and thus can spread wider at that point,
particularly with Variation 1.
Besides providing pressure relief, a gap can instead be used to increase ankle flexibility, particularly on tall,
heavy leather boots (such as in the 4th photo below).
Note also that the gap does not have to be in the middle of the lacing, as shown in the diagrams and photos on
this page, but can instead be positioned wherever needed.
Shoelace Lengths for Gap Lacing
Pairs of eyelets:
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+15% on average).