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Gap Lacing

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

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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 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.

Relieves pressure
Allows more flex
Messy look
15% longer ends (approx.)

1 For normal use, skip one crossover, with the verticals on the outside.

2 For a slightly tighter fit, skip one crossover, with the verticals on the inside.

3 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 across the gap and pressing into the foot.

• There are no crossovers holding down the sides of the shoe on either side of the gap, allowing it to 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.

Gap Lacing Gallery
Lacing photo
Puma Faas 300s with Gap Lacing
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Gap Lacing Video
Watch video: How to Gap Lace your shoes Watch video here
Watch on YouTube

Shoelace Lengths for Gap Lacing
Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 63 cm
25 inch
74 cm
29 inch
84 cm
33 inch
95 cm
37 inch
105 cm
41 inch
116 cm
46 inch
126 cm
50 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" 36" 36" 40" 45" 45" | 54"
Comparative Length:
Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+15% on average).
• These are approximate shoelace lengths for using this lacing on an average sized sneaker.
• For more accurate lengths, use the Shoelace Length Calculator.

Gap Lacing Feedback

I work as a security guard at pubs and nightclubs, which means a lot of just standing still, and the occasional wrestling match. I had some problems with pain in my ankles from just standing still and during the wrestling my laces always got untied.

So I tested your "Gap lacing" and your "Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot".

Now, as you described, i got alot more ankle flexibility and my pain is gone! And my laces never gets untied!

- Daniel J., Sweden

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

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Related Links
Criss Cross Lacing Criss Cross Lacing

Similar method with each crossover running under the sides then out.

Double Helix Lacing Double Helix Lacing

Overs and Unders arranged as a double helix to reduce friction even further.

Gap Lacing on Create-a-Lace Create-a-Lace

View and customize Gap Lacing using Create-a-Lace.

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