Straight Bar Lacing
Also referred to as "Lydiard Lacing" or "Fashion Lacing", this variation of Straight Lacing eliminates the underlying diagonals, which looks neater plus relieves pressure on the top ridge of the foot.
• Begin straight across on the outside (grey section) and in through the bottom eyelets.
• The left (blue) end runs straight up on the inside, then straight across on the outside.
• Both ends run straight up on the inside, each skipping one eyelet and emerging two eyelets higher up.
• Both ends continue straight across on the outside and in through the adjacent eyelets.
• Alternate running up on the inside and across on the outside until lacing is completed.
Even no. of eyelets = neat
Odd no. of eyelets = messy
28% longer ends (approx.)
Straight Bar Lacing only works correctly on shoes with even numbers of eyelet pairs (eg. 8 pairs = 16 eyelets). This is because the lace must cross the shoe an even number of times so that the ends will meet and can be tied together. On shoes with an odd number of eyelet pairs (eg. 7 pairs = 14 eyelets), the lace ends finish diagonally opposite each other at the top of the shoe.
See below for some workarounds for shoes with odd numbers of eyelet pairs.
Sports / Military Advice
Like other straight lacing methods, Straight Bar Lacing has an additional benefit for sporting or military use: The upper horizontal sections of shoelace can be quickly cut through with a knife or scissors in order to more easily remove a boot from a broken, sprained or otherwise injured ankle or foot.
Note that most military forces have regulations for just about everything, so I'd recommend that military personnel check before they adopt this, or any other, possible non-regulation lacing method!
Straight Bar Lacing Gallery
Red és with Straight Bar Lacing.
Shoelace Lengths for Straight Bar Lacing
|Pairs of eyelets:||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
|Length needed:||63 cm
Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+28% on average).
As mentioned above, Straight Bar Lacing only works correctly on shoes with even numbers of eyelet pairs. Here's several common workarounds for shoes with odd numbers of eyelet pairs, using sample diagrams with seven pairs of eyelets.
Ends Tucked In
Firstly, you can accept the fact that the lace ends don't meet and simply tuck them into the shoe.
For a tighter fit, you could also knot each lace end so that they don't pull through the eyelets, then tuck them in. However, those knots can feel uncomfortable.
Skip One Eyelet Pair
Another solution is to simply not use either the top or the bottom pair of eyelets. This avoids the odd limitation by using only an even number of the available eyelet pairs.
It's also possible to skip a pair of eyelets somewhere in the middle, which breaks the lacing into two sections.
Use a single diagonal pass somewhere in the lacing. At the top, it's less noticeable due to the bows and shoelace ends. At the bottom, you can even run the diagonal around the inside of the tongue, making it invisible at the expense of some slight discomfort. Near the middle of the lacing, a diagonal may be positioned to line up with and run through a tongue centering loop (if the shoe has one).
Instead of trying to hide a single diagonal, this alternative makes a feature out of a single crossover, similar to the look of Over Under Lacing. This crossover can be placed at either the top or bottom of the lacing, but unlike the above "One Diagonal" variation, it cannot be placed in the middle of the lacing.
Cut and Tie Off
Similar to the single diagonal shown above, the shoelace can be cut (where the diagonal would have been) and the ends tied off on opposite sides of the shoe. In this diagram, the knotted ends are hidden underneath the bottom left eyelet and the second from bottom right eyelet.
This unusual solution works by doubling up the laces through the second from bottom pair of eyelets. Because it's near the bottom of the shoe, any difficulty with tightening this section is not so noticeable as the shoe doesn't need to open wide at that point.
Across and Back
The second from bottom straight section runs across left-to-right (on top), then right-to-left (underneath), passing under the vertical section on the left side. The underlying section is fairly well hidden by the straight section on top.
This is the preferred method for dress shoes with three pairs of eyelets, with the lacing running across and back under the middle pair of eyelets.
Twice Through Top Eyelet
Lace the shoe normally, then at the top of the shoe, feed both ends out through the same top eyelet (in this case, the top-left). Feed one end across and out through the opposite eyelet (in this case, the top-right). When the ends are tied, there will be a double-crossover at the top, but this will be fairly well hidden by the shoelace knot.
Combine with Lock Lacing
Lace normally up to the second pair of eyelets from the top, then finish with a High Lace Lock through the top two pairs of eyelets. Although this doesn't look as neat, it does pull the lacing extra tight.
See the Lock Lacing page for more information.
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