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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.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique:

• 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.

Despite this limitation, Straight Bar Lacing is VERY popular. This has led people to develop all sorts of ways to get it to work on shoes with odd numbers of eyelet pairs.

See below for some of these workarounds.

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
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Red és with Straight Bar Lacing
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Straight Bar Lacing Video
Watch video: How to Straight Bar Lace your shoes Watch video here
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Shoelace Lengths for Straight Bar Lacing
Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 63 cm
25 inch
(N/A) 80 cm
31 inch
(N/A) 96 cm
38 inch
(N/A) 112 cm
44 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" | 36" 36" | 40" 45"
Comparative Length:
Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+28% 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.

Odd Workarounds

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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 1 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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 2 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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 3 One Diagonal

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).

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 4 One Crossover

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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 5 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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 6 Double Overlap

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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 7 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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 8 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.

Straight Bar Lacing Odd Variation 9 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.

Photos of Odd Workarounds (sent by site visitors)
Black Globe Shoes sneakers with white trim and white Straight Bar Lacing (from Liron) - Click to enlarge
Ends tucked in
Grey Soviet Huff Denims with white trim and white Straight Bar Lacing (from Emil G) - Click to enlarge
Skip bottom eyelets
Brown Oxfords with dark brown trim and grey Straight Bar Lacing (from Clay L) - Click to enlarge
Diagonal at top
Purple Reebok sneakers with white trim and black Straight Bar Lacing (from Jille B) - Click to enlarge
Diagonal through tongue centering loop
Black sneakers with cyan trim and cyan Straight Bar Lacing (from Ashley R) - Click to enlarge
Crossover at top
Black Converse All-Stars with fluoro green Straight Bar Lacing (from Matt R) - Click to enlarge
Crossover at bottom
Patterned black & white Etnies sneakers with white combination of Straight Bar Lacing and Lock Lacing (from Alex H) - Click to enlarge
Combine with Lock Lacing
Hover over any photo for details, or click to enlarge in the Shoe Lacing Photos page.

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Related Links
Hidden Knot Lacing Hidden Knot Lacing

Identical method except with the knot hidden inside for a neater look.

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Inside-out version, which has advantages for hiking or biking.

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Same method using two different color half-shoelaces for a bi-color effect.

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View and customize Straight Bar Lacing using Create-a-Lace.

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