Cascade Lacing

Cascade Lacing

A decorative lacing with each row looped under the previous row, forming a diagonal series of loops that appears to “cascade” down the shoe. (From: Tim Talley)

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique

• Begin with the shoelace fed through the bottom-left eyelet, with the inner (blue) end much shorter than the outer (yellow) end.

• The inner (blue) end runs all the way up the inside and out through the top-left eyelet.

• The outer (yellow) end runs across on the outside and is peaked towards the right side before feeding into the bottom-right eyelet.

• The right (yellow) end runs straight up the inside and out through the next higher eyelet, then loops under the previously peaked row.

• The right (yellow) end is once again peaked on the right side before continuing across the shoe and into the adjacent eyelet.

• Continue up the shoe, alternately running straight up the inside or across on the outside and looping under the previously peaked row.

• On shoes with an odd number of eyelet pairs, finish with a diagonal segment on the inside to emerge through the top-right eyelet.


Decorative look

Harder to tighten

Laces wear more

18% longer ends (approx.)


To make the loop-unders consistent, take care to alternate the direction in which the lace end is fed under the previously peaked row:

  • After emerging from a right-hand-side eyelet, feed under the right side of the previously peaked row and out at the bottom before continuing over and to the left.
  • After emerging from a left-hand-side eyelet, feed over the left side of the previously peaked row and in at the bottom before continuing under and to the right.

The left and right shoes can be laced in reverse (mirror image) to end up with a symmetrical look.

Shoelace Lengths for Cascade Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: (N/A) 76 cm
30 inch
81 cm
32 inch
95 cm
37 inch
101 cm
40 inch
115 cm
45 inch
121 cm
48 inch
Lengths available: (N/A) 27" 36" 36" 40" 45" 45"

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

Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+18% on average).

More details.

Visitor Feedback

I've been trying out as much as I can on the site and I can say some of these lacing methods have fascinated people as I have had them on my various shoes. Some of them I will admit like the Cyclone Fence Lacing I sent you last time while it can be done with flat shoe laces, it ends up as a mess unless you really straighten it up and round laces are the best way to do it - if your not a neat freak about it like me. The same goes for the Cascade Lacing as well which took me several tries to get right somehow.

– Ian S., New York, USA, Oct-2018

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This page last updated: 04-Sep-2022. Copyright © 2004-2022 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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