Checkerboard Lacing

Lacing (pic)

Run one shoelace horizontally, then weave another color vertically and tuck in all ends. Forms an attractive two-color checker pattern.

Eight pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique

• Start with two pairs of different color shoelaces, preferably the wide, flat variety.

• With one color (orange in my diagram), begin with one end tucked into the bottom left of the shoe. Run the shoelace straight across on the outside, then straight up on the inside.

• Repeat running across on the outside and up on the inside, back and forth and up, until you reach the top of the shoe, where that end is also tucked in. This completes the first color (orange).

• With the second color (purple in my diagram), begin with one end tucked into the bottom left of the shoe. Run the shoelace straight up, weaving in and out of the other shoelace until you reach the top.

• Fold around the top shoelace and head back down, weaving in and out until you reach the bottom.

• Continue across the shoe, weaving up and down until you are out of room or out of shoelace, whichever comes first.

• Tuck the final loose end into the shoe. This can be at either the top or the bottom, depending on the number of vertical passes.


Most popular!

Decorative look

Slip-on or off

Loose fit

“Lengthens” ends


• When completed, this lacing forms a sort of loose, springy weave that does not bind strongly. It's designed for wide-fronted sneakers that people usually wear loose with the laces either dragging or tucked in. Sort of like a trendy slip-on.

• For a slightly tighter fit, use wider or rougher laces to increase friction and thus retain more tension.

• For greater security, at the top of the shoe the ends can instead be tied together on the inside or anchored separately with simple stopper knots or using “Lace Anchors”.

• If the checkerboard weave is only done up to the second eyelets from the top – leaving the top row free – the ends (orange) can be adjusted so that a normal shoelace knot can be tied across the top two eyelets (as seen in the 9th photo below).

• For a different look, use a single long shoelace of one color instead of two different shoelaces. After completing the horizontal sections, use the same shoelace to weave the vertical sections. The result is a single-color woven mat with checkerboard texture – but without the checkerboard colors (as seen in the 6th photo below).

Checkerboard Lacing Video

Shoelace Lengths for Checkerboard Lacing

Horizontal shoelace
Pairs of
length needed
ends by
8 pairs101 cm40 in+16.1 cm+6.3 in
7 pairs95 cm37 in+14.2 cm+5.6 in
6 pairs88 cm35 in+12.2 cm+4.8 in
5 pairs81 cm32 in+10.3 cm+4.1 in
4 pairs75 cm29 in+8.3 cm+3.3 in
3 pairs68 cm27 in+6.4 cm+2.5 in
2 pairs62 cm24 in+4.4 cm+1.7 in
4 × Vertical passes
Pairs of
length needed
ends by
8 pairs97 cm38 in+18.2 cm+7.2 in
7 pairs90 cm36 in+16.3 cm+6.4 in
6 pairs84 cm33 in+14.4 cm+5.7 in
5 pairs77 cm30 in+12.6 cm+5.0 in
4 pairs70 cm28 in+10.7 cm+4.2 in
3 pairs63 cm25 in+8.8 cm+3.5 in
2 pairs57 cm22 in+6.9 cm+2.7 in
6 × Vertical passes
Pairs of
length needed
ends by
8 pairs121 cm48 in+6.5 cm+2.6 in
7 pairs110 cm44 in+6.3 cm+2.5 in
6 pairs100 cm40 in+6.0 cm+2.4 in
5 pairs90 cm36 in+5.8 cm+2.3 in
4 pairs80 cm32 in+5.6 cm+2.2 in
3 pairs70 cm28 in+5.4 cm+2.1 in
2 pairs60 cm24 in+5.2 cm+2.0 in
8 × Vertical passes
Pairs of
length needed
ends by
8 pairs144 cm57 in–5.3 cm–2.1 in
7 pairs131 cm51 in–3.8 cm–1.5 in
6 pairs117 cm46 in–2.4 cm–0.9 in
5 pairs104 cm41 in–0.9 cm–0.4 in
ends by
4 pairs90 cm36 in+0.6 cm+0.2 in
3 pairs77 cm30 in+2.1 cm+0.8 in
2 pairs63 cm25 in+3.5 cm+1.4 in

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

MUCH shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

• If the original shoelaces are re-used, this method effectively lengthens the ends substantially.

The significant length difference is because this method has the ends tucked in, resulting in a lot of leftover length that would otherwise have been used to tie a bow.

More details about length comparisons.

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This page last updated: 06-Jun-2024. Copyright © 2004-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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