# Comparative Shoelace Lengths

Comparing each lacing method to basic Criss Cross Lacing makes it easier to know whether a shorter or longer shoelace is needed for a particular lacing method.

## Comparative Lengths Example 1

Let's compare three different lacing methods, each done on a sneaker with a typical horizontal spacing of 50 mm (5 cm). For comparison, the following diagram has the shoelaces colored at 1 cm intervals.

In this example, Lattice Lacing requires shoelaces that are slightly shorter than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing, whereas Ladder Lacing requires shoelaces that are quite a bit longer.

### Criss Cross Lacing

Knot, loops & ends = 35 cm

Eyelet section = 73 cm

Total length = 108 cm

### Lattice Lacing

Knot, loops & ends = 35 cm (same as Criss Cross)

Eyelet section = 69 cm (6% shorter than Criss Cross)

Total length = 104 cm (4% shorter than Criss Cross)

### Ladder Lacing

Knot, loops & ends = 35 cm (same as Criss Cross)

Eyelet section = 85 cm (16% longer than Criss Cross)

Total length = 120 cm (11% longer than Criss Cross)

## Comparative Lengths Example 2

Let's compare the same three lacing methods, this time laced with the identical length shoelace (116 cm long). This shows what happens if the lacing method is changed while the existing shoelaces are re-used.

In this example, Lattice Lacing results in loose ends that are slightly longer than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing, whereas Ladder Lacing results in loose ends that are quite a bit shorter.

### Criss Cross Lacing

Total length = 116 cm

Knot & loops = 21 cm

Eyelet section = 73 cm

2 × Loose ends = 11 cm each

### Lattice Lacing

Total length = 116 cm (same shoelaces)

Knot & loops = 21 cm (same as Criss Cross)

Eyelet section = 69 cm (6% shorter than Criss Cross)

2 × Loose ends = 13 cm each (18% longer than Criss Cross)

### Ladder Lacing

Total length = 116 cm (same shoelaces)

Knot & loops = 21 cm (same as Criss Cross)

Eyelet section = 85 cm (16% longer than Criss Cross)

2 × Loose ends = 5 cm each (55% shorter than Criss Cross)

## Comparative Length Approximations

The web page for each shoe lacing method includes a *“Comparative Length”* section, in which the total shoelace length
is noted as being either shorter, longer or the same length as that for basic “Criss Cross Lacing”, eg:

Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

The section also includes an approximation of how much longer or shorter the loose ends will be if the existing shoelaces are re-used, eg:

Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+24% on average).

The approximations are based on lacing a shoe with a horizontal eyelet spacing of **50 mm**, a vertical eyelet
spacing of **16 mm** and an end length of **250 mm** and calculating an average of the lengths needed for
shoes with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 pairs of eyelets.

The resulting approximations should thus only be considered as a simple guide. For more exact comparisons based on your exact shoe dimensions, use the Shoelace Length Calculator.

### Comparative Length Anomalies

Note that in some instances, the length comparisons give unexpected results – in particular regarding lacing methods where the ends are tucked in. Such methods only need end lengths of perhaps 100 mm (4 inch) – much shorter than the usual 200–250 mm that is usually needed for tying a shoelace bow.

In the above photo, both methods are inside-out versions of the identical shoelace path. They therefore have an indentical
length of shoelace running through the eyelets – thus the *“Comparative Length”* section rates them as equal. But the
shoe on the left **without** the bow clearly needs much less end length for “tucking” than the shoe on the right needs
for “tying”.

Finally, some lacing methods may be both comparatively longer **or** shorter – depending on the number of eyelet pairs.
For example,
Ladder Lacing on **2 pairs** results in **15% longer** ends, whereas on **8 pairs** it results
in **18% shorter** ends, with the break-even point at about four or five pairs. This can be seen in the following
photo of *Ladder Lacing* on seven pairs, which results in shorter ends as well as the sides of the shoe pulled closer
together.

Again, it's important to consider that the published *Comparative Length* is an **average**. In the case of
* Ladder Lacing*, the end lengths are listed as *“2% shorter on average”* (ie. virtually identical). This says
nothing about the fact that it could result in either longer **or** shorter ends on your shoes.

Luckily, such anomalies are rare. Overall, the *Comparative Lengths* are a pretty good guide.