Escher Lacing

Lacing (pic)

Decorative lacing whose outline resembles fish swimming alternately left and right, like those from Dutch artist M.C. Escher.

Eight pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique – for even numbers of eyelet pairs

• Begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets. Adjust so that the left (blue) end is slightly longer than the right (yellow) end.

• The left (blue) end runs diagonally across and up two eyelets (skip past one eyelet) on the outside, then straight down on the inside and out through the next lower eyelet.

• The blue end then runs diagonally across and up three eyelets (skip past two eyelets) on the outside, then straight down on the inside and out through the next lower eyelet. Repeat all the way to the top of the shoe, with the final diagonal running across and up only two eyelets, passing under the side and out through the top eyelet.

• The right (yellow) end snakes through the remaining empty eyelets, alternating between running diagonally across and up on the outside, then straight up on the inside. The final diagonal runs under the side and out through the top eyelet.


• Variation 1 is for shoes with even numbers of eyelet pairs.

• Variation 2 is for shoes with odd numbers of eyelet pairs, using vertical segments at the inside-top.



Harder to tighten

“Lengthens” ends


• This method is non-symmetrical. Lacing the left and right shoes in reverse (flipped horizontally) results in a symmetrical looking pair.

Shoelace Lengths for Escher Lacing

Pairs of
length needed
ends by
8 pairs116 cm46 in+8.6 cm+3.4 in
7 pairs104 cm41 in+9.4 cm+3.7 in
6 pairs101 cm40 in+5.8 cm+2.3 in
5 pairs89 cm35 in+6.6 cm+2.6 in
4 pairs86 cm34 in+3.0 cm+1.2 in
3, 2 pairs = (N/A)

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.

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

More details about length comparisons.

Visitor Feedback

M.C. Escher I feel provides everything I want. It allows the colours of the laces to be the star of the show by not being too extravagant in it's pattern, has the perfect amount of empty space around the laces to ensure they remain clearly visible against the tongue, and carries a sense of balance, in a way most chaotic. The two sides are themselves almost battling, racing to the top of the shoe; one side taking the fast path, skipping a rung each step, whilst the other side instead takes a step back, dropping a rung to provide stability in it's climb, reinforcing it's previous step, and then taking an extra long almost bounding leap (I'm waxing lyrical at this point; but in my defense, I really do like them!).

– George, Worcestershire, UK, Oct-2023

I custom order Converse, so never want to go with “Standard” lacing. Your website is incredible with so many options, I just received a new pair and went back and forth between a few techniques and ended up going with the “Escher Lacing,” I get so many compliments on the different patterns I try. For some reason this pattern/technique looks perfect to me on my new shoes.

– Matt Z., Mar-2017

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This page last updated: 09-Jun-2024. Copyright © 2016-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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