Hiking / Biking Lacing
An inside-out version of Straight Bar Lacing, which distributes pressure evenly plus keeps the knots & ends to the side. For hiking / bushwalking, position the knots on the inside, away from snagging undergrowth. For biking / cycling, position them on the outside, away from chains & cranks.
• Begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets.
• The left (blue) end runs straight up on the outside, then straight across on the inside.
• Both ends run straight up on the outside, each skipping one eyelet and feeding in two eyelets higher up.
• Both ends continue straight across on the inside and out through the adjacent eyelets.
• Alternate running up on the outside and across on the inside until the ends emerge through the top and second-from-top eyelets on the same side.
Evens out pressure
28% longer ends (approx.)
Hiking / Biking Lacing only works neatly on shoes with even numbers of eyelet pairs (eg. 8 pairs = 16 eyelets). This is because the shoelace 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), a workaround is needed so that the ends still meet.
See below for some workarounds for shoes with odd numbers of eyelet pairs.
Using This Lacing for Hiking / Bushwalking
Lace one shoe as above and the other shoe in reverse, with both knots positioned towards the inside (between the ankles). This places the loops and loose ends further away from the outer sides of the shoes, making them less likely to become snagged in undergrowth while hiking / bushwalking.
Using This Lacing for Biking / Cycling:
Lace one shoe as above and the other shoe in reverse, with both knots positioned towards the outside. This places the loops and loose ends further away from the bicycle chain, cranks and other moving parts.
Hiking / Biking Lacing Gallery
Grey Nike Norths with Hiking / Biking Lacing.
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Shoelace Lengths for Hiking / Biking Lacing
|Pairs of eyelets:||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
|Length needed:||63 cm
Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+28% on average).
As mentioned above, Hiking / Biking 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.
Skip One Eyelet Pair
A basic solution is to simply not use either the top or the bottom pair of eyelets. Using only an even number of eyelet pairs avoids the odd limitation.
It's also possible to skip a pair of eyelets somewhere in the middle, which breaks the lacing into two sections.
Use a single diagonal crossover somewhere in the lacing. At the top, it's less noticeable due to the bows & shoelace ends. 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).
Instead of trying to hide a single diagonal, this alternative makes a feature out of a single crossover. 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.
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 at the bottom left eyelet and the second from bottom right eyelet.
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.
Across and Back
The second from bottom straight section runs across left-to-right (underneath), then right-to-left (on top), passing under itself on the left side. The underlying section is fairly well hidden by the straight section on top.
For a neater (though slightly less comfortable) variation, the lacing can be done inside-out, with only the top two horizontal sections fed under the sides of the shoes to emerge through the top and 2nd from top eyelets (where the knots will be tied). This is effectively a side-knotted version of Straight Bar Lacing.
The result is much neater, particularly when the sneakers have contrasting shoelaces, which would otherwise look messy with the vertical sections visible on the outside. However, it no longer has the benefit of even pressure distribution because the straight horizontal sections are now on the outside.
This picture, sent to me by Stephen P., shows some shoes laced with inside-out Hiking / Biking Lacing, with the
knots and loose ends positioned towards the outside for biking / cycling.
Hiking / Biking Lacing Feedback
"Please find enclosed photo of my favorite method.
Extremely Comfortable – the eyelet tabs are held away from the foot, and the ladder lacing is next to the tongue giving even pressure.
Quick and easy to loosen with one hand – one tug and the entire assembly opens wide – great for 8 hole plus boots
Looks a little weird to the un-initiated
Taught to me by a friend who was in the British military – said they use it on especially long hikes to protect against blisters.
– David O, MI, USA, Feb-2005
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