Locked Double Helix Lacing

Lacing (pic)

A variation of Double Helix Lacing with inside-out crossovers, transforming it from a low-friction, fast lacing into a high-friction lacing that “locks” each row. (From: Matt Jensen)

Eight pairs of eyelets

To activate controls, please enable JavaScript

Lacing Technique

• Begin straight across the bottom (grey section). Note the unusual path: Feed the left end OUT through the bottom-left eyelet. Feed the right end IN through the bottom-right eyelet.

• The right (yellow) end runs diagonally up on the inside and out through the next higher eyelet on the left side.

• The left (blue) end runs diagonally up on the outside, tucking under the diagonal segment in the middle to form a “lock”.

• After emerging from the tuck-under, the left (blue) end continues diagonally up on the outside and feeds in through the next higher eyelet on the right side.

• Continue up the shoe, at each row the right end running diagonally up on the inside and out through the next higher eyelet on the left side, the left end running diagonally up on the outside and in through the next higher eyelet on the right side after a tuck-under in the middle. Repeat until lacing is completed.


Unusual look

Holds very firmly

Harder to tighten


• On shoes with a narrow spacing between the sides, the tuck-unders will occur over a shorter distance, resulting in more compression and hence more effective locking at each row.

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

Locked Double Helix Lacing Theory

Unlike regular Double Helix Lacing, in which the crossed diagonals are kept apart to reduce friction, this lacing has the outer diagonals tucking under the inner diagonals at each row, which has the complete opposite effect of increasing friction.

The resulting “locking” force keeps the lower sections tight while working on the upper sections. This makes it a great lacing for skates, boots, climbing shoes, or any footwear where very firm support is needed.

Shoe lacing photo

Close window

Shoelace Lengths for Locked Double Helix Lacing

Pairs of
length needed
8 pairs133 cm53 in
7 pairs123 cm48 in
6 pairs112 cm44 in
5 pairs102 cm40 in
4 pairs91 cm36 in
3 pairs81 cm32 in
2 pairs70 cm28 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

Same length shoelaces as those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

More details about length comparisons.

Visitor Feedback

I have a “new” way to lace and IMO its the best. Its basically the double helix lace, except the laces which normally run underneath now loop over the laces which normally run above. It looks really cool and tightens even better than the helix.

– Matt Jensen (inventor of this technique), Nov-2008

I think it'd be fun to place it right after mine, noting how a small change in pattern can have such a profound effect on functionaity (not only are these harder to tighten/loosen than my method, they're harder than the plain old criss-cross method) -- but I confess I kinda like the way they look!

– Monte Fisher (inventor of the original Double Helix Lacing), Nov-2008

If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.

Rate This Lacing Method

• Select rating, then click button to submit.

• Or, view results without rating this method.

Please only vote once – multiple votes are removed daily

Support Ian


Click to buy U-Lace elastic shoelace segments (USA)
Click to buy tough shoelaces from Ironlace (USA)
Click to buy shoelaces from Big Laces (UK)
Click to buy shoelaces from Kicks Shoelaces (Australia)
Click to buy shoelaces from Loop King Laces (USA)

This page last updated: 09-Apr-2024. Copyright © 2019-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

Website created by Ian Fieggen (aka. “Professor Shoelace”), inventor of the Ian Knot.

Ian's Other Websites:
Software Site (icon)SoftwareGraphics Site (icon)GraphicsIan's Site (icon)IanChris' site (icon)ChrisFamily tree (icon)Tree