Locked Double Helix Lacing

A variation of Double Helix Lacing with inside-out crossovers, transforming it from a low-friction lacing that was fast and easy into a high-friction lacing that 'locks' each row. Sent to me by Matt J.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

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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 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.

• The left and right shoes can be laced in reverse (mirror image) so as to end up with a symmetrical look.

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.

Shoelace Lengths for Locked Double Helix Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 71 cm
28 inch
81 cm
32 inch
92 cm
36 inch
102 cm
40 inch
113 cm
44 inch
123 cm
48 inch
134 cm
53 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" | 36" 36" 40" 45" 45" 54"

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

Identical length shoelaces to those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

More details.

Locked Double Helix Lacing Feedback

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 F., Nov-2008

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 J., Nov-2008

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