Lock Lacing (lug version)

Lug Lacing (pic)

A lug version of Lock Lacing. Not a lacing method as much as a technique for creating a super-tight finish. It's often recommended to help reduce heel slippage in running or climbing shoes. Also referred to as “Lace Lock”, “Loop Lacing Lock”, “Heel Lock” or “Runner's Tie”.

Four pairs of lugs

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Lacing Technique

• Lace the shoe normally until the lace ends emerge through the second set of lugs from the top.

• The ends run straight up through the top lugs.

• The ends are crossed, then each end is fed under the vertical section on the other side.

• The ends are returned to the middle for tying, which pulls the vertical sections inwards.


Tightens firmly

Reduces slippage

Harder to loosen

“Shortens” ends


Lock Lacing is also used by rock climbers to prevent any movement or twisting of the shoe under the stresses of climbing, as well as by speed skaters to give maximum ankle support.

• Although Lug Criss Cross Lacing is shown in these examples, and is probably the most common method used, the shoe can be laced with almost any lacing method. In fact, as pointed out by Kyle B., Lug Ladder Lacing naturally ends with a similar “Lace Lock.”

Lock Lacing Theory

Many shoe stores recommend Lock Lacing techniques to help prevent slippage, and many people swear by them. In fact, many sports shoes have twin eyelets at the top to suit Lock Lacing. So what's behind the “magic”?

The answer is simple leverage. While pulling the lacing tight, the upper straight sections get pulled into a triangular shape, acting like “pulleys” to provide even greater tightening.

When shopping for shoes, don't be too impressed by a savvy shoe salesperson using Lock Lacing to get a slightly better fit from an unsuitable pair of shoes! If you've found some shoes that meet all of your other needs with the exception of a bit of heel slippage, then Lock Lacing could be the ideal solution. However, if there is a fair bit of heel slippage, Lock Lacing will only help so much, and it could be wiser to seek some better fitting shoes.

Shoe lacing photo

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Shoelace Lengths for Lug Lock Lacing

Pairs of
length needed
ends by
8 pairs146 cm58 in–1.1 cm–0.4 in
7 pairs135 cm53 in–1.1 cm–0.4 in
6 pairs123 cm48 in–1.1 cm–0.4 in
5 pairs111 cm44 in–1.1 cm–0.4 in
4 pairs99 cm39 in–1.1 cm–0.4 in
3 pairs87 cm34 in–1.1 cm–0.4 in
2 pairs76 cm30 in–1.1 cm–0.4 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

• Longer shoelaces needed than those for basic Lug Criss Cross Lacing.

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

More details about length comparisons.

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This page last updated: 09-Apr-2024. Copyright © 2012-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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