NASA Space Boot Lacing

Lacing (pic)

Used on astronaut's space boots during the early space program. A doubled-up shoelace snakes up the shoe, passing both ways through each eyelet to lock tightly.

Eight pairs of eyelets
Pairs
8
7
6
5
4
Flip
Step
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

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Lacing Technique

• Begin with the shoelace fed through the bottom-left eyelet.

• The inner (blue) end runs straight up the inside and out through the next higher eyelet, then straight across the outside and in through the opposite eyelet.

• The outer (yellow) end runs straight up the outside and in through the next higher eyelet (already occupied by the blue end), then straight across the inside and out through the (already occupied) opposite eyelet.

• Continue snaking both ends up the shoe, following the same path and feeding through the same eyelets from both sides, until lacing is completed.

Features

Unusual look

Holds very tight

Harder to tighten

“Shortens” ends

Notes

• This lacing was originally used to lace astronaut's zippered pressure boots. After adjusting the lacing to be tight throughout, the ends were permanently tied off. The zipper was then used to get the boot on and off. The double-passes of shoelace through each eyelet helped to “lock” the tightness at every point – even when the boot was off.

• This lacing works best with thinner or flat shoelaces because most of the eyelets have to accommodate two passes of shoelace.

• When feeding a second pass of shoelace through an eyelet, take care that the aglet (shoelace tip) doesn't catch on the shoelace fibers and cause any damage.

Shoe lacing photo

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Shoelace Lengths for NASA Space Boot Lacing

Pairs of
eyelets
Approximate
length needed
“Shortens”
ends by
8 pairs142 cm56 in–4.5 cm–1.8 in
7 pairs129 cm51 in–3.1 cm–1.2 in
6 pairs116 cm46 in–1.8 cm–0.7 in
5 pairs103 cm41 in–0.4 cm–0.2 in
 “Lengthens”
ends by
4 pairs90 cm35 in+0.9 cm+0.4 in
3 pairs76 cm30 in+2.3 cm+0.9 in
2 pairs63 cm25 in+3.6 cm+1.4 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

• Generally, longer shoelaces are needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing – unless the shoes have few eyelets.

• If the original shoelaces are re-used, this method effectively shortens the ends – though it may lengthen the ends if the shoes have few eyelets.

More details about length comparisons.

Visitor Feedback

I didnt even know about the NASA space boot knot until your website, and it's quickly become my favorite to use.

– Damien, Georgia, USA, Apr-2022

All pairs of shoes/boots are indeed tight with this lacing, it isn’t to hard to tighten up that I can see but certainly once you put them on they are not coming apart or off easily at all that’s for sure. Apart from that I did try with fatter laces, and I can safely say that is definitely not recommended at all.

– Ian S., Jul-2019

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This page last updated: 24-Jan-2024. Copyright © 2019-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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

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