Quick Release Ladder Lacing
To speed up the removal of tall boots with many eyelets, this lacing only needs a couple of simple steps to release the top row, then the rest of the lacing loosens instantly.
NOTE: The following instructions are split into two stages – which look quite different.
Stage 1: “Lacing” shows how to actually run the laces through the eyelets.
Stage 2: “Tightening” shows how the slack lacing transforms into a tight ladder.
Lacing Technique – 8 Pairs – Stage 1: Lacing
(See also Stage 2: Tightening)
• Begin straight across on the outside (grey section) and in through the bottom eyelets.
• The left (blue) end runs straight up on the inside, then straight across on the outside.
• Both ends run straight up on the inside, each skipping one eyelet and emerging two eyelets higher up.
• Both ends continue straight across on the outside and in through the adjacent eyelets.
• Alternate running up on the inside and across on the outside until all but the top two rows have been laced. Those rows will only be used during the Stage 2: Tightening instructions.
Very fast to loosen
Slower to tighten
27% longer ends (approx.)
This method was named “Quick Release Ladder Lacing” for two reasons: Firstly because of the resemblance to regular Ladder Lacing and secondly because of the similarity between the “quick release” action and the way a “ladder” forms in a damaged stocking.
Sports / Military Advice
Quick Release Ladder Lacing has an additional benefit for sporting or military use: The quick-release feature allows a boot to be more easily removed from a broken, sprained or otherwise injured ankle or foot.
Note that most military forces have regulations for just about everything, so I'd recommend that military personnel check before they adopt this – or any other – possible non-regulation lacing method!
Shoelace Lengths for Quick Release Ladder Lacing
|Pairs of eyelets:||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
|Length needed:||(N/A)||70 cm
Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.
Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+27% on average).
Your Quick Release Ladder lacing is wonderful.
I tried it for the first time today and it just works so easily. When undone I get the maximum gap of my boots and my feet exit and enter painlessly, and it really is quick to tie and undo.
– Jeff L., Apr-2021
I'm pretty sure i've tried half the lacings on the site. Eventually---after getting lace burn on the outside of index fingers---i settled on quick release ladder lacing. Until my girlfriend couldn't stand the time it took to lace my boots. Now i'm on military, but i'm about to try quick tight.
– Jacob, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Oct-2020
I love this for my Red Wing boots, They have speed hooks on the top two holes, so I can set up the ladder on the lower 6, “knit” the rungs together and use the speed hooks at the top. I don't have to untie the knot, just cinch and hook. I am considering a variation where the top is bare cord and the knot is on the bottom rung, but it would be harder to set up initially.
(Then, in a subsequent follow-up e-mail...)
The knotting at the bottom for “Quick Release Ladder Lacing” works very well. The ladder brings the knot to a normal instep height and I can easily use the speed hooks to tighten the boot. It is tricky to lace and get the initial knot at the right tension, but once done, it's done.
– Glenn B., Sep-2020
Your method proved very helpful and as a result the UK military had adopted this as part of our procedures. It was very helpful and I can’t thank you enough.
Many thanks from all at the RAF Fire Service.
– Shaun K., Royal Air Force Fire & Rescue Service, UK
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