Sawtooth Lacing

Sawtooth Lacing

All of the inner diagonals pull at a steep angle, which shifts the alignment of the sides and may fix an otherwise ill-fitting shoe.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

To activate controls, please enable JavaScript

Lacing Technique

• 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.

• The right (yellow) end runs diagonally up and left on the inside, then straight across on the outside. Repeat with alternate ends until one end reaches the top left eyelet.

• The remaining end runs straight up on the inside and out through the top right eyelet.


Easier to tighten

Modifies fit

Mis-aligns sides

12% longer ends (approx.)


Lace the shoe so that the angled sections point towards whichever corner of the shoe feels loose. When the laces are tightened, the angled sections will pull that corner inwards, altering the fit. Naturally, the left and right shoes should be laced in reverse (mirror image) in order to balance both the look and the effect on both feet.

Sports / Military Advice

Like other straight lacing methods, Sawtooth Lacing has an additional benefit for sporting or military use: The upper horizontal sections of shoelace can be quickly cut through with a knife or scissors in order to more easily remove a boot 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!

Sawtooth Lacing Video

Shoelace Lengths for Sawtooth Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 63 cm
25 inch
74 cm
29 inch
85 cm
34 inch
96 cm
38 inch
107 cm
42 inch
118 cm
46 inch
129 cm
51 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" 36" 40" 40" 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

Shorter shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+12% on average).

More details.

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)

This page last updated: 06-May-2021. Copyright © 2004-2021 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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

Ian's Other Websites:
Ian's Shoelace SiteShoelaceIan's Software SiteSoftwareIan's Graphics SiteGraphicsIan Fieggen's SiteIanFieggen Family TreeTree