Shoe Shop Lacing

Shoe Shop Lacing

Once common in shoe shops when shoes came pre-laced this way. One end runs from bottom to top, the other zig-zags through the eyelets.

Eight pairs of eyelets, variation 1

To activate controls, please enable JavaScript

Lacing Technique – Variation 1 – Long diagonal segment

• Begin straight across on the outside (grey section) and in through the bottom eyelets.

• The left (blue) end runs diagonally all the way up the inside and out through the top right eyelet.

• The right (yellow) end runs diagonally up and left on the inside, then straight across on the outside. Repeat until lacing is completed.


• Variation 1 has the long segment running diagonally from bottom-left to top-right.

• Variation 2 has the long segment running vertically from bottom-left to top-left. This looks neater but distorts the shoe slightly.


Easy to lace

Mis-aligns sides

End lengths shift

5% shorter ends (approx.)


• This method is asymmetrical. Lacing the left and right shoes in reverse (flipped horizontally) restores visual symmetry.

• I've been told that Shoe Shop Lacing is – or was – used by the British military.

• Sometimes referred to as “Factory Lacing” or “Single Helix Lacing”.

Sports / Military Advice

Like other straight lacing methods, Shoe Shop 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!

Shoe Shop Lacing Video

Shoelace Lengths for Shoe Shop Lacing

Pairs of
length needed
8 pairs139 cm55 inch
7 pairs127 cm50 inch
6 pairs116 cm46 inch
5 pairs104 cm41 inch
4 pairs93 cm37 inch
3 pairs81 cm32 inch
2 pairs70 cm28 inch

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 Criss Cross Lacing.

Shorter ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (−5% on average).

More details.

Visitor Feedback

I see it often by default on shoes from Hugo Boss ...

– Jack C., Jan-2019

I was led to believe by my dad ... that his dad obviously my grandad learned how to lace your shoe shop method when in the British Army. I am the biggest pacifist the world has ever known so it's not for any military reasons that I choose the shoe shop method, I just want to keep what I honestly believe is my family's method going.

– Mike L., Sep-2018

In most shoe stores, the shoes come pre-laced from the manufacturer, either with “Shoe Shop” lacing or “Display Shoe” lacing, depending on the type of shoe.

The shop assistant rarely laces new shoes at all, except in the cases where the store has a policy of relacing shoes to make them easier for customers to try on (usually with Straight (European) Lacing or Criss-Cross Lacing).

– Lars R., shoe store assistant, Jul-2008

I had been using a version of the Shoe Shop technique which came with the skates, but you are right about the end lengths shifting.

– Trevor H., Jun-2004

We go bushwalking a lot and I find that the shop method of lacing the boot is best because it means that the lace system can be slackened off at the top and the bottom simultaneously and conversely tightened from both ends.

Also the lace should last longer because the same part of the lace does not bear against the eyelets as the top eyelets have to be relaced every time the boots are worn. The end length shift can be corrected with practise and helps to reduce the wear on the laces.

– Tom P., New Zealand, Apr-2004

I have heard Brit Army types occasionally refer to the shoe shop lacing style as “parade lacing”.

– Ron B., UK, Jan-2004

If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.

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 shoelaces from Kicks Shoelaces (Australia)
Click to buy tough shoelaces from Ironlace (USA)
Click to buy shoelaces from Big Laces (UK)
Click to buy handmade shoelaces from Cute Laces (USA)

This page last updated: 27-May-2023. Copyright © 2003-2023 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 Software SiteSoftwareIan's Graphics SiteGraphicsIan Fieggen's SiteIanChris Fieggen's SiteChrisFieggen Family TreeTree