Straight lacing your shoes is one of those small, seemingly trivial skills that can make a surprisingly big difference in the appearance of your footwear. Whether you’re preparing for a job interview, tidying up for a formal event, or just want to add a touch of class to your everyday sneakers, mastering the art of straight lacing can elevate your shoe game significantly. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the ins and outs of straight lacing, with a personal touch to make it feel less like you’re learning from a machine and more like you’re getting advice from a friend who happens to be really into shoes.

The Basics of Straight Lacing

Before we dive into the different methods, let’s talk about why you might want to straight lace your shoes. For one, it creates a clean, uncluttered look that’s hard to achieve with more traditional lacing methods. It’s also surprisingly versatile, working equally well on everything from dress shoes to casual sneakers. And let’s be honest, there’s something satisfying about the symmetry and order of perfectly straight lace shoes. It’s like a small act of personal organization that makes your whole outfit feel more put together.

Now, you might be thinking, “But I’ve never managed to get my laces straight, no matter how hard I try!” And that’s where this guide comes in. I’ll be showing you not just one or two, but eight different ways to straight lace your shoes, so you can find the method that works best for you and your footwear. And because I know that having the right tools for the job can make all the difference, I’ll also introduce you to Loop King Laces – premium shoelaces that can help you achieve that perfect straight lace look with ease.

1. The Classic Straight Lace

The Classic Straight Lace is a timeless method that gives your shoes a sleek, organized look, perfect for both formal and casual settings. This technique is not just about aesthetics; it’s also about creating a uniform appearance that complements the design of any shoe, from dress shoes to everyday sneakers. The appeal of the Classic Straight Lace lies in its simplicity and symmetry, making it a favorite for those who appreciate understated elegance.

To achieve the Classic Straight Lace, follow these steps:

  1. Start With Even Lengths: Begin by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe) from underneath, ensuring both lace ends are of equal length.

  2. Cross Over: Take the left lace and insert it upwards through the next right eyelet from underneath. Do the same with the right lace, inserting it upwards through the next left eyelet. This step creates the foundation for the straight across pattern.

  3. Straight Across: After crossing over, pull each lace straight across the shoe and feed it through the opposite eyelet directly across from where it’s currently at, but this time from the top down.

  4. Alternate and Repeat: Continue the pattern of alternating the cross over and straight across moves, ensuring you pull the laces tight enough to maintain the straight lines but not so tight that they distort the shape of the shoe.

  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelet pairs, tie the laces as you normally would. For a cleaner look, you can tuck the tied portion inside the shoe.

The beauty of the Classic Straight Lace method is in its versatility. It works well with various types of footwear, offering a neat, tidy look that enhances the shoe’s overall appearance. Plus, it’s relatively easy to do, making it a great starting point for anyone new to experimenting with different lacing techniques.

2. European Straight Lacing

European Straight Lacing, also known as Straight Bar Lacing, is a sophisticated method that’s particularly popular for its neat appearance and suitability for dress shoes, though it looks equally chic on casual sneakers. This technique is distinguished by its horizontal bars running straight across the shoe, with no visible diagonal lines underneath the bars. The result is a clean, minimalist look that enhances the shoe’s elegance without drawing too much attention to the laces themselves.

Here’s how to master the European Straight Lacing technique:

  1. Initial Setup: Begin by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from the outside, ensuring both ends are even. Tuck any excess lace inside the shoe for a tidier appearance.

  2. Start on One Side: Choose one side (left or right) to anchor your starting point. Insert the lace from the bottom up on the same side for the next available eyelet. You’ll be working with this lace end throughout most of the process.

  3. Create the Bar: Pull the lace across the shoe horizontally and thread it through the opposite eyelet from the top down.

  4. Ascend on the Same Side: Without switching sides, take the lace back under and up through the next eyelet on the same side as your starting point.

  5. Repeat the Process: Continue creating horizontal bars by pulling the lace across to the opposite side, then going up the same side. The pattern will have you alternating sides as you lace up the shoe.

  6. Finish with Symmetry: When you reach the top, both ends should be on the inside of the shoe, allowing you to tie them together neatly. If one lace is longer than the other, you can adjust the tightness of the bars to balance them out.

European Straight Lacing is not just about style; it also offers practical benefits, such as even pressure distribution across the foot, making it a comfortable choice for long days. Whether you’re dressing up for a formal event or simply looking to elevate your daily footwear, this lacing technique is an excellent choice for a polished finish.

3. Bar Lacing Method

The Bar Lacing Method, often synonymous with straight lacing, is favored for its neat, horizontal lines that create a clean, uncluttered look on the shoe’s upper. It’s a versatile technique, suitable for a variety of shoes including dress shoes, casual sneakers, and even boots, offering a balance between elegance and casual style. This method not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your footwear but also ensures a secure fit without overly tightening, making it ideal for all-day wear.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the Bar Lacing Method:

  1. Equalize the Length: Start by feeding the lace horizontally through the bottom two eyelets from the outside, ensuring that both ends of the lace are of equal length. This step forms the first bar across the bottom eyelets.

  2. Ascend on One Side: Choose one side of the lace to begin. Thread it diagonally inside the shoe and bring it out through the next available eyelet up on the same side.

  3. Form the Second Bar: Take the lace across the shoe horizontally on the outside and thread it through the opposite eyelet, creating your second bar.

  4. Switch Sides and Repeat: Move to the other lace, threading it diagonally inside and up to the next eyelet on the same side, mirroring the pattern you just created. Then, take it across to form another bar.

  5. Continue the Pattern: Keep alternating sides, creating bars as you lace up the shoe. Ensure each bar is straight and adjust the tension to maintain an even, neat appearance.

  6. Secure the Lacing: Finish at the top eyelets by threading both ends through from the inside to create the final bar. You can tie a traditional bow or tuck the ends in for a sleeker look.

The Bar Lacing Method is not just about aesthetics; it’s a practical choice for those seeking a combination of style and comfort. Its straightforward pattern is easy to master and can be adjusted to accommodate the width of your foot, ensuring a perfect fit every time. Whether you’re aiming for a professional look or simply dressing up your casual wear, bar lacing is an excellent way to add a touch of sophistication to your ensemble.

Skechers Shoelaces: The Loop King Laces Difference

When you’re aiming for the perfect straight lace, the quality of your shoelaces matters just as much as your lacing technique. That’s where Loop King Laces come into play. These premium shoelaces are designed with durability and aesthetics in mind, ensuring that your shoes not only look great but also stand up to everyday wear and tear. The slightly thicker, high-quality material of Loop King Laces helps maintain the straightness of your laces throughout the day, preventing them from twisting or becoming uneven. Plus, their wide range of colors and finishes allows you to customize your look to match your personal style or even add a pop of contrast to your shoes.

4. Ladder Lacing

Ladder Lacing is a robust and visually striking method, renowned for its durability and distinctive appearance. Originating from the military and outdoor activities, this technique ensures that laces stay tight and secure, making it an ideal choice for boots and footwear used in demanding environments. Beyond its functional benefits, ladder lacing has also found popularity in fashion circles for its unique, detailed look that adds character to any pair of shoes or boots.

Here’s how to execute the Ladder Lacing technique:

  1. Start with a Base: Begin by running the lace straight across the bottom eyelets and up through the next set of eyelets from underneath, creating a horizontal bar at the bottom.

  2. Vertical Ascension: Instead of crossing the laces, run each end straight up the outside and feed it into the next eyelet above. This creates a vertical “rung” similar to a ladder.

  3. Cross Over: Take each lace across the shoe horizontally over the vertical sections you just created and thread it through the opposite eyelet from the outside in. This step forms the first “ladder rung.”

  4. Build the Ladder: Repeat the vertical and horizontal steps, ensuring that each horizontal cross lies on top of the vertical sections. Continue this pattern, moving up the shoe until all eyelets are used.

  5. Securing the Top: Once you reach the top, you might end with a horizontal bar across the last set of eyelets. Secure the lacing by tying the laces in your preferred method.

Ladder Lacing not only enhances the shoe’s fit by distributing pressure evenly across the foot but also adds an element of visual interest, making it a conversation starter. While this lacing method is more complex and may require more time to perfect, the end result is both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Whether you’re trekking through rugged terrains or simply looking for a way to differentiate your everyday footwear, ladder lacing offers a perfect blend of style and functionality.

5. Straight Easy Lacing

Straight Easy Lacing, as the name suggests, is a straightforward and efficient method that offers a neat, clean look with minimal effort. This lacing style is ideal for those who prefer simplicity and ease without compromising on the aesthetic appeal of their footwear. It’s suitable for a wide range of shoes, from casual sneakers to more formal dress shoes, providing a versatile option for anyone looking to tidy up their shoe game with a method that’s both easy to do and visually appealing.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to mastering the Straight Easy Lacing technique:

  1. Horizontal Starting Point: Begin by threading your lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from the outside, making sure the lace ends are even. This creates your base horizontal bar.

  2. Vertical Ascend on One Side: Choose one end of the lace to work with first. Insert it into the next eyelet up on the same side, but from the inside out. Pull it straight across the shoe and through the opposite eyelet from the outside in.

  3. Repeat on the Opposite Side: Now, take the other end of the lace and repeat the process: insert it into the next eyelet up on the same side from the inside out, then pull it straight across and through the opposite eyelet.

  4. Alternate Sides: Continue this pattern, alternating sides as you lace up the shoe. Each lace end works its way up the shoe in a zigzag fashion but appears straight across on the outside, creating a series of parallel bars.

  5. Finishing Touches: Once you reach the top eyelets, you should end with a horizontal bar. Secure the laces with your preferred knot.

Straight Easy Lacing is particularly appreciated for its ease of tightening and loosening, making it a practical choice for everyday wear. The technique’s simplicity doesn’t just lie in its execution but also in its clean, understated look, which complements a wide variety of shoe styles. Whether you’re in a hurry or just prefer a minimalist approach to your shoe lacing, Straight Easy Lacing offers a quick and tidy solution.

6. Diagonal Lacing

Diagonal Lacing is a dynamic and visually engaging method that adds a unique twist to the appearance of any shoe. Characterized by its criss-cross pattern that diagonally traverses the shoe, this lacing technique not only provides a secure fit but also introduces a playful element to the shoe’s design. It’s particularly suited for casual sneakers and sports shoes, where it can enhance both the functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Here’s how to lace your shoes using the Diagonal Lacing technique:

  1. Start with a Straight Base: Begin by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from the outside to create your base. Ensure the lace ends are of equal length to maintain balance.

  2. Create the First Diagonal: Take one end of the lace and insert it diagonally across the shoe, skipping one eyelet and threading it from the bottom up through the next available eyelet on the opposite side.

  3. Mirror the Pattern: Repeat the diagonal crossing with the other lace end, ensuring it mirrors the path of the first lace, skipping one eyelet and threading from the bottom up on the opposite side.

  4. Build the Lacing: Continue this pattern, alternating lace ends and creating diagonal bars across the shoe. Each time, skip one eyelet on the side you’re working on before crossing over to the opposite side.

  5. Adjust and Tighten: As you lace, adjust the tension to ensure that the diagonals are evenly spaced and the laces lie flat against the shoe. This will enhance the visual appeal and ensure a comfortable fit.

  6. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, you may choose to tie the laces in a traditional bow or explore more creative knotting techniques for added flair.

Diagonal Lacing offers a refreshing departure from more traditional lacing methods, introducing a fun and functional way to personalize your footwear. Whether you’re looking to make a fashion statement or simply enjoy experimenting with different lacing styles, Diagonal Lacing provides an excellent opportunity to add a personal touch to your shoes.

The Premium Touch of Loop King’s Veja Laces

Using Loop King Laces with these lacing techniques can transform your shoes from ordinary to exceptional. The precision and quality of Loop King Laces complement the intricate patterns of diagonal and ladder lacing, providing a polished and professional finish. Whether you’re lacing up dress shoes for a formal occasion or sneakers for a casual day out, these premium shoelaces enhance the overall look and feel of your footwear. Their reinforced aglets ensure that threading through even the tightest eyelets is a breeze, making the lacing process smoother and more enjoyable.

7. Criss-Cross Straight Lacing

Criss-Cross Straight Lacing combines the classic criss-cross style with the neat appearance of straight lacing, resulting in a lacing method that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. This technique is particularly effective for shoes with a larger number of eyelets, providing a secure fit while maintaining a clean and orderly look. It’s a versatile lacing method that works well on a variety of shoes, from athletic sneakers to casual footwear, offering a balance between traditional functionality and modern style.

Here’s how to achieve the Criss-Cross Straight Lacing look:

  1. Start with a Horizontal Base: Begin by running the lace straight across the bottom eyelets from the outside and then up through the eyelets, ensuring that both ends are even. This forms the first straight bar at the base of the shoe.

  2. Criss-Cross Upward: Take one end of the lace and cross it over to the opposite eyelet, threading it from the outside in. Take the other end and cross it over to the opposite side as well, ensuring the laces form an “X” in the middle.

  3. Straighten the Bars: Instead of continuing the criss-cross pattern all the way up, after every two criss-cross steps, run the lace straight up on the outside to the next eyelet before crossing over again. This creates a segment of straight lacing between the criss-cross patterns.

  4. Repeat the Pattern: Continue alternating between the criss-cross and straight segments until you reach the top of the shoe. Ensure each straight segment is tight enough to maintain its position but not so tight as to distort the shape of the shoe.

  5. Finish with a Straight Bar: Conclude the lacing at the top eyelets with a straight bar for symmetry. Secure the laces with a bow or any preferred knotting method.

Criss-Cross Straight Lacing offers the best of both worlds: the snug fit of traditional criss-cross lacing, combined with the clean, aligned look of straight lacing. This method is ideal for those who appreciate detail in their shoe appearance without sacrificing comfort and functionality. Whether you’re hitting the gym or stepping out for a casual day, Criss-Cross Straight Lacing adds a touch of sophistication to your footwear.

8. Zig-Zag Straight Lacing

Zig-Zag Straight Lacing is an innovative lacing method that merges the playful zig-zag pattern with the orderly straight lines, creating a distinctive and visually appealing look. This technique is especially suited for those who wish to make a statement with their footwear, as it adds a unique design element that stands out from traditional lacing methods. It’s versatile enough for casual sneakers, giving them a customized and eye-catching upgrade.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving Zig-Zag Straight Lacing:

  1. Initial Horizontal Bar: Start by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from the outside, ensuring both lace ends are even. This creates your base horizontal bar.

  2. Begin the Zig-Zag: Take one end of the lace and cross it diagonally inside the shoe, bringing it out through the eyelet directly above on the opposite side. Then, lace it straight across on the outside and into the eyelet directly across.

  3. Form the Pattern: With the same end, skip an eyelet on the same side and thread it diagonally inside the shoe, coming out two eyelets above before going straight across again. This creates the zig-zag pattern with straight bars on the exterior.

  4. Repeat with the Other End: Perform the same steps with the other end of the lace, starting from the initial side but moving in the opposite direction to mirror the pattern you’ve started. The lace will zig-zag up the shoe, with each end bypassing the eyelets filled by the opposite lace.

  5. Adjust for Symmetry: Continue the pattern, ensuring that the diagonal crosses inside the shoe and the straight bars on the outside are neatly executed. Adjust tension as needed for comfort and uniformity.

  6. Final Touch: Finish at the top with a horizontal bar, if possible, and secure the laces with your preferred knot.

Zig-Zag Straight Lacing not only personalizes your shoes but also offers a conversation piece, showcasing your creativity and flair for fashion. While it may seem complex at first glance, the technique is straightforward once you get the hang of the pattern, allowing you to easily replicate this stylish lacing on any pair of shoes.

Elevate Your Shoe Game with Loop King Laces

In wrapping up our journey through the world of straight lacing, it’s clear that the right technique, paired with high-quality shoelaces, can make all the difference. Loop King Laces offers a range of premium shoelaces that are perfect for anyone looking to elevate their shoe game. Whether you prefer the understated elegance of the classic straight lace or the intricate beauty of ladder lacing, Loop King Laces has you covered. With their durability, variety, and aesthetic appeal, these laces aren’t just a functional necessity – they’re an accessory in their own right.

Miles Anthony Smith

Miles is a loving father of 3 adults, devoted husband of 24+ years, co-chief sneakerhead (along with his wife Carolyn) at Loop King Laces, author, entrepreneur, investor, & owner of several businesses (AmaLinks Pro, Why Stuff Sucks, & Kompelling Kars). Miles has been featured in New York Magazine, Escapist Magazine, FashionSpot, Menswear Style, & Men Style Fashion. Loop King is trusted by sneakerheads JumperMan Kris, jumpmanbostic, ajinchicago, among others.


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