Hey there! If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a pair of dress shoes with five eyelets, wondering how to lace them up not just functionally but with a dash of style and elegance, you’re in the right place. Lacing dress shoes might seem like a simple task, but trust me, the way you do it can add a surprising amount of personality and flair to your outfit. Plus, it’s a great way to make a statement without saying a word.

I remember the first time I had to lace up my dress shoes. It was for a job interview, and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect – from the knot in my tie to the shine on my shoes. That’s when I realized that the way I laced my shoes could make a difference. It’s not just about keeping your shoes on your feet; it’s about expressing your personal style and attention to detail.

In this article, we’ll explore eight different ways to lace dress shoe laces with five eyelets. Each method has its own charm and level of difficulty, ranging from classic to creative. Whether you’re dressing up for a formal event or just looking to spice up your office attire, these lacing methods will elevate your shoe game.

But it’s not just about the lacing technique; the type of shoelaces you use also plays a crucial role. That’s why I’ll also introduce you to Loop King Laces – a premium choice that can add an extra touch of class to your dress shoes. Trust me, once you try them, you’ll never go back to regular laces!

So, let’s dive in and explore the art of lacing dress shoes with five eyelets. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, I guarantee you’ll find a method here that suits your style.

1. Straight Bar Lacing

Straight Bar Lacing, also known as “Bar Lacing,” is a clean and sophisticated lacing method that’s perfect for dress shoes, especially those with five eyelets. This technique not only looks neat and tidy but also provides even tension across the foot, making it a comfortable choice for long days at the office or special occasions. The horizontal bars create a sleek look that pairs excellently with a polished pair of dress shoes, adding a touch of elegance to your overall attire.

Let’s break down how to execute the Straight Bar Lacing technique:

  1. Start at the Bottom Holes: Begin by running the lace straight across the bottom eyelets (the first eyelet closest to the toe), from the outside in. Ensure that both ends of the lace are of equal length.
  2. Create the First Bar: Take the right lace and bring it up through the next eyelet on the same side. Then, run it straight across on the inside and bring it out through the opposite eyelet.
  3. Alternate Sides: Repeat the same process with the left lace, bringing it up through the next available eyelet on the same side, then straight across and out the opposite eyelet. You should now have two parallel bars.
  4. Continue Lacing: Keep alternating sides and creating bars as you work your way up the shoe. The pattern should be a neat series of straight, horizontal lines with no diagonals or crosses.
  5. Finishing Up: Once you reach the top eyelets, tie your shoes as you normally would. The final look should be a series of straight, parallel bars with no crisscrossing, giving your shoes a clean and uncluttered appearance.

Straight Bar Lacing is ideal for those who appreciate minimalism and order. It’s a subtle way to show you care about the little details, which can speak volumes in both professional and social settings. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to do, and once you get the hang of it, you might find yourself using this method on all your five-eyelet dress shoes!

2. Criss-Cross Lacing

Criss-Cross Lacing is probably the most common and versatile lacing technique, familiar to most of us since childhood. It’s a straightforward, practical method that works wonderfully on a variety of shoes, including dress shoes with five eyelets. This lacing style is not just functional; it also adds a casual yet stylish twist to dress shoes, making them suitable for both formal and less formal occasions.

Here’s how to master the Criss-Cross Lacing technique:

  1. Start at the Bottom: Begin by threading the lace through the bottom eyelets (nearest to the toe) from underneath, ensuring that both ends are even. This creates a horizontal bar at the toe end of the shoe.
  2. Cross the Laces: Take the left lace and cross it over to the right, threading it up and through the next right eyelet from underneath. Do the same with the right lace, crossing it over to the left and threading it through the next available left eyelet.
  3. Alternate Crossing: Continue this pattern, alternating the lace that crosses over each time. As you progress, you should see the characteristic criss-cross pattern forming. Each lace should always emerge from underneath the eyelet.
  4. Maintain Even Tension: As you lace, ensure that you maintain even tension on both laces. This not only keeps the lacing neat but also ensures comfort as the shoe is worn.
  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, the laces should be coming out from the inside. You can then tie your shoe in your preferred knot.

Criss-Cross Lacing is not just about utility; it’s about blending simplicity with a touch of elegance. This lacing style ensures that your dress shoes are secure and comfortable while providing a bit of classic aesthetic appeal. It’s a timeless choice that never goes out of style, suitable for almost any setting where dress shoes are appropriate.

3. European Straight Lacing

European Straight Lacing, often referred to as “Straight European Lacing,” is a sophisticated and elegant method popular among dress shoe enthusiasts. This technique is particularly suited for dress shoes with five eyelets, providing a clean, horizontal look that is both stylish and functional. The European Straight Lacing stands out for its neat appearance, making it a favorite for formal occasions where a sharp, polished look is desired.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to master the European Straight Lacing:

  1. Start at the Bottom: Insert the lace into the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe) from above, leaving equal lengths on both sides. The lace should lie horizontally across the bottom eyelets on the outside of the shoe.
  2. Begin the Lacing: Take one end of the lace (let’s say the left end) and bring it straight up on the inside, then pull it through the next higher eyelet on the same side. You should now have a vertical lace on the inside and a horizontal bar on the outside.
  3. Cross Over: Take the same lace (left end), cross it over to the opposite side (right side), and pull it through the next available eyelet from underneath.
  4. Repeat on the Other Side: Now, take the other end of the lace (right end), and repeat the process: bring it up on the inside and then cross it over to the left, inserting it through the next available eyelet from underneath.
  5. Continue the Pattern: Continue this alternating pattern up the shoe. You’ll notice that the laces cross each other in the middle under the eyelets, which is a distinctive feature of this method.
  6. Finish at the Top: When you reach the top eyelets, tie your laces as usual. The final look should be a series of straight horizontal bars on the outside, with diagonal crosses hidden on the inside.

European Straight Lacing offers a neat and organized appearance, ideal for those who prefer a touch of class and subtlety in their dress shoes. This method not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your shoes but also provides a secure fit, making it a practical choice for any formal event.

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4. Ladder Lacing

Ladder Lacing is a distinctive and robust lacing method that provides both a secure fit and a unique visual appeal. This technique is particularly favored for its strength and stability, making it a great choice for dress shoes with five eyelets, especially if you’re looking for a lacing style that holds tightly and evenly. The ladder-like appearance of this lacing method not only adds a striking touch to your shoes but also ensures that the fit is snug and comfortable, especially important for long days or formal events.

Let’s delve into how to achieve the Ladder Lacing style:

  1. Start at the Bottom: Insert the lace into the bottom eyelets from underneath, ensuring equal lengths on both sides. This forms the first “rung” of your ladder at the base of the eyelets.
  2. Vertical Sections: Take one end of the lace (say, the right end) and bring it straight up on the outside, then thread it back in through the next eyelet up on the same side. Do the same with the left end. You should now have two vertical sections on each side.
  3. Create the Ladder: Cross the laces in the middle, running each end horizontally across the shoe to the opposite side, and threading them under the vertical lace sections. This creates your second “rung.”
  4. Lock the Rungs: After crossing, take each lace straight up the outside to the next higher eyelet and thread inwards. This locks in your “rung.”
  5. Repeat the Process: Continue this pattern – horizontal cross, then up and through the next eyelet – until all eyelets are used, and you have a series of “rungs” resembling a ladder.
  6. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top, tie your shoes as usual. The final look should be a series of horizontal bars locked in place by vertical sections, creating a striking ladder effect.

Ladder Lacing is not just about the unique look; it’s about adding an extra layer of security and snugness to your dress shoes. This technique is perfect for those who value both aesthetics and practicality in their footwear. It’s a conversation starter and a testament to your attention to detail and style.

5. Bow Tie Lacing

Bow Tie Lacing is an inventive and playful lacing method that adds a whimsical touch to dress shoes with five eyelets. This technique, as the name suggests, creates a pattern that resembles a series of bow ties along the shoe. It’s a unique style that stands out, making it perfect for those who love to add a bit of personality and flair to their footwear. While it may not be the go-to choice for the most formal occasions, it’s great for events where you can afford to be a bit more daring with your style.

Here’s how you can achieve the Bow Tie Lacing style:

  1. Start with Two Horizontal Bars: Begin by lacing the shoe at the bottom two sets of eyelets to create two horizontal bars. This is done by inserting the lace into the bottom eyelets from underneath, and then into the next set of eyelet pairs from the outside.
  2. Form the Bows: Take each end of the lace up on the inside and out through the next higher set of eyelets. Instead of crossing the laces, tie a simple overhand knot with the two ends at this point, forming a small “bow.”
  3. Repeat the Pattern: Continue this pattern up the shoe. After each set of horizontal bars, tie another overhand knot to create additional “bow ties.”
  4. Ensure Even Spacing: As you lace, make sure to keep the bows even and the spacing consistent for the best visual effect.
  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, tie your shoes as usual. You should have a series of neat bow ties running up the front of your shoe.

Bow Tie Lacing is not just a lacing style; it’s a fashion statement. It’s perfect for adding a touch of whimsy and creativity to your outfit. While it may not be the conventional choice for every setting, it certainly makes for a great conversation piece and showcases your unique style. This technique is especially appealing to those who enjoy standing out and expressing their personality through their footwear.

6. Diagonal Lacing

Diagonal Lacing is a sleek and modern lacing technique that adds a dynamic and contemporary look to dress shoes with five eyelets. This method, characterized by its crisp diagonal lines, offers a refreshing departure from traditional lacing styles. It’s especially appealing for those who appreciate a bit of edginess in their attire, making it perfect for fashion-forward events or for adding a modern twist to classic dress shoes.

Here’s how to create the Diagonal Lacing style:

  1. Start at the Bottom: Begin by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from underneath, ensuring the lace ends are of equal length.
  2. Form the First Diagonal: Take the left end of the lace and cross it diagonally inside the shoe, bringing it out through the top right eyelet.
  3. Complete the Diagonal on the Other Side: Now, take the right end of the lace, cross it diagonally on the inside, and bring it out through the top left eyelet. You should now have two diagonal lines crossing the shoe.
  4. Lace the Middle Sections: Next, take the lace that’s now on the left side (originally the right lace), insert it downwards through the eyelet right below it on the same side, and then bring it diagonally up and across to the next available eyelet on the right side. Repeat the same process with the other lace, creating overlapping diagonals.
  5. Continue the Pattern: Keep repeating this process, ensuring each lace crosses over to the opposite side, creating a series of diagonal lines that overlap in the center.
  6. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, tie your shoes as usual. The final look should feature diagonal lines crisscrossing up the front of your shoes, creating a striking and contemporary pattern.

Diagonal Lacing is not just about aesthetics; it’s a way to infuse a bit of modern style into your footwear. This technique is perfect for those who want to make a subtle yet impactful fashion statement. It’s especially suitable for less formal occasions where a touch of personality and style is appreciated.

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7. Double Back Lacing

Double Back Lacing is a unique and intricate lacing method that offers both visual appeal and functional stability. It’s particularly suitable for dress shoes with five eyelets, providing a secure fit with a distinctive look. This lacing style is characterized by the laces doubling back on themselves, creating a series of parallel lines that are both neat and eye-catching. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to add a bit of complexity and style to their dress shoes without being overly flashy.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to Double Back Lacing:

  1. Start at the Bottom: Begin by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from the outside, leaving equal lengths on both sides.
  2. Cross and Go Up: Take one end of the lace (say, the right end) and cross it diagonally on the inside, bringing it out through the next higher eyelet on the left side. Do the same with the left end of the lace, crossing it diagonally on the inside and bringing it out through the next higher eyelet on the right side.
  3. Double Back: Now, instead of crossing the laces, take each end and run it straight down on the outside to the previous eyelet and thread it through from the outside. This step creates the double back effect.
  4. Cross Diagonally Again: After doubling back, cross the laces diagonally on the inside again and bring them out through the next set of higher eyelets.
  5. Repeat the Process: Continue this pattern—cross diagonally, double back, then cross diagonally again—until all eyelets are used.
  6. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top, tie your shoes as usual. The lacing should create a series of parallel lines with double backs at each set of eyelets.

Double Back Lacing isn’t just a practical way to secure your shoes; it’s also a conversation starter. This technique adds a touch of sophistication and detail to your dress shoes, perfect for those who enjoy standing out subtly. It’s a testament to your attention to detail and appreciation for unique style.

8. Over Under Lacing

Over Under Lacing, also known as “Alternate Lacing,” is a stylish and practical method that adds a twist to traditional lacing techniques. Suitable for dress shoes with five eyelets, this method interchanges between crossing the laces over and under, creating a distinctive pattern that’s both visually appealing and effective in providing a comfortable fit. This lacing style is ideal for those who want to add a subtle yet unique touch to their dress shoes, perfect for occasions where a little individuality is appreciated.

Here’s how to achieve the Over Under Lacing style:

  1. Start at the Bottom: Begin by threading the lace horizontally through the bottom eyelets from underneath, making sure the ends are even.
  2. First Cross Over: Take one end of the lace (for example, the right end) and cross it over to the opposite side (left side), threading it downward through the next eyelet.
  3. First Cross Under: Now, take the other end of the lace (left end) and cross it under to the opposite side (right side), threading it upward through the next eyelet. You should now have an ‘over’ and an ‘under’ cross.
  4. Continue Alternating: Repeat this alternating pattern—crossing one lace over and the other under—up the shoe. Each time you cross, alternate between going over and under with each lace.
  5. Maintain Consistency: Ensure that the ‘over’ and ‘under’ pattern is consistent on both sides for a symmetrical and neat appearance.
  6. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, tie your shoes as usual. The final look should display an alternating pattern of overs and unders, creating a visually interesting and balanced design.

Over Under Lacing is more than just a practical way to secure your shoes; it’s a subtle nod to style and individuality. This technique is perfect for those who appreciate the little details that make a big difference. The alternating pattern not only looks great but also ensures a snug and comfortable fit, making your dress shoes stand out in both comfort and style.

Closing Thoughts: The Finishing Touch with Loop King Laces

In conclusion, lacing your dress shoes with five eyelets doesn’t have to be mundane. With these eight techniques, you can add a personal touch to your footwear that complements your style and occasion. And when you choose premium shoelaces like those from Loop King Laces, you elevate your look even further. Remember, the devil is in the details, and the right shoelace can make a world of difference. So, go ahead, experiment with these styles, and step out in confidence knowing that your shoes are not just tied, but tied with flair.

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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