Lacing up dress shoes might not be the first thing on your mind when you’re getting ready for a big event or a day at the office. However, the way you lace your shoes can add a subtle yet significant touch to your overall look. It’s like the cherry on top of your sartorial sundae. Whether you’re aiming for a polished, professional appearance or a more unique, personalized style, knowing how to lace your dress shoes with 6 eyelets is an essential skill. In this article, we’ll walk you through 8 popular and stylish ways to lace your dress shoes. And, as a special treat, we’ll show you how Loop King Laces can elevate even the simplest lacing method to a work of art.

Imagine this: You’ve got the perfect suit, a crisp shirt, and those sleek dress shoes you splurged on for just such occasions. You’re almost ready to step out the door, but there’s one last detail that could make or break your ensemble—your shoe laces. It might seem trivial, but the way your shoes are laced can either add a dash of elegance or a sense of carelessness to your look. It’s the small details that often leave a lasting impression.

With six eyelets to work with, you have a canvas ripe for sartorial expression. From the classic to the creative, lacing up your dress shoes isn’t just about tying knots; it’s about crafting an image, a persona that walks into the room before you even speak. Whether you’re a steadfast traditionalist or a fashion-forward thinker, there’s a method here for everyone.

But why stop at just any laces? Imagine pairing these techniques with premium laces from Loop King Laces. Suddenly, your shoes aren’t just “laced up.” They’re a statement. They’re an extension of your personality, meticulously crafted and presented with pride. Let’s dive into the art of lacing up your dress shoes, exploring eight popular ways to do it, and discover how the right pair of laces can transform your shoes from mere footwear to a masterpiece.

1. Straight Bar Lacing

Straight Bar Lacing, also known as Bar Lacing, is a sleek and elegant method of lacing dress shoes that’s perfect for those who appreciate a clean and minimalist aesthetic. This technique is especially suited for shoes with an even number of eyelet pairs, making it ideal for dress shoes with 6 eyelets. It creates a series of horizontal bars that run straight across the shoe, offering a neat, orderly appearance that enhances the sophistication of any dress shoe. Beyond its stylish look, Straight Bar Lacing also has practical benefits—it tends to maintain a secure fit while reducing pressure points across the top of the foot, making it as comfortable as it is attractive.

How to Do Straight Bar Lacing

  1. Start at the Bottom: Insert the lace into the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe) of the shoe, pulling each end through to create an equal length on both sides. Ensure the lace lies flat across the bottom.

  2. Cross Over: Take the left lace and run it straight up on the inside of the shoe, then push it through the next available eyelet on the same side. You should now have a vertical bar on the left side. Do the same with the right lace, ensuring you maintain symmetry.

  3. Create the Bar: Take the lace that is now on the left (but was originally on the right), and run it straight across on the outside and through the opposite eyelet, creating your first horizontal bar.

  4. Repeat Vertically: Now, take that same lace, run it straight up on the inside to the next eyelet, and pull it through. Then, run it straight across on the outside to create another bar. Repeat this pattern, alternating sides, until all eyelets are used.

  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, ensure both lace ends are even. You may tie them in a traditional knot or bow, adjusting to ensure the tension across the bars is even and comfortable.

Straight Bar Lacing not only enhances the visual appeal of your dress shoes but also offers a straightforward approach to achieving a polished look. Whether you’re heading to a formal event or aiming to impress in a professional setting, this lacing technique is a surefire way to elevate your shoe game.

2. Criss-Cross Lacing

Criss-Cross Lacing is arguably the most common and versatile lacing technique known to shoe wearers worldwide. It’s the quintessential method taught to us as children and for a good reason. This technique is adaptable, functional, and provides an excellent fit for a wide variety of shoes, including the classic 6-eyelet dress shoes. The criss-cross pattern is not only practical, ensuring a snug fit and even distribution of pressure across the foot, but it also adds a dynamic visual element to the shoe’s appearance. For dress shoes, this lacing style strikes the perfect balance between casual comfort and formal elegance, making it a go-to for everyday office wear or special occasions.

How to Do Criss-Cross Lacing

  1. Start at the Bottom: Begin by inserting the lace into the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe), ensuring that the lace runs straight across on the outside and that its ends are even when pulled up through the eyelets.

  2. Crossing Over: Take the left lace and cross it over to the right, inserting it downwards through the next right eyelet. Then, take the right lace, cross it over to the left, and insert it downwards through the next available left eyelet. You’ve created your first criss-cross.

  3. Continue the Pattern: Repeat this crossing action, alternating sides as you lace up the shoe. Ensure that each cross is neat and that the laces don’t twist for a tidy appearance.

  4. Even Tension: As you lace, maintain an even tension to ensure that the fit is comfortable and secure without being overly tight. This will help prevent any pressure points from forming on the top of your foot.

  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, tie the laces in your preferred tie knot or bow. Adjust the tension if necessary to achieve a snug, comfortable fit that supports your foot without restricting movement.

Criss-Cross Lacing is not just about functionality; it’s a timeless style that complements the refined look of dress shoes. Whether you’re prepping for a day at the office or dressing up for a formal event, this lacing technique will ensure your shoes are comfortable, secure, and stylish.

3. European Straight Lacing

European Straight Lacing, often referred to as Straight European Lacing or Bar Lacing, is a sophisticated method that’s particularly well-suited for dress shoes, including those with 6 eyelets. This technique is celebrated for its elegant appearance, creating a series of straight horizontal bars across the front of the shoe without any visible diagonal crosses underneath. It’s a favorite for formal occasions and professional settings where a polished, refined look is desired. Besides its aesthetic appeal, European Straight Lacing provides a secure fit and is relatively easy to tighten, making it as functional as it is stylish.

How to Do European Straight Lacing

  1. Initial Setup: Start by inserting the lace into the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe) from underneath, ensuring that the lace ends are even. One end of the lace should be slightly longer to accommodate the final bar lacing step.

  2. First Cross Underneath: Take the longer end of the lace and run it diagonally underneath to the top eyelet on the opposite side, pulling it through from the inside. This lace will now stay put until the final step.

  3. Straight Bars Formation: With the shorter end of the lace, run it straight up to the next eyelet on the same side and pull it through. Cross it directly over to the opposite eyelet, ensuring it lies flat across the top to form a bar.

  4. Alternate and Repeat: Continue this pattern, alternating sides with each step. Each time, run the lace up the inside to the next eyelet on the same side before crossing over to form the next bar.

  5. Final Bar: Once you reach the top, use the longer end of the lace (which was initially run diagonally underneath) to create the final bar by threading it through the last eyelet on its side.

  6. Adjust and Tie: Gently pull each bar to adjust the tension and ensure the laces are snug but not overly tight. Tie the laces in a neat bow to finish.

European Straight Lacing’s clean, uninterrupted lines lend a touch of class and sophistication to any pair of dress shoes. This lacing method not only elevates your shoe’s appearance but also complements the overall elegance of your attire, making it a perfect choice for those who appreciate the finer details in fashion.

Adding Elegance with Loop King’s Suede Laces

After mastering the European Straight Lacing, consider how you can enhance this elegant look with Loop King Laces. These premium laces add a level of sophistication and quality that standard laces simply cannot match. The rich texture and sheen of Loop King Laces complement the straight lines of this lacing method, elevating your dress shoes to a new level of style. Whether you’re attending a formal event or aiming to impress in the boardroom, upgrading to Loop King Laces ensures your footwear stands out for all the right reasons.

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4. Ladder Lacing

Ladder Lacing is a robust and visually striking lacing technique that is often associated with military boots, but it can also add a unique, edgy look to dress shoes, especially those with 6 eyelets. This method is characterized by its ladder-like appearance, providing exceptional support and a secure fit, making it ideal for situations requiring a snug shoe fit. While it might be a bit more complex than other lacing styles, the distinctive pattern it creates is sure to make a statement and draw attention to your footwear.

How to Do Ladder Lacing

  1. Start at the Bottom: Begin by running the lace straight across the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe) and up through the eyelets, so the ends are pointing upwards. This creates a horizontal bar at the bottom.

  2. Vertical Sections: Take one end of the lace and run it vertically up the inside of the shoe, then out through the next eyelet up. Repeat on the other side with the other end of the lace. You should have two vertical bars parallel to each other.

  3. Cross and Lock: Cross the laces over the top of the vertical sections and thread each end under the vertical lace segment on the opposite side. This creates the first “rung” of your ladder.

  4. Repeat Vertically and Horizontally: Continue the pattern by running each lace vertically up on the inside to the next eyelet and then crossing over to lock into the next “rung” of the ladder. Ensure each horizontal cross is threaded under the vertical lace to maintain the ladder structure.

  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, you may run the lace vertically to the outside and tie it off in your preferred shoelace knot or bow. Adjust the tension as needed to ensure a comfortable, secure fit.

Ladder Lacing not only offers a visually appealing design but also provides enhanced foot stability and support. While it may take a bit more time to perfect, the end result is a conversation-starting look that adds an extra layer of sophistication and uniqueness to your dress shoelaces, setting you apart from the crowd.

5. Double Back Lacing

Double Back Lacing is an innovative and functional lacing technique that stands out for its unique way of reinforcing the fit of the shoe. Particularly well-suited for dress shoes with 6 eyelets, this method involves a clever doubling back of the laces at each eyelet pair, providing a tighter and more secure fit. This method is perfect for those who find that their shoes often feel loose or that the laces come undone too easily. Besides its practical benefits, Double Back Lacing also offers a distinctive look, with a pattern that catches the eye and adds a touch of personality to your footwear.

How to Do Double Back Lacing

  1. Starting Point: Begin by threading the lace horizontally across the bottom eyelets from the outside and pulling both ends up evenly.

  2. First Cross and Double Back: Take the left lace, cross it over to the right side, and thread it through the next eyelet up on the right side from the inside. Instead of continuing upwards, loop it back down and thread it through the lower eyelet on the same side from the outside. Repeat this process with the right lace, crossing over to the left.

  3. Repeat the Pattern: Continue this pattern of crossing over, threading through from the inside, and then doubling back to the previous eyelet for each side. This creates a series of loops or “double backs” at each eyelet pair.

  4. Maintain Tension: As you lace, ensure you maintain an even tension. This technique tightens the fit more effectively than traditional methods, so it’s important to adjust as you go to avoid making the lacing too tight.

  5. Finish at the Top: Once you reach the top eyelets, you can finish with a traditional bow. Ensure the final tension is comfortable, offering a snug fit without constricting the foot.

Double Back Lacing is an excellent choice for those looking for a combination of style and functionality. It not only ensures your shoes stay securely on your feet but also gives them a unique aesthetic twist that sets your style apart. Whether you’re attending a formal event or simply want your everyday dress shoes to feel more secure, Double Back Lacing is a technique worth trying.

6. Bow Tie Lacing

Bow Tie Lacing is a playful and decorative lacing technique that adds a whimsical touch to dress shoes, particularly those with 6 eyelets. This method creates a pattern that resembles a series of bow ties along the front of the shoe, offering a unique aesthetic twist that’s sure to draw attention and spark conversation. While not the most common choice for formal wear, Bow Tie Lacing can be a fun way to express personality and style in less formal settings or at events where standing out is the goal. Beyond its charming appearance, this lacing style also allows for a comfortable fit, as it distributes tension evenly across the foot.

How to Do Bow Tie Lacing

  1. Start With Two Loops: Instead of beginning with the ends of the lace, create two small loops (bunny ears) at the bottom eyelets by folding each end of the lace back on itself and threading it through the bottom eyelets from the outside.

  2. Cross and Thread: Cross the loops over each other, then thread each one through the next set of eyelets up, but from the inside out. This creates the first “bow tie.”

  3. Create More Bows: Continue this pattern, taking the loops that emerge from each set of eyelets, crossing them over, and threading them through the next set of eyelets up. Ensure the “bows” are even and neatly formed.

  4. Adjust for Tension: As you lace, periodically adjust the loops to ensure the shoe fits comfortably. The loops should be snug but not overly tight, allowing for some flexibility and movement.

  5. Final Bow: Once you reach the top eyelets, tie the remaining lengths of lace in a standard bow to secure the lacing. You may adjust the size of the final bow based on personal preference and the length of the laces.

Bow Tie Lacing is an excellent way to add a playful and personalized touch to your dress shoes. While it may not be the go-to choice for every occasion, it offers a delightful twist for special events, themed parties, or when you simply want to express a more creative side through your footwear.

Gucci Shoelaces by Loop King Laces: Transform Your Shoes

The Bow Tie Lacing method offers a unique and eye-catching way to tie your dress shoes, but pairing it with Loop King Laces truly transforms your footwear into a statement piece. The superior quality and distinct look of Loop King Laces enhance the intricate pattern of the Bow Tie Lacing, drawing attention to your impeccable sense of style. Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement or simply elevate your look, the combination of this lacing technique and Loop King’s premium laces guarantees your shoes will be memorable.

7. Diagonal Lacing

Diagonal Lacing is a dynamic and visually appealing technique that adds a modern twist to the traditional look of dress shoes, particularly those with 6 eyelets. Characterized by its sleek, angled lines, this method creates a pattern of diagonals across the shoe, offering a more casual yet stylish appearance. Diagonal Lacing is not just about aesthetics; it also provides a secure fit and is easy to tighten, making it an excellent choice for those who value both form and function in their footwear.

How to Do Diagonal Lacing

  1. Initial Setup: Start by running the lace horizontally across the bottom eyelets (closest to the toe) from the outside and pulling both ends up evenly to create a straight bar or straight lace at the base.

  2. Form the First Diagonal: Take one end of the lace (let’s say the left end) and cross it over to the opposite side (right side), threading it through the next available eyelet from the outside in. You should now have a diagonal line across the front of the shoe.

  3. Continue the Pattern: Take the same end of the lace and cross it over to the opposite side again, skipping one eyelet and threading it through the next one from the outside in. This creates another diagonal line parallel to the first.

  4. Repeat with the Other End: Now, take the other end of the lace (the right end) and repeat the process, creating parallel diagonal lines that mirror those made with the first end. Ensure you skip the same eyelet on this side to maintain symmetry.

  5. Adjust and Finish: Continue this pattern until both ends reach the top eyelets. Adjust the tension as you go to ensure a comfortable fit. Once you’ve reached the top, tie the laces in a bow as usual.

Diagonal Lacing is ideal for those looking to add a touch of personality to their dress shoes without going too far from traditional aesthetics. It’s a subtle yet effective way to make a statement, offering a perfect balance between elegance and flair. Whether you’re dressing up for a special occasion or simply want to spice up your daily look, Diagonal Lacing is a technique worth trying.

8. Display Lacing

Display Lacing, also known as Showroom Lacing, is a technique that is as much about aesthetics as it is about practicality. It’s a method often seen in shoe stores because it showcases shoes at their most attractive, with clean, horizontal lines across the front. For dress shoes with 6 eyelets, Display Lacing not only enhances their appearance, making them look sleek and uncluttered, but it can also provide a comfortable fit without too much pressure on any part of the foot. This lacing style is perfect for those who appreciate a minimalist and tidy look, ensuring that the shoes stand out for their design and craftsmanship.

How to Do Display Lacing

  1. Start on the Inside: Begin by running the lace horizontally across the bottom holes (nearest to the toe) but start from the inside and pull the ends out. Ensure the lace lies flat against the shoe for a clean look.

  2. Cross Outside to Inside: Take one end of the lace and cross it over to the opposite side, threading it through the next eyelet up, but this time from the outside in. Repeat with the other end on the other side, creating an “X” shape in the middle.

  3. Horizontal on the Inside: After crossing, run each end of the lace horizontally across the inside of the shoe to the next eyelet on the same side, emerging from the inside out. This keeps the external appearance neat and free of diagonal lines.

  4. Repeat: Continue alternating between crossing the laces on the outside and running them horizontally on the inside until you reach the top eyelets.

  5. Adjust and Tie: Once you reach the top, adjust the laces to ensure an even, snug fit across the foot. Finish by tying the laces in a clean, simple bow.

Display Lacing is especially suitable for those who prefer their shoes to look as pristine as possible, with a nod to subtle elegance. While it may not be the most secure lacing for rigorous activities, it’s an excellent choice for formal occasions and environments where the appearance of the shoe plays a crucial role in the overall outfit.

Elevate Your Style with Loop King’s Quality Shoelaces

As we’ve explored various lacing methods, it’s clear that the right pair of laces can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your oxford dress shoes or other men’s dress shoes as well. Loop King Laces offers a range of premium shoelaces, including leather, flat shoelaces, burgundy shoelaces and more that not only complement these lacing shoes techniques but elevate them. With a focus on quality, durability, and style, Loop King Laces ensure your shoes are not just tied, but truly finished. Whether you prefer the understated elegance of Straight Bar Method or the intricate detail of Bow Tie Lacing, upgrading to Loop King Laces is the final step in perfecting your dress shoe game. See our size guide to now the best length for your shoes based on the number of eyelets. Say goodbye to your old laces now!

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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