A pair of red velvet Vans Authentic trainers.

The Vans Authentic is the first pair of shoes that the legendary skate brand Vans ever produced – dating back to 1966

While it initially got off to a lukewarm start, the Authentic is now one of the best-sellers due to its timeless style, comfort, and versatility. 

It’s a unique shoe in that it has an odd number of eyelets (only 5 on each side) that are tightly spaced together. As a result, flat, short laces work best for these shoes (such as our leather laces or waxed laces). 

Want to know how to add extra layers of cool to your Vans Authentic trainers?

Learn how to weave dope patterns into your Vans laces. That will alter the look of your shoes – further adding to the versatility of the Vans Authentic. With a bit of creativity, you can achieve all manner of patterns – such as waffles, hashtags, coils, and more. 

While we’re all taught the value of tying our shoes, far less emphasis is placed on learning how to lace shoes. 

Yet, there should be, as lacing your shoes in specific ways can prevent foot pain, blisters, and friction burns and help you better stabilize yourself. 

That means there’s more to lacing your shoes than visual appeal, as proper lacing can actually improve foot health. 

Not know how to lace Vans shoes other than the basic criss cross method? Then you’ve come to the right place. Stay tuned to discover 7 unique ways to lace your Vans Authentics.   

1. The Over-Under Method 

Do you want to lengthen the lifespan of your shoes? 

If so, the first method on our list will help you do just that. The over-under technique will reduce friction, making it easier to tighten and loosen your shoes. 

Also, this method prevents your laces from rubbing along the edges of the shoes, which will lead to less wear and tear and help your shoes last longer. 

It also looks cool and is a handy lacing method to have in your toolkit. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Since Vans have an odd number of eyelets, you need to start by running one lace straight across on the inside and out through the bottom eyelet. 
  • Next, switch between crossing over on the outside and in through the next higher set of eyelets and crossing under on the inside and out through the higher set of outlets. That creates an alternating set of crosses that go over and under – hence the name. 

This is also an easy method due to the lack of steps and repetition. It reduces friction because when you tighten your shoes, you don’t need to tighten every cross – only the outer ones.  

2. Skip Lacing 

If you have a sensitive area of your foot or would like some more flexibility – gap lacing or skip lacing is the method you should use. 

It’s where you intentionally skip a crossover (or two) in the shoe’s middle to bypass a painful area of the foot. In particular, this lacing method is beneficial for those with bunions, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. 

It also works if you want more flexibility in your ankles when running or hiking. To achieve this method, here are the steps you need to take:

  • Start by running a lace straight through the inside and out through the first bottom eyelet. 
  • Cross the ends at each eyelet, running them under the sides and out through the higher set of eyelets above. Stop before you reach the sensitive area where you want to leave a gap. 
  • Create the gap by running the ends of the laces past the eyelets you want to skip, creating the desired gap. 
  • Once you’re above the gap, resume the method you were using in step 2 until the lacing is complete. 

That’s all you have to do to create gaps in your laces to accommodate painful areas or add more flexibility to your shoes. 

3. The Lightning Bolt 

You’ll love this technique if you don’t like to waste time lacing your shoes. It’s called the lightning bolt for two reasons; it looks like a lightning bolt, and you can lace it up as fast as lightning

While the appeal here is primarily visual, it’s a looser-fitting lace style that works well if you don’t like your shoes to be too tight. 

Here’s how to achieve the lightning bolt pattern:

  • Like the others, start by running a lace straight across on the inside and out through the bottom eyelet. 
  • From the bottom eyelet, run the lace diagonally all the way to the top eyelet on the opposite side. 
  • The other lace runs up and across diagonally on the outside and then straight up through the inside to the eyelet above.
  • Next, it goes down diagonally to the eyelet below on the outside, straight up on the inside, and out the eyelet above. 
  • Repeat until you reach the top. 

One lace runs diagonally from top to bottom, resembling a lightning bolt, while the other lace runs diagonally through each eyelet, alternating running up and down. Since one lace only runs through one eyelet, this is a lacing method you can knock out in record time.  

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4. Inside-Out Lacing 

Not a fan of loose ends from your shoelaces sticking out on the sides? Then you need to try out the inside-out lacing method. 

It’s an altered version of the classic crisscross method that you likely already know

It’s a super clean look that’s perfect for Vans. Since the eyelets are close together and there are only five, most shoelaces will be slightly too long for them. That can lead to unsightly loose ends that will seriously cramp your style. 

The only drawback is that it’s a little difficult to tighten, as you need to reach your fingers underneath the laces from the bottom of the shoe instead of on top. 

Yet, we feel the benefits outweigh this issue, so here’s how to achieve inside-out lacing:

  • This time, start by running a lace straight across on the outside and then in through the bottom eyelet instead of out. 
  • Cross the ends of both laces at each crossover, and feed them through the next higher set of eyelets. 
  • Continue this process until you reach the top, and then hide the ends of each lace inside the top eyelets. 

While this method is a bit difficult to tighten, the flip side of that is that it’s effortless to loosen your shoes this way. For this reason, the inside-out method is excellent for anyone who likes to slip in and out of their shoes without tying a fresh knot each time. 

5. The Bow-Tie 

Next up is a minimalist look that forms a bow-tie outline. It’s a decorative look that works particularly well for Vans Authentic trainers due to its simple nature. 

It also looks stellar on skate shoes, and you won’t have to deal with any loose ends sticking out. 

There are gaps in this style, so you can designate specific areas to skip over where your foot is sensitive. 

Yet, this lacing style tends to fit very loosely, so it’s not recommended if you’re seeking a tighter fit. Here’s how to do the bow tie:

  • Since Vans Authentics have an odd number of eyelets, you need to start by threading a lace straight across the inside and out through the bottom eyelet. 
  • For each pair of eyelets, you can cross them on the outside or run them up through the inside to create a gap, crossing them over at the next set of eyelets above. 
  • Repeat this process until the lacing is complete. 

This is also one of the more accessible learning methods, so it shouldn’t take long to memorize each step. 

6. Doubling Back 

If you want a tighter lacing method, try the double-back technique. It will stay super tight, removing all worry about your Vans laces coming undone. 

It’s a little awkward to tighten, but it’s a visually appealing and practically functional lacing method. 

It looks unorthodox, and everyone will want to know how you laced such an intricate pattern. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Begin by threading your shoelaces across on the outside and then in through the set of eyelets that are second from the top. (You didn’t read that wrong, you start at the top first in this method).
  • Skip one set of eyelets going down, cross both ends and feed the laces through. 
  • Repeat this process, skipping two sets of eyelets each time. 
  • Once you reach the bottom, run the lace ends vertically to the bottom and second-from-bottom eyelets. 
  • Go back up toward the top, crisscrossing each vacant pair of eyelets. 

The technique is a bit complicated, but the tightness and visual flair are worth it once you get it down.   

7. The Snake 

This technique involves one lace ‘snaking’ from the bottom of the shoe to the top, with the other lace serving as its ‘cage.’ 

It looks super cool and is sure to turn heads wherever you go. A bonus is that it’s surprisingly easy to do:

  • Tie a stopper knot on one end of a shoelace. 
  • Feed the untied end into the inside eyelet at the top of the shoe, and pull it through until it gets stuck on the knot. 
  • Zig-zag the lace through each eyelet, working your way down the shoe. Don’t skip any here; simply loop it through each one. 
  • Tuck the free lace between the zig-zagged lace to keep you from stepping on it – and it also resembles a snake. 

That’s all it takes to achieve this really cool-looking lace design. 

Closing Thoughts: How to Lace Vans Authentic Shoes Your Way

The LoopKing Laces logo.

Those are seven excellent, practical, easy ways to lace up your Vans Authentic trainers. Remember, Authentics have an odd number of eyelets, so you’ll need to factor that into your lacing methods. 

Hopefully, this article has opened your mind to the possibilities and endless looks you can achieve from lacing techniques. 

To get the most out of these patterns and styles, you need premium laces with high-quality materials and stylish gold aglet tips. 

Our LoopKing luxury laces are just what the doctor ordered. We have a wide selection of elite-level shoelaces featuring premium leather, rope, velvet, and more – so don’t wait to check out our selection of Vans Authentics shoelaces today.

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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