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Criss Cross Lacing

This is probably the most common method of lacing normal shoes & boots. The laces simply criss-cross as they work their way up the shoe.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets
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Lacing Technique:

• Begin straight across on the inside (grey section) and out through the bottom eyelets.

• At each eyelet pair, cross the ends, feeding under the sides and out through the next higher set of eyelets. Repeat until lacing is completed.

Traditional look
Simple to lace
Corrugates shoe


Criss Cross is also a preferred lacing method for comfort, mainly because the crossovers of shoelace occur in the gap between the sides of the shoe and thus aren't pressed against the top of the foot.

Criss Cross Lacing Gallery
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Nike Frees with Criss Cross Lacing
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Criss Cross Lacing Video
Watch video: How to Criss Cross Lace your shoes Watch video here
Watch on YouTube

Criss Cross Lacing - Factory Variation
Factory variation of Criss Cross Lacing

There is a subtle variation of Criss Cross Lacing that appears in many shoes that come pre-laced from the factory. The lacing starts with the bottom grey section running across the outside and with the first crossover on the inside. The remainder of the lacing is normal.

Visually, this is less consistent and thus less appealing. Functionally, there is no good reason that I can think of for this variation. So what is the reason?

Historically, there was a period when manufacturers were shipping shoes with the lace ends fed into the bottom eyelets and simply tucked away neatly inside the shoe. In later years, with greater competition and cheaper labor, manufacturers began lacing their shoes all the way, yet still starting as they always did with the ends fed into the bottom eyelets.

Shoelace Lengths for Criss Cross Lacing
Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 71 cm
28 inch
81 cm
32 inch
92 cm
36 inch
102 cm
40 inch
113 cm
44 inch
123 cm
48 inch
134 cm
53 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" | 36" 36" 40" 45" 45" 54"
Comparative Length:

The length of shoelace required for Criss Cross Lacing is the "baseline" length against which all other shoe lacing methods are compared.

• These are approximate shoelace lengths for using this lacing on an average sized sneaker.
• For more accurate lengths, use the Shoelace Length Calculator.

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Related Links
Lug Criss Cross Lacing Lug Criss Cross Lacing

Same lacing method for shoes with lugs instead of eyelets.

Display Shoe Lacing Display Shoe Lacing

Inside-out version that ends up with the loose ends neatly tucked into the shoe.

Criss Cross Lacing on Create-a-Lace Create-a-Lace

View and customize Criss Cross Lacing using Create-a-Lace.

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Also for iPhone