Shoe Lacing Comparison

Lacing Comparison

I've presented a number of different Lacing Methods on this site. This page compares them feature by feature to help you choose.

Physical Considerations

Some lacing methods may not be physically suitable for some shoes because those shoes do not have the right number of pairs of eyelets or lugs. In this table, the numbers that work best for each lacing method are colored green (light), whereas those colored red (dark) are either not suitable or may require a workaround.

Lacing Method Pairs of Eyelets or Lugs
Angled Checker 6 11 16
Army 345678910111213141516
Asterisk 345678910111213141516
Bow Tie 345678910111213141516
Checkerboard 345678910111213141516
C.I.A. 345678910111213141516
Corset 2345678910111213141516
Criss Cross 2345678910111213141516
Display Shoe 2345678910111213141516
Double 45678910111213141516
Double Back 45678910111213141516
Double Cross 45678910111213141516
Double Helix 2345678910111213141516
Double Sided 2345678910111213141516
Footbag 5678910111213141516
Gap 2345678910111213141516
H&H / Criss Cross 2345678910111213141516
H&H / Straight Bar 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Hash 45678910111213141516
Hexagram 6 11 16
Hidden Knot 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Hiking / Biking 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Knotted 2345678910111213141516
Knotted Segment 45678910111213141516
Ladder 2345678910111213141516
Lattice 678910111213141516
Left Right 2345678910111213141516
Lightning 2345678910111213141516
Loop Back 2345678910111213141516
Lock 345678910111213141516
Lug Infinity 2345678910111213141516
One Handed 2345678910111213141516
Over Under 2345678910111213141516
Pentagram 45678910111213141516
Riding Boot 345678910111213141516
Roman 345678910111213141516
Sawtooth 345678910111213141516
Segmented 45678910111213141516
Shoe Shop 345678910111213141516
Spider Web 345678910111213141516
Starburst 345678910111213141516
Straight European 345678910111213141516
Straight Bar 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Straight Easy 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Supernova 345678910111213141516
Train Track 2345678910111213141516
Twistie 2345678910111213141516
Woven 2345678910111213141516
Zig Zag 2345678910111213141516
Zipper 2345678910111213141516

Functional Considerations

Comfortable Criss Cross, Display Shoe, Army, Hiking / Biking
Adjustable comfort zones Gap, Segmented, Knotted Segment, Bow Tie
Mis-aligns sides Sawtooth, Lightning, Shoe Shop, One Handed
Can adjust ill-fitting shoe Sawtooth, Lightning, Shoe Shop, One Handed
More ankle flexibility Army, Hiking / Biking, Train Track
Less ankle flexibility (firmer) Spider Web, Ladder
Stronger binding (harder to loosen), Less tension on knot (no jamming) Train Track, Spider Web, Lug Infinity, Double Back, Double Cross, Zipper, Knotted, Twistie
Assists tightening (eg. for skates) Knotted, Train Track, Zipper
Extra tightening Corset
More wear and tear from friction Loop Back, Ladder, Zig Zag, Lug Infinity
Less wear and tear from friction Double Helix, Over Under
Quicker to thread (eg. new shoes) Straight Easy, Shoe Shop, Lightning
Quicker/easier to tighten & loosen Double Helix, Over Under
Quicker to loosen (eg. triathlon T1) Display Shoe
Quicker to cut off (eg. after an accident) Straight Bar, Straight Easy, Sawtooth, Shoe Shop, Double Helix, Straight European, C.I.A.
Shoe easily opens wide (less loosening needed) Starburst, Supernova, Lattice
"Shorten" lace ends significantly Corset, Woven, Supernova, Ladder 2, Spider Web
"Lengthen" lace ends significantly Army, Bow Tie, Straight Bar, Straight Easy, Hiking / Biking, Hidden Knot, Footbag, Roman, Asterisk
No knot used (slip on or off) Checkerboard, Woven, One Handed
Dress shoes (eg. Oxfords, Balmorals) whose sides meet in the middle Straight European, Straight Bar, Straight Easy, Shoe Shop, Over Under, Roman, Bow Tie, Sawtooth, C.I.A.
Riding boots that tighten in middle Riding Boot
Optimized for Footbag Freestyle Footbag
Help prevent heel slippage Lock
Covert signalling, hidden messages C.I.A.

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