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Ladder Lacing

This distinctive lacing is worn on military boots by paratroopers and ceremonial guard units. The laces weave horizontally and vertically, forming a secure "ladder".

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets, variation 1

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Lacing Technique:

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

• The ends are run straight up the sides and in through the next higher set of eyelets.

• At each eyelet pair, the ends run straight across, feeding under the vertical lace sections on the opposite side before continuing straight up and in through the next higher set of eyelets. Repeat until lacing is completed.

• At the top, the ends can optionally be fed under the vertical sections once again before being tied (see variation 2).

Distinctive look
Stays very tight
Harder to tighten
2% shorter ends (approx.)

1 For normal use, the ends are tied at the top as usual.

2 For a consistent look plus additional tightening, the ends can once again be fed under the vertical sections on the opposite sides before tying at the middle.


• This lacing looks particularly effective on high boots with many eyelets, especially when contrasting laces are used.

• Although this lacing is slightly harder to tighten, this can actually assist in getting the lacing really tight because the lower sections hold more firmly while progressing up the shoe. This makes it a great lacing to use on hiking boots, ice skates, etc.

Ladder Lacing Gallery
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Silver Nikes with Ladder Lacing
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Shoelace Lengths for Ladder Lacing
Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 63 cm
25 inch
76 cm
30 inch
90 cm
35 inch
103 cm
41 inch
116 cm
46 inch
129 cm
51 inch
142 cm
56 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" 36" 40" 45" 54" 54"
Comparative Length:
Longer shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.
Shorter ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (−2% on average).
• 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 Ladder Lacing Lug Ladder Lacing

Same lacing method for shoes with lugs instead of eyelets.

Spider Web Lacing Spider Web Lacing

Similar technique with laces looping under vertical sections.

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