Straight European Lacing
This traditional method of Straight Lacing appears to be more common in Europe. The laces run straight across on
the outside and diagonally on the inside. Sometimes referred to as "Ladder Lacing".
Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets
• Begin straight across on the outside (grey section) and in through the bottom eyelets.
• The left (blue) end crosses diagonally on the inside, then straight across on the outside.
• The right (yellow) end crosses diagonally on the inside at a steeper angle, then straight across on the
• Alternate with left and right ends until lacing is completed.
Suits dress shoes
Neat on top
3% shorter ends (on average)
Although visually messy, the underlying zig-zag makes this lacing very tight & secure. The mess is mainly
noticeable on shoes and sneakers with a wide spacing (as seen in the first photo below).
Straight European Lacing is particularly suited to dress shoes such as Oxfords / Balmorals, as it allows the
uppers of the shoe to come completely together in the middle without bunching or corrugation. On these shoes,
the underlying zig-zag will be completely hidden (as in the second photo below).
Sports / Military Advice:
Like other straight lacing methods, Straight European Lacing has an additional benefit for sporting or military
use: The upper horizontal sections of shoelace can be quickly cut through with a knife or scissors in order to
more easily remove a boot from a broken, sprained or otherwise injured ankle or foot.
Note that most military forces have regulations for just about everything, so I'd recommend that military
personnel check before they adopt this, or any other, possible non-regulation lacing method!
Shoelace Lengths for Straight European Lacing
Pairs of eyelets:
Shorter ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (−3% on average).