Checkerboard Lacing

Checkerboard Lacing

Run one shoelace horizontally, then weave another color vertically and tuck in all ends. Forms an attractive two-color checker pattern.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets

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Lacing Technique

• Start with two pairs of different color shoelaces, preferably the wide, flat variety.

• With one color (orange in my diagram), begin with one end tucked into the bottom left of the shoe. Run the shoelace straight across on the outside, then straight up on the inside.

• Repeat running across on the outside and up on the inside, back and forth and up, until you reach the top of the shoe, where that end is also tucked in. This completes the first color (orange).

• With the second color (purple in my diagram), begin with one end tucked into the bottom left of the shoe. Run the shoelace straight up, weaving in and out of the other shoelace until you reach the top.

• Fold around the top shoelace and head back down, weaving in and out until you reach the bottom.

• Continue across the shoe, weaving up and down until you are out of room or out of shoelace, whichever comes first.

• Tuck the final loose end into the shoe. This can be at either the top or the bottom, depending on the number of vertical passes.


Most popular!

Decorative look

Slip-on or off

Loose fit

41% longer ends (approx.) (horizontal sections)


• When completed, this lacing forms a sort of loose, springy weave that does not bind strongly. It's designed for wide-fronted sneakers that people usually wear loose with the laces either dragging or tucked in. Sort of like a trendy slip-on.

• For a slightly tighter fit, use wider or rougher laces to increase friction and thus retain more tension.

• For greater security, at the top of the shoe the ends can instead be tied together on the inside or anchored separately with simple stopper knots or using Lace Anchors.

• If the checkerboard weave is only done up to the second eyelets from the top – leaving the top row free – the ends (orange) can be adjusted so that a normal shoelace knot can be tied across the top two eyelets (as seen in the 9th photo below).

• For a different look, use a single long shoelace of one color instead of two different shoelaces. After completing the horizontal sections, use the same shoelace to weave the vertical sections. The result is a single color woven mat with checkerboard texture but without the checkerboard colors (as seen in the 6th photo below).

Checkerboard Lacing Video

Shoelace Lengths for Checkerboard Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed for horizontal lace: 62 cm
24 inch
68 cm
27 inch
75 cm
29 inch
81 cm
32 inch
88 cm
35 inch
95 cm
37 inch
101 cm
40 inch
Lengths available: 27" 27" 27" 36" 36" 36" 40"
Length needed for 4 vertical passes: 57 cm
22 inch
63 cm
25 inch
70 cm
28 inch
77 cm
30 inch
84 cm
33 inch
90 cm
36 inch
97 cm
38 inch
Length needed for 6 vertical passes: 60 cm
24 inch
70 cm
28 inch
80 cm
32 inch
90 cm
36 inch
100 cm
40 inch
111 cm
44 inch
121 cm
48 inch
Length needed for 8 vertical passes: 63 cm
25 inch
77 cm
30 inch
90 cm
36 inch
104 cm
41 inch
117 cm
46 inch
131 cm
51 inch
144 cm
57 inch

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

Comparative Length

Shorter shoelaces needed than those supplied with the shoes.

Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+41% on average).

More details.

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This page last updated: 06-May-2021. Copyright © 2004-2021 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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