Footbag Lacing

Footbag Lacing

Footbag players use this lacing to open up the front of their shoes, making it easier to catch or otherwise control the footbag (or “Hacky Sack”). Often referred to as “Hacky Sack Lacing”.

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets, variation 1

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Lacing Technique – Variation 1 – Basic

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

• Both ends run straight down on the outside and in through the next lower eyelets.

• Both ends run straight down on the inside and out through the bottom eyelets.

• Both ends run straight up on the outside and in through the fourth set of eyelets.

• Cross the ends, feeding under the sides and out through the next higher set of eyelets. Repeat until lacing is completed.


• Variation 1 has two long verticals at the bottom. When pulled very tight, these will open up the “toe box” (the front of the shoe).

• Variation 2 has one long vertical “corkscrewed” around the shorter vertical, which looks neater but is less effective at opening up the toe box.

• Variation 3 has longer verticals, which allows the toe bow to open wider than either Variation 1 or 2.

• Variation 4 has three overlapping verticals, so it should be the most effective at opening up the toe box.


Suits Footbag

Less binding

Distorts shoes

27% longer ends (approx.)


• This page shows four popular variations of Footbag Lacing, the common element being long, straight segments along the outside that pull the toe section outwards. The front of the shoe becomes a large, rimmed area for catching (“stalling”) the footbag (“Hacky Sack”).

• Instead of Criss Cross Lacing on the upper sets of eyelets, use Army Lacing, or any other method that doesn't have passes of shoelace across the top of the shoe. With less restriction on the sides of the shoe, they are free to open up wider.

• To open up the front of the shoe even further, start the lacing from the fourth set of eyelets from the bottom and skip one set of eyelets on the way down. You can even start from higher up, although this makes for a loose fit. Note that this can also be helpful if you have shoes that are a little too tight, even for those who don't play footbag.

In short, there is no fixed technique. People use all sorts of methods to open up the front section, even going to the extent of modifying their shoes. You're welcome to use your own variations to create a method that balances function, style and comfort to your individual taste.

Shoelace Lengths for Footbag Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 5 (a) 6 (a) 7 (a) 8 (a) 8 (b) 8 (c) 8 (d)
Length needed: 87 cm
34 inch
97 cm
38 inch
108 cm
42 inch
118 cm
47 inch
121 cm
48 inch
117 cm
46 inch
124 cm
49 inch
Lengths available: 36" 36" 40" 45" 45" 45" 45"

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 for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

Longer ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (+27% on average).

More details.

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This page last updated: 23-Oct-2020. Copyright © 2006-2020 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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