Shoe Shop Lacing

Previously common in shoe shops because many shoes came pre-laced this way from the factory. One end runs from bottom to top while the other end zig-zags through the remaining eyelets. Sometimes referred to as "Factory Lacing" or "Single Helix Lacing".

Diagram for 8 pairs of eyelets, variation 1

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Lacing Technique

• Begin straight across on the outside (grey section) and in through the bottom eyelets.

• The left (blue) end runs all the way up the inside and out through the top right eyelet (or top left eyelet for variation 2).

• The right (yellow) end runs diagonally up and left on the inside, then straight across on the outside. Repeat until lacing is completed.

• For variation 2, the right (yellow) end reaches the second-from-top-right eyelet, then runs straight up the inside and out through the top-right eyelet.


1 For normal use, run the long section diagonally from bottom-left to top-right.

2 For a neater look, run the long section straight up the inside from bottom-left to top-left.


Easy to lace

Mis-aligns sides

End lengths shift

5% shorter ends (approx.)


• The left and right shoes can be laced in reverse (mirror image) to end up with a symmetrical look.

• I've been told that Shoe Shop Lacing is – or was – used by the British military.

Sports / Military Advice

Like other straight lacing methods, Shoe Shop 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!

Shoe Shop Lacing Video

Shoelace Lengths for Shoe Shop Lacing

Pairs of eyelets: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Length needed: 70 cm
28 inch
81 cm
32 inch
93 cm
37 inch
104 cm
41 inch
116 cm
46 inch
127 cm
50 inch
139 cm
55 inch
Lengths available: 27" 36" 36" 40" 45" 54" 54"

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

Longer shoelaces needed than those for basic Criss Cross Lacing.

Shorter ends if existing shoelaces are re-used (−5% on average).

More details.

Shoe Shop Lacing Feedback

"I see it often by default on shoes from Hugo Boss ..."

– Jack C., Jan-2019

"I was led to believe by my dad ... that his dad obviously my grandad learned how to lace your shoe shop method when in the British Army. I am the biggest pacifist the world has ever known so it's not for any military reasons that I choose the shoe shop method, I just want to keep what I honestly believe is my family's method going."

– Mike L., Sep-2018

"In most shoe stores, the shoes come pre-laced from the manufacturer, either with "Shoe Shop" lacing or "Display Shoe" lacing, depending on the type of shoe.

The shop assistant rarely laces new shoes at all, except in the cases where the store has a policy of relacing shoes to make them easier for customers to try on (usually with Straight (European) Lacing or Criss-Cross Lacing)."

– Lars R., shoe store assistant, Jul-2008

"I had been using a version of the Shoe Shop technique which came with the skates, but you are right about the end lengths shifting."

– Trevor H., Jun-2004

"We go bushwalking a lot and I find that the shop method of lacing the boot is best because it means that the lace system can be slackened off at the top and the bottom simultaneously and conversely tightened from both ends.

Also the lace should last longer because the same part of the lace does not bear against the eyelets as the top eyelets have to be relaced every time the boots are worn. The end length shift can be corrected with practise and helps to reduce the wear on the laces."

– Tom P., New Zealand, Apr-2004

"I have heard Brit Army types occasionally refer to the shoe shop lacing style as 'parade lacing'."

– Ron B., UK, Jan-2004

If you'd like to send feedback about Shoe Shop Lacing, please Contact Ian.

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