Q And Answer: What Method Of Lacing Should You Use For Shoes?

April 26, 2012

Q and Answer: What Method of Lacing Should You Use for Shoes?

Samuel writes us to ask: Is there a proper method to lace shoes? I’ve noticed that some men lace them in a criss-cross style while others go straight across. Is one better than the other?

The general rule of thumb is to use straight lacing for things such as dress shoes, and criss-cross lacing for almost everything else. The reasoning is that since shoes such as oxfords are dressier, they demand something that’s cleaner and more elegant to match. 

For straight lacing, I use the European Method, which Will from A Suitable Wardrobe demonstrates how to do in this video. If you wanted, you could also use one of the variants of the Ladder Method

For everything else, you can use either the criss-cross method or the straight lace. I personally use the straight lace for almost everything, but will use the criss-cross method on exceptionally casual shoes (i.e. hiking boots, sneakers, or any other style that can’t be worn with a suit).