Are you a straight bar man, or a loop back kind of guy? If you haven’t given your laces much thought before, you may be surprised to learn that there’s a whole world of ways to tie your brogues and trainers – and not all of them sound like innuendos.

Whether you like to keep things clean and simple, or relish the chance to add a touch of individuality to your footwear, a little lace-up know how can go a long way. To help you lace your shoes with a pinch more panache, we’ve collected a few of the most popular – and unusual – ways to lace shoes.


1. The Straight Bar


No, we’re not talking about Vodka Revs. We’re talking about one of the neatest and most classic ways to lace shoes. Giving a sleek and uncluttered appearance to any shoe, from trainers to dress shoes, this lacing technique is simple to master and perfect for smarter styles. Learn how it’s done here.


2. Straight European


This is a common European twist on straight bar lacing, creating a more idiosyncratic but still very neat look. Also known as “ladder lacing” this style uses laces which run straight on the outside and diagonally on the inside to create its unique appearance. Here’s how to use this style yourself.

3. Criss Cross


Take a look at your feet. It’s pretty likely that you’re wearing a criss cross style of lacing right now. This is the most common type of lacing because it’s also one of the easiest to master, with laces simply criss crossing each other to create “X” shapes. No explanatory video needed for this one.

4. The Loop Back


For something a little out of the ordinary which won’t take 3 hours to achieve, loop back lacing is a cool option you can keep subtle with a uniformly coloured lace or ramp up by using two laces tied together in contrasting colours. This technique keeps each half of the lace on its own side, intertwining with the opposite half of the lace as they run the length of the shoe. Learn the technique here.


5. The Lattice

5And now for something completely different. This high impact lacing style is eye-catching and elaborate, working especially well with wide, flat laces. There are literally hundreds of unusual lacing techniques out there you can use to give your footwear a little something extra, from patterns which look like pentagrams, to styles designed to look like spider webs. Here’s how to create lattice lacing.

What’s your go to lacing style? Which techniques did you know about? Share your tips, tricks and favourites with other fine footwear aficionados in the Base London Facebook group.