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How to Lace Work Boots? – 4 Super Timesaving Ways

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to lace work boots

Lacing shoes is not all about making sure that your laces will not come undone. Relacing your shoes allows you to customize your shoes according to your desired fit. Aside from the overall fit, the way you lace your shoes can greatly affect the comfort and performance of your work boots.

But how do you lace your work boots? Do you lace it the same way you would lace dress boots or sneakers? If so, you might want to upgrade your lacing techniques and discover different ways on how to lace work boots.

Boot Lacing Techniques


Fun fact, there are trillions of shoe lacing techniques that you can try on a pair of shoes with 6 eyelets. However, out of these techniques, these are the four most common and fool-proof methods when it comes to lacing work boots.

And if this is your first time trying any of these techniques, don’t worry! The following instructions are easy to follow as it comes with a lace boots diagram!

Technique #1: Army Lacing

As its name suggests, Army Lacing is one of the military boot lacing methods that is favored by military personnel.

With this technique, the laces form a pentagon shape on top of the foot, offering a looser fit that is perfect for the tight and inflexible military boots. If your boots are sturdy and not flexible, this method is a must-try.


  • Step 1: Count the number of the eyelet rows.
  • Step 2: Beginning from the bottom, thread the lace from the inside to outside if you have an even number of eyelets. For an odd number, thread from the outside.
  • Step 3: Diagonally cross the lace through under the next eyelet.
  • Step 4: Next, from the outside, lace directly through the next eyelet up. This should form a vertical line.
  • Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you reach the top eyelets.

Note that the crosses should be inside and the vertical lines on the outside.

  • Step 6: Tie the lace.

Technique #2: 2-1-3

This method is one of the most common techniques for tying work boots. The 2-1-3 technique is a good choice if you don’t want to suffer from lace bites, especially if the pair you have are straight laced boots.

Once you get the knack of this method, you will get a fit that is not too tight yet secure.

  • Step 1: Identify the three rows of eyelets on your ankle area.

The first eyelets from the bottom of the shoe will be row 1, the second will be row 2, and the top eyelets will be row 3.

  • Step 2: Using the traditional criss cross method, tie the lace beginning from the bottommost pair of eyelets to the bottom of row 1.
  • Step 3: Skip row 1, and cross the lace through row 2. Then, cross back to row 1.
  • Step 4: Next, skip row 2 and lace through row 3.
  • Step 5: After doing the 2-1-3 pattern, continue with the criss cross lacing until you get to the last eyelets.
  • Step 6: Tie the lace.

The laces should have a star-like formation on the ankle area of your boots when finished.

Technique #3: Ladder Lacing

The ladder technique is another military style of lacing that you can try on your work boots. The secure fit that this technique provides your feet makes it one of the best way to lace boots.

When done properly, the ladder lace method will allow you to wear your boots for a long time without tying them from time to time just to keep them secured.


  • Step 1: Lace through the bottommost eyelets from the inside to outside.
  • Step 2: Next, form a vertical line by threading straight to the next higher eyelet. Do this from outside to inside.
  • Step 3: Once the verticals are formed, lace across by weaving through under the opposing vertical line.
  • Step 4: Continue doing steps 2 and 3 until you get to the top eyelets.
  • Step 5: Tie the laces to a knot.

Technique #4: Heel Lock Technique

If your work involves a lot of moving in rough terrain, chances are, you are concerned about the movement that’s going inside your boots. And of course, when there’s a lot of movement, there is also a lot of friction that causes blisters.

In that case, you might consider the heel lock technique when lacing boots.

The steps are not intimidating either! Here’s how you do it:

  • Step 1: Beginning from the bottom, perform the criss cross lacing up until the second top eyelets.
  • Step 2: Thread vertically from the outside and directly into the top eyelets.
  • Step 3: Take the end of the lace and insert it under the opposite side’s vertical line.
  • Step 4: Then, start pulling the ends to tug the vertical lines and tighten it as you desire.
  • Step 5: Secure the lace with a knot.

How Should Work Boots Be Laced?


The two main purposes of learning the proper way to lace boots is for comfort and practicality. Work boots should not be laced too tight to the point where it’s painful and restricts movement. It should also not be too loose otherwise, your shoes will just keep on slipping.

Surely, there is not just one correct way to do it but you have to pick the technique that works best for your feet, as well as the boots’ materials and structure.

The bottomline is, work boots should be laced in a way that it can provide your feet adequate support.

How Do You Lace Military Boots?


Due to the demands of their work, soldiers pay extra attention to the equipment they use to avoid any mishaps. This being said, poorly done shoelaces are a potential risk to a soldier.

Just like work boots, soldiers also consider comfort when lacing military boots. Moreover, they usually employ techniques that complement their boots’ usual inflexible and sturdy design.

Additionally, instead of the traditional metal eyelets, most military boots are equipped with hooks, also known as speed hooks, for easy tightening.

Some of the military lacing styles used by military men are: straight-bar, ladder, and army lacing.


Work boots are just one of the footwears created for a specific purpose. It is meant to protect your feet from any falling objects, and support any movements you do at work.

Unlike fashion shoes, you wouldn’t want to just pick the cool way to lace boots. There are many things to be considered: environment, materials, desired fit and comfort, and even practicality.

Ultimately, properly knowing how to lace work boots will help you bring out your boots’ full potential– even enhance it.

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