How to lace your shoes - shoe lacing techniques

Shoelaces have been in use for thousands of years. Traditionally the laces were made from leather, jute, cotton and other such materials. Nowadays, synthetic fibers are often used.

There are numerous methods of tying shoe laces, each with its own specific features and benefits.

Knowing your foot type is important, not only for choosing the right footwear, but also to employ the right shoe lacing technique, otherwise you may fail to take full advantage of your carefully selected shoes.

Basic shoe lacing techniques

There are two basic lacing patterns, one is bar lacing and the other is cross lacing.

Bar or straight lacing is mostly employed by military personnel or for tying formal boots.

Externally, the laces run straight in parallel bars, while on the inside they pass through alternate eyelets on the same side.

Diagram of straight-laced shoe laces

Pros: Looks neat and relieves pressure on the top of the foot.

Cons: May stretch and loosen, thus compromising stability.

Crisscross lacing is more popular and is favored especially by sportspeople.

The laces run in a crisscross pattern, going under and then above the other half.

Diagram of shoe-laces with crisscross lacing

Pros: Holds the foot firmly in position, thus improving lateral stability

Cons: When secured tightly, presses upon the top of the foot.

Despite having their own advantages, both these techniques can be used in combination or altered a little to achieve better stability.

Lace Locks:

Feed the lace in a normal crisscross pattern, leaving the last eyelet. Then, instead of crossing over externally, feed the two halves through the eyelets on the same side. Once inside, cross the laces, each passing beneath the outer loop of the other, pull tight and tie a knot. This creates a lace lock that keeps the heel steadfast.

Diagram of shoe-laces with crisscross lacing

This technique is especially suited for runners to help keep their heels locked securely in position. It can also be used in combination with other lacing techniques.

Lacing for high-arched feet:

The main concern here is to tie laces so that they do not put unnecessary pressure on the top of the foot and at the same time hold the foot firm in position.

Different lacing patterns are recommended:

Start with a crisscross and when in the third eyelet, do not cross to the other side, but feed the lace through the eyelet on the same side. Then start with the crisscross again and finish with a lace lock.

Diagram of different patterns for shoe laces

In another variation, you can skip one hole in the middle, on each side and finish again with a lace lock.

Diagram of different patterns for shoe laces

Pressure Relief in a Specific Area:

The above-mentioned technique can also be utilised to relieve pressure on a specific spot. Continue with the normal lacing and, as you get near the pressure point, skip an eyelet or feed through the eyelet on the same side. Crisscross again and finish with a lock.

Segmented Lacing:

This utilises a pair of laces for each shoe, with one lace passing through the upper half of the eyelets and the other through the bottom half. This creates segments, each with its own level of tension.

Diagram of lacing with two laces on the same shoe            Diagram of lacing with two laces on the same shoe

This especially helps where the forefoot is wide and the heel is narrow, or where there is cramping of the toes. The upper segment can be laced to accommodate a wider forefoot or to relieve pressure on the toes. Meanwhile, the bottom segment can be lace locked to keep the heel firmly in position, regardless of the slack upper segment.

Lacing for wider feet:

To allow room for your feet, start with the crisscross lacing technique. In the forefoot region, where you want to allow more room for the foot, do not cross, but feed the laces straight through the holes on the same side. Do this for two or three eyelets and then switch to crisscross again. Pull the laces to a comfortable level and tie the knot.

Your performance depends on the stability of your feet and that, in turn, depends on your lacing technique. An incorrect lacing technique may lead to painful feet and an increased risk of injury.


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1. Measure your existing shoe insole:

 1. Measure from your heel to ball of foot:


2. Then compare your measurements from above to match the product size charts below:
(you can trim to fit the insoles by approximately 1cm)

Docpods Regular Size Guide - for Slimline, 3 Quarter, Sports

Size  cm cm cm
Small  4-7  4-8  3-6.5  4-7.5  35-40 16  16.3  25.8
Medium  7-9   8-10  6-9  7-10  39-43  17.4 17.2  27.4
Large   9-13  10-14  8-12  9-13  42-47 19.3   18.2 29.4

Docpods Ultra Size Guide - for Ultra Soft

EURO  34  35.5-37.5  38-40  40.5-42  42.5-44  44.5-46.5
UK  2.5  3-4.5  5-6.5  7-8  8.5-9.5  10-12
US MENS  4-5  5.5-6  6.5-7.5  8-9  9.5-10.5  11-13.5
US WOMENS  3.5-5  5.5-7  7.5-9  9.5-10.5  11-12  13-14
LENGTH (cm) 23.2cm 24.9cm 26.2cm 28.8cm 30cm  31.2cm

Docpods Kids Size Guide - for Docpods Kids Fit only

XXS 12-1  19.5cm 13cm 
XS 2-3 22.4cm  15.3cm 

Docpods Foot Pillow - Trim to Fit

  S L
US MENS  4.5 - 9  9 - 13
US WOMENS  6 - 10  10 - 14
LENGTH (cm) 26.5cm 29.2cm