How to Lace Dress Shoes | Straight Bar Lacing Method

I’m Kirby Allison founder of The Hanger Project.

Today in this video I’m going to be showing you how to lace your leather dress shoes the proper way.

So there’s two different ways that you can lace your dress shoes.

The first way is the crossed of method as shown on these Allen Edmond’s.

This is a great example of how a worn pair of shoe laces, laced correctly, can disproportionately affect the overall look of the shoe.

Now these George Cleverley shoes are laced with straight across method with one of our Sovereign Grade pair of dress laces and you can see how it’s just neater, cleaner and looks better.

So that’s why here at The Hanger Project I really strictly prefer straight across method.

The reason is, that when compared to the criss-cross method, it’s just much cleaner, neater and formal.

So if you have any questions or comments during this video feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Let us know how you prefer to lace your dress shoes.

Do you use black and brown laces or do you prefer colored laces.

Let us know because I’m always interested to hear what other people are doing.

Today in this video I’m going to be lacing my shoes with our new sovereign grade laces.

Now we have these laces made specifically for us and North Hampton which is really the center of the UK shoe making industry.

So these laces are as fine as any lace you can find anywhere.

We carry them on HangerProject.

com in a variety of sizes, lengths and colors.

So if you need laces check these out.

So there’s two different ways that you can lace your shoes in order to create the Barbell method.

There’s the straight up and the cross method and I just want to show you both of these.

Now the most common one you find on the Internet is the straight-up which I’m going to show you right here.

So again you start on the first rung and then you just are bouncing your way up.

Crossing again skipping your way up.

Crossing and then skipping your way up.

And then there you are.

And then again on the other side you would be going up crossing you’d cross once and then you go out.

Now the problem with this method is that because you’re just kind of.

Jumping up your laces it’s difficult to cinch the top of the shoe.

Close very easily you just don’t have much leverage.

So that’s why I prefer the criss-crossed method.

So again you start the same way but you’re crossing over.

Right going across.

You’re still skipping up but you’re crossing over going a cross crossing over.

And then you end.

And then again here you’re crossing over.

Going across.

And then crossing over, ending.

So because you have this kind of crossed pattern whenever you go to pull the shoe laces tight you just have more leverage that actually tightens the vamp of the shoe.

But it’s good to know that two different methods you can experiment with both and see which you prefer.

But personally the cross method is my favorite.

OK so the first step is going to be to remove your shoelaces right.

Untie your shoe laces and then you need to take the shoe tree out so I always recommend loosening the shoe laces all the way down the front of the shoe before you take the shoe tree out because if the shoe tree fits tight you don’t want to put too much pressure on the shoe itself.

So I’m gonna set the shoe tree aside.

And then, you know, here are the shoe laces right.

So I’m just going to unlace these.

Now you want to be careful when you’re unlacing your shoes because any time you’re releasing them or unlacing them you’re putting a lot of strain and pressure on the islets themselves.

So the more gently you can do this just the better condition you’re going to keep those eyelets in.

It’s actually one of the reasons that I personally prefer not to unlace my shoes whenever I polish them.

Just because if I did that every single time I polished my shoes I would just put an incredible amount of strain on the eyelets themselves.

I’m unlacing them, jsut going one by one.

Now you can see on these cleverly use the tongue is actually sewn into the upper which makes it easy to clearly define especially in this last eyelet.

So if you’re doing this at home and have time this would be a perfect opportunity to shine your shoes since you have the laces removed.

OK so once it’s in there.

You want to roughly equalize the length of the lace.

There’s always an opportunity at the end to adjust them so that they’re equal.

And I find that as you’re lacing your shoes you know regardless of how many times you do it they’re always going to end up at slightly unequal lengths so you can end up having to adjust anyway.

I’m going to start with the first lace.

Take it across.

And then up.

And out and then back in on the same level from the top down.

To create that second barbell.

So then I switch to the other lace.


And that lace is coming in through right here.

I’m going to take it across.

To the next eyelet.

Up and then back in.

Now, I’m using round laces just because I think that they’re slightly more formal than like fatter flat lace.

But if you’re using flat laces this is a great opportunity that as you’re lacing them in to make sure that they’re lying down flat.

So if you see the lace twisting it you’re pulling it through, correct that because you want to do that as you’re lacing the shoe.


So I’ve got this one and I’m going to go back to the other lace.


You’re always crossing over.

Before you go up.

And then creating the barbell right.

There we go.

I’m going to go to the other lace.

I’m almost done.

So this is going to go on just again across and up through and we’re done on that side.

And then the other one is going to be again across, up and through.

So to check the length again I’m going to loosen them a little bit.

I’m going to insert the shoe tree back into the shoe.

And let’s see how he looks.

Shoe tree is back in.

After you’re done you always want to pull those tight to make sure that you know there’s no extra slack.

Pull those through and then tight them.

So here I’m going to tie this using the Parisian Knot method.

We actually have a video showing you how to do this but you cross your laces form a loop.

And then you wrap the other least twice around your finger.

Pull your finger through.

And then pull that down and then just tighten it.

So there we are.

That’s how you lace your leather dress shoes you can see that the straight across method looks great.

It’s a fresh clean and it’s how we recommend that you lace your shoes the proper way.

Now some of the questions we get here at The Hanger Project are “why should I use a waxed cotton dress lace”.

The reason you want to use a waxed lace is just because the wax just creates a shinier kind of more formal lace that looks neater right.

So a worn lace that’s kind of lost its wax coating is honestly a shoe lace that probably ready to be replaced.

How often should I replaced my laces? As you are lacing your shoes in the morning and you’re inspecting your lace.

If you see at all that the woven pattern is beginning to fray at any of the eyelets we would say that you need to replace those laces as soon as possible.

Now a trick is, and this is for comfort, whenever you’re lacing your shoes you don’t want to pull it too tight because as your foot swells throughout the day it’s going to create a really uncomfortable kind of pressure point across this vamp.

So you want to tighten them kind of moderately just so that they’re closed.

And then again the parisian method is you take one loop.

Right you wrap the other end around twice.

Take it through.

And then you just kind of pull this tight and you’ve essentially double knotted this.

So this knot just guaranteed to not come undone.

So there we are.

This video showed you how to lace your leather dress shoes the proper way.

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And then lastly if you have any questions about how to lace your shoes or about this video or if you just want to let us know how you prefer to lace your shoes.

Comment below in the comments section.

I get back don’t question myself personally and we always love hearing from customers.

I’m Kirby Allison founder of The Hanger Project and here the Hanger Project.

We love helping the well-dressed take care of your work.

Thanks for joining us.