Boot Lacing: An Overview

In which I go completely frit and try to be "artistic" with my Corcorans.

by Bootdog

Before we start, I'd like to say a big hello to all the white supremacists coming here from and tell them to get the hell off my website. You aren't welcome. Of course, the fact that y'all were taking lacing tips from a faggot is your own business.

That goes for you too, folks.

::ahem:: Where was I?

Let's face it; for the true boot-obsessive, accoutrements are completely unnecessary. Give me a nice pair of loggers and I'm a happy guy. Put both of them in logger boots, and I'm ecstatic (ba-DUM-bum). Seriously though, I feel no need to "prettify" boots. Bootstraps? Pfffft! You wanna look like a reject from an eighties hair band, please feel free, but pardon me if I refrain. Heel and toe edging on cowboy boots? Fine, as long as you're willing to spend your time obsessively checking to be sure that one of them hasn't fallen off (it happens constantly, I tell you, and wreaks havoc when someone steps on it on the dance floor and suddenly skids into three other couples).

However, elaborate lacing actually works for me. When I see a guy with interestingly laced boots, I read that as a sign that he views boots as being somewhat more than just "what leathermen wear." And, unlike the accoutrements I dissed above, he's actually put some effort into learning how to do something neat with his boots (making me want to show other "neat" things I can do with boots, heheheh).

So, prior to discussing the nuts and bolts (or more properly, the aglets and eyelets) of lacing, there are a few things I think should be discussed.

Lace colors

A lot of people are of the opinion that the color of your boot laces is relevant. Supposedly, according to common knowledge, white boot laces and/or suspenders (in Britspeak, "braces", hence the phrase "laces and braces") are worn by white supremacist skinheads. However, in doing research on this topic, I found a skinhead website that polled visitors about this, and something like 80% of respondents were of the opinion that white laces and braces are solely a fashion choice and not indicative of one's opinions on race. Upshot: feel free to wear white laces, but be aware that some people may come to the conclusion that you are a neo-Nazi.

Why worry about the color of your laces? Simple, black laces on black boots are nearly invisible, and what's the point of learning boot macrame if no one can see it. Color choices are mostly a matter of personal taste. As discussed above, white laces are a possible choice. White shows up very well on black boots. However, you can also choose colored laces in much the same way you choose hankies, although your options regarding colors are severely limited. But those into watersports can use yellow laces, those into fisting can use red, etc. Use your imagination.


In order for me to properly explain how to produce these lacings, I'm going to need to establish some terminology. See the diagram at right for a graphic representation:

aglets - the little plastic pieces on the end of shoelaces. This is not necessary information for lacing, but it's a neat word.

eyelets - the holes through which the laces pass. Technically, eyelets are circular metal objects which reinforce the holes themselves, but we'll call the holes themselves eyelets.

up - moving along the eyelet row, toward your knee

down - moving along the eyelet row, toward your toe

over - on the outside of the eyelets; the side further from your foot

under - on the inside of the eyelets; the side nearer to your foot

over to under - passing the lace from the outside of the boot to the inside

under to over - passing the lace from the inside of the boot to the outside

in - moving perpendicular to the eyelet row, toward the center of the boot

out - moving perpendicular to the eyelet row, toward the edge of the boot

across - moving from one row of eyelets to the other

Eyelet numbers - eyelet pairs are numbered starting nearest the toe and going up.

Lace end letter (not shown in diagram) - For non-symmetrical lacings, each end of the lace is identified by the letter A or B.

That's about it. On to the lacing!




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