How to lace tactical boots - T4 GROOVE G-DRY


How to lace tactical boots & why it matters

When thinking of a military uniform, there are a great many things that come to mind, like the camouflage pattern, the hat, the patches, the boots, but what about the shoelaces? You might not know, but there are dozens of different ways to lace your tactical boots, and each method has different benefits! Read on to discover a few different methods of how to lace your boots, and why it makes a difference.


Why military boot lacing techniques matter

There are many ways to lace up your boots, and several reasons why these different methods matter. The first reason is simply that loose shoelaces in combat situations are dangerous. There is an adage in the Army that if one soldier trips over his shoelaces, another soldier will have to stop what they’re doing to help him, and the whole unit will instantly be compromised. While this saying is meant to highlight the importance of proper training for all military servicemembers, it does also highlight why you need to tie your shoelaces well!

Another reason to consider different techniques for tying your shoelaces is because they can provide additional support for your feet. Certain methods are better for ankle support, while others are helpful if you have high arches or wide feet. Changing the way you lace your boots can completely change the way your boots feel, and make them significantly more comfortable. When you’re on your feet all day, there is nothing more important than making sure your feet have the proper support they need, as they’ll affect how the rest of your body feels too! From shin splints to back pain, lacing your boots right can truly make a difference in how you feel at the end of the day. 


Before lacing your boots

As we’ve discussed, there are many different ways to lace your tactical boots, but before we cover a few of the most common ways, we’ll need to start with the basics: laces.

Choosing laces

When choosing military shoelaces, quality is important. These laces are going to be put through the wringer, and you need to make sure you choose a pair that are going to hold up over time.

You also need to consider the length of the laces you’re using. Different techniques may use more or less lace-length so keep that in mind, but you can determine roughly the length of the laces you’ll need based on the amount of eyelets your boots have.

Generally speaking, you’ll need:

  • 45-inch laces for 5-6 eyelet pairs,
  • 54 inches for 6-7 eyelet pairs,
  • 63 inches for 7-8 eyelet pairs, etc.
For every additional set of eyelet pairs, you can increase the amount of lace needed by about 9 inches.


How to lace law enforcement boots


How to lace your tactical boots 

Now that you have the right laces, let’s get into a few different methods for how to lace them. There are dozens and dozens of different techniques, but below we’ve highlighted some of the most common.

Diagonal Lace Method

This is a pretty standard method of lacing tactical boots, and one that is extremely common. Here you’ll be creating a crisscross pattern, so you might also hear this method called “crisscross lacing” or just “cross-lacing”.


  1. Start by feeding your laces through the bottom-most eyelets, pulling from the inside out.
  2. Next, cross the ends of the laces over each other diagonally and pull them through the next pair of eyelets, again from the inside out.
  3. Repeat this pattern all the way up your boots to the top-most eyelets.
  4. Tie your laces at the top and tuck in the ends to secure them.

Army Method

This technique is popular in the Army, as well as in the Armed Forces in general. It’s an ideal method for heavy boots, and can help maintain your boots flexibility without them feeling loose.


  1. Start from the bottom-most eyelets, pick up one end of the lace and feed it straight across from the inside out.
  2. Pull the end of the lace through the eyelet right above it, from the outside in.
  3. Next, cross the laces and pull them back up from the inside out.
  4. Repeat steps two and three until you lace the entire boot.
  5. This will create a pattern that has vertical lacing on the outside of the eyelets, with crisscross lacing on the inside, which creates a very visually appealing look.
  6. Tie your laces at the top and tuck in the ends to secure them.

Ladder Lacing Method

This method is great for tall boots that have many eyelets, and provides superior ankle stability and support. This is a common style to see on paratroopers’ boots. This lacing method is a little more complex though, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t nail this on the first try. It take practice, but looks great once perfected.


  1. Start at the bottom-most pair of eyelets and feed the laces through one eyelet from the inside and out through the other eyelet directly across from it.
  2. Next, lace both ends through the eyelet that is vertically above it from the outside in.
  3. Cross the laces over the tongue of your boots and feed them under the vertical section of the lace that you have just made in the previous step. This ensures that your laces are locked in place and provides a tighter fit for your boots.
  4. Repeat steps two and three all the way to the top of your boots.
  5. Tie your laces at the top and tuck in the ends to secure them. 

Straight-Bar Lacing Method

Also called “Lydiard Lacing”, this technique is great for alleviating pressure on the top ridge of your feet. It also looks very neat and tidy. However, this method will only work if your boots have an even number of eyelets.


  1. Pull your laces through the bottom-most eyelets from the outside in. Both ends should be coming out from under the eyelets.
  2. Then, pick up the end of your right lace. Feed it through the eyelet right above it, from the inside to the outside.
  3. Pull it straight across, through to the eyelet horizontally across from it, going back in.
  4. Do the same for your left lace but skip the eyelet that you have already run the right lace through.
  5. Continue until you have reached the top of your boots, you should have a series of straight bars in the end.
  6. Tie your laces at the top and tuck in the ends to secure them.


How to lace tactical and military boots


Tips & Tricks

Now that you know a few methods for lacing your boots, here are some final tips and tricks to make sure you’ve really got a perfect fit:
  • Always tie your boots while kneeling. It might be tempting to tie them while sitting, or propping your foot up on a higher surface, but kneeling is the best position to start from. This ensures that the shin of your leg is against the front of your boots, which guarantees that your feet are in the correct spot inside your boots. Lacing from a kneeling position will decrease your chances of getting shin splints or stress fractures!
  • You can also get boot bands to help with lacing. These will help you safely tuck away any loose ends, and they also help with blousing your pants.

And of course, practice, practice, practice! Some of these methods are more complex and may take time to perfect. But once you do, you’ll see that not only do your boots look neater and more aesthetically pleasing, but you also have better range of motion, support, and comfort while wearing your boots!



Our Tactical Collection was designed with the Armed Forces in mind, built to withstand tough terrain and demanding field conditions without compromising on comfort.

Whether you need boots to support you across vast terrain, keep you quick and agile on your feet, or protect you from the elements, we have the ideal boot for you! And you can be sure that any method of lacing your boots will work great on a pair of Garmonts!