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How to Bar Lace Shoes


Though shoe styles change dramatically year after year, shoe lacing techniques remain oddly consistent.  According to mathematicians, there are 400 million different ways to lace shoes, of which, only two are commonly practiced-the criss-cross and the bar-lace.

Bar Lacing

Bar lacing, also known as straight lacing, fashion lacing, or Lydiard lacing has a good number of benefits. Not only does it lend a polished look to otherwise mundane sporty or casual shoes, it offers efficiency and strength.

How to Bar Lace

  1. Insert both ends of your shoelaces on the first row of eyelets from the top, with the laces facing downward. The first row should look like a bar. Both ends of the laces will be inside the shoe.
  2. On the next row, insert the left shoelace from under the left eyelet. When it comes out on top, insert it across the same row to the right side, so that the lace will form another bar.
  3. Skip one row of eyelets and do repeat the same process, while the right side of the laces will fill in the eyelets that were skipped, in the same manner.

The bar lacing method works best on shoes that have an even number of eyelet pairs. However, those with shoes that have uneven number of eyelet pairs can still use the bar lace technique with a few modifications. Some of these modifications include tucking the ends into the shoe, instead of tying them in a ribbon, when the ends do not meet. Another is skipping the first pair of eyelets from the top, to make the number of eyelet pairs even.



Polster, B. What is the best way to lace your shoes?. Nature, 420, 476, (2002).


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