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How to: Lace your shoes properly

How to: Lace your shoes properly

We get that you might have more pressing concerns than whether your shoes are laced as stylishly as possible. But sometimes it’s the little things that can have the biggest impact. A deftly ruffled pocket square, for example, can be the difference between your suit looking so-so or superb.

Which is why investing five minutes on re-lacing your shoes can make a surprising difference to how put-together you look. Like everything in menswear, the technique you choose is based on whether your shoes are smart or casual. “A straight-bar technique looks more refined, so it’s best for things like brogues,” says Thread stylist Brooke Philips. “Trainers look best with criss-cross lacing because it gives your foot more support and feels a bit sportier.” For minimal trainers, straight-bar lacing is probably best. Unless you plan to wear them jogging.

How to lace smart shoes

How to lace brogues

Technique: From above, feed the lace into the bottom, instep-side eyelet. Then run the end diagonally across the tongue into the top eyelet on the opposite side of the shoe. Feed the other end of the lace into the opposite, bottom eyelet, so the lace forms a straight line between them. Run the end through the next eyelet up on the instep, so the diagonal move is hidden when the shoes are fastened, then repeat the straight-across move over the top. Repeat until you reach the top eyelet.

The right laces: “Waxed cotton or leather laces will last longer and look smarter,” says Brooke. “Thin laces are best because they’re a bit more elegant, so they match the style of the shoes. Traditionally they should match in colour, but brighter laces are an affordable way to experiment with something different. It doesn’t work as well with black shoes, though.”

How to lace trainers

How to lace trainers

Technique: Pass both ends of the lace through the bottom eyelets from above, then run them diagonally into the next eyelet up. Make sure that the ends of the lace always pass through the eyelet from underneath. A pro move is to make sure the side of the lace coming from the instep always passes underneath. It produces a nice symmetry between both shoes.

The right laces: “Sportier shoes need sportier laces. There are fewer rules with trainers, but flat, fabric styles always work. White is easy but you can play around with different colours to create something distinctive. Just make sure they complement the shoes, or your feet can get a little garish.”