How to Lace Dress Shoes | Straight Bar Lacing Method


  • Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed our complete guide to lacing your dress shoes let us know. How do you lace your shoes?

  • Great video 🙂

  • Thanks for the tips! I really like the straight bar method but have always used the straight-up method which has been problematic, I will definitely give the crossed method a go now! I've also used the Parisian knot tying method my entire life without knowing it had a name! My grandmother taught me to tie my shoes when I was 5 and always thought I was doing it wrong! Nice to know at almost 60 years old I was way ahead of my time! Thanks for the instructive videos!

  • Great videos on this channel. I discovered this method (straight bar with crossing underneath) on the AE website and it quickly became my favorite as well. 🙂

  • Great video!

  • Sorry, I have another off topic question in regards to my soaked calfskin suede boots I made in the previous video. The boots have a separate calfskin leather liner and I was wondering if I just need a conditioner for it; or if there's something more specific since it's the liner. Thanks

  • Hi,

    Good afternoon. I have been using this lacing my shoes this way for years. A bit of trivia for you, this style of lacing created the term "Straight Laced" as shorthand to describe someone.


  • Hi,
    could you please give link to your lace knots video?

  • Excellent method. I used to lace my shoes like this when I was in school, but then started using slipons later on and forgot how to do it. When I wanted to straight lace my shoes most of the videos on the net showed the straight up method, which I felt was more complex compared what I used to do and as you mentioned less effective. Thank you.

  • Another great option. However, I find that the zigzags often show through, especially on Derbys, which is why I opt for the straight up method. Thanks for the video.

  • Waxed laces are horrible in cold weather

  • On Bluchers and Derbies with an odd number of eyelet pairs. I tend to use an over-under method. On all Oxfords and Open laced shoes with an even number of eyelet pairs, I use straight bar lacing. On Oxfords with an odd number of eyelet pairs, I cross at the bottom; it's less noticeable.

  • Kirby, I sent you an email to customer service on the website. Will you get it?

  • I prefer the straight up method for my Allen Edmond Park Aves, Strands, and Mcallisters. Since I couldn't swing having my shoes custom made for me, the top doesn't close all the way like yours do in the demo, so the straight up gives a much cleaner look without being able to see the crossed laces underneath. With the 6 eyes of my shoes you don't even get that 1 cross at the top. I think it looks sharp.

  • It seems like this method uses more lace. Using the stock laces, I only have a few inches available to tie the knot. I'll buy longer laces but at first this limits the free space I can use to loosen my 7 eyelet dress boots to get my foot in and out. Fyi: Allen Edmonds Stirling boot.

  • I can teach my Grandsons the proper way. Thank you.

  • I use the straight-up method. However, I place the diagonal, when needed for odd number of eyelet pairs, at the bottom; this conceals the diagonal better.

  • That's a very nice pair of shoes!

  • For the price of some of these shoes, one would think the eyelets could take a beating.

  • My all shoes are having three series of islets…what to do then?

  • Nice option

  • Nice love it thanks so much

  • Women fuss about eyelashes no one cares about, we fuss over shoe laces no one cares about. Love it 😂

  • This video is great, but I need help with a method for an even number of eyelets, four to be exact.

  • Most of my shoes have the open lace upper where this is not an attractive option. Example I cannot use this on shoes where you the tongue is visible. I can pull this off on one pair of my shoes. Then I have a wide foot so shoes that "might" look good are spread out just enough to look bad with the bar lace. Wide foot problems.

  • How could shoes which are worn and the laces naturally pull on the eyelets not be able to handle their shoe laces being removed normally and not with all this effeminate care? I call bullshit on that.

  • I've used the straight/up method forever but since seeing this crossed method, I've switched. The latter seems to offer a better force distribution over all the eyelets which means a more secure and comfortable fit and it uses up more of the lace length. I prefer the look of shorter laces i.e a smaller bow and lace ends, so this is perfect for me.

    Thanks Kirby.

    e: oo. I wanted to suggest that you check out the so-called Ian Knot. It is the fastest way to tie a pair of laces in the world in a secure, elegant and horizontal fashion. I recommend you check it out. I use it when tying all my shoes

  • Not good for jrotc shoes

  • But great tip

  • I think that your Parisian knot tried to rotate to a 45 degree angle to the laces. If you begin the knot with a left over right 1/2 knot instead of right over left, the knot stays perpendicular to the laces. (since you are wrapping around the finger on your left hand twice) This is the opposite of the Berluti knot which starts with a right over left 1/2 knot to begin.

  • Straight laces are for Dr Martens or combat boots.

  • I LOVE THIS! Excellent video, thank you so much! Just laced my husband’s shoes this way, with the Berluti knot! Classy!

  • Two things I've found plus one. I'm careful to keep the lace I'm not using on the insole so it's not fouling with the lace your threading. Two…I keep mine slightly loose so that when my foot slips in, even using a horn (and for a pair that cost me in excess of 600$ I'm going to use a horn to not bend down, repeatedly, the leather behind your heel) then tighten after you're shod. Bonus: Lacing suede shoes is a bit trickier as the lace will not flow as easily. Also, a suede shoe too tightly bound will inevitably accumulate a flattened spot where the laces are over the leather. I take my laces out when I'm not wearing them, use trees on all my shoes and, for suede, acquire a suede brush but learn to use it carefully; Many of them are really intended for rough out or coarser suede and will damage shoe grade suede easily.
    This may be more trouble than you wish to go to but….I had the bootmaker (I live on a ranch in Kansas so boots are a lot more common than Ferragamo's….) cut the laces so that when properly done, they make a good looking, even bow that doesn't droop, sag or leave one lace hanging down. He also sealed the end of each lace putting a slight point on it, makes it easier to draw through the holes.

    Advice from oh high. When Bill Allen first brought the proto-type for the 707 to Wichita in the 1950's, he made several pertinent comments that remain important for traveler. Let's remember he was President of Boeing, knew the engineering so….whatever he said is good to remember. One of the things was that was these 'new' jets had a far better pressurization system so me who routinely wore tie shoes should remember to loosen them or wear a dress 'moccasin'-loafer. Also, he said that his guys routinely wore Wellington Boots which allowed their ankles to easily move on the pedals but kept their feet warm-apparently Boeing hadn't worked out all the kinks in cabin heating and air conditioning. Proof of what he said? About three weeks ago I flew QANTAS non-stop (19 hours) From Dallas to Sydney. With a custom tailored suit….I wore Cole Haan Penny loafers….also carried several pair of socks to swap off as the flight progressed, something more men should do as well as carry a self-sealing bag for the socks/hose you're swapping out.

  • Flat waxed premium laces add so much to quality shoes, I don’t understand why they even on €250 pairs you get cheapo round ones and it takes going up to €450 Franchescettis to get a nice pair of laces. To make it worse, Hanger Project seems to be the sole source of quality narrow waxed flat laces, 2-3 mm, I couldn’t find any other vendor to offer this kind of laces and even HP only has them on their US site and it costs €70 to have them shipped to Europe.

  • This is a good method if shoes close all the way and laces aren’t showing but otherwise it’s a better idea not to cross laces over but rather stay on the same side or at worst cross over once if there’s an odd number of eyelets. Some might say that adds strain on eyelets but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • Just re laced my Allen Edmonds 5th Ave using this method. Looks fantastic. Thanks.

  • Whenever I change laces, I measure each eyelet with a pair of calipers to make sure they are still in spec.

  • Thank you. Kirby, just tried this method. A little less neat with a gap showing some criss-cross but probably still better (as you say, from afar) than what I've always been doing. Will also tinker around with it based on some other suggestions made here and see what happens. Thanks to all!

  • I just bought a pair of Allen Edmonds, my foot size is a 9 D, But the shoes at the throat of the shoes seems to be spread out quite a bit, does it make a difference or should the throat be more closer to being together from left side to right side. It seems kind of odd looking at them with my foot inside.?

  • Just bought my first real pair of dress shoes a pair of Florsheim Salerno cap toe oxfords and did this, it changed the look of the shoe

  • Great video, thanks for showing me how to do it properly. Happy Easter!

  • Love your videos !!! How do you know how long to have your laces ???

  • Quick question Kirby, why not lace them like military parade boots ? I know it's harder to tighten but it looks even cleaner since they only cross on barbells.

  • Great and very helpful video! Thanks and God bless!

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