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4 Methods for How to Lace Work Boots

Joel Johnson

Besides the standard lacing method you are taught at a young age, there are other ways of lacing work boots, with each offering different advantages. We will show you how to lace work boots using these methods, as well as discuss some advantages and disadvantages of each one.


At the end of the day, it's up to you how to lace your boots. Most of the more complicated ones take a bit more time and effort to do correctly, but they can make your boots fit better and feel more comfortable, as well as provide more security for your feet. 

2-1-3 Lacing

People who don’t like their boots to be too tight and cause the so-called “lace bite” prefer lacing their boots in the 2-1-3 pattern. You could try to apply this method to higher boots, like these logger boots, but it works for any other boot just as well.

Advantages of 2-1-3 Lacing 

Your feet will feel more comfortable, but will still be secure. You won’t feel the unpleasant pinching that can happen when your boots are laced too tightly. This can be especially important if you plan on staying on your feet for long periods of time. The work boot laces you have don’t matter, as you can use this technique with any.

Disadvantages of 2-1-3 Lacing 

This way of lacing can be somewhat complicated the first few times you do it, but you should quickly get the hang of it. Your heel will not be as snug as if you used some other technique, but it will still provide adequate support. 

Instructions for 2-1-3 Lacing 

You need to find the three eyelets that go around your ankle. Lace your boots normally until you get to the bottom one of these three eyelets. Use the standard criss-cross pattern, but don’t thread the lace through each eyelet in order.


Instead, first go for the middle eyelet, then for the bottom one, and then the third one. This is why it’s called the 2-1-3 – if you count from the bottom, you go for the second eyelet first, then the first one, and next the third one. That’s all there is to it. The inside of your boots should now feel more comfortable, without sacrificing security.

The Heel-Lock Lacing Method for Logger Boots 

This method is preferred by people who wear their boots outside in rugged terrain, especially by people in logger boots. It is not important whether your boots have eyelets or hooks. It is called the heel-lock for a reason – it provides a tighter hold on your heels. 

Advantages 

This lacing method will make your tie more secure, and keep your heels tighter. There will be less movement in the boot, so your feet will be safe when walking on dangerous terrain where one slip can cause you injury. Additionally, it is quite easy to do, as it involves only the top two hooks or eyelets.


The heel-lock is preferred by people in hiking and hunting boots, as they need their foothold to be as secure as possible. You don’t want any ankle injuries to happen outside, in hard-to-access locations. This method provides more ankle support than other methods.

Disadvantages of the Heel-Lock Method 

There aren’t many disadvantages to the heel-lock. It takes a bit more time than standard lacing, but not too much. You could lace it too tight and cause circulation problems to your feet, but that can be easily remedied.

Instructions for Heel Lock 

The heel-lock method involves only the top two eyelets. You know how to lace work boots, so lace them up from the bottom like you usually do until you get to the top. Once you get there, each lace needs to go up vertically into the last eyelet.


The last two eyelets should not have a criss-cross pattern on the outside. The lace goes straight up from the bottom eyelet to the last one. Next, each lace goes under the vertical line you just made on the opposite side – closer to the inside of your boot. Tie a normal bow tie and you're good to go.


This method is not reserved for work boots only. You can lace running shoes the same way, with the same effect. Simply make sure that you are using the last two eyelets, as they are sometimes hard to spot on running shoes and most people ignore them.

Army Lacing Technique

As the name implies, this technique is often used by army personnel. It is meant to deal with the rigidness and inflexibility of their footwear, but you can use it for any logger boots for men or women that are made from tough leather. As most running shoes and sneakers are flexible, there is not much reason to lace them using this technique. 

Advantages 

The main advantage of the army lacing technique is that it will not restrict the movement of the upper, making for a better fit. Other than that, this technique doesn’t have many advantages over the other techniques for how to lace boots described here.

Disadvantages 

This method can take some time, especially if you are lacing high work boots for men. It doesn’t offer as much ankle support or security that the tie will not undo itself as the next technique does.

Instructions 

As is normal, start from the bottom, and thread the laces from inside to outside. Thread the laces upwards through the next set of eyelets without crossing them. Then, thread the laces through the eyelets on the opposite side, and for the next set again go vertically.


Continue until you reach the top and tie your boots normally. If you applied the technique correctly, all of the verticals should be on the outside, while the crossovers are on the inside. As you can see, this technique is quite simple for lacing boots for men.

The Ladder Method 

The ladder-lacing technique is probably the one that will keep your feet the most secure. If you are willing to invest some time and effort, this technique can work for you. The ladder technique is often used by members of the military, as once it is done properly, you don’t have to worry about your boots untying or a lack of support.

Advantages 

When you apply this lacing technique, your feet are going to be as secure as it gets. Once you tighten your laces, they will hold on their own. If you plan on spending a lot of time moving on your feet, you will benefit from this lacing technique. It is excellent for lacing logger boots or tactical boots.

Disadvantages 

It is time-consuming, somewhat complicated, and can be hard to tighten properly once you are done with lacing your boots. However, if you do it correctly, the knot on your tactical boots or logger boots will hold no matter what you do with it. Additionally, you should get high quality work boot shoelaces for this technique to have the most effect.

Instructions for the Ladder Method 

Start from the bottom eyelet and thread the lace from inside to outside. Next, the lace goes straight up vertically, this time from outside to inside. Now, don’t continue lacing upwards, but thread the laces below the vertical lines you made on the opposite side. 


This creates a locking pattern that will keep your work boot laces as tight as they can go. Continue to the top of your logger or tactical boots and finish with your regular knot or tie. If you think about how to lace work boots for men who need all the safety that tactical boots can provide, this technique is the way to go.

Choose Your Method

It doesn’t matter whether you are lacing tactical boots, logger boots, or regular shoes, you should always choose the method that makes you feel the most comfortable. It also doesn’t matter if you are wearing boots for men or women. 


Each technique offers something different. Once you have tried them out, the next step is trying out different work boot shoelaces. They can also affect the way your boots fit. Having proper support and safety when you wear your boots is the whole reason why you are trying out different lacing techniques. 


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