How to Lace and Tie Dress Shoes? – Advice From Experts

Imagine you intend to participate in a formal event where everyone dresses gorgeously. A royal vest suit combined with a pair of dress shoes will make you look stunning. But what if other people wear the same thing as you? Is there anything you can do to stand out from the crowd? Yes! The answer lies in the way you tie up your dress shoes.

In the ever-changing world of fashion, there are countless shoe lacing styles and it is impossible to know all of them. Here, I will show you how to lace and tie dress shoes in simple methods, including straight bar lacing, criss-cross lacing, and diagonal lacing.

All the Things You Need to Know About Shoelaces

Before tying dress shoes, you should have an overview of shoelaces.

First, what are laces?

Surely you are no stranger to the concept of shoelaces – a type of string designed with two hard ends to thread through small holes in the footwear. Besides the predetermined shoe size, shoelaces with different ways of tying and lacing will create the appropriate width for the shoes so your feet can gain comfort.

A suitable style

Since shoelaces have several designs and colors, choosing an appropriate lace for your dress shoes can be tricky. For example, no one would choose a wide and thick lace for a formal pair since this type of lace is only seen in sneakers.

Dress shoes are often accompanied by thin and round shoelaces. It seems like a signature of formal footwear and Oxfords, which originally had round narrow ribbons.

However, if you want a more modern pair of Oxfords dress shoes, a lovely set of flat broad dress laces still looks classy. Most conventional dress straps range in length from 75 to 80 cm, or 29 to 31 inches. A traditional Oxford normally has five pairs of hooks or 10 eyelets, whereas boots have more.

An appropriate color

You have to choose not only the design of dress shoes lacing but also the color. As previously said, the hue of your cleats may have a significant influence on the entire aesthetic of your outfit. People often opt for the same shade of colors with the shoes. Consider brown dress shoes with brown laces, isn’t it a perfect combination?

Of course, you can also think out of the box. Be creative and choose colorful laces to combine with your dress shoes. It might be fabulous to have a coherent effect when coordinating the color of your shoelaces with other items like shirts or ties.

Also, it costs just a few dollars to replace your laces, but it appears like you’re wearing a new pair of shoes. To do so, you must know about the different ways to lace dress shoes below.

First Style: Bar Lacing

Many higher-end shoe brands do not include laces since they can create stretch marks. When you lace your own shoes, you must determine your preferred way to tie dress shoes. Bar lacing, also known as straight lacing, is one of the most traditional lacing styles.

Bar lacing is the most adaptable of the methods discussed here. This is typically the option for Oxford footwear with a capped vamp. However, they also create a good combination with derbies. This elegant style is a winner, no matter how many eyelets you have.

In addition, straight lacing creates a more comfortable feeling for your feet by restricting diagonal angles and reducing pressure on the toes. It won’t be a problem even if you have to be active all day.

This is how you tie dress shoes with straight lacing:

  • Step 1: Thread the lace through the last pair of eyelets. Ensure both points are roughly similar in length if the number of rows in your shoes is even (four, six, or twelve). In the case of an odd number of rows, one side should be somewhat shorter than the other.
  • Step 2: Thread the left side of the string into the second eyelet on the opposite side from the inside. Then, insert the lace through the hole in the opposite horizontal row from the outside.
  • Step 3: Cross the right part of the shoelace through the third opposite eyelet from the inside, then pull the knot through the opposite hole horizontally from the outside.
  • Step 4: Continue to cross like this until the last eyelet and then tie a

The upper tongue then has a cross, which is particularly apparent with colorful laces. You’ll have a straight-laced shoe after tweaking to ensure that both edges are equal.

Second Style: Cross Lacing

Apart from straight bar lacing, another prominent style is “cross lacing.” Ordinarily, it is not used for dress shoes. However, some influenced individuals nowadays, like Kyle Walker, wear it with Oxfords. It has become a trend now. I will show you two different types of cross lacing: criss-cross and diagonal.


This is one of the simplest ways to lace your dress shoes. This way of tying shoelaces will save you a lot of time while ensuring that your shoes are always beautiful.

You can also easily adjust the width or tightness of the shoes to suit your feet with a criss-crossed dress shoe.

Here is how you tie your dress shoes:

  • Step 1: Thread the two ends of the shoelaces straight through the bottom eyelet.
  • Step 2: At each eyelet, cross the lace from one end to the opposite side. For example, if the right lace is above, the left strand will be below, and so on until the last pair of eyelets.
  • Step 3: After you have knitted the laces through the eyelets, adjust the shoelaces and tie a knot to complete.

Diagonal lacing

Fastening your dress shoes diagonally provides a contemporary flair with minimal effort. You may knot your footwear to seem like twins, with parallel lines running in the same direction.

Diagonal lacing goes perfectly with both closed and open lacing. However, it suits best with dress shoes having several eyelets. The double-helix effect won’t be as noticeable in the case of four eyelets or less.

  • Step 1: First, thread two wires into the first horizontal row from the bottom up
  • Step 2: Then, use the left end of the lace to cross it to the right shoe eyelet and do the same with the above holes.
  • Step 3: For the right end of the lace, do it diagonally under the left shoe hole and repeat it until reaching the top row of eyelets.


Now, you certainly know how to lace and tie dress shoes to make yourself stand out in the crowd. If you find this article helpful and informative, please like and share!

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