Lacing Dress Shoes: Method And Reason

When it comes to putting your best foot forward, the lacing method you use is definitely something that should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, sometimes even a major men’s magazine like GQ can get it wrong.

When a new pair of shoes is purchased, more often than not you will find the laces arranged in a neat set of horizontal rows which, while looking very sleek and sophisticated up front, turns out to be less than functional when you want to tie your shoes. This is often referred to as ‘display lacing’.

GQ has suggested to use what is basically no more than a criss cross method and has even made this way of lacing the feature of one of their ‘rules’ videos. However, they have completely ignored what I feel is the best amalgam of style and functionality the ‘straight European’ lacing method.

By using the ‘European’ method you will end up with the same impeccable rows as the ‘display’ method but with laces that can be tightened easily. According to Ian’s Shoelace Site this method is “particularly suited to dress shoes such as Oxfords / Balmorals, as it allows the uppers of the shoe to come completely together in the middle without bunching or corrugation”. The only messiness occurs underneath and will not be noticed when the shoe is tightened.

I have included a video demontrating this method by Will Boehlke of A Suitable Wardrobe.

Joseph Fields