Having a limited-edition pair of kicks is just part of making a sneaker statement these days. Lace them up in one of countless patterns and you have an opportunity to customize the look with your personal style.
According to master shoe lacer Ian of Ian’s Shoelace Site, mathematicians have calculated that there are more than two trillion ways to lace your shoes. Since the possibilities may be somewhat overwhelming, the site has narrowed it down to 43, enough to keep any sneaker head busy.
Not only are the lacing methods visually different, they impact the fit of a shoe. The classic Over Under system reduces friction while making it easier to tighten and loosen the laces for added comfort.
For the more adventurous lacers out there, there’s the Lattice system, whereby the laces are crossed at a steep angle, allowing them to be woven through each other for a decorative approach.
Runners can check out the On-Running website, which offers some options designed to meet the comfort and fit needs of footwear types from those with a high arches or mid-foot.
Since some lacing systems may be a big too complicated for the beginner, Guide Patterns has included a video link to its Checkerboard lace design that takes you through the process step by step.
Learning innovative lace techniques is just the starting point. To further personalize your kicks, add some novelty colorful laces in everything from fun neons to patterns.
There are some basic rules of thumb to guide you buying new laces. Check the length since low-tops require shorter laces than high-tops and most sneakers require flat rather than round laces.