The Correct Way To Lace Your Leather Dress Shoes With Style


It is funny most men don't know how to properly lace their leather dress shoes.

Why get a quality good looking leather dress shoes if your laces look bad?

It just ruins the whole look.


types of shoe laces

There are only two types of shoe laces you should use for your leather dress shoes. 

  1. Round laces - more formal, use for oxfords
  2. Flat laces - less formal, use for brogues/derby

The length should be from 60 to 80 cm

Quality laces should be waxed

And made out of cotton

Do not use nylon extra flat/wide athletic laces for your dress shoes

Please feel free to experiment with the colors! 

if you want to play it safe,

Go for darker and more similar color to your shoes

2 main type of lacing for leather dress shoes

There are two main ways to lace your leather dress shoes.

  1. Straight  - formal for oxfords
  2. Criss Cross - informal for brogues/derby


Leather Dress Shoe Straight Lacing

Straight lacing is typically for oxfords or more formal shoes

Due to its straight edge look. Pun fully intended. 


  • Completely unlace your shoes. Ensure both laces are of equal length.
  • Begin straight across on the outside and in through the bottom holes.



  • Point the toe of the shoe towards you
  • insert both ends of the shoelace in the bottom holes (the eyelets closest to you)
  • Pull both ends to ensure that they are even.
  • After ensuring that that shoelaces ends are even, pull the laces taut.

    Now, you have your first bar.

On shoes with odd numbers of eyelet pairs,

Adjust so that the left end is slightly longer than the right end.



  • The left (blue) end runs straight up on the inside from the first eyelet to the second
  • Then straight across on the outside to create the second bar.


  • Run the right end (brown) of the lace along the underside of the eyelets
  • Bring it from the first eyelet to the third eyelet on the right side of the shoe.
  • Pass the left end of the shoelace from the second eyelet to the fourth, also on the right side of the shoe.
  • Both ends run straight up on the inside, each skipping one eyelet and emerging two eyelets higher up.


  • Both ends of the shoelace continue straight across on the outside and in through the adjacent eyelets.

Now, you have your third and fourth bars. 



  • Pass the right end of the lace (brown) from the third eyelet to the fifth.
  • The left end of the lace (blue) runs diagonally across from the fourth eyelt on the left side to the fifth eyelet on the right side.


  • To finish off the lacing, ensure that your shoelaces are of an even length.

    They may require a slight adjustment to ensure that the ends meet when the laces are pulled tight.
  • Now that you’re done, it’s time to tie your shoelaces together.

Straight Lacing Video Demonstration

Leather Dress Shoes Criss cross Lacing

Criss cross lacing tend to be less formal 

And is meant for brogues or derbys

The yellow means one side of the shoe laces

While the blue meant the other side. 

Image taken from The Art Of Manliness

Image taken from The Art Of Manliness


Key Takeaway: Use straight lacing for your oxfords

And criss cross lacing for your derbys/brogues

Use a round lace for your oxfords

And a flat lace for your brogues/derbys

When in doubt, just go straight lacing and round laces.

You will never go wrong with them. 

Also, please experiment with colors! 

Go darker colors and more similar to your shoes to play it safe. 


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Just useful content on shoes, being well dressed and updates on CustomMade stories! 


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