How To Tie Work Boots

If you’ve been tying laces since you were a child, you may have not even considered that there is another way to tie your work boots, and each method has its own advantages. Below, you’ll find four effective methods for tying your work boots, as well as the pros and cons for each one. 

While the more complex methods may take a little while to master, you may find that changing up your lace tying method will make your boots fit better as well as make your boots feel more comfortable and secure on your feet.

The 2-1-3 Lacing Method

If you don’t like your boots to be too tight and want to avoid the dreaded ‘lace bite’ then the 2-1-3 method might be for you! While this method is also best for higher boots such as logger boots, you can use it for other boots too.


  • More comfortable while being secure.
  • No unpleasant pinching if your boots are laced too tight, which is great if you’re on your feet for a long period of time.
  • You can use this technique with any type of work boot.


  • It is a bit complicated at first.
  • Your heel is not as snug as it would be using other techniques, but you will still have adequate support.

How To Tie Your Shoes With 2-1-3 Lacing

First, you need to find the three eyelets around your ankle. You need to lace your boots as you usually would until you reach the bottom of the three eyelets. You need to use the standard crisscross pattern, but you start with the middle eyelet rather than threading the laces in order. This is where the method gets its name. 

When you count from the bottom, you start with the second eyelet before moving onto the first and then the third eyelet. The inside of your boots should be secure, but comfortable!

The Heel-Lock Lacing Method

If you wear your boots outdoors on rugged terrain, then the heel-lock lacing method could be for you, especially if you wear logger boots. It doesn’t matter if your boots have hooks or eyelets. This method gets its name from the fact that it provides a secure hold on your heels.


  • Makes for a more secure tie, and a tighter fit around your heels.
  • Reduces movement in your feet, keeping your feet safe when walking on even terrain.
  • Relatively easy, as it only involves the top two eyelets or hooks.
  • Those who wear hunting or hiking boots also prefer this method, as it keeps their foothold as secure as possible. 
  • Provides more ankle support.


  • Takes a bit more time to do than standard lacing.
  • Lacing too tight may cut off circulation. 

How To Tie Your Shoes With Heel-Lock Lacing

You only use the top two eyelets for this method, and you have to lace them up from the bottom like you would using the standard lacing method until you get to the top. Once you reach the top, each lace needs to go up into the last eyelet vertically. 

The remaining two eyelets should not have a crisscross pattern on the outside, as the lace goes straight up from the bottom eyelet to the last one. Each lace then goes under the vertical line that is closer to the inside of your boot. All that is left to do then is tie a normal bow tie!

The heel-lock method isn’t just great for work boots, but running shoes too. When lacing running shoes this way, make sure that you are using the last two eyelets. These are sometimes difficult to spot on running shoes.

The Army Lacing Method

As the name suggests, the army lacing method is the way army personnel are told to tie their shoes. The army lacing method is used specifically for the rigid footwear army personnel wear, but if your logger boots have tough leather this method can come in handy too. However, as most sneakers and running shoes are flexible, this method isn’t necessary.


  • It does not restrict the movement of the upper, which means your shoes will fit better. 


  • Can take some time to master, especially when lacing high work boots.
  • Doesn’t offer much ankle support or security. 

How To Tie Your Shoes With The Army Lacing Method

As you would when using the standard lacing method, start from the bottom and thread the laces from inside to outside. Then thread the laces upwards through the next set of eyelets, being careful not to cross them. Next, thread the laces through the opposite eyelets, and for the next set go vertically like you did with the previous method. 

Keep going until you reach the top and tie your boots as you normally would. If you have correctly applied the technique, all the verticals will be on the outside and the crossovers should be on the inside. 

The Ladder Lacing Method

This method should keep your feet the most secure, and while it will take time and effort to master, it’s worth it! The ladder lacing method is another technique used by the military, and the ladder lacing method means you don’t have to worry about your boots untying or losing support.


  • Your feet will be as secure as possible.
  • Once your laces are tightened they will hold by themselves.
  • If you move your feet a lot, then this method is the one for you!
  • Great for lacing tactical boots or logger boots.


  • Time-consuming and rather complicated, and the laces can be hard to tighten when you’re done lacing your boots. But when done correctly, the knot will hold no matter what.
  • For the best results, you should use high-quality work boot laces. 

How To Tie Your Shoes With The Ladder Lacing Method

To tie your laces with this method, start from the bottom eyelet and thread the lace from inside to outside. The lace then needs to go straight up vertically, from outside to inside. Instead of lacing upwards however, thread the laces below the vertical lines on the opposite side. You will then have created a locking pattern that keeps your laces as tight as possible.

Keep going to the top of your boots and finish with a normal tie or knot. If you need your tactical boots to be as tightly laced as possible, then this is the technique for you.

Final Thoughts

No matter what boots you are tying, whether they be logger boots, tactical boots or regular shoes, you should always use the tying method that makes you feel comfortable and secure.

Every technique has its advantages and disadvantages, and once you have given them a try, you should also think about your work boot shoelaces, as they can also affect the fit of your boot.