How To Tie Tactical Boots | 10 Lacing Methods

Are you new to wearing boots and want to know how to tie your tactical boots?

The process of tying tactical boots is quite different with the process used to tie regular footwear.

You may know how to may know how to tie your shoes and may be some few ways to style them too. 

Tying tactical boots the proper way will help ensure comfort and stability while you are on the job.

Additionally, tying tactical boots is also more stylish and will make the boots look amazing.

So, you may be an expert in tying regular shoes, but you will need a different style for tactical boots because they are more advanced and are used in activities that are more demanding.

However, you no longer have to worry about not knowing how to lace your tactical boots, because it doesn’t require a special set of skills.

In this guide, I’m going to share with you 10 different methods and techniques which you can use to lace your tactical boots depending on the activity you’re engaging in.

I’ll also share with you a step by step process on how to tie tactical boots alongside some tips to achieve maximum comfort.

So how do you tie tactical boots?

How to Tie Tactical Boots

Tying tactical boots involves passing the shoelaces their eyelets or hooks. Tactical boots usually have round laces which you pass through the eyelets.

Now that you’ve understood the basics, here are 10 techniques you can use today to tie your tactical boots.

1. Army Lacing

This is a common method of lacing tactical boots and is a more relaxing way of tying tactical boots to make your feet move freely.

How to tie tactical boots

This lacing technique can work for both odd and even number hooks which we are going to discuss below:

Steps to lacing odd number hooks

  1. Insert the lace ends into the first pair of eyelet from outside to inside
  2. Hold one end of the lace and cross it over diagonally to the other side, and insert it in the next open eyelet inside out
  3. Do the same for the other laces
  4. Next, insert the laces straight into the next pair of eyelet above them from outside to inside
  5. Now repeat steps 2-4 until you reach the boots’ top

Steps for lacing even number hooks:

  1. Insert the two ends of the hook through the first pair of hooks from outside to inside
  2. Then, take each end of the lace and insert them to the next hooks directly above each from outside to inside
  3. Take one end of the lace, cross it diagonally and then insert it into the next open eyelet
  4. Now repeat the same thing for the other lace ends as well. Ensure that the laces go through the bottom of he eyelets before crossing it for the eyelet above.q
  5. Repeat the steps until you reach the boots’ top

2. Standard Crisscross

This method of tying tactical boots is the simplest and probably the one you’re used to. It is primarily a widespread way of lacing footwears with lace hooks.

You can use this method to lace your tactical boots if you are just walking around or going for a short work.

It involves less stress and helps you stay comfortable while you’re out for work.

Follow the following steps for crisscross lacing:

  1. Start by putting the two ends of the lace into the first pair of lacing hooks. The movement should be going outward rather than going inward. That is, you insert from inside instead of outside.
  2. Insert the lace into the next hook set like you did the first set from underneath. You cross the lace end on the right side to the left side and vice versa.
  3. Repeat this process to fill up all the lace hooks on the boots.

3. Straight Bar lacing

This is a clean method of lacing tactical boots. It doesn’t involve any form of crisscrossing, and you’ll get a neater outcome for your tactical boots.

The Bar Lacing technique is more straight and orderly than some other lacing techniques.

It helps to keep your boots tight and prevent stuff from entering your boots.

More importantly, your boots will stay tight for an extended period, and you may not have to re-lace again until you want to remove them.

However, this lacing technique is only suitable and effective for tactical boots with an even number of lace hooks.

Straight bar lacing

Steps to bar lacing:

The number of eyelet pairs is odd

  1. Insert the two lace ends into the first set of hooks at the bottom inside out.
  2. Next, pull the right end of the lace and insert it to the next eyelet inside out.
  3. Then, cross it to the left side and insert it into the next eyelet above the left one from outside to inside.
  4. Take the left lace, skip the opening that the right one occupies, move to the opening right after it, and insert the left lace inside out.
  5. Then, take it to the other side and insert it in the next opening beneath the right one from outside to inside.
  6. Keep going that way till you reach the top of the boots.

If you have an even number of lace hooks, the laces will end up at both ends without you having to crisscross them. 

However, if the lace hooks is an odd number, you would have to cross one of the ends to the other side.

This will make the laces look like bars between the hooks rather than crisscross.

This is a very clean way of lacing tactical boots. You will not need to criss-cross the laces and the final look will be very straight and orderly. 

  1. First, pull the two ends of the lace straight through the two eyelets at the bottom, from outside to inside. 
  2. Next, pull the right lace to the next eyelet and thread it from inside to outside. Then thread it through the eyelet across, from outside to inside. 
  3. Then pull the left lace up and skip the eyelet that has the right lace. Thread the left through the next eyelet and pull from inside to outside. Then cross it and pull it through the eyelet across, from outside to inside. 
  4. Now take the right lace and skip the eyelet with the left lace. Pull it through the following eyelet, from inside to outside. Then again cross it to the left eyelet. This time it should be from outside to inside.
  5. With an even number of eyelets, continue with the previous two steps till the laces are threaded through all eyelets. 
  6. If there is an odd number of eyelets, then after a certain point, one lace will have to be crossed and threaded through the next eyelet. This will still maintain the clean look of the lacing.

4. X lacing

This lacing method is quite similar to the crisscross technique, but with few modifications. 

You can use this technique to reduce friction and lace wear and tear on your boots.

This lacing technique is suitable for simple walks and nothing rigorous or challenging.

The method is similar to the crisscross method, but with few changes to the threading of the laces.

The method involves the following steps:

  1. Take the two lace ends and go underneath the first two eyelets at the bottom. Then pull the laces outwards, through the eyelets. 
  2. Cross the laces and thread them through the next eyelets. This time the movement should be from the outside to the inside.
  3. Now cross the laces again. Then, pull them through the next pair of eyelets. The movement should be from the inside to the outside. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 and keep alternating the threading movement, till you reach the top. This will give an X pattern to the laces threaded between each pair of eyelets.

Steps to X lacing

  1. Insert the lace endings through the first lace hook sets from under and pull them out.
  2. Cross the laces, twist them together and pull them through the next hook set. However, this time, insert them from outside instead of underneath.
  3. Cross the laces and insert them into the next hook set from inside. That is the reverse of the previous step.
  4. Keep interchanging that way until you finish lacing the boots.

5. Toe Relief Lacing

The toe lacing technique is used when your toes are hurt a lot and you need some relief.

You can relieve pressure in your tactical boots’ toe box with this lacing technique.

The toe relief lacing technique involves the following steps:

  1. Wear your boots and unlace them completely.
  2. Then lace it back up. When lacing, skip the first hook sets at the beginning around your toe areas.
  3. Then lace up the rest of your boots the usual way. 

6. Surgeon’s Knot

This is another method you can use to tie your tactical boots. This method is suitable for preventing heel slip when you are on job or when hiking.

You can try this lacing technique if you usually have heel slippage. Generally, keeping your heels in place will help you prevent blisters on your heel area.

You will not have to worry about your hells slipping out once you get this technique right.

Steps to tie surgeon’s knot 

  1. Wear your boots and stomp your heel on the ground so it moves to the back of your boots. That way, you keep them in place.
  2. Start inserting the lace in the hooks on your Tactical boots. Start by inserting in the hook that is closest to the top of your foot.
  3. Insert the laces using the standard overhand knot for the first hook and then the next.
  4. Then thread the laces together; that is, twist them twice to tighten them. Ensure the laces are tight enough before you insert them in the following hook sets.
  5. Thread the lace together again, ensure they’re tight, and insert it into the following hook sets.
  6. Lace-up the rest of the boots the usual way as you started.

7. Window lacing 

This tactical boots lacing technique helps relieve pressure on the top of your foot. Some people also call this lacing “method box lacing”.

Steps to window lacing your tactical boots:

  1. Unlace your tactical boots up to the lace hook sets that are just above the pressure point. This is the second set of lace hooks on your boots.
  2. Then start re-lacing. Lace the next hook straight up without crossing the lace over, creating a window.
  3. Next, lace up the rest of your boots the usual way, or you could try twisting it like the surgeon’s knot above or below your window.

8. Ladder lacing

The ladder lacing technique helps to provide extra stability for your feet when on walking or hiking.

Just like the name implies, it will look like a ladder when you finish lacing and can help your tactical boots stay tight through out the job.

However, before you try this method, you should first ensure that your tactical boots have enough lace hooks so that the lace can function more meaningfully and not look scanty. 

Steps to follow:

  1. Pull the ends of the lace outward from underneath the first two bottom eyelets.
  2. Then pull the right lace and thread it through the next eyelet, outside to inside. Also do the same with the left lace but keep both loose. 
  3. Next, move the right lace across the left and go below the left lace that is covering the space between two eyelets. Then thread the right lace through the next eyelet, from outside to inside. 
  4. Now do the same with the left lace and repeat the whole procedure till you reach the top.

Steps to ladder lacing:

  1. Insert the two lace ends in the first hook pair at the beginning, around your toes. Ensure you insert it inside out.
  2. Then, hold the lace and insert it through the next lace opening on the same line, from outside to inside. So the same thing with the lace end on the left side.
  3. Next, take the right lace and cross it to the left side and enter it in the opening right beneath the lace hole beneath the left one. Then repeat the same thing for the left lace as well.

Keep repeating the process till you lace the boots to the top.

9. Granny knot/ Square Knot

This method is usually used as a finishing touch to any lacing technique.

After lacing your tactical boots to the top, you can use this technique to make the laces not so tight, so that it does not slack on the boots.

Steps to the Granny/Square knot:

  1. Pull the laces together at both ends and then tighten them.
  2. Next, take one of the lace ends and double it back on each other to form a bunny ear.
  3. After that, take the other lace and wrap it over the bunny ear, forming a loop under it using your thumb.
  4. Now, take the loose end of the lace with your index finger and hold it against your thumb.
  5. Then use your index finger to put the lace into the hoop and pull it out, but not completely to create another bunny ear.
  6. Now, hold both bunny ears and pull until you feel the lace tighten around your feet.

You can easily differentiate between a granny knot and a square knot based on the length of the bunny ears.

If the bunny ears run across your tactical boots lengthwise, then it’s a granny knot. But if it runs widthwise, then it’s a square knot.

10. Quick pull knot

The quick pull knot is another finishing touch method used to tighten the lace around your feet. You can use this method to have s pull-cord lacing system.

Steps to quick pull knot:

  1. Lace your tactical boots to the top
  2. Then, loop the lace around the quick lace hook.
  3. Now, just pull and your boots will tighten around the quick lace hook.

How Tight Should You Tie Tactical Boots?

Tying your tactical boots should all be comfort and support. The boots need to be tight enough to lock your feet in case of slipping, but nit so tight that it becomes uncomfortable. 

Tying tactical boots is not the same for everyone because what you think is tight for you might be loose for someone.

So you should just make it just tight enough to the right level where you are more comfortable and get maximum support.

The right tightness will be firm for the tactical boots and will not leave room for loose is slacking laces.

But at the end, comfort us the ultimate goal, so just listen to your feet and tie the boots to the right comfort level.

And If you are hiking down a hill, just make sure to tight the boots around your heel in order to help prevent your heel from sliding to the front of your boots.

You can choose to re-lace the boots every 20 minutes. Because your feet might swell and you would want to make the boots comfortable to accommodate the swelling and make your feet feel better.

Also, when you’re walking uphill, allow the boots to slack a bit so that your feet can move freely in the boots.

But the most important thing is that your tactical boots should fit properly. Because no matter how you tighten them, it would not be as comfortable as you want.

Also read: 5 Simple Methods You Can Use to Waterproof Your Tactical Boots Today


Tightening your tactical boots the right way is necessary for comfort and stability.

In this guide, I give you step by step process in how to tie tactical boots. 

We also gave you some useful tips that can help you choose the best lacing technique and decide how tight the boots should be for the best experience.

There are different lacing techniques you can use to tighten your tactical boots depending on the kind of activity your are engaging in. These methods are:

  1. Army lacing
  2. Standard crisscross lacing
  3. Bar lacing
  4. X lacing
  5. Toe relief lacing
  6. Surgeons knot
  7. Window lacing
  8. Ladder lacing and
  9. Granny/Square knot
  10. Quick pull knot

However, the most important thing is to ensure that your boots fits properly. Because, no matter what tying technique you used, it will not be as comfortable if the boot doesn’t fit properly.

Now, go ahead and try the lacing technique that best suit your needs but make sure to follow instructions.

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