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How to lace up your doc martens

Updated February 21, 2017

The traditional method of lacing up shoes or boots is to cross the laces on top of each other until you've reached the last lace hole. Traditionally, Dr. Martens boots are strung up to look like rungs of a ladder rather than forming a crisscross pattern. For this method of lacing, you need to figure out how to string your laces to the next rang of holes without crossing them across the boot tongue.

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  1. Insert both ends of the boot lace into the very bottom pair of lace holes on Dr. Martens boot. The lace tips should be inserted from the outside in, not the inside out. The inserted lace tips must now be resting inside rather than outside the boot.

  2. Pull the lace tips all the way through the holes from the inside. Make sure there is an even amount of lacing on each side.

  3. Pull the tip of the right boot lace up into the boot lace hole right above it, on the same side of the tongue. The lace should be pulled from the inside out.

  4. Pull the same right lace tip over the shoe tongue and into the parallel boot lace hole on the left side of the shoe, forming a straight line. Traditionally, the lace will form a diagonal line across the tongue.

  5. Pull the lace all the way through the hole, from the outside in. The lace is now resting inside the shoe again, but this time it is on the other side of the boot. Both tips of the boot lace should now be strung into the same side of the boot.

  6. Grab the left boot lace and insert it, from the inside out, into the boot lace hole above it on the same side. Notice the boot lace hole right above it is currently occupied by the right side of your lace; skip the boot lace hole immediately above it and instead insert it into the second nearest boot lace hole on that side.

  7. Pull the left side of the boot lace through the hole.

  8. Drag the left side of the boot lace over the exterior of the boot tongue and into the parallel boot lace hole on the right side of the boot.

  9. Go back to the left side column of boot lace holes and grab that lace.

  10. Find the next empty boot hole on the left side of the shoe. The boot lace hole right above it is now occupied by the lace you just strung over to the right side of the shoe; skip that hole and insert the tip of the lace into the empty boot lace hole right above that one on the same side.

  11. Pull that same lace side through the boot lace hole and drag it across the tongue and insert it into the hole parallel to the hole it is coming out of. Repeat the process until you've strung up your entire Doc Martens boot.

  12. Tip

    Get a boot laces. Traditional shoe laces are too short for Dr. Martens boots.

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Things You'll Need

  • Boot laces

About the Author

Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

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