How to ‘lock lace’ a Derby shoe

A Derby shoe is defined by the vamp (lacing section) which opens wide on top of the shoe
Image source: Samuel Windsor

A Derby is a smart and versatile shoe with a lacing section that opens wide for ease of taking on and off. But did you know that the way you lace your Derbys can really help with comfort and fit?

If you have narrow heels that tend to slip, the ‘lock lace’ method was designed for you. Support your feet in the same way that long-distance runners prevent their heels rubbing as they move. A smart, criss-cross lacing pattern gives way to a clever ‘locking’ mechanism at the top. Ideal for slim feet, your shoes will feel snug and secure all day long.

Wearing a suit? Black Derbys with round black laces are a perfectly acceptable alternative to Oxfords. Smart casual? Brown leather or suede Derbys look great with chinos, moleskins, cords or jeans. A more casual flat lace will take the formality down a notch.

Check out our quick video below to see how to ‘lock lace’ your Derby shoes.

How to ‘lock lace’ your Derbys – step-by-step video guide

  1. Face the toe of the shoe away from you
  2. From underneath, thread the lace through the lowest set of eyelets
  3. This forms the first ‘rung’
  4. The laces should be the same length
  5. Start with your right hand
  6. Feed the lace across to the inside hole in the 2nd ‘rung’ position
  7. Pull it through to the outside
  8. Repeat on the other side
  9. Keep the laces the same length
  10. Start with your right hand again
  11. Feed the lace across to the inside hole in the 3rd ‘rung’ position
  12. Pull it through to the outside
  13. Repeat on the other side
  14. Remember to start with your right hand
  15. Thread both laces across to the 4th ‘rung’ positions
  16. They should be on the outside of the shoe.
  17. With your right hand, thread the lace through the hole directly above it
  18. Do the same on the other side
  19. Take the laces diagonally across and through the opposite loops
  20. Pull to tighten and form the ‘lock’

So, that’s how to ‘lock lace’ Derby shoes. Your foot should be held snugly and the heel shouldn’t slip as you walk. Want to know the best ways to lace other types of shoe and boots? Take a look at our shoelaces guide for gentlemen infographic.

Posted in How To - Shoes.

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