How to straight lace an Oxford shoe

An Oxford shoe is defined by the vamp (lacing section) which is sewn closed at the bottom
Image source: Samuel Windsor

An Oxford is an elegant shoe that requires a plain lacing pattern to complement its effortless simplicity. For this reason, ‘straight’ lacing with a good quality waxed shoelace is the best choice.

Wearing a dinner jacket or suit? Black Oxfords with matching round shoelaces are advised. Dressing more casually? A flat lace works well with tan, semi-brogue Oxfords. But whether your shoelaces are round or flat, always ‘straight lace’ your Oxfords. You can achieve the parallel “ladder-style” pattern in a number of ways, but not all methods are as easy to tighten or maintain a neat uniform hold…

Check out our quick video below to see the correct way to straight lace Oxford shoes.

How to lace your Oxfords – step-by-step video guide

  1. Face the toe of your shoe away from your body.
  2. Thread the lace through the lowest set of eyelets.
  3. This forms the first ‘rung’ on the outside of the shoe.
  4. Adjust the length of the laces.
  5. The lace on the instep side should be about 2.5 inches longer (about the length of your thumb).
  6. Start with the longer lace.
  7. Bring it up on the inside of the shoe to the next set of eyelets.
  8. Keeping it on the same side, feed it through the hole to the outside.
  9. Thread it horizontally across the outside to form the 2nd ‘rung’ of the ladder.
  10. Keeping it on the same side, bring it up the inside the shoe, but this time, miss a hole.
  11. Feed it through the hole to the outside.
  12. Thread it horizontally across the outside in the 4th ‘rung’ position.
  13. Finally, feed the lace diagonally across the inside of the shoe, bringing it out on the top eyelet.
  14. Now – the other lace.
  15. Staying on the same side, bring the lace up the inside of the shoe to the third set of eyelets.
  16. Feed it through the hole to the outside.
  17. Thread it across the outside to form the 3rd ‘rung’.
  18. Lastly, bring it up the inside to the final eyelet at the top.
  19. The laces should form a neat, parallel, ladder pattern.
  20. The laces should end up the same length.

So, that’s how to straight lace Oxford shoes. A good polish and a new set of quality laces will make your old favourites look as good as new. 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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