Did you know that there are more than 2 Trillion possible shoe lacing combinations? I sure didn’t. But there’s a very handy web site that discusses the pros and cons of at least 30 of the most popular shoe and boot lacing configurations.

Shoe lacing may appear very simple, but each pattern has advantages and disadvantages with respect to comfort, speed of loosening, ease of loosening in emergencies (there are for example specific military patterns useful when a boot must be removed very quickly if the soldier is injured), crimping of the shoe, etc.

I have a very high instep, which means that laces that wrap under the eyelets put extra pressure on my foot. A pattern that places the laces over the eyelets is far more comfortable for me. But I also need a lacing pattern that makes it easy to fully open the shoe prior to putting it on. Again, certain lacing patterns do this more easily than others. And there are even lacing patterns for biking, so that the knot is on the side of the shoe instead of dead-center, making the laces less vulnerable to getting caught in the chain as you pedal.

Ian’s Shoelace Site is a great reference resource. You will be amazed.