Laces for Hiking Boots: Techniques, Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Fit

This blog is published in partnership with Oboz Footwear

Laces for Hiking Boots: Learn New Techniques

Did you know there are multiple ways to lace your hiking boots depending on your adventure?

It’s true: the way your boots are laced is just as important as how they fit. For many of us, we simply lace them up like regular shoes, knot them twice for added security, and hit the trails.

But what if we told you there are strategic ways to lace your boots so you can trek comfortably for long distances and prevent blisters and other hiking-related injuries?

In this blog, you will discover various boot lacing techniques to keep your feet safe, snug and comfortable during your 52 Hike Challenge.

You can use lacing techniques to…

  • Prevent heel slip
  • Increase ankle support
  • Reduce pressure on the top of your foot
  • Keep hot spots and blisters at bay
  • So much more

Whether you’re hiking a rocky mountain or traversing multiple water crossings, get ready to lace up and hit the trails.

First, let’s quickly cover which parts of your hiking boots you need to know about for lacing.

The Anatomy of Laces for Hiking Boots

Before we deep dive into the many ways to lace and knot your boots, let’s discuss the main parts of the lacing area. Knowing these will help you understand the techniques we’re going to share.


This may seem self-explanatory, but there are many kinds of hiking shoe laces. You can choose from waxed, round, heavy duty and more depending on your adventure. In general, you want to look for laces that are strong, durable and won’t come undone easily.


Lacing eyelets are located at the base of the lace area along either side of the tongue. Used for threading your laces, you can work with eyelets to create the lacing techniques you’ll learn about today.


Lacing d-rings are usually situated between the eyelets and hooks. With a special lock in the d-rings, you will be able to add more security to your fit. You’ll hear more about that later on in this article.


Lacing hooks are positioned at the topmost part of the lacing area and are where you will tie your end knot. With special knot techniques at the hooks, you can prevent on-trail discomfort.

Now that you know about your boot’s lacing anatomy, you’re ready to find out about the many lacing techniques that will keep your feet happy on your 52 hikes.

Helpful Shoe Lacing Systems for Your Hiking Adventures

Lacing Techniques for Hiking

It’s time for you to lace up and get outside! If your boots aren’t feeling quite right, you’re about to discover lacing tips and tricks for a snug, secure and comfortable fit.

Keep in mind that everyone’s feet are different and what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you. Similarly, all hiking boots are made differently. 

Read on to find new ways to knot your hiking boots, easy techniques for a more supportive fit and much more.

How to Knot Your Hiking Boots

Lacing Techniques: How to Knot Your Hiking Boots

Tired of re-tying? You may have grown up learning the bunny ears method, but how many times have your boots come undone using a basic shoe tying technique like this?

The knots you’ll learn below are sure to keep your boots on and secure for longer periods of time. Plus, many of them can be applied to other lacing techniques for more specialized needs.

Double Overhand Knot

Do you need to increase tension somewhere in your boot? The double overhand knot will help you. 

Here’s How to Tie a Double Overhand Knot:

  • Lace your boots as you normally would until you reach the place where you’d like to add more security
  • Cross the laces and bring one underneath the other
  • Bring the same lace underneath again
  • Pull to tighten

You just created a lock in the boot that will add tension. You can use this technique towards the base of the laces, at the ankle, or above the ankle depending on the support you’re seeking.

Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Surgeon’s Knot

Does your heel slip at the back of your hiking boot? This next knot helps prevent heel slip, and it’s pretty easy to do. 

Here’s How to Tie a Surgeon’s Knot:

  • Thread laces like normal to the eyelet closest to your ankle 
  • Make three regular overhand knots
  • Pull it down from each end to tighten

Anything below the knot will not be affected by the tightness you’ve created, and now you’ll have more security for your heel.

Watch this video to see how it’s done.

How to Lace Your Hiking Boots

How to Lace Your Hiking Boots

Now that you know some helpful knots for tying your hiking boots and shoes, it's time to cover some common lacing techniques that will keep your feet secure and comfortable while on-trail.

Window Lacing

Are you experiencing pressure on the top of your foot? Do you have a high arch? This next technique will help you relieve pressure while maintaining a secure fit.

Here’s How to Create More Space in the Forefoot Through Window Lacing:

  • Thread your laces vertically (not across) through the eyelets
  • Continue lacing along the perimeter past the pressure point
  • Tie the double overhand knot you just learned above
  • Continue lacing in a traditional criss cross manner

Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Toe Relief Lacing

Do your toes feel overcrowded? Use this simple and easy technique to prevent blisters and reduce the risk of losing a toenail.

Here’s a Lacing Technique for Toe Relief:

  • Unlace your boot completely
  • Re-lace your boot avoiding the first set of eyelets near your toe box

Now you’ll have more room to wiggle your toes.

Boot Heel Lock

Do you have extra space around your ankle or mid-foot? Are you still experiencing heel slip even with a surgeon’s knot?

This lacing technique helps distribute pressure throughout your boot, tighten at your ankle and secure your heel in place.

Here’s How to Create a Heel Lock:

  • Unlace the boot down to the last eyelet
  • Thread the laces straight up to the next d-ring or hook
  • Criss cross them
  • Run each end of your laces under the line you just created
  • Pull the laces straight out toward your toes
  • Criss cross up to the hooks
  • Hook and tie off

Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Time to Lace Up Your Hiking Boots and Hit the Trail!

Take the 52 Hike Challenge in Oboz Footwear

While these lacing systems are extremely effective, they won’t work on hiking boots that don’t fit or have already run their course.

Are your feet ready for a brand new pair of boots for 52 new hiking adventures?

Take 52 Hikes in Oboz Footwear

At 52 Hike Challenge, we love Oboz hiking boots because they’re durable, sustainable and engineered for every kind of adventure. Did we mention, they plant a tree for every pair of shoes they sell.

In fact, Oboz Footwear received their B Corp Certification in 2023, which means they are committed, under stringent standards, to providing a positive social and environmental impact.

With over 5 million trees planted, it’s clear that Oboz Footwear is doing good not only for the hiking community but for the planet.

Wear your Oboz knowing you are making an impact too.

From the ultra-comfortable Sawtooth X to the snow-friendly Bangtail Mid, Oboz is our team’s preferred hiking footwear for our own 52 Hike Challenge adventures.

Learn more and shop now at

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