How to lace up Hunting Boots?

Interested in ensuring your hunting boots stay snug and secure during outdoor adventures? Lacing hunting boots properly is critical to optimal comfort and support.

Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just getting started, mastering this skill can make a significant difference in your overall experience in the field. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of lacing up your hunting boots, providing the knowledge you need to keep your feet feeling great throughout your hunting excursions. So, let’s get started on mastering the art of lacing up your hunting boots!

Lacing up the hunting boots

Most of us learned to tie our shoes in elementary school and never think about our laces again. If your hiking boots begin to wear on your feet in uncomfortable ways, you’ll be glad to learn a few new lacing tricks to help you feel more comfortable.

We will discuss three ways to re-lace your boots to help relieve foot discomfort:

  • Surgeon’s Knot: It is simple and versatile enough to keep your heel from slipping.
  • Window Lacing: Reduces pressure points on the top of the foot.
  • Toe-Relief Lacing: A temporary solution To get you back to the trailhead.

It is important to remember that the lacing techniques described here differ from getting the right fit when purchasing your boots. You’ll need to see a footwear specialist at a REI store.

1. Classic crisscross

As you might expect, this is the original lacing method we all know and love. Crisscross lacing is a simple, effective, and timeless technique that has become our favorite.

It’s ideal for any boots that already fit well, assuming you don’t have any foot issues.  Thread each lace diagonally up the shoe, pulling it through the opposite eyelet each time.  Continue the crisscross pattern in the same order you worked the laces up your shoe.

2. Surgeon’s Knot

If your heel slips excessively while hiking, you likely have too much interior volume at the top of your foot. Cinch down your boot and secure it with two surgeon’s knots. Once connected, these will work themselves smoothly.  Pull out any slack in the laces and snug the boot over the top of your foot. 

Surgeon's Knot Lacing

Find the two pairs of lace hooks closest to where the top of your foot begins to flex forward; tie surgeon’s knot at each pair.  Wrap the laces twice around each other before pulling them tight; ensure that the lace is run directly up to the next hook.” the knot’s tension.  Repeat Step 3 with the subsequent highest set of lace hooks.  Finish lacing the remainder of your boot in the usual manner.

3. Window Lacing

If your well-tied boots develop a pressure point on the top of your foot, window lacing (also known as “box lacing”) can help alleviate the problem: 

How to lace up Hunting Boots

Unlace the boot down to the hooks just beneath the pressure point.  Re-lace directly up to the next hook and then cross the laces.  Finish lacing the rest of your boot as usual; alternatively, tie a surgeon’s knot at your window’s lower and upper edge for a more secure fit.

4. Toe-Relief Lacing

If your toes are in a lot of pain, this temporary solution will help you return to the trailhead. This trick works by relieving pressure on the toe box.  Completely unlace your boots.  Lace it back up, but skip the first set of hooks.

This opens up the toe box and relieves pressure on your digits.  If your toes constantly hurt while hiking, it’s time to try A different set of boots. An REI footwear specialist can fit you with boots with enough wiggle room.

5. The heel locks

 While your hiking boots should not be too tight, they should be secure enough to keep your heel from sliding around. Aside from being a safety hazard, it can cause some severe blisters. But the heel lock does precisely what it sounds like: it keeps those heels in place.

Lace your boots tightly, stopping at the second eyelet from the top. Next, pull the lace straight up through the eyelet directly above. Finally, feed each lace through the vertical bar you formed on the opposite side. Now, your heels should stay in place, preventing blisters.

6. The Ladder Lace

Try the ladder method if your work boots don’t provide enough security. This grid-like lacing technique is ideal for laced shoes that are too flimsy to wear comfortably.


Lace straight across in a military-style pattern, pulling upward through the bottom eyelets and vertically through the second pair. Pull the boot laces across, wrapping each under the previously created vertical section. Feed the lace down through the next eyelet pair, then repeat.

Friction-free crisscross

Friction is the sworn enemy of every garment. That is just life! So, when laces rub together in traditional crossover techniques, they wear out more quickly.

What’s the solution? Of course, there should be no friction when lacing. First things first: if you have an odd number of eyelets, thread the bottom one outward; if you have an even number, thread it downward.

Begin with the traditional diagonal lacing, but alternate between entering the eyelet pairs inside and outside. Over-under lacing reduces friction on the laces, allowing you to enjoy them for years to come.


  1. How can I ensure my hunting boots provide optimal comfort and support during outdoor activities?

Properly lacing up your hunting boots ensures comfort and support during outdoor adventures.

  1. What are standard lacing techniques for relieving foot discomfort in hunting boots?

The surgeon’s knot, window lace, and toe-relief lace are three standard techniques for relieving foot discomfort in hunting boots.

  1. How does the Surgeon’s Knot help prevent heel slipping while hiking?

The Surgeon’s Knot effectively prevents heel slipping by securing the boot tightly over the top of the foot, minimizing excessive interior volume.

  1. What is the purpose of Window Lacing in hunting boots?

Window Lacing, or “box lacing,” helps alleviate pressure points on the top of the foot by re-lacing the boots directly to the next hook and crossing the laces over.

  1. How can I temporarily relieve pressure on the toe box of my hunting boots?

To temporarily relieve pressure on the toe box, one can utilize the Toe-Relief Lacing technique, which involves completely unlacing the boots and skipping the first set of hooks during re-lacing.

  1. What is the purpose of the heel lock technique in lacing up hiking boots?

The heel lock technique keeps the heels in place, preventing them from sliding around, enhancing comfort, and preventing blisters during hiking.


In mastering the art of lacing up your hunting boots, you equip yourself with the knowledge and techniques necessary to ensure comfort, support, and longevity during outdoor pursuits. 

By exploring various lacing methods such as the classic crisscross, surgeon’s knot, window lacing, toe-relief lacing, heel locks, ladder lace, and friction-free crisscross, you gain insight into tailoring your boot fit to alleviate discomfort and enhance performance. 

Remember, while lacing techniques can improve the fit of your boots, obtaining the right fit from the start remains paramount. So, lace up confidently and stride into the wilderness with comfort and security.

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