How To Lace Air Force 1

Someone in black and white camo socks wearing a pair of all-white Nike Air Force 1 Lows.
Credit: Nike

Someone in black and white camo socks wearing a pair of all-white Nike Air Force 1 Lows.
Credit: Nike

Looking to lace your Air Force 1s but not sure where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered with our ultimate guide! Our comprehensive guide offers different lacing methods to help you find the perfect fit and style that suits you best.

With a wide range of amazing Air Force 1s available, you're spoilt for choice. So, whether you're rocking the classic "Triple White" Air Force 1 '07s, arguably some of the best sneakers of all time, or the new "Ashen Slate" low-tops, we'll show you how to lace them like a pro.

Our guide is packed with practical tips and tricks as well to help you achieve that perfect fit, but we also know that style is personal. That's why we've included a range of lacing methods, so you can customise your sneakers to match your unique personality. So, grab your Air Force 1s, and let's get lacing!

How to lace Air Force 1s

The following is how we'd recommend lacing Air Force 1s to achieve a style similar to Nike's official sneaker photos. While our guide primarily addresses the low-top model, you can employ the same technique for mid and high-top versions, making minor adjustments to complete the lacing at a slightly higher point.

Person in blue jeans wearing white Air Force 1 Lows and sticking them in the air.
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Credit: Maria Fernanda Pissioli

Step 1: Thread your shoelace through the initial set of eyelets, ensuring that both ends are even in length and the flat strip across the centre lies snugly against the tongue.

Step 2: Start by crossing the two lace ends at the middle of the shoe, then weave them alternatively through the adjacent eyelets on opposite sides. Keep the laces flat and facing upward as you go through each step.

Step 3: When you reach the tongue tab, you can choose between skipping it or threading the ends through it to ensure the laces remain securely in place. We suggest opting for the latter to achieve the most secure fit.

Step 4: As you near the top, thread your shoelace through the inside to the outside on both sides, rather than looping in and out of the eyelets.

Step 5: Join the ends by tying them together, then follow the same steps with your second shoe. This will prepare you for your activity. Alternatively, you have the option to thread the lace from the outside inwards and neatly tuck them into your shoes - the choice is yours.

What type of laces do you need?

Deciding between flat and round laces ultimately boils down to personal preference; nevertheless, it's worth noting that Air Force 1s typically come equipped with flat laces by default, contributing to their classic aesthetic.

If you're aiming for that timeless look, sticking with flat laces is advisable. However, it's worth mentioning that certain Air Force 1 models, such as the "LA Flea" Lows, diverge from tradition with their distinctive rounded rope-style laces. Ultimately, the decision rests with your individual taste and desired style.

Air Force 1 "LA Flea" product image of a low-top sneaker with canvas and suede light pink and yellow stitched uppers with blue accents.
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Credit: Nike

When it comes to length, Air Force 1 laces are classified as medium, ranging from 49 to 54 inches. It's important to remember this if you ever plan on changing the laces for different colours to something like these flat red Birch laces, or if they require replacement.

Alternative ways to lace Air Force 1s

Although our guide details one of the most commonly used lacing methods, there are several alternatives you can try if you're looking for a slightly different style.


This is essentially the same technique as mentioned above. The only real difference is that you're aiming to have just a small amount of lace left over on both sides.

A white Air Force 1 on bed of black Nike clothing.
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Credit: Jeff Tumale

Once again, feed the laces through each eyelet, crossing them as you go; however, make sure you keep them relatively loose to be left with next to no excess. For more information on this technique, check out our guide to lacing Nike Dunks, which follows a similar pattern to lacing Air Force 1s this way.


The diamond method shares similarities with the first technique, but it incorporates a few minor distinctions that contribute to its intriguing pattern, designed for a more secure lock-in.

To initiate the process, pass the lace through the second row of eyelets. Then, guide it underneath and weave it through the first two holes that were initially skipped.

Next, work your way up the eyelets in order, but loop back on yourself to thread through the eyelets on the row before as you go. Although this may appear complex at first, it becomes clearer with practice. If you require more detailed instructions, our guide on lacing Converse shoes also covers this particular technique.

Straight Bars

We previously touched on the straight bar method of lacing sneakers in our guide to lacing Jordan 1s as it's one of the most commonly used 'alternative' techniques for sneakers.

Much of this approach remains the same as the one detailed above. Simply begin by threading your shoelace from the outside in through the first eyelets.

Then, begin to weave the ends through each eyelet in an almost snake-like movement until you reach the top to tie them together.

The trick here is to treat each length of lace as a separate entity. In other words, the left length of the lace will go through the first, third, and fifth row of eyelets, while the right length goes through rows two, four, six, and so on.

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