How To Lace Doc Martens

Someone in black mesh tights sitting on a step wearing black leather Doc Marten boots.
Credit: Dr. Martens


Someone in black mesh tights sitting on a step wearing black leather Doc Marten boots.
Credit: Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens, affectionately known as Doc Martens, stand as a timeless addition to any footwear collection. However, mastering the art of lacing these iconic boots can be a tad challenging if you're unfamiliar with the proper techniques.

Fortunately, we've crafted an in-depth, step-by-step guide to assist you in lacing your Dr. Martens using the classic "Classic Cross Lace" method. Furthermore, we explore alternative techniques to ensure that, no matter your style or preference, our guide caters to your individual taste.

While these methods may bear a resemblance to the approaches featured in our guides for lacing Air Force 1s, Nike Dunks, or even Jordans, it's crucial to note there are subtle distinctions to ensure a snug fit and a polished appearance for your boots.

So, whether you're the proud owner of a pair of iconic 1460s or you prefer the sleek profile of the 1461 low-tops, our comprehensive guide will have you lacing them up with confidence in no time. Let's begin...

How to lace Doc Martens

Dr. Martens refers to the method described below as the "Classic Cross Lace" technique, which is widely used for lacing its shoes and boots. This technique is especially suitable for high-top Doc Marten boots, but it can also be applied to low-cut shoes by making a slight adjustment towards the end of the lacing process. Let's get into it...

Step 1: Thread two equally long laces through the bottom two eyelets, starting from the outside and going inwards. This will create a horizontal bar across the first row.

Step 2: Overlap the two ends of your shoelace across the middle and insert the aglets through the following set of eyelets, starting from the inside.

Step 3: Repeat this step until you reach the top two eyelets.

Top Tip: Make sure you tighten and keep your laces flat as you go. We'd also recommend checking both lengths are even periodically as you work your way up.

Dr. Martens boots being laced with rainbow laces.
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Credit: Dr. Martens

Step 4: When you reach the top, you can either conclude the lacing procedure by tying a knot or continue lacing to complete the wraparound method.

Step 5: To wraparound, bring the two lengths around to the back of your Doc Martens, through the heel loop, and around to the front again before tying a firm knot to keep them secure.

Step 6: Repeat steps one to five and your second Doc Martens boot or shoe and you should be ready to go.

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What type of laces do you need?

On average, Doc Martens have between eight and ten eyelets. As a result, they require 55" shoelaces in order to finish the lacing process with enough room spare to tie a knot.

However, if you own a pair of low-tops with three rows of eyelets, then we'd recommend picking up shoelaces around 25 or 26" in length.

With the length covered, you then get a choice as to whether you want to go with flat or round laces.

Dr. Martens black round laces wrapped up around a metal hook.
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Credit: Dr. Martens

Doc Martens usually arrive with round laces as standard; however, flat laces, like these Dr. Martens standard round laces, can also be used depending on your preference. The colour will also come down to your own style as you can either match or go with laces that provide a complete contrast. The choice is yours.

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Alternative ways to lace Doc Martens

While our step-by-step guide details one of the most common ways of lacing a pair of Doc Martens, it isn't the only method out there. Check out a few alternative techniques below.

The ladder lace

This ladder lacing technique starts by feeding your lace lengths from inside to out across the bottom two eyelets, then running them up vertically over your boot.

Dr. Martens boots being laced using the ladder lacing technique.
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Credit: Dr. Martens

Once two loops have been created on either side, cross the two ends through the opposite loops then thread them through the eyelets above. Repeat this step until you reach the two of your shoes.

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The straight bar lace

The straight bar technique is one we've covered in our guide to lacing Converse shoes. Thankfully, a similar method applies to Doc Martens.

Dr. Martens shoe being laced using the straight bar lacing technique.
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Credit: Dr. Martens

Simply thread the two ends through the bottom two eyelets, then take the left aglet and feed it through the third eyelet up on the right before threading it through the opposite eyelet over the top to create a horizontal bar.

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The bow tie lace

Begin with two even lengths threaded through the bottom two eyelets then run a vertical lace up the inside of the boot on either side. To create the bows, alternate between crossing the lace over as you go up the eyelets, and then run a straight vertical lace up the inside to the next set of eyelets.

Dr. Martens boot being laced using the bow lacing technique.
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Credit: Dr. Martens

To check you've done it right, there should be a one-eyelet gap between each of your bows, plus your laces should go from inside to out at the top.

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