Use This Simple Lacing Method to Make Your Boots Fit Better

Use This Simple Lacing Method to Make Your Boots Fit Better
Because new boots shouldn't mean blisters.

Ah, fall. Perhaps the best time of year for men's style. The cooler weather allows us to take advantage of multiple layers, creating a smart, put-together look. It also means you may be gearing up with some new boots. There's something reminiscent of Christmas morning when I open a box of new, rugged boots. The creaseless leather inspires new adventures…and that new leather smell – nothing else like it. You can find many options that are hardy and built to last, and there's something about them that just makes you feel ready to take on the day.

The problem is, it can be hard to find a pair of boots that just fit quite right. Since many are still simple designs, with the upper being almost entirely one layer of leather, they lack the foam and rubber that are present in athletic shoes that conform to your foot. Many of us find ourselves in-between half-sizes, or with one foot slightly different from the other, but even on perfectly fitted new boots the breaking-in period can be a painful one.

One common problem is the heel of your foot not staying in place. This slippage can cause blisters and other annoying problems that many guys just assume they have to put up with.

Well I'm happy to say, there's a super-simple lacing technique that should stop all the slipping and provide a comfortable, snug fit with your beautiful new boots. Used for ages by climbers, runners, and shoe store salesmen, utilizing this “lock lacing” technique known as the Heel Lock can make a surprisingly dramatic difference in how your footwear fits.

(Like the look of the boots featured here? The top pair are a service-style boot by Wolverine, and the moc toe boots are from Thorogood.)

lock lacing heel lock boot tie

tie heel lock lacing animation

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.