Hiking boots often have leather shoelaces.

How to Tie Leather Shoe Laces

by Lisa S. Kramer

Leather shoelaces are typically found on boat shoes, boots and moccasins. While leather shoelaces are exceptionally durable, they can be bothersome as they frequently become untied when tied in a traditional shoe lace bow. If you don't want to have to constantly retie your leather shoelaces or double-knot them, try tying them in a barrel knot. A barrel knot is also known as a spiral knot, boat-shoe knot, heaving-line knot or Eastland knot.

Lace up your shoes with your leather shoelaces. Ensure that the shoes are laced evenly and there is an equal amount of leftover shoelace on both the right and left side of the shoe.

Start with the right shoelace. Fold the shoelace over itself to make a small loop about two inches in diameter. The base of the loop should be as close as possible to the top eyelet on the right side of the shoe. Do not thread the loop with the remaining end of the shoe lace.

Hold the part of the loop that is farthest away from the top eyelet with your thumb and pointer finger. Using your other hand, twist the loop.

Hold the twisted loop with your thumb and pointer finger. Use your other hand to tightly wrap the end of the shoelace six times around the twisted loop to create a spiral.

Push the end of the shoelace through the end of the twisted loop.

Pull on the end of the shoelace while simultaneously pushing the spiral you created towards the top eyelet of your shoe. This will help tighten the spiraled knot.

Cut the end of the shoelace if it is too long and drags on the ground.

Repeat Steps 2-8 for the left shoelace.

Items you will need

  • Scissors (optional)


  • New leather shoelaces are usually stiff and difficult to bend and twist. To make your shoelaces more pliable and easier to manipulate into a barrel knot, moisten the shoelaces with water to soften the leather beforehand.

About the Author

Lisa S. Kramer is a licensed attorney practicing civil litigation and estates and trusts law in southern Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude. Kramer earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Photo Credits

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