Despite the large number of Boa and Speed Lace boot options available on the market, most pro riders still use boots with traditional lacing. Why is that? Because traditional lacing offers the most customizable fit out of any of the lacing systems, allowing you to dial in the perfect fit to match your riding style, foot shape, and personal preferences. But you have to know how to tie your boots properly before you can take full advantage of traditional lacing’s benefits.
The beauty of traditional lacing is that each set of lace hooks or eyelets creates a separate zone that can be independently tightened. As you lace your boots, pull the laces to your desired tightness at each set of eyelets or hooks, then move on to the next, taking care not to tighten or loosen the laces at the previous set of eyelets or hooks. This allows you to make the boot looser in certain areas and tighter in others, if you’d like. For example, if you want a looser, more skate-like feel for hitting rails, but still want your heel to stay firmly locked down, you can crank down the laces on your forefoot but leave the lacing loose on the upper part of your boot for greater flexibility. Conversely, if you want a lot of ankle support but you have a wide foot and a somewhat narrow boot, you can tighten the upper half while leaving the forefoot area loose to reduce pressure without sacrificing support. The use of a double overhand knot (as shown to the right) helps isolate lacing pressure in a given zone by preventing the lace from slipping, which in turns prevents your laces from adjusting to an even tension throughout the day.
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface of the options possible with traditional lacing. You can customize the fit even more to suit your needs. Perhaps you like your boots tight all the way throughout, but you have a bone spur near your toes that gets sore after a few runs due to pressure. You can leave the lacing loose in just the eyelets near the affected area and then tighten the rest of the boot like you normally would without experiencing a significant decrease in performance. That’s just an example—the point is that the options for customizing your boot’s fit with traditional lacing are almost endless. No matter how tight or loose you like to keep your laces, there are two crucial things to keep in mind: The first is making sure you don’t have any heel lift, as this causes fatigue and delays response. The second is making sure you don’t have any pressure points, because your feet swell throughout the day, and if your boot is too tight at the beginning of the day, it’s only going to get worse after each run. Experiment with different degrees of tightness and keep an open mind. You never know what will end up being right for you.
After your foot’s in your boot, you’ll have to tighten and secure your liner. Most use a pull lace to tighten the liner around your ankle. Be aware to not over tighten this section as it’ll be the first place to cut off circulation to your toes. After the liner is tightened, tuck away any loose laces and tuck in the tongue of your boot.
Tighten the laces around your toe box starting at the loops closest to your toes and working your way up to your ankle. Once the desired pressure is achieved, the double overhand knot can be used to isolate the pressure around your toe box.
With the toe box set, it’s now time to lace up the eyelets above your ankle. If you want to isolate pressure between each set of eyelets, use a standard overhand knot between each set. If you want to equalize the pressure across your shins, don’t use this knot here.
At this point you’re almost finished lacing your snowboard boots, but this final step is probably the most important. Most riders use a standard “double knot,” similar to lacing up your running shoes, to prevent the laces from loosening throughout the day. Starting this double knot with a double overhand knot will only improve the longevity of your lacing pressure throughout the day.