How To Tie Basketball Shoes [Advice From A Pro Player]

You probably learned how to tie your regular shoes at a very young age, but the purpose there was to keep you from tripping on your shoelace. Knowing how to tie basketball shoes is more specific and can help you play better and prevent injury.

Depending on your foot shape, tension preference, or ankle support needs, there are various lacing systems to help everyone get the most from their kicks. Choose the best method from below, so you know your feet will be well protected and work efficiently for you.


How To Tie Basketball Shoes Properly For Optimal Performance

Here’s a quick look at lacing up your basketball kicks:

  • Start with laces evenly through the eyelets closest to the toe
  • Crisscross up the shoe using each eyelet
  • Firmly secure at the top once even tension has been achieved

Your chosen lacing style should result in your foot being secured to the footbed of your shoe, so you can make hard cuts in any direction. Your foot should also be centered on the footbed to protect your ankles from rolling.

Tie your shoes in a way that is comfortable, stable, and easily repeatable. Being able to repeat your lacing style is crucial for maintaining consistency from game to game and practice to practice.

I recorded a short video demonstrating the way I tie my basketball shoes every day. It also shows a useful method for those having shin splints. Watch it below.

Different Methods Of Tying Basketball Shoes

Try out these different styles at your next practice. I recommend not messing around with new ways to tie your shoes during games.

They may become loose or uncomfortable at any time during action. This could result in it costing your team points or you an injury.

How To Tie Your Basketball Shoes Using A Basic Method

This method will suit a wide variety of basketball sneakers and players alike. It works great for outdoor shoes too. It’s a symmetrical method that will apply even pressure from all angles, so there is no rubbing, and nothing will come loose.

lacing up basketball shoes

It’s very similar to how many of us were taught how to tie laces when we were kids.

Start at the bottom eyelets and pull your laces straight through both of them evenly. Now crisscross each end all the way up, making sure not to miss any eyelets.

Once you reach the top of the shoe, double-check that your laces are still even by pulling them straight. If so, secure them using a traditional double knot.

Watch the video below for this method and to better understand how to do the double knot.

How To Tie Your Basketball Sneakers For Ankle Support

If you play league games or high-intensity recreation games, then you may want more support. This method is great for players who spend a lot of time around the rim, such as power forwards. The constant off-balance landings can easily cause injuries if your sneakers aren’t up for the challenge.

jordan shoes laced up for ankle support

Lace them the same way as the basic method, by starting from the bottom eyelets. Crisscross your way to the top of the shoe, but stop with one empty eyelet left on each side.

Thread the end of each lace through the empty eyelets on the same side as the lace you’re threading to create loops. Now cross the laces through the newly created loops and fasten your shoes.

This pulls on the upper ankle support more evenly and will help to maintain proper ankle alignment, thus preventing sprains.

Here’s a video to see how that works in action.

How To Tie Basketball Shoes For Wide Feet

This method is perfect for relieving pressure in the midfoot and allowing those muscles to contract and expand comfortably. So, if you have wide feet, that’s perfect for you.

lacing up nike basketball shoes

Start with the laces out all the way out except for the bottom two eyelets. Crisscross them once by lacing them through the second eyelets, but then skip the third eyelet. Lace them through the fourth and then skip the fifth or skip the fourth, so two eyelets sit empty.

The great thing about this lacing style is that it’s customizable. You can get your shoe to fit perfectly around your foot by experimenting with which eyelets to leave open.

Here’s how that works in action.

How To Lace Basketball Shoes Casually

Casual lacing styles are only limited by your imagination. There are tons of tutorials on how to lace your kicks creatively, and if you’re not planning to play in these, then why not lace them up in a unique way?

I prefer the lattice lacing style and recommend this to anyone wearing high tops. It looks best with the curve of the shoe and stands out nicely. You can learn it easily, but if you want to return to the court, I recommend switching to a traditional and safe lacing system like the others listed above.

Here’s a cool video showing how to lace up your basketball shoes and hide the laces.

How Tight To Tie Your Basketball Shoes?

Getting the correct tension is about the balance between comfort and safety. You want them tight enough that your foot does not move around and stays centered in the footbed. But you also want them loose enough that the muscles in your feet have room to flex. Proper motion of your foot muscles will keep you safe and playing your best.

Start by tying them from the bottom and only tight enough that the shoe material is gently hugging your foot. Aim for even tension, and if you want them tighter, you can make those adjustments easier than if your shoes are too tight.

Once you get them perfect, just use a regular double-knot. This keeps them secure but also makes it easy to untie if you need to make adjustments, hopefully not, though.


How Tight Should You Tie Your Basketball Shoes?

Your basketball shoes should be tight enough to keep your foot secured to the lower half without impeding your foot muscles from freely flexing. A good pair of basketball shoes will help with this because they are designed with strong yet flexible material.

How Do You Tie Basketball Shoes Without The Laces Showing?

Tying basketball shoes without the laces showing must be done before putting your foot in the shoe. You lace them all the way to the top, ensuring they are loose enough to fit your foot in after. From here, you can either loop a knot behind the tongue, or you can tuck the laces under the insole, so the weight of your feet will pull them tight.

How Do NBA Players Lace Their Shoes?

NBA players lace their shoes mostly with the traditional crisscross method, using a classic double knot. This is how premium basketball kicks are designed to be used. While you can use other ways to tie your shoelaces, they may not give you the same even support that the shoes are made to provide.

How Do You Tie High Top Shoes?

Tying high-top shoes are no different from tying low or mid-top basketball sneakers, other than it will take slightly longer. There are more eyelets on high-tops, and you may have to take better care when tying to create even tension throughout your entire foot. Be sure to always use all the eyelets to get the most out of the shoe and prevent it from damage.

What Is The Best Way To Tie Basketball Shoes?

The best way to tie basketball shoes is to use the traditional crisscross method to evenly distribute tension across your entire foot. This will pull on the shoe in the way that it’s designed. You will reduce your chance of injury while also keeping the shoe in good working order for many games to come.

How To Lace Nike Basketball Shoes?

Lacing Nike basketball shoes is no different from any other shoe. Ensure you use every eyelet properly, lacing them the entire length of the shoe. Your feet should be comfortably secured to the footbed and engulfed on all sides by the soft and flexible upper material.


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