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How to lace the Nike Air Force 1?

We all know how stylish the Nike Air Force 1 can get. But we can add more style to this classic silhouette by adding unique lacing setups that instantly wows anyone who sets their eyes upon the sneaker. Whether it’s the Air Force 1 High, Mid, or the popular Air Force 1 Lows, we’ve got you covered with this “How to Lace” guide to level up your AF-1 pair.

We’ll discuss some unique ways on how to tie your AF1 so you can try doing it on your own and impress people!

How to lace the Nike Air Force 1?

With this Sneakrvista guide, you won’t have to worry anymore about the boring and simple setup that we’ve gotten used to. It’s time to go all out with these laces!

Nike Air Force 1 History

Before we begin, let’s talk about why the Nike Air Force 1 became an immortalized sneaker.

The Nike Air Force 1 arrived in 1982 as Nike’s main basketball model. Designed by Bruce Kilgore, the AF1 featured Nike Air technology - the first for a basketball shoe. It took its name from the airplane that carries the President of the United States, the Air Force One.

With its stylish looks that also provided you comfort and support where you need it the most, the AF1 revolutionized sneaker culture. It went beyond the hardwood courts and into the urban landscapes. The Nike Air Force 1 Low is widely considered to be the most popular model among the three available main silhouettes (High, Mid, Low).

How to Lace The Nike Air Force 1?

To begin, most Nike sneakers come fresh outside the packaging with a factory lacing setup. It means that the laces are looped all the way to the top eyelet and laced in a single knot while tucked in the tongue. This setup lets you unlace the shoe easily if you ever decide to wear the shoe or change the laces altogether.

🍿 YouTube: How to Factory Lace Your Nike Air Force 1s?

Check out this guide above to find out how to bring the lacing to factory setup. It’s pretty hard, but with enough practice, you’ll master it in no time!

Between the High, Mid, and Low, the AF1 Low is arguably the easiest to lace up since it has fewer eyelets and does not feature a strap. For the ladies and their women’s exclusive Air Force 1 Shadow, you can refer to the same lacing guides below.

Criss Cross Lacing

Okay, now back to actual lacing styles, this criss-cross lacing is one of the common lacing setups if you want to match your lacing aesthetics with your sneaker’s flair.

  • First off, take the laces off the shoe so you can begin from the top (or should we say at the bottom since that’s where the first lace loop is placed).
  • Loop the two lace tips through the first two eyelets and make sure that they’re equal in length on both sides.
  • Go through alternating over and under patterns, criss-crossing as you move from each eyelet to another. You can do this by weaving the laces under the eyelet every time.
  • Keep going until you reach the tongue or the second to the last eyelet. The final eyelet must be done inside and out so you can easily lace up your sneaker right after.
  • Adjust according to preference for better comfort.

Criss-cross lacing setup is highly similar to the usual lacing style, except that each side of the laces goes over and under, instead of keeping a consistent pattern where one side remains under while the other goes over.

Check out the photo below to get an idea on how to do the criss-cross lacing. It’s a great option for the AF1 Low including the ladies’ Nike Air Force 1 Shadow.

How to lace the Nike Air Force 1?


Loose Laces

We all know sneakerheads hate creases on their leather sneakers, and most especially not on the Nike Air Force 1!

For a laid-back lacing style, this Loose Fit will ease you of your worries about creases on your AF1. You get to tie your shoe in a way that’s not too secure so you can walk freely without any kind of discomfort on the foot.

  • You can begin by starting from scratch.
  • The next thing you’d want to do is to do the same setup as the criss-cross lacing above, but this time pull the sides of the eyestay or the shoe itself to stretch the laces out.
  • As you go through each eyelet, continue to stretch every time to smoothen them up even more. This is a perfect setup for sneakers with hidden lacing systems like the Air Max 97 and the Air Max 720. But it’s also suitable for the ever so popular Air Force 1.

No Tie Lacing

The no tie lacing is a popular trend among sneakerheads to prevent any crease and any deforms on the shoe. It also gives you a more relaxed fit because the laces won’t restrict the shoe at all.

  • This requires little to no effort at all, perfectly in sync with the effortless style that the Nike Air Force 1 boasts. You must keep in mind that the laces must be looped from the inside going out for the less restrictive feel.
  • Pull all the laces starting from the bottom and let them loose. Continue as you gradually move from one eyelet to another.
  • Pull the tongue outwards to help you keep the pattern consistent.
  • Once you reach the top eyelet, let the lace tips hang loose. Make sure you tuck in the laces so it won’t ruin the style.
How to lace the Nike Air Force 1?


There are many more lacing setups out there, but these are some of the best and most common lacing styles for the Nike Air Force 1.

Make sure you know the length of your laces because it varies depending on the version of the shoe. The Air Force 1 High and Mid will always require longer laces, while the AF1 Low needs around 54 inches and below.

Feel free to add your own twists so your AF1 will always be fresh and A1 (no pun intended).

Article was updated at 11/18/21.

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