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How are military boots laced?

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Quick Answer

There are a number of specialized lacing methods used by the military, each with their own pros and cons, and these include the "spider web" method, the "ladder" lacing method and the inverted version of the "bow tie" method called "army lacing." During the Cold War, an even more specialized set of lacing methods was devised, not so much for functionality or comfort as for a way of communicating covert signals between CIA field agents.

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Full Answer

The "army" method threads through the eyelets vertically on either side from the bottom, crossing only once in the center and on the inside, before threading vertically again and out the top. It is specifically intended to increase the amount of flex in the boot; however, it does result in a loose fit that is difficult to tighten.

The "ladder" technique is much tighter, although it still allows for a little additional tightening. It tends to be worn by paratroopers and ceremonial guard units. Starting from the bottom, the laces thread vertically to the next eyelet then horizontally to cross, threading under each other on either side before threading through the next eyelet up.

The "spider web" method can be likened to the "ladder" technique; however, the laces thread vertically and diagonally as opposed to vertically and horizontally. It results in a tight fit with a particularly decorative appearance.

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