While the name of the blog has the word snob in it and I can be quite harsh at times, a lot of what I do is try to educate in the hopes to grow the industry and make consumers more thought conscious about their actions and decisions when it comes to footwear. I have helped a lot of people in my time, having worked for Nordstrom for 6 years on the shoe floor, with my own brand and assisting clients for nearly 5 years, the numerous trunk shows and the rest and one of the things that I have to say bothers me most is when people put on a pair of shoes, barely lace them to the point where the knot is hardly tied and they have left like 1-2cm of space between the top eyelets, walk one meter and the say the heel is slipping. Can you imagine?

all too often people are trying on a brand new shoe lacing them like this and trying to understand the fit as if you are going to be able to with your shoes unlaced

And sometimes it absolutely frightening as common sense would tell you that if you do not tie your shoes properly then the shoes will not fit properly. If the knot is not tied adequately your foot is not locked into the shoe adequately and thus there will be movement and that movement always starts at the heel. And while many of you might think, ‘who does that?’, allow me to say that it’s more than you can imagine and more than I care to admit.

So, to the people that have found themselves doing this, allow me to tell you: The first thing to do when trying on a pair of dress shoes is to make sure the laces are laced up properly. That means with no slack, quite snug (not cutting off circulation) and all the way with a tight knot. If you don’t do that, you cannot truly know how the shoe fits as your heel is inevitably going to pop right out!

****FYI, this post is not about the rule of how an oxford?should be laced, but rather is about how people lace their shoes when trying shoes on for the first time *****

Stay tuned for more Pet Peeves in The Shoe Industry.

A great weekend to all.


This is acceptable for those with a high instep but at least the last, top eyelet is tie tight

4 thoughts on “Pet Peeves in The Shoe Industry – Part 1 – Tying Your Shoes Properly”

  1. Dear Justin,

    nice article. One of the things I have very much difficulty with is the fact when people do not use the shoe horn to put on a pair of good shoes…To me
    this shows a lack of respect for the people who have putted a lot of energy and work in the making of the shoes.

  2. I’m retired and haven’t purchased a pair of “good” shoes for a few decades, but even back then the salesmen had stopped putting the shoes on your feet.

    Why and when did this happen?

    Is there a good reason for it?

    I can’t help but put it in the same category of people being allowed to talk out loud in libraries.

  3. Good point, although I’d like to introduce a couple complications:
    1. Bluchers/derbies do not have both sides touching when the fit is ideal.
    2. Even properly fitting oxfords should have a bit of space up top when new, so that as they stretch with wear, the laces can be tightened further. Otherwise the shoe will be too loose when they stretch. (This last part I learned from Bengalstripe and DWFII on SF.)

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