How Long are Hiking Boot Laces? How to Measure

How long are hiking boot laces? Finding the right length of shoelace is important if you’re buying a replacement pair for your favorite hiking boots or trail runners.

In general, most laces for hiking boots with 6-8 eyelet pairs will use a shoelace length of 120cm (47 inches) to 160cm (63 inches).  Finding the perfect length for your boots will depend on a few other things, such as how tightly you like to lace them if you use all the eyelets and if you prefer to double-wrap them around your ankle for extra support.

This quick guide will walk you through the different ways of figuring out your perfect hiking boot lace length, so you’re ready to hit the trails!

Why are Properly Fitting Laces Important?

Your hiking boot lace length may not be the first thing on your mind while on the trail, but having the right length is important for helping your boots last a long time and keeping you comfortable on your hike.  I love hiking and do it so frequently that I want my gear to last a long time. 

Laces that are too long are more likely to get tangled, stepped on, or caught in the bushes, which will quickly wear out the laces.

Laces that are too short will prevent you from lacing up your boots all the way or might make you feel like you need to lace them too tightly. 

It’s a good idea to leave around 8 inches (20cm) on each side of your boots after lacing them all the way up.  This is enough length to tie them well so they won’t come undone but isn’t so long that they’ll get tangled or stepped on. 

8 inches of red hiking boot lace
You’ll want around 8 inches of lace length after threading through all the eyelets

How Long Are Hiking Boot Laces? Shoelace Length Guide

Method 1: Measure From Your Old Laces

One of the best ways to determine the length of replacement laces is to simply remove and measure the original laces.  

I prefer this method over tables or calculators because so many things can affect the lace length you need (lace diameter and lace material, for example).

How long are hiking boot laces?  Hiking boot lace next to a tape measure
The best way to estimate your replacement lace length is by measuring from your old laces

Method 2: Count the Number of Eyelet Pairs

If you don’t have your old laces, the next best way to determine the best length is to count the number of eyelet pairs.  Iron Lace has a great web page on laces and a measurement table that we really like.  According to them, here are the most common lace lengths for shoes and boots with different eyelet numbers: 

Shoe Laces Length Chart

# of Eyelet Pairs Most Common Shoe TypeRecommended Lace Length in cmLace Length in inches
Trail runners, casual shoes84-114 cm33-45 in
6Most women’s hiking boots114-137 cm45-54 in
7Most men’s hiking boots and work boots137-160 cm54-63 in
8Most 8-inch work boots160-183 cm63-72 in
9-10Tall boots, military boots, combat boots206-213 cm81-84 in
eyelets on a brown hiking boot
Most hiking boots have between 6-7 eyelet pairs
eyelets on a hiking boot
Most combat boots or tall work boots have between 9-10 eyelet pairs

Other Factors that Affect Lace Length

Besides shoe type and number of eyelet pairs, the biggest things that affect lace length are lace material and lace diameter. Your personal lacing preference/style will also affect how long your laces need to be. 

Material and Diameter

The most common materials used in shoe laces are nylon blends, cotton blends, and polyester blends.  Polyester and nylon blends are considered more durable, while a cotton blend is easier to tie more tightly but not as durable and not water-resistant.

Most hiking boots use a polyester or nylon blend, but the diameter of the laces can vary.  My favorite pair of hiking boots have a round, larger diameter, while Kendall’s combat boots use thinner, smaller-diameter lace.

If you use a larger-diameter lace, add a few inches to the total length you’ll need.  

a red boot lace next to a thinner brown lace
Lace diameter will affect how long your laces need to be

Flat Laces vs Round Shape Fits

The lace shape also affects how long your laces need to be.  Round laces tend to take up a little more room and, therefore, need to be longer, while flat laces can be pulled more tightly.

If you’re using a round lace, add a few centimeters to your total lace length. 

a pink flat lace next to a black hiking boot lace
Flat laces can often be pulled tighter, requiring slightly less length

Lacing Preference

Finally, how you prefer to lace your shoes will affect how long your laces need to be. If you prefer to wrap your laces around your ankle for extra support, you’ll need to add an extra 6-7 inches. 

Looking for Other Hiking Gear Tips and Tricks?  Check Out These Articles

Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Hot Weather Hiking Shirts (2024)

Hiking in Jeans: Important Considerations

Find the Best Hiking Shoes for Achilles Tendon Problems (2024)

How Many Miles Can You Hike in a Day?

Are Duck Boots Good for Hiking? (Practical Advice)

27 Best Gadgets for Hiking (Ultimate Budget Guide)