One-Handed Lacing

One-Handed Lacing

How do I lace a shoe with one hand?

People who can only use one hand due to paralysis (e.g. caused by a stroke) or amputation can still wear lace-up shoes. Shoes with hook and loop fasteners are a good option, but the range of models for adults is limited.

Lacing a shoe is simple with the right technique. The Guide for One-Handed Lacing teaches how to lace shoes with one hand step by step. You might need slightly longer shoelaces depending on the type of shoe.

In this video, Beate Hesse-Saborowsky laces up her right orthosis shoe with her left hand. Before the stroke, Beate was right-handed. Today, she can not only write with her left hand, but lace her shoes as well.

Step by Step

Lacing Shoes with One Hand

These drawings show every step of the one-handed lacing. Orient yourself on the turquoise end of the shoelace.

  • If you put the shoe between your knees, for example, you can lace up the shoe comfortably. Guide one end of the shoelace from below through the last hole on the left side.
  • Guide the end through the last hole on the right side from above and pull it out a little bit.
  • Tie a knot by placing the shorter end on top of the longer one and then pulling it out from underneath.
  • The shorter end should only be long enough to tie a knot with it.
  • Tie a second knot by placing the shorter end on top of the longer one and then pulling it out from underneath.
  • Tighten the knot and put it inside the left side of the shoe so that it is not visible any more.
  • Guide the other end from below through the next hole on the right side and then from above through the next hole on the left side. Continue until you have guided the shoelace through all holes.
  • Put the shoe on.
  • Tighten the shoelace again until the shoe is tight enough.
  • Place the end over the top row of the shoelace and pull it underneath to create a loop.
  • Guide the shoelace through the loop to create another loop. Do not pull the end of the shoelace through the loop.
  • Pull the loop to tighten the knot.
  • Put the shoelace into the shoe and then close the hook and loop fastener.