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Do Your Boots Have Speed Hooks? Here's How to Use Them

This technique is jaw-droppingly fast.

fd speedhooks gear patrol lead full
Chase Pellerin

Welcome to Further Details, a recurring column where we investigate what purpose an oft-overlooked product element actually serves. This week: those hooks at the top of your boots.

If you’re the proud owner of a pair of Red Wing Heritage Iron Rangers, Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots or perhaps a pair of Viberg Derby Boots, you’re familiar with speed hooks. But even if you don’t have any of those popular boots, you’ve likely seen speed hooks on a number of other lace-up stompers.

What Are Speed Hooks?

Instead of the usual metal eyelets most shoes are equipped with, speed hooks are metal hooks which make lacing, as the name implies, speedy. Rather than having to fuss about, threading each lace carefully through each eyelet, speed hooks allow the wearer to simply wrap the laces around each hook. They’re especially useful for tall boots that require a bit more time and dexterity to slip into and out of. If your boot of choice lacks these quick-fastening doodads, you might’ve resorted to skipping the top set of eyelets to wrap the laces around the ankle instead.

As speedy as they are, you’re probably not getting full horsepower out of them. Most people would take one lace in each hand and wrap them around the speed hooks, crisscrossing the laces and exchanging them from one hand to the other as they make their way up the boot. That’s fine if you also like the slow lane, but you can kick it into high gear by using just one hand. Yes, one hand.

How to Use Speed Hooks More Efficiently

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Grab both laces with one hand, holding one lace between your ring and middle finger and the other lace between your middle finger and index finger. Pull the laces taut and pull them from side to side, weaving the laces around each speed hook, gliding back and forth like a professional speed skater hooker. It’ll take some practice to get up to, ahem, speed, but once you do, you’ll be shaving off valuable time from your morning routine.

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