Why Do Hiking Boots Have Hooks?

why do hiking boots have hooks

If you’ve been hiking long enough, you may be familiar with various styles of hiking boots. Chances are you’ve seen hooks either on your own hiking boots, on the feet of your hiking buddies, or just on the shelves while looking for your perfect boot. These are called eyelets or speed hooks, and they’re one of the most important features of hiking boots.

So what is the purpose of speed hooks, and why might they be beneficial to have while you go about your hiking adventures?

What are speed hooks?

On an average hiking boot, you typically see the standard metal eyelets that require time and patience to lace. True to their name, speed hooks are metal hooks on the upper eyelets of your hiking boot that make the lacing process quicker and more efficient. 

Speed hooks are in place on your hiking boot to take away the fuss of threading through each eyelet of your boot, which requires time and both hands. If you get efficient enough at tying laces with a speed hook, you can get to a point where you only need one hand and a few seconds to tie your hiking boots. 

What makes speed hooks even more helpful is that they are adjustable. This means you can use the same pair of boots in different temperatures and terrain while quickly tightening or loosening your laces accordingly. 

How to Lace Speed Hooks

There are two ways in which you can tie speed laces. You can opt to use either one or two hands, depending on how dexterous you are. 

How to Lace Speed Hooks with Two Hands

Step 1. Fasten the Laces

You’re going to start off by fastening the laces to two of the metal hooks from whichever side you prefer and then cross both of the laces over to the other side. 

Step 2. Slide the Laces Up the Boot

Next, you’re going to repeat this process of hooking and crossing up to the top and final speed hook.

Step 3. Secure the Laces

Take the laces that you just fastened, and cross them back over to the other side one final time. Only this time, you’re going to slide them beneath the vertical lace. 

After this, you can tie your shoes normally, or if your laces are long enough, you can loop them around your ankle and then finish the knot back at the front of the boot. 

This technique of lacing with speed hooks is going to make sure that your laces will not come undone when you’re out on your hike. 

How to Lace Speed Hooks with One Hand

Once you master the two-handed technique of tying with speed hooks, you can try your hand at attempting to secure your boot with just one hand. 

Step 1. Grab your Laces with One Hand

To get this technique just right, you should hold one of the laces between your ring and middle finger and the other place between your middle finger and your index finger.

Step 2. Weave the Laces

Once you have a firm grip on your laces, you’re going to pull the laces taut and then pull them side to side, weaving the laces through each speed hook.

This technique is going to take some time to master, but with practice, you’ll be able to save time and be able to re-tie your hiking boots even if one of your hands is busy holding you up on a scramble. 

What Is A Tongue Loop?

Have you ever noticed on your hiking boot that there is a little loop in the middle of its tongue? You may have wondered what the purpose of this extra loop is, and that purpose is to provide extra security to your laces, as well as to prevent the tongue from sliding about while you trek along. 

Before you start securing your laces to your speed hood, thread your laces regularly through the boot’s metal eyelets. You’ll eventually get to the middle of the tongue, which is where the tongue loop is. There are typically two holes you can thread your laces through, one for each lace. Thread them through in opposite directions, then go about fastening your speed hooks with the technique of your choice. 


Opting for a boot with speed hooks is excellent for those who want more secure laces, as well as for those who want to save time from tediously threading up your shoes. 

A hiking boot that comes with speed hooks combined with a tongue loop is going to provide you the most security when you are hiking your trails, regardless of your hike’s level of intensity. 

Now that you’ve learned how to lace speed hooks, go ahead and give it a try! You’ll be able to get your boots on and off in a flash.

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