Why Do Most Hiking Boots Have Red Laces? – Learn The History Of Red Laces

Why Do Most Hiking Boots Have Red Laces - Learn The History Of Red Laces

If you have ever gone hiking, you know that almost all hiking boots have red laces.

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why the red laces? What is the history behind this tradition?

As it turns out, there are a few reasons. The most common explanation is that red laces were used to help workers tell the difference between their work boots and hiking boots.

Red laces are also easier to see than other colors when trying to tie them in low light or during a snowstorm.

Today, we will explore this topic in depth to learn all the different reasons why most hiking boots have red laces.

Different Reasons Why Hiking Boots Have Red Laces?

Different Reasons Why Hiking Boots Have Red Laces

There are many reasons for why red laces are used in hiking boots. Let’s dive in and closely examine some of the most popular explanations.

1. To Help Workers Tell the Difference Between Their Boots

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, which is certainly true of the red lace.

For many years, workers in factories and other industrial settings have been required to wear boots as part of their uniforms.

However, this can pose a problem if multiple workers share the same boots with brown laces.

To help solve this problem, someone proposed putting a red lace on one boot and a green lace on the other, no matter the color of the original laces.

This way, workers can quickly tell which boot is theirs and which is the hiking boot ready for the weekend hike.

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While it may seem like a small detail, the red lace has helped to improve workplace safety and efficiency for countless workers over the years.

You can help your work boots last longer, especially since hiking boots will go through a lot more wear and tear than if you only used them for work.

2. Red Laced Hiking Boots Are Easier to See

2. Red Laced Hiking Boots Are Easier to See

Hiking boots are an essential piece of gear for any hiker, and choosing the right pair can make all the difference on the trail. One important consideration is the color of the laces.

While black laces may be classic, they can be difficult to see when you’re on the trail. If you’re looking for a little more visibility, opt for a pair of hiking boots with red shoelaces.

The contrast will make it easier to spot your hiking boots if you drop them and help you keep track of your partners if you get separated.

In addition, red laces are easy to spot in photos, so you can always remember exactly where you left your hiking boots at the end of the hike.

Whether you’re hiking in the mountains or just taking a leisurely walk in the park, red shoelaces can help you stay safe and prepared while enjoying the great outdoors.

3. Red Laces Have a Long History (SkinHead Culture)

The red lace is not a new invention. In fact, it has been used for centuries by different cultures for various purposes.

One of the earliest known examples comes from England in the 1960s. At that time, many working-class people belonged to the Skinheads group.

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The Skinheads are not typically part of the hiking community and have been more commonly associated with right-wing and racist viewpoints, cementing these beliefs in the 1980s National Front movement.

The longstanding tradition of skinheads wearing red laces hiking boots eventually spread to other countries, and remains a classic symbol of their movement – especially when combined with a pair of Doc Martens.

4. Red Laces Help You Stand Out From the Crowd

4. Red Laces Help You Stand Out From the Crowd

In today’s society, blending in with the crowd is easy. But if you’re looking for a way to stand out, red shoe laces are a great option.

Red laces can help you make a statement without saying a word. They can also show your personality and sense of style.

It also helps you stand out from the natural background colors. This is especially useful if you’re hiking in an area with many trees or other green foliage.

With earth tones being so popular these days, a pop of color can help you stand out in a sea of beige.

Red laces can also help you be seen more easily by search-and-rescue teams if you get lost.

5. They are Easier to See in Low Light or during a Snowstorm

Another common reason why red laces are used in hiking boots is that they are easier to see in low light or during a snowstorm.

This can be helpful if you need to tie your hiking boot laces in low light or if you’re hiking in a snowy area and need to be able to find your leather boots easily.

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Red laces are also less likely to get lost in the snow, making them a good choice for winter hikes.

No matter what time of year it is, red laces can help you stay safe and visible on the trail.

6. Red Laces Are Easier to Clean

Hiking boots can get dirty quickly, especially if you’re hiking in mud or snow. And while it’s important to clean your boots after every hike, removing all the dirt and grime can be difficult.

Fortunately, red laces are easier to clean than other colors. The contrast makes it easier to see when they’re dirty and helps you get them clean with less effort.

So, if you’re looking for an easy way to keep your boots clean, consider opting for a pair with red laces.



While the history of red laces might not be as interesting to some people as the hike itself, it is still an important part of the experience.

And just like any other aspect of your hike, taking a few minutes to learn about why things are done a certain way can help you enjoy it more and make the most out of your experience.

So the next time you go hiking, be sure to have your red laces tied tight and enjoy the hike.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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