Footbag FAQ: Freestyle

Frequently-Asked Questions

How do I lace and modify my Rod Laver shoes for freestyle?

There are actually several different ways to make your Rod Lavers into the perfect freestyle shoe, depending on your taste and level of ability. The information below is meant as an example of how some players modify their shoes. Feel free to experiment with different lacing techniques to open the toe.

For a companion photo gallery that shows one way to modify your lavers, check out (thanks to Dat Phan).

Essential Modifications

Before you use your Lavers, you must make a few basic modifications to the shoes to make them right for freestyle (if you don't make these modifications, you may not enjoy this shoe -- but once you make them, your life will change and you will find eternal joy in footbag freestyle).

To make these modifications, you'll need a small pair of scissors and a sharp knife (or razor blade):

  1. Remove the insole (assuming you have your Spenco insoles without any support, just flat green neopreneish stuff ready) and the entire insole.
  2. Remove the stitches that hold down the front toe area. But not all the way. Stop when you get to the leather strip that runs around the toe. That stays.
  3. (Most difficult) Carefully remove the hard canvas stuff on the inside of the inside part of each shoe. This is delicate because you don't want to cut through, so pinch a little from the outside and pull from the inside, then gently nip at the inside with the scissors to weaken it, then get the scissors in there carefully and open a small slit, then use you pinky finger to separate the canvas from the nylon and carefully cut out the canvas. Then most difficult, remove the canvas from under the toe area using similar technique.
  4. Insert the insole and lace 'em up.
  5. (Optional) Remove foam padding from just above toe area.

Lacing for Freestyle

Note: Dat Phan has created a nice photo gallery showing several variations of lacing schemes for freestyle. So, read the info below, but also check out his gallery at

There are several ways to lace your shoes for freestyle -- we give two ways below. These instructions apply to any type of shoe (not just Lavers). Both of the methods below create the same basic effect.

Method #1

Start on the fourth set of holes from the bottom, center your lace and work each side up, first along the outside and in, straight across to the other side out and up to the next hole, straight through to the other side and up one more, and straight through to the other side. Do this with both "sides" of the lace. There should be 1 untouched level of eyelets at the top. Note: two laces go through each hole in above step(s), no criss-cross. Now bring the lace down along the outside of lacing area to the 3rd row (highest available empty row) and go in but not across, then go down along the inside of lacing area to the 2nd row (next row) and go out there and bring lace all the way to the top most row (previously left empty) and go in there and straight across. Do that for both sides.

Method #2

Start in the fourth hole and pull the laces up through that hole and lace them normally through the 4th, 5th, and 6th, but stop at the 6th (just bringing it up through the 6th). Then, take the laces from the 6th, down through the 3rd, and back up through the 2nd. From the 2nd hole (always counting from the TOE) go way up to the hole 7th closest to your ankle. Go down through that hole (inward) And once each lace has gone through the 7th hole take them up through the opposite seventh hole.
Entry last updated by Steve Goldberg on 7-Apr-2004.
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