In boot camp we were told to lace our shoes from the inside out so there is not a bridge in the starting lace, and to lace them right over left. After reporting to [my command] I see many officers and petty officers with boots laced every which way. Should I correct them? Or were these rules just for boot camp?
I'll be the first to admit I don't focus as much on uniforms as much as others do. Some of the details and errors in uniforms slip by us, even if by accident. I don't think anyone is maliciously lacing their boots wrong, and if they are, most people aren't paying attention anyway. That being said, there is indeed a right and wrong way to do it. If at all possible, I would make my best attempt at doing things the right way, especially if I'm aware of the difference.
According to Navy uniform regulations for shoes, one should "Lace shoes from inside out through all eyelets and tie." This implies there is not to be a bridge, but it does not specify that shoes should be laced right over left. The same can be said of boots for the NWU Type I uniform: "Lace shoes from inside out through all eyelids and tie. Bootlaces will be tucked in a manner to present a well-kept appearance." The only argument that can be made against this that may be plausible is for the NWU Type II & III uniforms, whereby the regulations do not specify the proper manner for lacing. However, common sense would dictate following the established precedence set by the regulations for the other uniforms.
Generally speaking, if it's taught to you in boot camp, it's a good practice to carry over into your career, even though I don't see many people stenciling their underwear. If you feel like another person's discrepancy needs to be addressed, always do it respectfully, especially if they are senior to you. And don't be the kind of person who calls out other people to feel smug about yourself, especially if you're not 100% within standards yourself.
We should always strive to look and perform to our best ability. But when we fall short, our shipmates should have our back, and vice versa.