Dear shoe companies: fix your laces, please!

SauconyA couple of years ago, I wrote a post appealing to run clothing manufacturers to add more zipper pockets to their pieces. I think things have improved in this regard and I’m quite sure it had everything to do with that post because we bloggers are all powerful like that.

Since my efforts worked so well on that issue, I thought it was time to tackle another design element that bugs me, that being the crappy, way-too-easy-to-come-untied shoelaces that most running shoes feature. Can I get an amen on that?

I mean really, Asics, Nike, New Balance, Under Armour, Brooks, Merrell, Saucony, Mizuno, etc.: you all can do better. Nothing is more annoying than being totally in your groove on a run and then noticing that your shoe is untied. Having to stop that perfect rhythm and bend down to tie a lace just kind of puts a damper on the run.

I’ve even gone so far as to ignore loose laces in the middle of a run or race simply because I didn’t feel like stopping to tie them. Ask my friends about the year we ran Richmond and at least 50 people came by us saying, “hey, your shoe is untied.” That was fun.

I know, I know. There are things like Lace Locks and Yankz, and believe me, I have used them from time to time. There’s also double knotting your shoes. This is fine, I suppose, for a training run. But in a race where the organizer is still using shoe chips that need to be removed at the finish line, it’s not so fine. Really, I just think that someone could design two feet of some sort of material that could stay tied with one simple knot, don’t you?

So shoe companies, please take up this cause. This major #firstworldproblem needs your attention.

Who’s with me on this? Have you found any laces that beat the system? 

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  1. says

    I love the double knot. Hasn’t failed me yet and I run in Brooks and Merrell shoes. I don’t really like how some shoes have laces that are really, really long. I have to tuck them under themselves to keep from feeling like I’m being whipped with each and every step.
    Karen recently posted..An Alyeska IntroductionMy Profile

  2. says

    Interesting to read this, because honestly…it’s a problem that I seldom have. I know others do, but somehow I must have magical lace karma.

    OR it’s because I use the secret tightener my Mom taught me (I use by default) is magic. Might be worth a shot for you: Begin to tie your shoes ‘regularly’ – make a loop with one lace (Lace A), circle the other lace (Lace B) around and thread it back into the circle just created – THEN (magic): bring Lace B back over the top and thread it through the circle AGAIN. Pull loops tight and even out ends as usual. When done properly (if you could follow my directions), this knot will NOT come undone accidentally BUT can be freed just like a standard knot – with a simple tug on one of the laces.

    Good luck!

    [Or just opt for Salomon sneakers, with their cinch pull laces!]

  3. says

    Yes to the pockets! I still have a few tops and bottoms with no pockets and when I wear them together it makes me very angry…and then I have to change!! They have gotten MUCH better. Laces? I did notice that my latest pair of Ravennas laces aren’t long enough for me to double knot – which I always do!? So far, they have remained tied, but there’s little more annoying then having to stop and tie your shoes!!
    My Topo’s actually have a very cool lace-less system and you can tighten them with a circular “knob” on the side. Very cool but I need more support on longer runs!
    Allie recently posted..Think Outside the Frame with #WeMontageMy Profile

  4. says

    When I wore Saucony Kinvaras for everything, this was a gigantic problem. There’s nothing that breaks your pace or focus up more than a dead stop and 10 second pause! They came undone all the time, regardless of double knots, and I did often leave them untied if I was almost done with the run.
    Now, my Mizuno Mushas, on the other hand, are brilliant about staying tied. The laces have metallic threads running through them that change the texture enough to add a little grip. They never come untied.
    Gracie (Complicated Day) recently posted..Coming up next: The Great St. Charles Ave Road RaceMy Profile

  5. says

    I double knot and don’t have any problems with them coming untied. (That may be the result of my sluggish pace too.) My new Hokas came with drawstrings. I was skeptical, and when the things came apart in my hands in the store, I knew I would cut them off and use regular laces. Nike says I’ve now run enuf miles to wear purple laces. Go me!

    As for the shoe sensors, here in Kansas City I think the running outfits must have bought thousands of the things and feel they need to use them until enuf are lost or kept as souvenirs (supposedly a $25 fee for not returning them). I don’t mind them so much, and they don’t interfere with my lacing (again, pace) but I like the timer in the bib feature.
    Paul Lamb recently posted..epsom saltsMy Profile

  6. says

    I don’t have that problem too much, but I think that they need to be LONGER. My Kinvaras can barely be tied because there is not enough lace. If I take them out of one hole, then the shoe doesn’t fit as snug and it rubs me on the back of the heel. So annoying! Also I tried the Solomons with the zip tie laces and they are horrible! They still start coming loose and I end up having to adjust them a bunch of times during a race.
    Travel Spot recently posted..What I Learned: EtymologyMy Profile

  7. says

    I’ve never had laces open on me either. That said I always double knot. Now those round laces that never stay tied are another story. The Caveman wears a pair of trail shoes that are constantly open. Such a PIA.
    But you’re right. Surely there’s a better material out there.
    Marcia recently posted..Currently and Two WinnersMy Profile

  8. says

    I had really bad problems with the old Brooks Green Silence coming untied every five feet. They had a wide flat lace. The round cotton laces work better for me. Nylon is kind of a pain in any shape.

  9. says

    My complaint about shoe laces is that they are never long enough. There is barely enough there for me to tie my shoe. I’ve tried all different lace patterns, but no matter what it’s not enough. I have a high instep and just need longer laces.
    Kim A. recently posted..None Shall PassMy Profile