Dear shoe companies: fix your laces, please!

IMG 4040 225x300 Dear shoe companies: fix your laces, please!A 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? 

pin it button Dear shoe companies: fix your laces, please!

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Comments

  1. 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. 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. OMG! I flippin hate that! I have to double knot everything and even that is no guarantee that it will stay tied. Hopefully this post will have some effect on that change.
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday (Thursday Edition) – Pictsweet All Natural Collard Greens ReviewMy Profile

  4. I double knot everything just because I like a snug fit. Do some races really use the shoe chip timers? I’ve done some very, very small local races that even don’t use that anymore.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..High Five FridayMy Profile

  5. My Altras are the worst for coming untied! Yes I agree better laces are needed.
    Christy @My Dirt Road Anthem recently posted..Three point Two Things ThursdayMy Profile

  6. Hmm I don’t have an issue with them coming untied, what I do have an issue with is the tongue sliding off to the side of my foot. happens all the time
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..Spring Bootie Buster Challenge – New Features!My Profile

  7. 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

  8. Amen! Also. Amen!

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a replacement lace option that works?

  9. I’ve resigned myself to always double knotting… otherwise, it’s a mess! But you’re so right, it would be amazing if we didn’t have to!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Practice GratitudeMy Profile

  10. I have just fallen in love with Lock Laces … because I totally agree with you on the problem! Ugh – and in the winter it is worse. Just before Christmas I was out for a run in the cold and my laces untied and I thought … I cannot even.
    Michael Anderson recently posted..Thought for Thursday – On ParentingMy Profile

  11. Hahaha, love this post! So far I’m lucky and don’t have much trouble with laces.
    Christine recently posted..Baby Bump Update – Week 35My Profile

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. I always, always, always double knot my laces for this exact reason. Sigh. You might like Hickies. I reviewed them last year: http://www.runkarlarun.com/2013/10/08/review-hickies-elastic-lacing-system/ Great product for runners who don’t want to bother with laces.

  15. There’s also the reverse problem, where the laces just won’t come untied, though this is usually only a problem when double-knotted or with kids’ shoes (of course).
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Wintry Weekend PlannedMy Profile

  16. Yep. I hear ya!
    Kierston recently posted..#RECIPEFRIDAY: Low Carb Tomato Basil Portobello Mushroom PizzaMy Profile

  17. I am a double knotter and that seems to do the trick for me. And no problems at the end of the race giving back a timing chip if it is one for the shoes.
    Betsy recently posted..Calling All Detroit Idiots!My Profile

  18. Totally. I took the laces out of my Mizuno Wave Universe 4 and put them in my favorite racing shoes for this reason. The Mizuno laces have never let me down.
    bob recently posted..Tough couple of daysMy Profile

  19. 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

  20. I’m a freak I guess, I’ve never had a pair of laces open on me. I wore Brooks and now Adidas and have never had them untie. I don’t double knot or anything.
    Robin recently posted..9 Weeks TodayMy Profile

  21. Untied laces while running (and especially racing) is the worst! I have to keep them double knotted for sure.

  22. Yes, They need to work on that one, whoever I do double knot every run.

  23. Ha ha ha! I’m absolutely certain that your recommendation had everything to do with the proliferation of zippered pockets. Way to go!! And I have no doubt the shoe companies will fall in line with this request too. My Montrail trail shoes have ‘bumpy’ laces that seem to stay tied longer. I always double knot, too, just in case.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..5 Ways Motherhood Makes Me a Better RunnerMy Profile

  24. I always have to double knot my laces. They are so darn slippery! And is it me or are laces getting shorter too? Or maybe I just notice this more on my kids’ shoes because the laces are so short that it’s really hard for my son to tie his own shoe sometimes. Oy!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Out-Doing OurselvesMy Profile

  25. Actually, the only time my laces have come undone is during a 5k. The only time. You know, when the 30s that you need to stoop down and tie them again actually MATTERS. :) Otherwise, a strong double-knot and I’m usually good to go.
    Ashley @ Snow Cream and Syrup recently posted..I’ve got the travel bugMy Profile

  26. 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

  27. I usually just end up double knotting them. It makes me feel like a little kid, but it’s necessary;)
    Rachelle Q recently posted..Free Rant FridayMy Profile

  28. YES! I double knot my shoes, and I still have issues. Like today. I was 1.25 miles in on the treadmill and the laces to my Altras came undone. I distinctly remember double knotting them in the locker room. I have used Lock Laces but only with a more traditional shoe.
    Kimberly @ Healthy Strides recently posted..The secret to strong arms: Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  29. I just double knot them.

    It’s interesting that a lot of the races over here are using timing chips that are on the back of the race bibs. I think I only did one race last year that used a shoe-style chip.
    Char recently posted..Happy Endings – This Week’s Updates.My Profile

  30. The shoe companies bettah take heed to your authoritative voice on this matter. If they don’t, I’ll soon be opening a shoelace factory that’s run circles around their strings.
    Yum Yucky recently posted..Never in a gazillion years will you see this again.My Profile

  31. All of my Saucony shoes have ridiculous laces so I’ve come to really love Lock Laces! And now I’m quickly discovering that Altras are no better so it may be time to order more Laces!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Friday Five – February EditionMy Profile

  32. I hear ya…I just always double knot! I could use longer lace on my pureflow 3′s!
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted..Be Stronger than your Excuses & Happy National Strawberry Day!!!My Profile

  33. my husband like the on running shoe laces. I need to check out how they got them that way. I need to give lock laces another go, but i think they don’t look pretty. haha
    lindsay recently posted..How to Make your own Kombucha ScobyMy Profile

  34. I was starting to think that I was just getting lazy with my shoe tying skills!! I’ve had to revert to double knotting just about every run lately – so annoying!!! I hope your letter works!!
    Kim recently posted..What’s Your Minimum?My Profile

  35. 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.

  36. OMG- some come undone within minutes! It’s unbelievable!
    Erik recently posted..My kid’s picture book is on Amazon!!My Profile

  37. OMG – yes!!!!!! I even double tie & have issues!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..I’m OK, You’re OK – Wait I am NOT OK – Social Media PressureMy Profile

  38. Haha! I actually look forward to my shoes coming untied so I can stop to catch my breath!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Waiting for spring…My Profile

  39. Double knot for me every time. I often run in Salomons and love the quick lacing system but even then I sometimes “knot” thrm for added security
    Mad Mick recently posted..This is lifeMy Profile

  40. 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

  41. Double knot all the way! I just assume my laces will come undone – see, we’re brainwashed into thinking it’s ok and normal to have crappy laces!! ;)
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted..Scenes from a weekend #17My Profile

  42. I always double knot, and don’t usually have any issues with my shoes coming untied. There aren’t too many races that have the chips to be returned at the end anymore, are there?
    Kristen L @ DYL recently posted..Playing Catch-upMy Profile

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  1. […] Are your shoelaces going extinct?  Miss Zippy sure would like to see them gone. […]

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