Last updated: August 20, 2021

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In the world of fashion even the smallest details have an important function, without them, we probably wouldn't look the same, and the outfit wouldn't be as functional as you would expect, so don't underestimate the importance of the little things.

A clear example of a minimal but important detail is the laces. If they were not present in the shoes that require them, walking would be very uncomfortable and insecure. Also, part of the charm of footwear is in the laces, as wearing the wrong colour completely changes the look.

It's normal to get lost when choosing laces, they are such a minimal element that is not often analysed too much. However, in this article you will learn everything you need to know and consider before making your purchase, so that you get the product you need.




First the most important things

  • Shoelaces are a key element to footwear, as they allow for the perfect fit, which makes walking, jogging or running so comfortable. They are a major tool for sportsmen and women, as they ensure that no accidents occur. An item that, without a doubt, you can't miss out on.
  • There are two different models on the market, which are the most relevant in the world of shoelaces: the elastic ones and the common ones. While the former provide a high level of safety and are normally used by athletes, the latter is a more economical option for everyday use, although not as durable.
  • When selecting the right lace, it is important to consider certain aspects that will help you during the selection process. Size, design and colour, safety and shape are the most relevant.

The Best Shoelaces: Our Picks

Before going into the theory of shoelaces, an excellent first approach to shoelaces as a product is to look at the models and offers the market has to offer.

Buying Guide

After seeing the best offers that the market has in terms of shoelaces, you may already have a clearer idea of what they are, what level of quality they should have and which one may be the one you need. However, there are certain aspects that you should not forget to consider, and you will find them in this buying guide.

Shoelaces are an essential element for your footwear, both for comfort and safety, and you will make use of them in any activity, from casual to sports. (Photo: Dean Drobot/ 123rf.com)

What are laces and what are their advantages?

Shoelaces are basically a shoe accessory and tool. They allow the perfect fit of the shoe, so that when you walk you can do it safely. In addition, their style completes the aesthetic design of the footwear, achieving a better appearance.

Among the main benefits of laces is safety. Thanks to its design, like that of the shoes, it can make the shoes completely tight, so that it is difficult for them to come off. In this way they allow you to walk, run or jog in complete safety.

It is normal that this, like any product, has advantages and disadvantages, and although what is most interesting about a product is what it gives you, the details that make it less than perfect are also important at the time of purchase, so that you can be sure that you really know what you are buying.

Advantages
  • They are safe
  • Very economical
  • They have a variety of colours
Disadvantages
  • They can deteriorate in the wash
  • If the tip is damaged, they are very complicated to put on
  • The adjustment is manual. If not done properly, they lose their security

Elastic shoelaces and common shoelaces - what should you pay attention to?

There are two main types of shoelaces on the market: common shoelaces, which are normally used on a daily basis, and elastic shoelaces, which are designed for greater practicality when using them, and even greater safety.

Elastic laces: The reinvention of a concept is key for it to remain and improve, and that is what these laces show, which allow a more secure fit, even without the need for knots, to prevent them from untying, generating a possible accident.

Depending on the model, they can be laces that generate a resistance force, similar to what happens with elastic bands. This aspect makes the fit more secure, especially for people who train, run or climb, where the feet are the main tool.

Common laces: We see them on a daily basis, so it is certainly a resource that is far from becoming obsolete. Common laces are an example of versatility, as they can fit virtually any footwear. They are flat, which makes them fit better in the hoops where they should go through.

The material typically used for this type of laces is cotton, which makes them not very resistant, especially if they are machine washed. They are very economical and have a wide variety of designs and colours, compared to elastic laces.

Elastic needles Common needles
Resistance They are very resistant They deteriorate easily.
Price A little high Affordable
Security High security Medium - High
Designs A limited variety Great variety in colour and motifs

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of laces

As a final point, before choosing the right shoelace, you should consider some factors that will help you make comparisons, so that you can make the right purchase and be satisfied with the shoelace model you choose. Among so many, it is very easy to get confused, but the decision will be simple if you analyse these criteria.

  • Shape
  • Colour and design
  • Safety
  • Size

Shape

Laces come in two shapes: flat and cylindrical. Each is suitable for a particular type of shoe, where the lacing grooves are different, in order to provide greater security and fit.

Flat laces: These are the most common, usually used in casual footwear such as tennis shoes. The lace slots are usually circular, precisely so that when adjusting the laces, it is not so easy for them to come off.

These laces are the ones that you commonly use on a daily basis. They can be interchanged with almost any shoe, as they are the "standard" ones. This way is safe, but not too much when it comes to sports.

Cylindrical laces: As the name says, they are like a kind of tube. They usually go into the lace grooves of sports shoes, where it is not a ring, but an elastic fabric that forms an opening, through which the lace goes through.

Due to their composition, they generate a resistance at the moment of lacing, which provides a better fit to the footwear. These have a higher level of security, which is necessary in sports shoes, which are normally used for activities where there must be firmness.

The shape of the lacing can give more or less security, as well as transmitting a different message depending on the shoe - choose the one that works best for you! (Photo: Jozef Polc / 123rf.com)

Colour and design

The colour and design of the laces can completely change the look of the shoes you wear. Whether it's enhancing the look, going unnoticed or even completely altering the way the shoe looks.

It's important to consider what type of shoe it is, where you'll be wearing it and why you'll be applying those laces. Believe it or not, an important part of a shoe is its laces, as they are the final detail that completes its structure.

The unnoticed designs are the ones that have the same colour as the shoe itself, for example: red shoes, red laces. This look is great if you want the shoe to stand out and not the laces. A formal look would normally apply this combination.

If you want to create contrasts, you can create them by using the lace-up in a colour that pops against the base of the shoe. This gives your footwear life and style of its own. A key example is Converse, as they use this style of colour and design in most of their shoes.

The colour and design of your laces can blend in with the colour of the shoe, or stand out from it, so that it presents a style of its own.(Photo: Jordi2r / 123rf.com)

Safety

Safety in footwear is essential, because, although you use them to walk in a quiet and common day to day, when used in sports or work the risks increase, and it is important that you know that you can count on shoes that will remain firm, thanks to their laces.

There are laces that are decorative, but not very safe, and they are forbidden in work or sport areas, such as, for example, the flat ribbon laces, which are usually decorative.

Flat laces are already risky in themselves, because they do not exert a level of tightening resistance like elastic laces, but if they are used with tape, it is easier for them to lose their tightness.

If you work in high-risk areas (factories, construction, etc.), it is best to use elastic laces, so that every step you take is firm and therefore you are not prone to accidents in your area. The same applies to sporting activities.

Size

When purchasing your shoelaces, you should consider the size of your shoelaces. A shoelace that is too long or too short automatically represents a safety problem. The fit can be impaired, as can the ease of walking.

If you get a lace that is too long, the excess will stick out of the shoe, which means that you can trip over it when walking or running. If it's too short, you won't be able to adjust the shoe properly, and it may be too tight or too loose. This can lead to discomfort.

To be sure that the size is correct, you should look at the size of the shoe you are wearing, as the laces are directly proportional to the size. Of course, always take into account what type of shoe it is, because the length of a tennis shoe is not the same as that of a formal or sports shoe.

(Featured image photo: Peter Bernik/ 123rf.com)

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