Traveler's Gear Box: Lock Laces
Some years back, one of my favorite shoemakers had an ingenious lacing system. It all revolved around a shock-cord like lace that was sealed; it was one circular lace.
The nice thing about it was that it was simple to lace up. You pulled the laces through a locking system until you reached your desired tightness, and that was it.
Unfortunately, this company did away with that lacing system for a short period of time, apparently only coming to realize how popular that lacing system was after they did away with it. (It since has resurfaced in some models.)
So imagine how thrilled I was when I got a sample of Lock Laces (MSRP $7.99).These basically are shock-cord like laces that you use to replace your current worn-out laces in your shoes. After you thread the laces through your shoes' eyelets, you run them through a locking mechanism and then cut to fit. The ends of the laces go into an alligator-like clip that prevents them from unraveling.
Now, cutting these laces to fit can take a little trial and error. The guidelines suggest that you cut the laces off two or three inches below the locking mechanism once you've threaded it through the mechanism. I found that this was not enough, as I wound up with seven or eight inches of lace flopping around on top of my shoe.
The solution, of course, was simply to pull the laces tight, see how much excess lacing there was, and cut away what I didn’t need. Now, again, this can involve a little bit of trial and error, so you’d be wise to go slowly with the scissors and only cut a little bit at a time.
While these laces might thwart the educational opportunity of teaching youngsters how to tie their shoes, they do make speed lacing an easy task.
Oh, and don't worry about that "royal blue" lacing in the accompanying photo. Lock Laces also come in some nice earth-tone colors.