serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Running Shoe Laces: Does Longer Mean Better?

posted by Chris Barber

shoe-laces-resize-2The search for the perfect running shoe is over.  I decided to go with the same brand of running shoe I had before.  I tried many different types of shoes, ran in them, did my research and eventually could not find a running shoe that I liked better than my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8s. I guess if the shoe fits, run in it.  There’s no need to reinvent your “wheels.”

Although I found my perfect pair of running shoes, I still have a problem with the shoe laces being too long.  It seems to be the norm in running shoes these days.  I don’t know why.  So now I have to find the right laces for my perfect running shoes.  Why is it so difficult to make me happy?  Because I demand perfection.  Well, at the very least, I demand being close to spectacular.

I didn’t realize how diverse shoe laces had become until I started doing my research.  You’ve got the flat, the fat, the round, the colored, the infants, the big foot, the waxed, the elastic, even the butterfly and the daisy styles.  These are just some examples, there is a plethora of other shoe laces out there.  It became too much information for me to properly delineate.  Apparently there are 2 Trillion ways to lace up a standard 12-eyelet pair of shoes.  Click here if you want to learn more about general shoe lacing and tying techniques from Ian, a shoelace expert and connoisseur. It’s actually pretty interesting.  Then, go to your parents house and yell at them for not teaching you how to properly tie your shoes when you were 5 years old.  I personally wore Velcro shoes until I was about 10 years old.  Why learn to tie your shoes when you can wear Velcro?  I was so much smarter back then.

So, although I bought the exact same pair of running shoes that I had previously owned, I’m always looking to try new things, but I just don’t understand why running shoe laces have been getting longer and longer as time passes.  Are people’s feet evolving to be wider?  I didn’t realize homosapiens had balance issues.  Maybe my feet are just that skinny and when I tighten my shoes I get all a lot of that extra lace.  And no, it’s not true what they say about the width of one’s feet being directly proportional to other body parts.  Shattering stereotypes is my middle name baby.  Chris Shattering Stereotypes Barber, B.A.  Don’t act like your not impressed.

I don’t think I’m smarter than the shoeientists and shoeginneers at Nike, Brooks, or New Balance; so with my last pair of Brooks Adrenaline 8s I tried using the standard model laces that came with the shoes for the first couple of months.  Upgrades are a rip off anyways.  As my shoes tightened to my feet, the longer my laces  hung out.  I’m all for “hanging out” but it started to become a hazard for me.  I started to trip over the excess string, falling to the ground on multiple occasions.  Even though my falls were typically when I was running with someone of a slower running pace, I needed laces that would be safe for any pace I chose to run.  I finally broke down and bought some standard shorter, thinner shoe laces at the dollar store and put them in my running shoes.  I’m going to do it again for my new running shoes.  I’ll probably get some other things at the dollar store too.  Steak sauce, “orange” cleaning solution, maybe a spatula or an extension cord.  I don’t know.  I don’t know if I’ll have enough time.

I honestly can’t understand why the thicker, round, and longer laces that come on most running shoes today are better.  The thickness and roundness of the laces helps the knot hold better but the length is just plain ridiculous.  Even when you double or triple knot the laces they end up being way too long.  Even Shaq would have excess lace on his running shoes.  Not that Shaq runs.  That’s for Stevey Nash to worry about.

Our American way of thinking that bigger is better doesn’t always ring true.  “Super-sized” food just makes us fatter, SUVs use way too much expensive gas, and big houses come with high mortgages that Americans are struggling to afford right now.  Let’s stop this Manifest Destiny of running shoe laces before it’s too late.  Next thing you know we’ll be buying Alaska or Louisiana!  The horror.

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  1. runner1 says:

    I think longer laces are yet another example of Hip-Hop influence on modern society. When you’re at the dollar store see if they have laces in red or blue (depending on your local gang affiliation) – then you’ll be legit.

  2. eddie says:

    I agree. I think Kayne West needs to call the running shoe companies and tell them that baggy isn’t hip anymore. The style is tight, nerdy, and preppy with a hint of retro-80s. I participate in Big Brothers of America; I’m hip to the scene.

    As for the gang affiliations, I’m sorry to say they no longer wear their colors. Organized crime laws started encompassing gangs about 6 years ago allowing police to arrest gang members for simply wearing gang affiliation clothing. I lived in Inglewood, CA for 4 years, so I’m hip to this scene too. Sucks for the gang members with all that blue or red clothing that they can’t wear anymore. The Man’s always keeping people down.

    Yeeaaaahhhhh, Booyyyyiii! Where’d I put my clock necklace?

  3. [...] 1.  Running Shoe Laces:  Does Longer Mean Better? [...]

  4. [...] this process I add my own, shorter shoe laces (see picture above) to all of my new running shoes.  Check out my research on why running shoe laces have become so long.  I’m a running shoeientist.  Although these [...]

  5. RunShorts says:

    A few days ago I was biking to my run club and my extra-long laces wound around my pedal – without me realizing this was happening, such is the length of the lace – until my foot became chained to my bike. On the busiest street in my overpopulated city, I tried to pull over to the curb without toppling into the oncoming evening commuters while my Husband quickly ditched his own bike in an attempt to separate me from mine. I was wound so tight, with so little slack left, it took him several seconds of unwinding to free me from my trap. It was a harrowing experience.

  6. greg says:

    1. The shoe company’s are just trying to save a few pennies by buying one size.
    2. Fat people = fat feet which means the one size is huge.

    Demand the right sized laces! Insist that the shoe store GIVE you them!!!!