Shoelaces are an everyday item, and most people don’t spend too much time thinking about them at all.
Finding the right laces, however, can define your style or help your shoes feel more comfortable and secure.
There are a few simple ways to figure out what size and type of laces you need.
Original Shoelace Length
The easiest way to figure out what shoelace length you need is to measure the old laces.
Simply take one lace, start at the very end, and use a ruler or tape measure to figure out how long the lace is.
You can either buy a pair of laces of the same length or make adjustments if you felt that the original laces were too long or short.
Shoelace Length Based on Eyelets
Another great way to figure out what size shoelaces you need is to count the eyelets on the shoes.
Eyelets are the small holes the shoelaces pass through.
Figure out how many pairs of eyelets are on the shoe, not how many eyelets total.
Shoes that have two to four eyelet pairs need a shoelace of at least 24 inches. Shoes with between three and five pairs of eyelets usually need shoelaces that are 30 inches long. Use a 36-inch shoelace for a shoe with five or six pairs of eyelets. Shoes with six to seven eyelet pairs might need a 45-inch shoelace. A 55-inch shoelace works well for shoes with eight to 10 pairs of eyelets, while shoes that have 10 or more eyelets will need a shoelace of at least 59 inches.
Using eyelets to figure out how long your laces should be works best on sneakers or other types of shoes that only come up to about the ankle.
|# of eyelets||Shoelace length|
Shoelace Length Based on Shoe Size and Type
You can also figure out what size shoelaces you need by considering the size or type of shoe.
For example, low-top kids’ shoes usually need laces that are about 27 inches long.
Kids’ high-top shoes or junior low-top shoes usually require laces of at least 36 inches.
Junior high-tops and adult low-tops generally need shoelaces that are at least 45 inches long, and adult high-tops usually take laces that are at least 54 inches long.
Boots, on the other hand, have different lace requirements than sneakers or flats, often because they’re made with thicker materials.
Hiking boots with a low-top often require shoelaces that are at least 45 inches long.
Tall hiking books often need shoelaces that are 63 inches long.
Low work boots tend to require shoelaces between 54 and 72 inches long, with taller boots requiring longer laces.
|Shoe type||Shoelace length|
|Kids low top||27 inches|
|Kids high top||36 inches|
|Junior low top||36 inches|
|Junior high top||45 inches|
|Adult low top||45 inches|
|Adult high top||54 inches|
|Hiking boots low top||45 inches|
|Trail hiking boots||63 inches|
|Low work boots||54-72 inches|
|High work boots||72+ inches|
Some shoelaces are designed to present a particular style, and these laces are often a bit shorter than regular laces.
Laces that curl at the ends, for example, aren’t meant to be tied, so they’re often shorter.
Other shorter laces are designed to have only a small knot at the end of each lace to keep it in place.
These laces work well for slip-on sneakers.
Since there’s no need to tie a bow, the laces are considerably shorter than usual.
There are many different types of shoelaces, and they come in hundreds of different colors.
However, there are six main types of shoelaces, and choosing which ones work for you will depend on your needs and your shoe style.
Flat cotton or polyester laces are one of the most common types of shoelace.
These laces are often seen in sneakers or running shoes.
These laces tend to be easy to clean, but they aren’t very durable, so they will most likely need to be replaced over the shoe’s lifetime.
Flat waxed laces are made of the same materials as flat cotton or polyester laces, but they’ve had a coating of wax applied.
Waxed laces are much more durable and will stand up to water or repeated wear.
Round cotton or polyester laces are a bit more durable than their flat counterparts.
These laces are used in sneakers, running shoes, dress shoes, and some boots.
Rawhide laces are stylish and very durable, but they can be stiff and difficult to tie.
These laces are most commonly used as decoration on shoes like moccasins.
Braided nylon laces are commonly seen on boots.
These laces are very strong and tend to last for a long time.
They’re also generally a bit thicker, so they don’t tangle easily and tend to be easy to tie.
Paracord is similar to braided nylon in that it’s incredibly durable.
It’s also very strong, and it’s available in a number of stylish colors and patterns.