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Running Shoelace Overview

August 20th, 2013

Running is beautifully simple: you just lace up and head out the door. But wait…what’s the deal with all the different types of shoelaces out there? Shoelace styles differ in more than just appearance, with each type offering a unique benefit. Figuring out which shoelace style is your favorite can enhance your training and racing experience.

Flat laces

Flat laces are the most common type you’ll find as standard equipment in your running shoes. They’re also one of the easiest styles to lace up, so if you’re putting a new set of laces in your trainers, you might opt for this style. Flat laces tend to stay very securely tied, which is why many of the runners here at the ‘House prefer these both for training and race day. The flat lace also spreads pressure more evenly across the top of the foot.

Round laces

If you’ve found that you have a hard time getting your stout double knot untied after your run, round laces might be just the ticket for you. Since the lace is round, the knot isn’t able to cinch down on itself as much as it can with flat laces. Round laces also tend to give a shoe a more “minimal” look, which is why you’ll find them on shoes like the Brooks PureProject line and the Nike Free Flyknit+. You can try a pair of round laces in your everyday trainers for easier on/off.

Specialty laces

For ultimate convenience try a specialty lace designed to give your shoe a more custom fit and provide easy on/off. For a lace that cinches down instead of tying, take a look at Yankz! Sure Lace System or Lock Laces. For an even more streamlined lace experience, grab a pair of Xtenex X300 Shoe Laces. Just lace up your shoes and pull these laces snug (no knot necessary). The laces stretch enough for you to slip your foot in without readjusting them, so your trainers will always be ready to go when you are.

BOA Laces
The BOA lace closure system is comprised of steel lace, nylon guides and a mechanical reel. You simply twist the wheel to find your preferred level of tightness, and then pull the wheel up to release the steel wire when you want to remove the shoe. There aren’t many shoes with this technology (Zoot is the only brand we carry that currently offers it), but for runners who want a quick, easy way to “dial in” the fit of their shoes, this system hits the spot.

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