Lace Up: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Shoe Laces

Posted by Nate McCall on

Whether you're a seasoned skater, an avid runner, or just someone who appreciates a great looking pair of shoes, we're here to help you unravel the mysteries of Shoe Laces!

Several different brands and styles of shoe laces in a small pile

Why Are Shoe Laces So Important?

You might think, "They're just laces, right?" But wait a minute! Shoe laces are the unsung heroes of your footwear. They play a pivotal role in comfort, performance, and style. They keep our skates and shoes secure, and let's be honest, they can make or break your fashion statement!

Lace Length Matters!

The first aspect to consider when selecting shoe laces is length. For skates, it's particularly crucial because if your laces are too short, you won't be able to secure your skates properly. Too long, and you'll trip over them or risk getting them caught in the wheels. Yikes!

In general, roller skate laces should be around 72" (182 cm) to 108" (274 cm). The size depends on the type of skates, the number of eyelets, and how you prefer to lace them. As a general rule, count your eyelets. Start at 50cm. Each pair of eyelets will needs between 10 and 20cm of lace depending on the width between eyelets. Don't forget to add extra length if you like tying a decorative bow or loop around an ankle catch.

If you are in a hurry, follow these general guidelines:
- Trainer/Sneaker: 120cm/48"
- Low cut skate boot:  180cm/72"
- Mid cut to artistic or heeled boot: 240cm/96"
- Those fun 18 hole Docs you have in the back of your closet: 280cm/120"

For everything else, use the following table as an approximate guide to length. Always go for the next size up if you are not sure.

 Eyelet Pairs Narrow (25mm) Medium/Trainers (50mm) Wide/Skates (75mm)
5 80 (32") 100 (39") 130 (51")
6 80 (32") 110 (43") 140 (55")
7 90 120 (47") 160 (63")
8 90 130 (51") 170 (67")
9 100 140 (55") 190 (75")
10 100 150 (59") 200 (79")
11 110 160 (63") 220 (87")
12 110 170 (67") 230 (91")
13 120 180 (71") 250 (99")
14 120 190 (75") 260 (104")

Note: For skate boots use "Wide". Use "Medium" for trainers/sneakers or if you have your skates tightly laced. The "Narrow" column is here for completeness and would apply mainly to dress shoes.

Material and Texture - More Than Just A Touchy-Feely Thing

Another important consideration is the material and texture of your laces. Common materials include cotton, polyester, and nylon. While cotton laces tend to have a classic look and feel, they might wear out sooner. Nylon and polyester laces are more durable and often preferred by high-performance skaters.

The texture is also key. Flat laces are often easier to tie and stay tied better, while round laces may slip a bit but can offer a sleeker look. Waxed laces are a good option for those who want their knots to stay secure for an extended period. Waxed laces are also ideal for ice skates.

Colour and Style - Unleash Your Inner Fashionista!

Last but not least, let's talk about style! Your laces can be a great way to express your personality and style. Go classic with black or white, or stand out with neon or patterned laces. There's no limit to the possibilities! We even include in our collection cotton laces hand dyed right here on the Kāpiti Coast.

Don't forget, you can also change the lacing style. The traditional criss-cross pattern is just the beginning! Try straight (bar) lacing, ladder lacing, or even the fancy loop-back style. We'll have a separate post describing these patterns and when to use them coming out soon.

Lace Up and Roll Out!

In conclusion, choosing the right laces for your skates or shoes isn't rocket science, but it does require a bit of thought. Regardless of what you are after, we stock a variety of lengths, materials, textures, and styles suitable for pretty much anyone. Browse our full collection to find the perfect lace for your needs.