No Tie Shoe Laces, Hickies and Xpand
Nov, 14, 2018
HICKIES Lacing System
If free time is as precocious to you as it is to me then I’m sure you’ll agree any sort of time saving even if minor will be a blessing. As for myself I generally couldn’t be bothered to tie my shoes, unless I’m wearing something that goes over the ankle, so I usually end up with slightly loose fitting shoes so I can slip them on and off easily since I usually wear older shoes at work. The unfortunate side is that if I end up having to go on a long walk the loose fitting shoe will end up giving me blisters and since I do start to enjoy walks more and more I hate to be deterred by sore blistered feet. While yes I could just opt for buying lace-less shoes that means I would be spending money on new shoes when I already have perfectly good ones (minus the laces).
So started my search for no tie laces, I knew they existed but didn’t know what to get. The first product I purchased was the HICKIES Lacing System which looked promising to me since it featured one-size fits all, adjustable tensions and looked unique. I purchased a set from amazon on Sept 26, 2018 for $13.50CAD on lightning deal with free shipping. When they first arrived I was excited and easily installed them right away using their “regular” fit and even had some straps left. At first the regular fit felt a bit tight but thought nothing of it. A few weeks later on a camping trip though had me rethinking the regular fit which was too tight for my liking during extended use and decided that once I got home I would try the loose fit.
Fast forward a few more days and I’m now home relacing my shoes to adjust the tension to the “loose” fit as outlined on their website. Pulling the rubber laces out I noticed that the areas where they were through the eyelets were narrowed slightly but thought it was normal since that area was always slightly compressed. Once I figured out the pattern of lacing the loose fit I tried them on and, I was kinda disappointed as they seemed to fit even more loose than when I would tie my shoes loose with normal laces. I thought to myself maybe because I wore them with regular fit that felt so tight maybe if I left them for a while they might tighten up. I wore them for another couple weeks and they never felt like they ever got any tighter then one afternoon at work while I was getting ready to head home I slipped on my shoes and conversed with some of my co-workers when one of them said “oh you got a little dodad hanging on your shoe”. I looked down and to my surprise two of the HICKIES straps were broken. I then put my work shoes back on and inspected my regular shoes and I was flabbergasted, almost all the straps were torn through at the eyelets. At this point I was throughly disappointed and frustrated as I was trying to make my way home and the last think I wanted to deal with is shoes that could fall off because of a faulty product. Unfortunately, the entire ordeal left me with no pictures as at first I was too excited to have good looking laceless shoes and near the end of it I was too disappointed to want to do anything about it and ended up just throwing them in the garbage.
-look great and unique
-come in several colors
-too expensive even if purchased at sale price
-takes too long to adjust the tension
-there’s no in between tension only “regular” “tight” and “loose”
-seemed to make pressure points where the straps lay across the shoe tongue
Conclusion: If you’re looking for stylish shoe laces and don’t mind paying for it and replacing them these are great. If you’re looking for practicality I would look somewhere else. These barely lasted me a month and I even switch shoes at work so I was expecting more and I’m really glad I did not pay full price at $21.99CAD.
Xpand No Tie Shoelaces System
So that night I was in search for a replacement for my laces and Amazon with all their wisdom suggested another no tie lace product to me which caught my eye. This time it was the Xpand No Tie Shoelaces System which at regular price came in at $12.99CAD so I was already feeling less worried about trying out this product. I purchased the product directly Xpand fulfilled by Amazon and the item arrived in no time. These laces resemble more of your traditional laces but where they differ is that they have elastics woven into them. Think of them like your stretchy underwear band but in lace form. The color matched my shoes perfectly and even had matching reflective stripes which really make them pop in low light conditions. I read the instructions and as strongly suggested by the company I laced them up but did not cut them until worn for several days. After a few days of wearing my shoes I found out why, they ended up loosening up a little but was super easy to readjust the tension just like normal laces, you simply pull the sections that are loose until it feels right. Now I know what you’re thinking, “did he just say cut the laces?”. Yes, yes I did say cut the laces. These laces can be laced up traditionally like normal laces tie loops and all, however, if you’re looking for a more sleek look you are able to cut the laces because they provide you with a locking plastic piece so you can tuck the end of the laces inside your shoe without it pulling through the eyelet. Even better is that they even provide lace ends so that if you want a little tension adjustability you can leave the ends exposed but still protected. The only thing I think that is stopping me from cutting mine at the moment is the odd feeling when I think about cutting laces since they look so much like normal ones. I really didn’t want to wait another month to compare the durability of these laces to the HICKIES so I ended up not changing out shoes at work for 3 weeks so they would easily get as much if not more use. I gotta say they are pretty durable, I currently don’t see any sign of wear and tear and after the initial loosening that the company already outlined would happen I haven’t had any problems since. I would be more than happy at this price point if these laces lasted a year which is what I would expect them to last and if they do happen to loose their elasticity at least since they’re also woven I won’t be completely left stranded and laceless.
-look and function like traditional laces making them a direct replacement for normal laces
-come in various color and pattern combinations to help match your shoes
-simple install and easy to adjust tension
-good price point
-Xpand sends an email to make sure you’re happy with their product
-availability from Xpand/Amazon seems spotty and you may be at the whim of a 3rd party seller on Amazon
Conclusion: So far these things are great and hopefully soon I will get over the awkward feeling of cutting the end of the laces and will hopefully remember to post an update here. Also since winter is on its way I’ll be looking to order a set of these for my over ankle winter boots which I hate to tie when I’m in a rush. I would call these NSEM approved.
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