Not what you think… that’s probably a different website with bare in the title… 🙂
For many people, tying and untying your shoes can be anywhere from a non issue to annoying, which is why things like sandals, slippers and slip-ons are so appealing. However, typically the easier shoes come on and off the less secure they are on you feet, meaning things like running, jumping and ninja training are much less doable. I have liked the barefoot style and minimal shoes (partially for this reason) for a long time but still love me some tennis shoes. Since I have been tying my shoes for quite some time, I never gave it much thought.
Then, I believe a Facebook ad popped up onto my feed and I actually clicked it. (Ahhh! They got me!)
It was for a product called Hickies – No Tie Elastic Shoelaces. These were, in essence, rubber bands that replaced your laces and stretched to fit you feet. Interesting. The concept of laceless shoes have been around for a while but this was the first of this kind I had ever seen. So like any normally impressionable consumer I immediately found myself thinking “oh my kids would love not having to tie their shoes all the time and the puppy wouldn’t have as many laces to chew on!” A few days later, a couple pairs of Hickies showed up in my mail box…
I don’t have any problem with laces, let’s get that out in the open right away. They are extremely versatile and offer and endless amount of customization. I recently even redid my How to Tie Your Shoes video because I think that learning how to use your shoe laces can really help with comfort, performance and keeping our biomechanics on point.
That being said, if I can find a product that performs like laces but offers the slip on/slip off ability with a decent fit while wearing them, I’m willing to give it a shot. And for 10 bucks, if it saves me and my kids a few seconds here and there (which on any given school day is extremely helpful) it might be worth it.
So, off went the laces and on went the Hickies…
I chose the standard fit lacing system. First thought: not bad but tight. A little tough to get on and a bit snug, particularly on the top near the ankle.
Wore them for a day and had the same impression. A little too tight.
So I went to their “loose fit” lacing technique. Goldilocks.
Wore those for a day and loved it. On and off easily and didn’t feel like the shoes were too loose or too tight and never even noticed them after a few minutes, which is exactly what I was looking for.
I took the Hickies out for a Playground Ninja day today and they performed well. I could see if I was doing some real intense athletic agility work that they might need to be the tighter fight to work best but all indications are that they seem to feel good and hold the shoes on just fine.
How was the kids’ experience? The same. The traditional lacing technique was too tight. They both could barely get their shoes on with the standard lacing. So we tried the loose fit. Pretty good as well. They seem to like it but not as much as I do.
From a time perspective they did save a little time each shoe putting on, that I timed to be about 4-5 seconds vs. 10-12 seconds (sometimes more if I was untying a knot). Which isn’t much but could add up over time.
All in all, so far I’m a fan. They won’t change my life but I do think they’re a nice little variation to add to my shoe style, particularly since they come in lots of colors. 🙂
Thanks for reading, have a great day!
Here’s the shoe tying video if the above link didn’t work…