My youngest child is still learning to tie his shoes. He can get it right about 50% of the time — just enough to be absolutely confident he can do it himself with no help from me thankyouverymuch. As you can imagine, this makes it hard to get out the door on time on school mornings. And his older brother’s teacher isn’t accepting his “my brother can’t tie his shoes” excuse for his tardiness. So, I caved and bought some of those no-tie shoelaces I’ve been seeing advertised all over Facebook — and, honestly, I love them. I’m thrilled to have found some options that not only look cool but also help my son get his shoes on — quickly.
And this weekend, like all weekends, I’ll promise him we’ll finally nail this shoe-tying thing.
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Related: Say goodbye to shoelaces, kids.
Yes, I know. The name. But seriously, these laces are as great as the name is terrible. FWIW, Hickies is short for doohickies, not the mark on your high school boyfriend’s neck. These laces are made from a memory-fit elastomer (they feel like silicone) that stretch with your foot, but don’t stretch out. After you put the laces in once, you just slide your shoe on from that point forward. My 6-year-old has used his for a month and they’re still holding his shoe on his foot snugly. And even more surprisingly, the laces are still white. Impressive, for sure.
If the Hickies feel too loose or too tight, however, they do show a couple alternate ways to lace them to adjust the fit so it’s just right for your kid’s foot.
And the most fun part? Choosing your colors. We went with neutrals, but they also have camo, rainbow, and metallic color combos you can mix-and-match if you really want to show them off.
Note: Check the Hickies website before you buy, because we found better prices there than on Amazon. I know, weird.
We’re also now fans of SnapLaces, which are elastic bands connected by a plastic hook. These are so simple to connect, you can do it with one hand, which makes it great for even the littlest kids. One SnapLace fits across multiple sets of lace holes — so the kits come with two SnapLaces per shoe. For kids with really little feet, you could probably even use just one lace per shoe (the way they’ve laced it on the sneakers shown here). In other words, one kit may be enough to lace-up two different pairs of shoes.
We did have some trouble getting them to stay hooked when my son was really running hard and playing rough, and my husband felt they were too loose on his foot at first, so it definitely takes a little adjustment to get them fitting just right. But once you’ve got that fit right, they are a really simple and stylish option to fancy-up your footwear. In fact, my nephew (who’s 11 and fully capable of tying his own shoes) has switched to these for the fun pop of orange they add to his sneakers.
Another really clever option are the Zubits magnetic closures for your shoes. These magnets are laced onto your existing shoelaces, then knotted off so all the excess lace isn’t tucked down into your shoe. You can knot them on the outside, which seems more comfortable, or the inside for a more clean look. You just click the magnets together and they’ll hold up to 16 lbs of force. In other words, they aren’t going to fly open when your kid is running through the park. They even have videos showing people hanging their shoes by the Zubits on their refrigerator as a (smelly?) reminder to go running in the morning.
Zubits also has a pretty lengthy list of hacks for using their closures on their site; everything from how to melt the cut end of your shoelace to how to use Zubits with hiking boots. And since this is a closure that uses your existing shoelaces, you can pretty easily move these along from one pair of shoes to the next as soon as your child outgrows them, without having to buy a new set of Zubits for every new pair of shoes.
Although at some point, you will have to teach your child how to tie their shoes.