Shoelaces Too Long? How To Shorten Your Shoelaces

Cool DIY Project That Will Save Money, Reduce Waste and Add Personality To Your Shoes

Before and After

I recently ordered a new pair of Bass bucks from Amazon. They were perfect except one little thing – the shoelaces were way too long. Even after double-knotting, the loops looked like giant bunny ears, flopping around with every step.

Not only do long laces look bad, but they get caught on things and are easy to step on. They seem to come untied constantly.

So, instead of buying new shoelaces, I decided to shorten them. After a bit of searching, I found thisĀ amazing website dedicated to all thing shoelaces – different knots, types of laces, and even how to deal with excess length.

The whole operation – including a quick trip to the hardware store – took about a half hour, and it only cost $4. Here’s how I did it:

What You Need
What You Need

What You Need

You will need your shoes, a pair of scissors, a measuring tape (optional but helpful), a lighter, and at least one inch of heat shrink tubing.

Step 1: Remove Shoelaces
Step 1: Remove Shoelaces

Step 1: Remove Shoelaces

This step is easy. Just take the shoelaces out of your shoes.

Step 2: Measure and Mark Your Laces
Step 2: Measure and Mark Your Laces

Step 2: Measure and Mark Your Laces

Shoelaces come in standard sizes. Mine were 37", and I ended up taking three inches off each end. Two or three inches should be fine, but you can tie your shoes and measure the excess before cutting.

Step 3: Cut Your Laces
Step 3: Cut Your Laces

Step 3: Cut Your Laces

You can use a felt pen to mark your cuts. Make sure to take the same amount off each end, rather than taking all of the excess length off one end.

Step 4: Measure and Cut Your Tubing
Step 4: Measure and Cut Your Tubing

Step 4: Measure and Cut Your Tubing

Your aglets (ends) only need to be a half inch long. Measure your tubing and cut off four half inch pieces.

Step 5: Insert Lace Into Tube
Step 5: Insert Lace Into Tube

Step 5: Insert Lace Into Tube

Fit the loose aglet over the end of your trimmed lace. The end of the lace should be flush with the end of the tubing. No excess lace should be hanging out past the end of the aglet.

Step 6: Heat and Shrink
Step 6: Heat and Shrink

Step 6: Heat and Shrink

Use a lighter, matches or candle to shrink the tubing around the shoelace. It doesn't take much heat. Hold the lace a couple of inches above the flame, and don't let the rubber melt. If it starts smoking or bubbling, it's too hot!

Step 7: Lace Up Your Shoes
Step 7: Lace Up Your Shoes

Step 7: Lace Up Your Shoes

Lace up your shoes using your favorite lacing method (I prefer the Over-Under for casual shoes), and enjoy your new custom laces!

 

Here are some extra tips to keep in mind:
  • Heat shrink tubing comes in different sizes. If you have round braided shoelaces (like those that come with most dress shoes), you’ll need 4mm tubing. If you are shortening thicker laces (like the flat laces used for sneakers), go with 5mm tubing.
  • It also comes in different colors. You can try to match or compliment the color of your shoes, or just have fun with it. (Like to wear blue shirts? Go with blue tubing!)
  • Make sure to avoid the granny knot when tying your shoes.
  • Use the appropriate lace up method for each type of shoe you own. In general, straight lacing is better for dress shoes.
  • This isn’t necessary, but you can use a toothpick to put a little super glue inside the tubing after Step 4. This will make your new laces more durable.

Cheers to Ian’s Shoelace Site for sharing everything we need to know (and then some) about shoelaces. Wear your new laces with pride!

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