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Types Of Shoe Laces That You Should Know

16 Mar 2023

Lace-up fasteners are used to cinch down on shoes and boots of all kinds. Shoe laces, a great way to personalize any pair of boots or shoes, have evolved over time to become a reflection of the wearer's character. One of the few easily customizable features of a pair of shoes, they add color, contrast, and draw the eye. In order to help you find the ideal pair of laces for your preferred footwear, we'll categorize the various options available below according to their design, purpose, and visual appeal.

Types Of Shoelaces

1.Rawhide Shoelaces

Rawhide Shoelaces

You've probably seen rawhide laces in the wild, and they may have even come with some of your shoes at some point. Rawhide is unprocessed leather, or a hide that has not been tanned.

Moccasins and boat shoes like the Sperry Top-Siders shown above often come with rawhide laces. When it comes to longevity, they're difficult to beat, but they're not the most refined choice available.

Though rawhide laces won't break, they're not exactly user-friendly. The laces are less flexible than others, so your knots won't stay tied for very long or at a particularly low or close height to the shoe. Rawhide is a classic material that is sturdy and pairs well with many types of outdoor footwear, but it can be a pain to work with.


  • Rawhide laces for shoes are durable and won't slip.
  • Rawhide laces will never give out on you because they are so strong.
  • Rawhide laces have stood the test of time and complement a wide variety of footwear styles.


  • At first, it can be a hassle to use rawhide shoelaces because you have to soak them.
  • To be frank, rawhide laces are a pain to deal with.
  • These laces are too wide for a snug knot, so your shoes will always be a bit loose.

2. Flat Cotton Shoelaces

 Flat Cotton Shoelaces

The white laces on your favorite sneakers from your youth were probably made of polyester, even if they looked like cotton. We are a 100% cotton loving community, so it should come as no surprise that you will feel a distinct difference when making the transition.

The first time I did this was when I upgraded from regular Converse to a pair of Chuck Taylor 70s, which, among other vintage touches, had all-cotton laces. Of course, the quality varies widely. The quality of the cotton laces used in these high-end Converse shoes is not typical. If your sneakers are well made and last more than a year, you will likely need to replace the laces at some point, and cotton laces are inexpensive and simple to swap out.

Furthermore, cotton laces are a breeze to clean, which is a godsend given how grimy sneakers can get. If you've got some nice sneakers and you want them to look their best, you might want to invest in some nicer laces, just like you would with a higher-quality cotton t-shirt.


  • When your cotton shoelaces get too dirty or get ripped, you won't have to worry about spending a lot of money on new ones.
  • Cotton laces are a good choice because of how quickly dirt can accumulate in your sneakers. Because of how simple it is to care for cotton laces, they are an excellent complement to these laces.
  • Because they wear out quickly and need to be replaced frequently, cotton laces are inexpensive and simple to find.
  • You can find cotton shoelaces in almost any retail store.
  • Cotton laces, in contrast to other types of laces, allow the most air to circulate.
  • If you value having clean, odor-free feet, these laces are for you.


  • It's not possible to find long-lasting cotton lace.
  • Cotton laces tend to sag more quickly than other types of laces.
  • It's more likely that someone will trip over these shoelaces.
  • Even if your footwear is high quality and durable, you will need to replace it frequently.
  • Cotton shoelaces aren't as stylish as other options, so you may grow tired of them quickly.

3. Round Cotton

Round Cotton

Cotton laces are common in a wide variety of footwear, not just sneakers, but they won't hold up to the wear and tear of a sturdy work boot. While I most often associate round cotton laces with the dress shoes I was made to wear as a child, I have since learned that they are used in a wide variety of footwear.

These tiny laces are used by both Paraboot and Viberg, and they have the appearance of wire from a distance. They're fine and, while initially brittle, they loosen up and sag like laces should.

They're usually coated to add durability, which is important if you want them to last through the breaking-in process for your sweet new derbies or oxfords. Even dressier boots will sometimes have these.

4. Flat Waxed

Flat Waxed

Shoe laces made of flat waxed cotton are very trendy right now. The wax on the laces makes them more long-lasting, but it can be messy to work with while you're tying them.

Regular flat cotton laces may not be durable enough for use with work boots. Flat waxed laces, on the other hand, are bulletproof. Waxed laces are stronger than unwaxed ones.

Laces that have been waxed may feel brittle when you're tying and untying them, but they'll still do their job.

Service boots are typically worn with flat, waxed laces. Service boots are designed to keep your feet safe from harsh environments, and they look great with a pair of flat, waxed laces.

5. Nylon Shoelaces

 Nylon Shoelaces

Nylon shoelaces are typically used with boots that are regularly exposed to harsh weather conditions due to the material's strength and durability. Nylon shoelaces are commonly used with winter boots, outdoor boots, and military boots.

Nylon laces tend to be bulkier than other materials used to lace shoes. Consequently, they are less likely to get tangled and can be laced more quickly and easily. As a result, you won't have any trouble working with them while wearing gloves or if your fingers are cold.

Because of its high resistance to moisture, nylon shoelaces are the most practical option when the weather is wet. For shoes that will be worn in the outdoors, like hiking boots, nylon laces are the best bet. If you enjoy being active outdoors, you should get these shoelaces.

Nylon shoelaces may cost a little more than their counterparts, but they are well worth the cost.


  • Nylon shoelaces are among the toughest and longest lasting options.
  • Shoelaces made of nylon are impervious to moisture and grime.
  • These laces can withstand the elements for quite some time.
  • This pair of laces won't get all tangled up in your shoes.
  • Extreme conditions are no match for nylon shoelaces.
  • You won't have to worry about your shoes stretching or losing their shape with these laces.
  • Replacement laces for rugby and football shoes can be made from nylon.


  • Nylon shoelaces just don't cut it when it comes to style.
  • The cost of nylon laces is higher than that of other materials.
  • As they are thicker and stiffer than cotton laces, nylon shoelaces can be a pain to thread through the holes in your footwear.
  • In contrast to conventional shoelaces, these ones will not slip through buckles.
  • The adjusting process for shoes can be challenging at times.
  • Replacement laces for rugby and football shoes can be made from nylon.

6. Textured Polyester Shoelaces

Textured Polyester Shoelaces

The majority of shoelaces today are made of a textured polyester. You can choose from a wide selection of lengths and widths of these lightweight shoelaces.

While textured polyester shoelaces won't harm your footwear, they aren't the most sturdy option, either. These shoelaces are made from polyester, making them thick and resistant to knots.

Work boots and shoes typically have textured polyester shoelaces. Skateboarding and ice skating shoes benefit from the same durability that makes these shoelaces ideal. They also function reasonably well with canvas footwear.

Even though textured polyester shoelaces can be machine washed, they should be air dried in a well-ventilated area to prevent them from frying. The longevity of these laces can be increased through regular cleaning and maintenance.

7. Paracord Shoelaces

Paracord Shoelaces

This has nothing to do with us, but I was wondering how often you've seen paracord used as shoelaces. Paracord laces have all the benefits of the braided nylon lace (paracord uses a nylon sheath), but they are even stronger.

Paracord's inner core is so strong that it can support up to 550 pounds, making it ideal for suspending paratroopers from parachutes. This use dates back to at least World War II. Even though using paracord to tie your shoes, which is waterproof, moldproof, and incredibly strong, is like bringing a bazooka to a knife fight, you have to do what you have to do.

8. Elastic Shoelaces

Elastic Shoelaces

One of the most recent developments in shoelace technology is the elastic shoelace. The ends of these shoelaces are shaped like curved springs and are thinner than traditional laces.

Shoelaces with springs built into the tips are what give elastic shoelaces their other name, "locked laces," so named because they lock in place once you've laced your shoes. Because of this, the shoe stays tied.

One of the names for elastic shoelaces is "no tie shoelaces" because they make laced shoes easier to slip on.

If you use elastic shoelaces, you won't need to tie your shoes ever again. These laces are pre-tied and attached to the shoe's eyelets, making them easier to put on. They facilitate putting on footwear with no need to readjust shoelaces.

If you have elastic shoelaces, you can forget about constantly lacing and unlacing your shoes. As an alternative, you can simply slip them on and off without having to adjust the lacing.

Sports, casual, running, and children's shoes are the most common types of footwear to feature elastic shoelaces.


Should shoelaces be short or long?

Laces for a given pair of shoes should be long enough so that they can be threaded through all the holes and still have enough spare to tie a bow. The ideal length for shoelaces varies with shoe size, but is typically between 60 and 100 centimeters.

Depending on the number of holes in your shoes and the look you're going for, the length of your shoelaces will vary. The number of holes dictates the length of the laces, with some lacing patterns necessitating more material than others.

Choosing the right shoelaces is also important. There is a wide range of thicknesses available for shoe laces. The size of the holes and the shoe's aesthetics should factor into your decision. The laces on a pair of sneakers, for instance, are likely to be thicker than those on a traditional men's brogue.

What are the ideal shoelaces to use?

Shoelaces come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and materials; picking one is a matter of personal taste. One lace style tends to go best with most pairs of shoes or boots. To change the look of your shoes or to replace worn laces are the two most common reasons to go lace shopping.

When that time comes, keep in mind the following guidelines for mixing and matching shoe laces:

  • Cotton – for tennis shoes and skater shoes
  • Textured polyester – for work shoes
  • Spun polyester – for super-smart shoes
  • Nylon – for walking boots and shoes
  • Elastic – for sports shoes

In modern times, shoelaces have become much more than just a practical addition. When worn with care and properly laced, they can transform a boring pair of shoes into a show-stopping ensemble piece.

If you have a pair of plain shoes, you can easily give them a new look by replacing the shoelaces with some that are a more eye-catching color or pattern.

Have fun experimenting, but keep them hidden or in the shoes for your own safety.


And so you see, even something as seemingly simple as a shoelace can be anything but. It's fascinating to learn how many different kinds there are and what they're used for.

Always remember to get the "right one" when it comes to shoelaces the next time you're in the market for some.

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