A curly shoelace’s tight inner elastic core creates its funky, spiraled appearance. The spiral lace is actually as much function as form, since its elasticity and curly top turns a laced shoe into a slip-on. People with physical coordination issues, such as young children, the elderly and developmentally challenged individuals, find this lace style especially useful. To get the best fit and neatest appearance with your spiral shoelaces, work slowly when lacing or ask for help if you have trouble with fine motor skills.
Put your laceless shoes on your feet. Wear socks with your shoes, if that’s how you’d normally wear them. Wearing your shoes while lacing them with elastic laces ensures you’ll get a comfortable fit.
Grasp the two plastic-covered ends of a single spiral shoelace. Laced shoes typically have two symmetrical columns of lace holes running down the front of each shoe. Each column sits on a flap so you can access both the top and underside of the lace hole. Insert each end into the bottom two holes, going in from the underside of the flaps.
Pull the spiral lace’s ends completely through those two bottom holes, until you have an equal length of lace emerging from the top of each hole. Don’t worry about pulling out the lace’s spiral, which will bounce back immediately. The lace’s center should be stretched taut beneath the underside of each lace flap. Untwist this center section carefully if you’d prefer a neater appearance.
Cross one end of the lace diagonally towards the lowest unlaced hole on the opposite flap. Insert the plastic end of the lace into the underside of this hole, and then tug through the remainder of the lace. Both lace ends should now emerge from the same flap.
Cross the other lace end, which still emerges from the bottom hole, over to the next lowest hole on the opposite flap. If you’d like, gently untwist each diagonal laced section. Continue using this lacing method until you reach, and lace, the top two holes.
Leave the spiral ends free to poke out from the top two holes. The curly ends keep the laces in place without tying.
- “Developmental Coordination Disorder: Hints and Tips for the Activities of Daily Living”; Morven F. Ball; 2002
- Curly Laces: Instructions for Coiled Elastic Shoelaces
Katherine Harder kicked off her writing career in 1999 in the San Antonio magazine "Xeriscapes." She's since worked many freelance gigs. Harder also ghostwrites for blogs and websites. She is the proud owner of a (surprisingly useful) Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.