How to Replace the Shoestrings in Sperry Top-Siders

by Jolie Johnson ; Updated September 28, 2017

Sperry Top-Siders are the original boat shoe. Paul Sperry first developed the shoe in 1935 after watching his dog run effortlessly over snow and ice. This inspired Sperry to create a special non-skid sole so the shoe could be worn on slippery surfaces, such as the deck of a boat. Replacing the shoestrings on your Sperry's requires some extra lacing as the strings run through the sides of the shoes as well as over the top.

Set your shoe on a table in front of you with the toe of the shoe pointing toward you.

Use scissors to taper one end of the shoestring.

Push the tapered end of the shoestring through the lacing needle. Twist the needle clockwise to secure the shoestring on the needle.

Insert the lacing needle through the top left eyelet from the outside in. Move the needle to the eyelet down and across. Insert the needle through this eyelet by going over the top and then behind the leather.

Continue through the next eyelet, which is directly below. Move the needle in and out of the eyelets along the side and back of the shoe.

Continue running the shoestring around to the other side and then back up to the front eyelets.

Complete the lacing by running the needle up and across to the top right eyelet, coming in from underneath the eyelet.


  • Only remove the old shoestring from one of your Sperry Top-Siders. Leave the shoestring in the other shoe. Use this shoe as a guide to remember the basic pattern of the lace. The shoestring should run in a typical crisscross pattern on the front of your Sperry Top-Sider shoe.

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About the Author

Based in Austin, Texas, Jolie Johnson has been in the fitness industry for over 12 years and has been writing fitness-related articles since 2008 for various websites. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from the University of Illinois.