What’s Size Shoelaces Do I Buy?

Shoelace Size

I remember buying shoelaces for the first time thinking that they would fit my shoes just fine. Later I realized they didn’t fit at all. How do you find the right fit?

To find the correct size shoelace, take off one shoelace and measure it in inches and centimeters and count the eyelets on your shoe. The packaging on shoelaces will indicate shoelace length in inches or centimeters and possibly the number of eyelets for the shoelace.

Choosing the correct size of shoelaces will help you avoid shoelaces that are too short or long. It will help you avoid tying difficulties. Getting just the right size and type for your shoes will improve style and functionality.

what size shoelaces to buy chart

 Getting the Right Size the First Time

Avoid the frustration of returns or keeping unwanted shoelaces by checking for a couple of items before you purchase. 

  • Determine if you want to tie your shoes in a traditional bowknot, another style of a knot, or untied. 
    • Traditional Bowknot 
      • The traditional bowknot may have been what you grew up learning and have used on all your shoes. 
      • You can automatically tie your shoes if you’ve practiced this style for a month or more, but there are other more efficient and more effective knots out there.
      • The double slip knot will effectively prevent your shoes from untying
        • It involves tieing laces left over right and making two loops that cross and enter the hole made from crossing, from different directions and pulling on the loops. 
    • The Ian Knot is efficient because is it super fast.
      • Just make two loops, and while bringing the loops close to each other adjust them so they can be pulled through each other. 
  • These types of knots will all use the same length of a shoelace, so you should be safe buying the same length as before. (Amazon Link)
  • When using popular shoelace styles, more shoelace length may be used at times and less other times. Determine how much length you will need.
    • Army lacing might require less lace because the laces don’t cross as much and the laces don’t cross on top of the eyelets.  
    • Ladder lacing, on the other hand, crosses over more than a traditional shoe lace up. It will require a longer shoelace.
  • If you plan to leave your shoelaces untied make sure you have a stable shoe lacing techniques that will remain fairly tight, so your shoelaces won’t come undone while walking. 
    • Getting a pair of waxed (Amazon Link) or leather shoelaces (Amazon Link) will aid in keeping your shoelaces from slipping too much.
    • Some lace styles to try for shoelace stability are ladder lacing, zipper lacing, spiderweb lacing, straight bar lacing, diamond lacing, and army lacing. 
  • Determine if you need waxed or unwaxed shoelaces. 
    • Waxed Shoelaces 
      • When buying waxed shoelaces you’ll notice they are stiffer and naturally repel water. They are coated with natural beeswax or paraffin-based wax. 
      • Your shoelaces will maintain their shape much better with waxed shoelaces and they may have that special style that you’re looking for.
      • Normally found on dress shoes, they are also available in sneakers style shoelaces. Some are thicker and some thinner.
    • Unwaxed Shoelaces 
      • These shoelaces are softer, and often fray more easily.
      • They make it easier to lace up and unlace your shoes.
      • Normally made for sneakers, they come in a variety of lengths.

After you’ve determined your lacing style, knotting style, and the type of shoelace that best fits your shoe and personal style, you’ll be able to determine the length you’ll need by practicing first.

Keep in mind that thicker laces will not be able to go through the same eyelet required by some lacing styles.

Here are a few steps for finding the correct shoelace length

  1. Get a shoelace from a shoe that you already have, that seems to be the approximate length that you’ll need. 
  2. Measure how long they are.
  3. Lace up your shoes in the style you want. 
  4. Determine if you have too much, too little, or just the right amount of shoelace.
  5. Buy your new shoelace after doing the calculations for the length you’ll need. 

Your Shoelace Likes and Dislikes Can Determine Your Length?

You’ll be better able to choose the best shoelaces for yourself when looking at the way you lace up, tie, and use your shoes right now.

Decide if the shoelaces that you use now are too short, too long, or just right.

  • One way is to look at the length of the loops or shoelace string when untied, hanging down from your shoe.
    • If they are touching the ground or sticking out too far, you might trip or snag your shoelaces on something. 
    • You’ll want a shorter shoelace to stay safe.
  • When your shoe is laced and tied, your foot shouldn’t slip or rub while walking or any other activities.
    • Tighten your laces if needed and check if they are too long. Alternatively, you can try another lacing style or tuck your shoelaces inside your shoe. 
  • Are they dirty and frayed and do you like it that way?
    • The used beat up look may be the style you’re looking for. This style can be relaxed with laces untied.
    • It’s possible to skip eyelets and keep your feet securely in place using secure lacing styles or knots under eyelets that prevent unlacing. 
  • If you like clean laces, you may want to buy waxed shoelaces. 
    • Getting waxes shoelaces may determine a different length. They tend to be stiffer and hold better. 
    • If you’re looking for a more relaxed shoe style that holds well, you’ll possibly need more lace to keep your shoe in a more relaxed position. 
  • Determining your likes and dislikes will help you know what length you’ll need.

Secure Shoelaces Have Advantages and disadvantages.

Do your shoelaces come undone while running? It’s happened to me more than once. Even if I double knot my shoelaces, they have a tendency to loosen up. 

The advantage of running with these laces, that don’t grip as well, is my shoes can be adjusted quickly, tied easily, and come off fast.

Laces That Grip Loosely

Trying out elastic shoelaces (Amazon Link) will increase the amount your foot can expand in your shoe and still remain fairly secure. These can be used for walking or light activities, but may not always remain secure for heavier activities like hiking. 

  • Silicon elastic laces fit into the eyelets on either side of your shoe and give some flexibility while moving in your shoe.
  • Fabric elastic shoelaces give some flexibility also but look like regular shoelaces.
  • You might want to try curly no tie shoelaces. Good for flexibility and makes it easy to put your shoe on and take it off. 
  • Flat and round shoelaces with no special features will work well in normal conditions, but depending on the weave and material, may loosen when walking or running.   

Sometimes it makes sense to use looser shoelaces, for more casual and easy wearing footwear. If you’re doing something more athletic, then getting tighter shoelaces can help.

Laces That Grip Tight

Shoelaces, as well as your lacing style, can determine how well your shoe hugs your foot. Some materials can stay better knotted and hold when your shoelaces are tied.

If you’re looking for shoelaces that grip and stayed tied tight without becoming lose then you have several options.

You might consider some of these other solutions for keeping your shoelaces securely in place.

Locking laces have a slider that locks the laces in place once you’ve found the firmness you’re looking for.

Again waxed laces will hold tightly most of the time, ensuring your feet can hike, dance, and walk without the worry of loose shoes.  

Looking for regular shoelaces that hold tight. Here are a couple.

  • Orthostep Round Athletic shoelaces are supposed to be good for those using their shoes for athletic types of activities. 
  • Miscly Round Laces are made of polyester and hold well without untying. 
  • BCB Wear Flat Shoelaces, made for athletic activity are supposed to hold tight as well.

If you’re interested in helping your shoes remain tight, try looking for these or other options. Doing some research will help you make the best decision.

Shoelace Recommendations

If you are buying new shoelaces there are many options available to choose from. To get the right size you’ll usually just count the eyelets on the shoe, but at times you may need to measure. It won’t take long, then you can go to the store and find the right choice that works with your shoe and your style.

To find more options, shop online and find a pair that looks great on your shoes. I recommend wax shoelaces for longer-lasting shoelaces and fast tying laces for those who use their shoes for comfort rather than performance. 

Thanks for visiting Helpshoe.com

Related Questions

What are the benefits of no-tie shoelaces?

No tie shoelaces are great for kids who haven’t learned tying skills yet, and for saving time or effort need to put on and take off your shoes, such as for individuals who can’t bend over. They are usually snug and stretchy, helping with shoe flexibility.

Why should I under lace my shoes?

The under-lacing style of tying your shoes will make it easier for you to tighten or loosen your shoes. The shoelaces will last longer because of less friction. 


I enjoy many types of outdoor activities including running, hiking, and walking. I was a former elementary school teacher for 17 years and now enjoy writing and sharing my love of the outdoors.

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