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mrentropy's avatar

What's the reasoning behind shoelace length?

Asked by mrentropy (17188points) June 27th, 2010

When I buy a pair of dress shoes the amount of shoelace that comes with it is barely enough to make a knot with, never mind a bow. After they’re laced there might be a quarter of an inch left on each side.

When I buy sneakers it must come with 100 feet of lace. My current sneakers have enough shoelace that when the sneaker is laced up the rest easily reaches my knees. I’m not kidding and I can supply pictures if I could be bothered to take a picture of it.

What’s the logic behind this?

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12 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I think it has to do with ethics aesthetics.
The dress shoes would look ridiculous with a big, fat bow.
Granted, it can be a little hassle tying them (the short laces in the dress shoes), but it looks slick.
Why the sneakers come with 100 feet, i have not an idea.
Edited: Thanks @Fyrius !

Fyrius's avatar

@rebbel
Aesthetics?

Seaofclouds's avatar

It also has to do with the number of eyeholes in the shoes for lacing. Normally dress shoe only have 3 or 4 on each side, while sneakers tend to have 8 or so. The more eyeholes, the longer your laces need to be. Dress shoes are meant to look neater and therefore would require a smaller bow than what is normally acceptable for sneakers.

rebbel's avatar

I have a pair of those, with only two eyeholes and i can not even make bows that big as they are on the picture.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@rebbel I’m guessing you don’t have them laced as tightly as they are in the picture. Not sure why they wouldn’t make them longer and think that people aren’t going to have them that tight. Most shoe stores sell shoelaces of different lengths. You could always buy other laces for them. I know that’s not the point, but it is an option.

rebbel's avatar

@Seaofclouds
Ah, of course, there is no foot in the shoe in the picture…., good point!
And yes, that is an option…, good point again!

Fyrius's avatar

@rebbel
Anytime. :)

Merriment's avatar

For dress shoes the laces are shorter because nothing spoils the break of formal slacks quite like a big obnoxious clown bow of a shoelace bulging at the hem line.

For sneakers, it’s anything goes and the “style” seems to be longer laces to enable the gansta kids to loosely lace the shoes in a continuous loop and never bother with an actual bow.

mrentropy's avatar

@Merriment That sounds reasonable. But the dress shoelaces could be just a weeeeee bit longer, otherwise the look of the formal slacks will be ruined by untied shoes or, like I’ve wanted to do so many times before, staples holding them down.

As far as the sneakers go, I think I’ll just lace these bastards all the way up my legs.

Merriment's avatar

@mrentropy -LOL on the “roman sandal” visual your words inspire. I’d pay money -or at least buy you some decent laces to see that.

You don’t, by any chance, have a high instep do you?

I do and because of this some shoe laces are just too damn short to bridge the bigger gap my funny feet cause in the shoes.

mrentropy's avatar

I don’t know if I have a high instep or not. I just know that my feet are enormous. So, if I’m 6’2” with Ronald McDonald-sized feet then a smaller person should be able to lace them up to their waist.

Merriment's avatar

@mrentropy – I guess the best you can do then is rock that look

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