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The Best Guide to Shoe Laces (and Lace Swaps)

September 10, 2017

The Best Guide to Shoe Laces (and Lace Swaps)

Shoe laces are the staple to your footwear and the common denominator across many brands of footwear, whether it be OG retros like the Air Jordan collection, the ASICS Gel Lyte III or the New Balance 1500, or modern tech shoes such as the Nike Air Vapormax and the adidas Ultra Boost. Below we have a definitive and detailed guide on all aspects of shoe laces, and lace swaps.

Shoe Lace Materials

The most common materials for shoe laces are cotton and polyester. Cotton has the benefit of being a natural fibre, so that it is easy to wash and is durable and soft. However it does have issues of quickly fraying with wear and washing. Polyester overcomes this issue, and where also durable, does not fray. However it does have issues of being quite firm and lacks breathability.

Our flat lace collection  boasts a special cotton-polyester blend that aims to overcome the issues of each. This means they are durable, pliable and soft while also being easy to clean and not fray over time compared to pure cotton.

To level up to a more premium feel, waxed cotton shoe laces are also an option. The waxed layer provides a firmness and shine to the laces while also making them more water and stain resistant and keeping them looking crisp and clean for longer. Our waxed flat lacecollection is one of most sought after, and is a staple in your collection. They also come with metal aglets to complement the more premium feel.

Then there is the crème de la crème - leather laces. Leather laces are the most luxurious laces you can put on your sneakers, so give those you love the most the pair of laces they deserve. Perfect for any shoe with a full-grain leather upper, such as Air Jordans and high fashion shoes like Saint Laurent, Common Project or Buscemi. Our leather laces  are made with 100% lambskin leather, both supple and flexible, everything you need in a leather shoe lace.

Shape or Style

There are three main styles of laces - flat laces, rope laces(or round laces) and oval laces. Oval laces are almost entirely reserved for performance footwear, with most lifestyle shoes having either flat laces or rope laces. 

Rope laces are great for an untied look and fill out the shoe nicely. They generally are a bit harder to tie, but once tied they hold very tightly due to increased friction. On the other hand, flat laces are great for a clean finish, a classic look and easy tying. They form small knots and bows and are versatile enough to suit any sneaker. 

You can check out our flat laces and rope laces, all in different colours and lengths.

Shoe lace length

One of our most asked questions is "what is the ultra boost lace length?" and "what size are NMD laces?" The length of shoe laces comes down to the number of rows of eyelets (holes), as well as the width of the shoe. For most runners, including Ultra Boosts, NMDs, Vapormax, Gel Lyte III and all the in between, we recommend 36 inch to 43 inch. For tennis shoes like Stan Smiths, or Converse, or Vans Old Skool, we would recommend 43 inch to 50 inchdepending on the size of your foot. For basketball shoes, we recommend 63 inch  to make up the height of the shoe.

If you need further information, make sure you check out our detailed size guidefor suggestions.


The aglet of a shoe lace is the tip, the metal or plastic casing which stops the shoe lace from fraying excessively. Plastic aglets are great for a subtle and simple look and will do the job as required. For a more premium feel, check out metal aglets which are more durable and give some pop, as well as looking much cleaner. We have metal aglets available in gold, silver, gunmetal and black - check out our metal aglet lacesfor a full view.

Accessories for Shoes

There are a number of accessories available for shoes, including lace locks and shoe lace tags (otherwise known as dubraes). Lace locks hold laces together and prevent them from coming undone, reducing the need to tie sneakers.

Lace tags, or dubraes, go on the front of shoes, or on key chains or hooded jacket where the laces slot through. Our recently launched customisable dubrae service allows for you to tell us what you would like on your dubrae. We then take this and custom engrave it into premium metal dubraes in our Sydney warehouse.

Check out our dubrae/lace tag  page for more information, as well as examples that others have done in the past.

How to lace your shoe laces

We have a detailed guide  on how to thread and tie your shoe laces for the cleanest look, available on the website for download here

How to clean your shoe laces

We also have a detailed guide  on how to clean your shoe laces on the website, available for download here.

So now that you have all the info you need on making your kicks unique, or just getting rid of those worst-ever stock laces, check out our entire collection of shoe laces on site. Remember to hit us up at for any questions you may have! 

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Sizing Chart




(36 inch)

  • adidas Ultraboosts(through the cage)
  • adidas NMDs(both NMD_R1 and NMD_R2)
  • ASICS Gel Lyte III (untied)
  • Puma Tsugi Shinsei

Includes both rope laces and flat laces for Ultraboosts and NMDs

5 - 6


(36 inch)




(43 inch)


  • adidas Ultraboost (tied with OG length or stacking through primeknit)
  • adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V1 and V2(untied)
  • adidas Y3 Qasa High
  • adidas ZG Boost
  • adidas Pure Boost
  • Nike Flyknit Racer
  • Nike Flyknit Mariah Racer
  • Nike Air Vapormax
  • Nike Janoski and Janoski Max
  • Nike Air Max Zero
  • New Balance 997
  • New Balance 247
  • New Balance 1978
7 - 8


(43 inch)




(50 inch)


  • Nike Air Max 97
  • Nke Air Max 95
  • Nike Air Max 98
  • Nike Air Max Plus (Nike TN)
  • Nike Air Max 1 (Women)
  • Nike Air Max 90 (Women)
  • Nike Air Max LD-Zero
  • Nike Free Runs
  • ASICS Gel Saga
  • ASICS Gel Lyte V
  • ASICS Gel Respector
  • ASICS GT-2
  • ASICS Gel Kayano Trainer
  • adidas ZX Flux
  • adidas Tubular
  • adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V1 and V2
  • New Balance 996
  • New Balance 997
  • New Balance 998
  • New Balance 1500
  • Puma Blaze of Glory

The majority of running shoes will be in this range.

9 -10


(50 inch)

  • Nike Air Presto (though fewer eyelets, these are widely laced)
  • Nike Air Max 1
  • Nike Air Max 90
  • Nike Air Force 1 Lows
  • Nike Dunk Lows
  • Any Nike Air Jordan from the Air Jordan III (untied)
  • adidas Stan Smith (inc Raf Simons)
  • Converse All Stars
  • adidas Superstar
  • adidas Ultraboost (stacking through the primeknit)
  • adidas Yeezy Boost 750
  • ASICS Gel Lyte V
  • Rick Owens Ramones Lows
11 +


(63 inch)

  • Nike Air Jordan I
  • Nike Foamposites
  • Nike Dunk Highs
  • Nike Air Force 1 Highs
  • Rick Owens Ramone Highs (no wrap)
  • Any other Air Jordan where you want to tie
  • Most high-top basketball shoes (KDs, LeBrons, Currys, Kyries, Kobes).


Most Common Questions

Ultra Boost laces length?

We recommend Medium (43 Inch) laces for Ultraboosts, as this matches the stock lace length. However, for those looking for a smaller bow or to wear untied, Small (36 Inch) would be an ideal option. You can find both these lengths across our most popular styles in our Ultraboost collection

NMD laces length?

The adidas NMD is notorious for having laces which are way too long. We suggest our Small (36 Inch) laces for the best fit, which when threaded loosely will give you a nicely sized bow without all the dangle and mess of the stock laces. You can find NMD laces here in our NMD collection

Most popular Ultra Boost laces?

The best thing about ultraboosts is that they are versatile and look great with both rope laces, and flat laces. We suggest keeping to the lightweight, tech-vibe by using regular aglets. Our favourite laces for ultraboosts are the black/3M flat lacesin Medium (43 Inch).


This sizing chart is a guide only and is flexible depending on how you thread your laces. For those you enjoy tight threading, our recommended "untied"¬Ě versions may be appropriate for tying. For those who enjoy particularly loose threading, a larger length may be more appropriate. It will also depend on the size of the shoe (for example some smaller Ultraboosts would be recommended as 36 inch, but larger ones as 45")

The best way to check a rough appropriate length is to measure the current laces in your shoes.