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Training

Lace ‘Em Up

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Around the time I
first began to consider myself a real runner, I also discovered the genius of
Lace Locks. These squeezable plastic gadgets enabled me to adjust my laces only
once, and then easily slide the locks open and closed just enough to allow my foot access
in and out of my shoe. Given that my high-maintenance high arches previously
required that I lace and relace my shoes until I hit the perfect sweet spot of
comfort, the Lace Locks were a welcome remedy to this problem. As I progressed
into the sport of triathlon, Lace Locks remained a critical component of my
race gear, eliminating entirely the need to tie my shoes and thus shaving time
(and more importantly, frustration) off my transition from the bike to the run.

Now, of course,
there are a number of higher tech elastic lacing options on the market, and I
couldn’t be happier. While the original Lace Locks still exist, the elastic
laces add even greater convenience to the fine art of shoelacing. I’ve become a
fan of Yankz, which, like other elastic laces, once in place require no further
adjustment – you simply pull the shoe on and off and the elastic gives
accordingly, then snugs back up when your foot is perfectly situated.

Another brand which
is popular among runners and triathletes is Lock Laces, which I have yet to try
but which appear to function similarly to Yankz. Recently, at the Escape from
Alcatraz Triathlon
expo, I saw a new twist on the elastic lace, Xtenex. These
basically look like other elastic laces, but with knots at regular intervals to
prevent even the slightest lace slippage. 

I’d hate to see traditional shoelaces become completely extinct – after all, learning to tie
one’s shoe is a milestone of childhood. But I have to admit, I am quite
enamored by the brilliant simplicity of elastic laces.