Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gear Review: New Balance Sure Lace

Shoe laces are something that should be super simple. All they are is a little piece of fabric rope that keeps the shoe together. It shouldn't be rocket science. Yet so many companies can't get this right. I have complained time and time and time again about laces that just don't stay tied. I've double-knotted, I've tucked the laces into themselves...doesn't matter. The bad laces always seem to come untied at the most inopportune times anyway. Like mile 15 of a marathon when the last thing I plan on doing is stopping and retying them. Obviously something so easily replaceable should never be a deterrent to buying a shoe that you otherwise love (it's like not buying a bicycle because you don't like the saddle...just replace it), but it also does no good if you replace the laces with some other pair of laces that don't stay tied. Enter the New Balance Sure Lace.

The New Balance Sure Lace is a kinked shoe lace that appears to have separate little bubbles in the laces (these are also sometimes referred to as "bubble laces" or "pill laces" because of their shape). Admittedly, the first time I saw these, I was pretty confused, but I fell in love with them quickly (didn't fall in love with that particular pair of shoes, but that's what I get for buying a stability performance trainer and thinking I could use them as a substitute for the Nike Pegasus). These laces work, and while that's one of those simple things that you take for granted if you actually have a decent pair of shoe laces, it's something you appreciate if you've ever had your shoe laces come undone at an inopportune time.

ASICS Piranha SP3 with the New Balance Sure Lace

I've heard of some people using elastic shoe laces because they had problems with keeping their shoes tied. However, the Sure Lace has a big advantage over elastic laces. Elastic laces have some give to them, which means that the upper ends up with more stretch than originally intended. This means that some of the inherent support of the upper is lost. Additionally, it can give your foot more room to move inside the shoe, which could increase the risk of blisters. The Sure Lace suffers from none of these disadvantages. Elastic laces are great for triathletes' racing flats, when they need to get their shoes on super fast during T2, but for everyone else (including triathletes who are just training), go with a real pair of laces.

New Balance Sure Lace

While New Balance was the first company to use the bubble lace shape, a few other companies have followed suit. For example, the Brooks Pure Project laces use a similar design. The bubbles aren't quite as prominent, and there's only kinking on the ends of the laces, but they too seem to stay tied very well (at least I haven't had any issues with them thus far). However, I do not believe you can buy the Brooks laces separately, and these laces are not used on the rest of Brooks' line.

Brooks Pure Project shoe lace

I know this was a really short review, but come on, it's a shoe lace. There's not much to say about it, other than I wanted to give everyone a heads up that if they're going to replace their shoe laces, do it with these.

The New Balance Sure Lace is available in a variety of colors and lengths and can be found at many retailers that carry New Balance Products. 

Full disclosure: I paid for these laces, so there's nothing really to disclose. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and based on my experience, and do not reflect the opinions of New Balance or anyone else.


  1. Those look like great laces. I love the PureProject laces, and I'm happy to learn that there are similar types available for standalone purchase. I'll definitely keep an eye out for them the next time I buy trainers that come with "regular" laces.

  2. Well, keep an eye out if your regular laces don't stay tied need if they're regular laces that stay tied! ;) But I was thrilled when I saw that the Pure Project laces were crimped too!


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