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Fat Laces (Tutorial)

Fat Laces (Tutorial)

So, back in the 80’s there was a bit of a trend around “fact laces”. Everyone wore fat laces in their Gazelles or Clydes. I love the old school look and find it really easy to slip shoes on and off when they’re done up properly…. and no tying of shoe laces. 🙂

I had to go through and teach my son how to lace his shoes, so I thought there might be other people out there who might want to know. Here’s the tutorial for how I put my fat laces in.

I will use my old beat up Gazelles to show how to do this. I had normal laces in there, so when I changed them over, I took some pictures. Here’s where you start…



Next, obviously remove the old laces.


Get one of the laces and insert one end through the eyelet as shown. I like to have the end on the inside of my foot, so the left foot starts on the right side, the right foot on the left.


Once you’ve threaded it through, tie a knot in the end as tight as you can and as close to the tip as possible. This will stop the shoe lace coming out.


Once you’ve tied the knot, pull the lace tight and tuck the end under the outer part of the shoe, but on top of the tongue.


Next, thread the other end through the opposite hole, but leave heaps of play in the lace so we can tighten it later.




Then thread the lace back through the next hole, so that the lace always comes UP on the right and DOWN on the left. (This will be mirrored on the other shoe). Then continue this, leaving heaps of room to play, all the way up the shoe.







You’ll run out of shoe lace pretty quickly, but that’s okay. Once you come to the end of the lace, slip the shoe on to see how it will fit. You want to tighten it while it’s on, that way you know it will fit well when you’re finished.


Once it’s on, tighten it up so that the laces are evenly stretched across the shoe – firm, but not taut.


You will find that then there will be more lace left over so you can then take it all the way to the top. Personally, I have stopped one row down from the top as I wanted this pair to be more loose and able to be slipped on and off easily. For a tighter fit, go to the top row.




Once you’re happy where the end will be, and it’s tight enough for you to walk around in comfortably, take the shoe off and place it back on your lap. You’ll need to secure the other end now.


We’re going to tie a knot in the top the same way we did at the bottom, but to do that we’ll need to have enough lace to tie. To do this, firmly grab the spot where the knot will need to be (as close to the upper part of the shoe as possible)…


…then pull the lace towards yourself. This will crunch the rest of the lace together (as above) and give you enough room to tie the knot.


Once you’ve tied the knot, you can then pull the lace back to where it’s smooth again, but the knot will stop it from coming out. Then do the same with the other shoe, but in a mirror image of what we did above.


When you’ve finished both shoes, try them on and walk around a bit. I usually do this for a day or two to let them settle in. There will be a bit of the lace poking out, but you can tuck that in. If the shoe is too loose, you can tie another knot closer to the shoe and it will tighten the whole lot up. If it’s too tight, loosen the laces from the bottom, stretching them slightly.


Once you’re comfortable with how they feel, we need to get rid of the excess lace. Cut the excess lace off as close to the knot as you can, but make sure the knot is super tight as you don’t want it coming undone.




Once you’ve cut the lace off, you’ll find that the knot will happily sit under the upper but on top of the tongue. It will look like you’ve magically got your laces to just hold the shoe together!


There are places on ebay and such that sell fat laces. I’ve built up a stash over the years, but they are pretty easy to find. Happy lacing!


Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Clothing


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