Ian Fieggen (aka 'Professor Shoelace') Ian's Shoelace Site Ian's Shoelace Knot
Ian's Shoelace Site - Bringing you the fun, fashion & science of shoelaces
Available Shoelace Lengths
Available Shoelace Lengths Having calculated a theoretically accurate shoelace length, the problem arises of how to buy a shoelace from the limited lengths available. It all comes down to the resulting end lengths that you find comfortable.


Typical Stock Lengths
Shoelaces are typically available in a range of stock lengths:
Metric 60 cm, 70 cm, 80 cm, 90 cm, 100 cm, 110 cm, 120 cm, 140 cm, 160 cm, 180 cm, 200 cm, 220 cm, 240 cm, 260 cm, 280 cm, 300 cm.
Imperial 24 inch, 27 inch, 30 inch, 36 inch, 40 inch, 45 inch, 54 inch, 63 inch, 72 inch, 84 inch, 96 inch, 108 inch, 120 inch.
Unfortunately, very few stores stock every possible shoelace in every possible length, width, shape, color and material. When forced to choose a length that is not ideal, the result will be ends that are too long or short.


Comfortable End Lengths
By my testing, I've found that an end length of 250 mm (10 inches) is an ideal medium length for most adults. The ends are long enough to hold and tie comfortably, resulting in a bow of pleasing proportions plus ends that won't get underfoot.
150mm End Lengths
150 mm
(6 inches)
Excessively short, making it difficult to tie.
150mm End Lengths
200 mm
(8 inches)
Comfortably short, resulting in a compact bow.
150mm End Lengths
250 mm
(10 inches)
Ideal medium length for most adults.
150mm End Lengths
300 mm
(12 inches)
Comfortably long, resulting in a larger bow.
150mm End Lengths
350 mm
(14 inches)
Excessively long, allowing ends to get underfoot.
You can therefore safely buy shoelaces that are up to 100 mm longer or shorter than the ideal length. This will only result in 50 mm difference to the length of each end (2 x 50 mm ends = 100 mm per lace). For children's shoes or dress shoes, choose a little shorter, but not too short as to make it difficult for them to be tied.
NOTE: I've used rough metric to imperial conversions above where 1 inch = 25 mm instead of precisely 25.4 mm.

Practical Examples
Mr Lacy shoelaces package Mr Lacy Shoelaces (130 cm):
The popular range of Mr Lacy shoelaces comes in a standard length of 130 cm (51 inch). From the tables on the Approximate Shoelace Lengths page, we can determine that these laces would suit the following:

Larger skate shoes with four pairs of eyelets;
Medium skate shoes with five pairs of eyelets;
Smaller skate shoes with six pairs of eyelets;
Larger sneakers with seven pairs of eyelets;
Medium sneakers with eight pairs of eyelets;
Smaller sneakers with nine pairs of eyelets;
Unsuitable for typical dress shoes (too long).
The same 130 cm laces are also okay when tied with longer or shorter bows:

Medium skate shoes with four pairs of eyelets (using very long bows);
Medium skate shoes with six pairs of eyelets (using very short bows);
Medium sneakers with seven pairs of eyelets (using longer bows);
Medium sneakers with nine pairs of eyelets (using shorter bows);
Junior Mr Lacy Shoelaces (110 cm):
Mr. Lacy's "Junior" length of 110 cm (43 inch) would suit the following:

Medium skate shoes with four pairs of eyelets;
Smaller skate shoes with five pairs of eyelets;
Larger sneakers with five pairs of eyelets;
Medium sneakers with six pairs of eyelets;
Smaller sneakers with seven pairs of eyelets;
Unsuitable for typical dress shoes (still too long).

Once again, these laces will suit smaller shoes using longer bows as well as larger shoes using shorter bows.


Related Links
Accurate shoelace lengths Accurate Lengths
Determining accurate shoelace lengths from shoe measurements.
Shoelace length calculator Length Calculator
Web-based calculator to accurately compute shoelace lengths.

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