As great as New Balance sneakers are, some of them come with laces that are terribly long.
If they are too long, you may need to tie each shoe six times just to keep them from being underfoot. Not only do they look untidy, but they may cause unwanted accidents as well.
So, why are New Balance shoelaces too long?
The biggest reason why New Balance shoelaces are so long is to save production costs. Each shoe size has to be accounted for. So whether you wear a size 8 or a size 15, New Balance has to ensure that all shoes can be fully laced up, regardless of shoe style.
There are, however, other possible reasons as to why New Balance laces are so long. In this post, let’s explore several theories about this issue and practical solutions to fix it.
Why Are New Balance Shoe Laces Too Long?
Some athletic shoes have laces with more than 15 inches on each side before the first knot is tied.
In fact, there was an unscientific survey that stated that shoelaces on most adult and child athletic shoes need to be tied AT LEAST two or three times.
So what’s the deal with these long laces?
When it comes to the extreme lengths of shoelaces, there are two possible reasons. This is applicable for most major athletic shoe brands, not just New Balance.
With that said, here are the two reasons explained in greater detail:
1. New Balance Has to Cover the Bases
The first reason why New Balance laces are so long is that they need to cover all the bases.
Because shoes are made in large quantities, the manufacturer needs to make sure that each shoe size can be laced up with the same shoelace length.
To explain it in simpler terms, we borrowed information from Ian’s Shoelace Site:
For example, let’s say that a new sneaker design needs the ideal lace length of 57 inches. The manufacturer, in this case New Balance, has three options to choose which length to supply:
- Shoelaces EXACTLY 57 inches long (expensive to produce in large quantities)
- Stock length 54-inch laces (which may be slightly short)
- Stock length 63-inch laces (two sizes above)
Based on the three alternatives mentioned above, you can clearly see that the last option is the most affordable, all the while making sure that no shoe size is left short.
But this also means that the new sneaker design has laces that are about 6 inches longer.
2. Manufacturing Mistake
Another reason why shoelaces are so long is because of a manufacturing mistake. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Nike spokeswoman Kathryn Reith said:
“Occasionally you might have the factory that just doesn’t follow the plan exactly or generally screws up, but you don’t want to send back 3 million shoes just because the shoestrings are too long.”
And while the statement above is made by a spokeswoman from Nike, we assume that the same can also happen to New Balance. After all, they are fierce competitors.
This just goes to show that sometimes factories can make mistakes, and it would be costly to send back millions of shoes just to provide customers with the perfect shoelace length.
How Long Are New Balance Shoelaces?
New Balance shoelaces have seven different lengths that measure 27 inches, 36 inches, 40 inches, 45 inches, 54 inches, 60 inches, and 63 inches. The length of New Balance shoelaces depends on how many pairs of eyelets are on the shoes.
For example, let’s take a look at one of the most popular New Balance shoes, the 574.
The New Balance 574 has flat shoelaces that measure between 36 to 40 inches long. The shoe has 6 eyelets and can be laced between 5 or 6 times depending on your preference.
In most cases, the more eyelet a pair of shoes has, the longer the shoelaces are.
Eyelets allow you to apply different lacing patterns. Because everyone has different foot shapes, alternative lacing patterns can give more stability in the upper part of the foot.
What Shoelace Length Should You Order?
If your New Balance shoelaces are too long, you can always order replacement laces.
To figure out what your ideal shoelace length is, start by counting the number of eyelet pairs on one of your shoes. In most cases, your New Balance shoes have 6 eyelet pairs.
For shoes with 6 eyelet pairs, the ideal shoelace length is 40 inches.
For reference, use the chart borrowed from New Balance below to determine the length of the ideal shoelace based on the eyelet pairs on your shoes:
|No. of eyelets||Lace Length|
|4 pairs||27 inches|
|5 pairs||36 inches|
|6 pairs||40 inches|
|7 pairs||45 inches|
|8 pairs||54 inches|
|9 pairs||60 inches|
|10 pairs||63 inches|
Buying replacement laces is by far the simplest and easiest solution if your laces are too long.
By using the reference above, you will have the best odds of finding the perfect lace length for your New Balance shoes. But if you don’t want to buy new laces, here’s what you can do:
How to Shorten New Balance Shoelaces
Cutting your shoelaces is a popular method.
While it’s an easy thing to do, we don’t recommend it because the cut ends will start to fray.
To seal it, you need to use heat shrink tubing, which you need to buy online. But if you’re going online to buy things anyway, why not just buy new shoelaces instead?
So here are two ways to shorten your shoelaces without cutting them:
1. Tuck the Laces Inside the Shoes
The easiest method to make shoelaces shorter is to tuck them inside your shoes. To do this, start by grabbing the two loose ends and tuck them inside either side of the foot.
Once the laces are under your feet, your body weight will help keep them in place.
While easy to do, it’s not the most effective, because you may need to keep tucking your laces back in place. This can sometimes become annoying.
So what you can do is tie a knot and tuck it inside your shoes.
To do this, start by looking at the top two eyelets. Take the laces and push them in FROM THE OUTSIDE of the shoe, down into the inside. You can then tie a small knot or bow, and then tuck it underneath the shoe tongue. This method is a great way to conceal longer shoelaces.
2. Double Lacing Method
The double lacing method is interesting, to say the least. It needs no strange knots, does not require you to cut the laces, yet is very effective to keep the laces in place.
To do the double lacing method, start by undoing your laces down to the middle sets of eyelets.
When you take one of the laces and pull it across to the opposite side, push it through the hole, but then go back to the place that you just started from.
Pull it up through the hole again, across the top to cover that previous lace, and insert it back in the hole. This will result in two layers of laces sitting on top of one another.
You can then continue lacing up the shoe normally. But because you have covered more ground (in this case, eyelets), this method saves you a couple of inches.
It’s up to you how many times you want to do this, it just depends on the length of your laces.
The best thing about the double lacing method allows you to tie your shoes normally.
You may also like: New Balance 574 vs. 515
And there you have it, the answers to the question “why are New Balance laces so long” along with our best tips on how to solve the problem.
At the end of the day, shoelaces may be too long simply because it helps the manufacturer reduce production costs. But by applying the tips we have shared with you, not only will you be able to make your shoelaces shorter, you will look more stylish too.