How to Shorten Shoelaces: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to shorten shoelaces with our step-by-step guide. Discover different methods, tools required, and safety precautions for a perfect fit.

Have you ever bought a new pair of shoes, only to find that the shoelaces are frustratingly long? Or maybe your old shoelaces have become worn out and need replacing, but you can’t seem to find the right length. Whatever the reason may be, learning how to shorten shoelaces is an essential skill for any shoe-wearer.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of shortening shoelaces step-by-step. We’ll cover different methods for shortening, tools required, and safety precautions to keep in mind. By following these instructions carefully, you’ll be able to customize your shoelace length to fit your shoes perfectly.

So let’s get started – no more tripping over excessively long laces!

Assess Your Shoelace Length

How to Measure Your Current Shoelace Length

Before you start shortening your shoelaces, you’ll need to know how long they currently are. The easiest way to measure them is to remove one of the laces from your shoe and lay it flat on a table or other flat surface. Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the length from end to end.

You can also measure both laces at once by untying them and laying them side by side. This will give you an accurate measurement for both laces at once.

Understanding the Proper Length for Different Types of Shoes

The proper length for shoelaces varies depending on the type of shoe you’re wearing. For example, running shoes typically require longer laces than dress shoes. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Dress shoes: 24-27 inches (61-69 cm)
  • Casual shoes: 27-36 inches (69-91 cm)
  • Athletic shoes: 45-54 inches (114-137 cm)
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Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines – always be sure to double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific pair of shoes.

Choosing the Right Method to Shorten Shoelaces

When it comes to shortening shoelaces, there are a few different methods you can use. Each method has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that will work best for your shoes and personal preference.


One of the most popular methods of shortening shoelaces is cutting them with scissors or a knife. This method allows for precise measurements and results in a clean-cut edge. However, if you cut too much off, you can’t undo it.

To use this method, start by removing the laces from your shoes. Measure the length you want to shorten them by and add an extra inch to allow for tying knots. Then, cut each lace at an angle to prevent fraying.


Another common method of shortening shoelaces is knotting them. This method is quick and easy but can result in bulky knots that may not fit through the eyelets of some shoes.

To use this method, remove your laces from your shoes and tie a knot close to the end of each lace. Then, trim off any excess lace beyond the knot.


Folding your shoelaces is another simple way to shorten them without cutting or knotting. This option works well if you only need to shorten your laces slightly.

To use this method, fold your laces in half and tie a knot near the folded end. Then tuck the knot into the shoe or wrap them around before tying them normally.

With these different methods outlined, consider which one will be best for your needs before proceeding with shortening your shoelaces.

Preparing for Shortening

Tools Needed for Shortening Shoelaces

Before you begin shortening your shoelaces, it’s important to gather the necessary tools. Here are some items you’ll need:


A good pair of scissors is essential for cutting your shoelaces to the desired length. Make sure they’re sharp and have a pointed tip to make precise cuts.

Tape Measure or Ruler

To ensure that both shoelaces are cut to the same length, you’ll need a tape measure or ruler to measure the existing laces.

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Lighter or Matches (Optional)

If you’ve decided to use the melting method to shorten your shoelaces, you’ll need a lighter or matches to melt the ends of the laces.

Safety Precautions While Shortening

Shortening shoelaces may seem like a straightforward task, but it’s crucial to take certain safety precautions to avoid injury. Here are some tips:

Use Sharp Scissors

Dull scissors can cause jagged cuts, which can fray the ends of your shoelaces. This could lead to them unraveling over time, which defeats the purpose of shortening them in the first place.

Cut Away from Your Body

When using scissors, make sure you cut away from your body. This will prevent any accidents if the scissors slip out of your hand.

Be Careful with Flames

If you’re using a lighter or matches to melt the ends of your shoelaces, be extremely cautious. Keep an eye on where the flame is and make sure not to burn yourself or anything else around you.

With these tools and safety tips in mind, we’re ready to move on to the actual process of shortening our shoelaces.

Step-by-Step Guide on Cutting Shoelaces

Cutting shoelaces is the most common and straightforward method for shortening them. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure you get the right length without damaging your shoes.

Tools You Will Need

  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • Lighter (optional)

Steps to Follow

  1. Remove the shoelaces from your shoes.
  2. Measure how much you need to shorten each lace and mark it with a pencil or marker.
  3. Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the lace at the marked spot.
  4. If you want to prevent fraying, use a lighter to melt the end of the lace slightly, being careful not to burn it.
  5. Reinsert the laces into your shoes and tie them as usual.

Tips on How to Avoid Mistakes

  • Always double-check your measurements before cutting – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Make sure that both laces are cut evenly so that they look uniform when tied.
  • Be careful not to cut too much off at once – you can always trim more if needed, but you can’t add any back once it’s been cut.
  • For best results, use sharp scissors or a blade to make clean cuts in one go.

Now that you’ve mastered cutting shoelaces, let’s move on to other methods of shortening them!

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Step-by-Step Guide on Knotting Shoelaces

If you prefer not to cut your shoelaces, knotting is a great alternative for shortening them. Here’s how:

1. Remove the laces

Firstly, remove both shoelaces from your shoes.

2. Measure the length

Measure the length of each lace to determine how much you need to shorten it by.

3. Tie an overhand knot

Next, tie an overhand knot in each shoelace at the point where you want to shorten it. Make sure that the knots are tight and secure.

4. Tie another overhand knot

Tie another overhand knot in each shoelace about half an inch above the first knot. This will ensure that the shortened section stays in place and doesn’t come undone.

5. Trim off extra length

Finally, trim off any excess lace beyond the second knot using a pair of scissors. Be careful not to cut too close to the knot or you might accidentally undo it.

With these simple steps, you can easily shorten your shoelaces without sacrificing their structural integrity or aesthetics. Just be sure to follow all safety precautions while handling scissors!

Step by Step Guide on Folding Shoelaces

Are you tired of having your shoelaces come undone during the day? One way to prevent this is by folding your shoelaces, which creates a tighter knot that’s less likely to unravel. Here’s how to do it:

Materials Needed

  • A pair of shoes with laces
  • Your shoelaces


  1. Start by tying your shoelaces as you normally would.
  2. Take both ends of the lace and fold them in half, so that they meet in the center.
  3. Cross one folded end over the other, creating an “X” shape.
  4. Take one end of the “X” and tuck it under the other end.
  5. Pull both ends tight, making sure that the knot sits flat against your shoe.
  6. Fold each remaining lace end back over itself, creating two loops.
  7. Tie these loops together using a simple knot.

Congratulations! You’ve just folded your shoelaces into a secure knot that won’t come undone easily. This method works particularly well for athletic shoes or sneakers that need extra support during physical activity.

Keep in mind that although folding may take slightly longer than traditional knotting methods, it can save you time throughout the day by preventing frequent retying. With practice, you’ll be able to master this technique in no time!


Shortening shoelaces may seem like a small task, but it can make a big difference in the comfort and functionality of your shoes. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to customize your shoelace length to meet your needs.

Remember to assess your current shoelace length before cutting or knotting, choose the right method for your shoes, and take necessary safety precautions while shortening. Whether you prefer cutting, knotting, or folding, there is a solution that will work for you.

In conclusion, mastering the skill of shortening shoelaces is an easy way to improve your overall shoe-wearing experience. With some practice and patience, you’ll be able to shorten laces like a pro in no time!

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