Most serious triathletes are always looking for the latest and greatest gadgets to get them to the finish line faster. More aero, lighter, high tech means better right? Today’s product review shows me that isn’t always true. Sometimes the way to go is a simple hack brewed out of good ole’ American ingenuity!

Elastic shoe laces are not anything new. I bought a pair for my first triathlon and have been running in them ever since. They are cheep and can be found online or just about anywhere. But every single style I’ve tried has left just a little to be desired. Either they were hard to adjust, or you were left with the choice between the ability to open them all the way or a long string flapping around as you ran. Then I was sent a pair of Riplaces to try out!

I’ve been running in Riplaces for a few months now and I think they are just about the best elastic laces out there. They are very customizable and hold the shoe on well. I’ve also had zero problems getting my shoes on with them adjusted tight enough to hold the shoe while running.

Background

Like I said earlier, Riplaces were hacked from some good ole’ American ingenuity. Founders David and Karen came up with the idea for Replaces when David got frustrated trying to get his laces untied in a freezing cold winter storm before coming in the house. The first prototypes were made from hair ties and then improved from there to what you canny today. That is a big plus in my book. All American and family owned and operated. No complaints there!

Features

So what makes Riplaces different from other laces I’ve tried?

Replaces take a different approach than a normal shoe laces. Most elastic shoes laces keep the shoe lace idea in mind and are one continuous string that is woven through the laces like a normal shoe lace. Riplaces, however, use a different bungee for each set of eyelets. This gives you more control for how tight you make each eyelet and can add to the customization to relieve pressure points etc.

The system comes with more than enough bungees in all different sizes to suite your needs, and a total of 14 “core’s” to secure the system. That give you enough for 7 sets of eyelets on each shoe. Most running shoes don’t have that many, so you will have plenty there as well. The whole system has a variety of colors for each part for you to mix and match as you please.

Replaces are easy to install if you follow the directions. instead of going into that here, I’ll just let you watch the video they put together.

The key here is to use the little wire they give you to thread the bungees. I tried it without and got super frustrated until I remembered that little point.

As fas as the fit goes, they tell you to measure the eyelet size based on how you tie your shoes with normal laces. I found that since there is a little give in the bungees (there has to be to get your foot in)  I had to size down on a few of the eyelets. It was no big deal and everyone will be different. It will take a few runs to get dialed in, but once you get it… forget it! They hold strong and don’t stretch (at least they haven’t for me and I’ve not found anyone else that has complained bout stretch over time.)

Final Thoughts

If you just skipped down to my final thoughts (that’s alright… I won’t judge), my recommendation is that you give these a try. Riplaces have been great for me and make transitions that much faster. There’s nothing flopping around and once you get the fit dialed in you won’t have to mess wth them again. That means no worries on race day… which will make an triathlete or runner happy!

Go give Riplaces a try ad let them know Nate at Triathlonpal sent you! And then let me know what you think! Hit me up on twitter or in the comments below. And feel free to ask questions and I’ll see if I can get you the answer you need!