Innovation That Matters

Elastic replacements for laced shoes

Fashion & Beauty

From New York, Hickies is an elastic lace replacement system that aims to do away with the need for tying.

Footwear is no stranger to practical innovation – in the past we’ve seen biodegradable shoes, foldable zip shoes and even GPS shoes for Alzheimer’s sufferers, among many others. Continuing this string of developments is Hickies, an elastic lace replacement system from New York that aims to do away with the need for tying. Made from colored rubber, Hickies consist of a thin strip with a hook on one end and a loop on the other. The devices are fed through the eyelets of shoes designed to be laced and then securely fastened, with one Hickie being used for each row of eyelets. As they are made of flexible elastic, Hickies come in one size and can be used to replace the laces in any type of shoe or boot — although the company admits it currently doesn’t cater for wide skate shoes — allowing the wearer to slip their footwear on and off instead of tying and untying. The more fashion-conscious may also welcome the fact that the elastic clips do away with bows, which, in the brand’s own words, “break up the silhouette and lines of the footwear”. Available in a range of colors, Hickies seek to enable customers to match the clips to their shoes or customize their look by choosing their favorite shade. It is also easy to see how Hickies could help those with arthritis, or those with other medical difficulties that mean they have trouble with the process of tying shoelaces. Shoe manufacturers: is this a development to consider in the design of new footwear?



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