Inside-Out Sports Local site

Product reviews

Our experiences and opinions after testing the newest triathlon products out there.

XTENX Shoe Laces

  • Price: $14.95 for the pair
  • Reviewed by: Jeff Freer & Cid Cardoso Jr.
  • Reviewed on: November 5, 2012
  • Category: ,

The first thing you’ll notice about the XTENEX laces are the distinctive bumps or knots that run the entire length of each lace.  These knots are what hold the lace in your preferred tension or tightness, prevents lace unwanted movement, and makes them extremely adjustable.  The knots disappear when you add tension or pull on the lace and then reappear when the tension is released to hold the lace in the exact position you want it. This makes it easy to “lace up” the shoe and achieve the desired tension.

The XTENEX laces are elastic so they stretch as your foot swells during running and throughout the day.  Because they are elastic, you also won’t have to tie your shoes anymore.  Your shoes suddenly become a loafer.  This elastic feature also makes them a great addition to running shoes used in a triathlon because you will be able to get them on quicker during your transition from the bike to the run.  They also allow your shoe to come off easily making them a perfect choice for the upcoming duathlon season. With the XTENEX laces, there are no plastic pieces to slip, loose or break thus prolonging the effectiveness and durability of this lacing system.

Regarding lace migration, I found it that it can be a real nuisance in long runs. It is not uncommon for me to have to adjust my laces at least once during my two hour runs, either to tighten a certain spot or loosen another, mainly by redistributing the spacing. (In short runs it’s not generally an issue for me).  And it the case of triathlons, in the past, I’ve often had to choose between elastic laces that moved completely freely in the eyelets thus exaggerating lace migration or lace locks that kept conventional laces tied but required time to achieve the desired lacing distribution. Again, not issues at sprint races but certainly potentially annoying issues at IM races. With the XTENEX laces, I can loosen up the lace in a specific spot and the rest of the lace would stays as tight as I want it. In fact, it even allowed me to set different tensions in different areas of the shoe. This is what XTENEX calls asymmetrical lacing, which is used in certain shoes to accommodate the non-symmetrical form of the foot or provide additional stability in certain areas. Although I had really never thought about lacing my shoes in terms of pre set different tension zones, I have often been in situations where I played with the laces tightening one area more than other to try to eliminate a painful pressure point or friction or to prevent slipping (both which can result in blisters). Finally, this customization is easy to set and measure, as more knots between eyelets equal less tension and vice versa.

The XTENEX laces are available in multiple colors, lengths, and knot sizes for different types of shoes and are appropriate for your running, athletic, work, and casual footwear.  The XTENEX laces retail for $14.99 a pair which seems a little on the steep side for shoe laces but sometimes a better mouse trap is just more expensive to build. Remember that they offer more benefits than your standard elastic laces marketed for triathlons and quick transitions. They offer a significant increase lacing options, and therefore comfort, for virtually all types of shoes (that use laces) and that may be worn for long periods of time.