Shoelace Tying Solutions

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Many parents with older children may notice that as your child’s feet grow, their options for sneakers shrink. There have been many, many meltdowns in shoe stores catalyzed by my children picking out a shoe they like, only to find that it either doesn’t come in their size, or only has laces as an option. Though I’ve tried to teach my children how to tie their laces on their own, it’s been met with resistance or worse. I’ve done bunny ears, YouTube tutorials, Pinterest suggestions, all to no avail. I’ve minimized the in-public embarrassments by letting them choose shoes online, and in the comforts of our home, at Zappos.com.  That solved one major problem, but did little to nothing to help the lack of selection for youth sized shoes with laceless options.

My next temporary solution was a little miracle called no-ties. They are essentially shoe laces with spiral endings, making it impossible for them to come untied, because, well . . . you don’t tie them; they instead stay “spiraled” at the top of the shoe. I purchased ours at Incredible Feets, where they had a selection of black and white laces; perhaps as they become more popular, more color options will be made available. While the no-ties are a great short-term fix, I did notice a few problems with them; if your kids need a tight fit for support, they are less than optimal. They also became stretched out over time and lost their spiral; I’m not sure if every child would have that issue (one of my kids said that his friends did it to his intentionally, but that doesn’t explain what happened to the other one’s pair), so maybe they would be a perfect option for your child.

No-ties do not, however, teach your child the lesson we must all eventually learn —- how to tie our shoes. And that’s where Nordstrom’s comes in. There have been many things I’ve tried to teach my children, and for some reason they learn better from someone/anyone other than myself. No worries, I don’t take it personally. Nordstroms throughout the country provide shoe-tying lessons on certain days throughout the year. The one closest to my home, for instance, offers them every third Sunday of the month at 9:45 am. You must sign them up first, as class sizes are limited, and you can do so by calling the store, asking for the children’s shoe department, and asking to sign your kid(s) up for the next shoe tying lesson. The class seems most appropriate for children 4 & up, so I signed up my two older children for the lesson that took place this past weekend. I was overly pleased with our experience for many reasons. For starters, my older one can now tie his own shoes (!) and my little guy is thisclose to being able to do it as well, but the hour-long lesson was taught in a warm and supportive environment and we were frustration/tantrum free for the entire time. That is worth its weight in gold in my book. The children took a group picture and received certificates of accomplishment, and also received a small goody bag at the end containing celebratory balloons as well as a print out of the shoe-tying poem used throughout the lesson. The lesson was completely free and there was no pressure at all to purchase anything at the end. There was absolutely no downside to the experience at all. If shoe buying and tying is becoming a problem for you, this Nordstrom experience is surely worth checking out.

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