Make Laced Shoes Into Slip-ons With Inner Tubes





Introduction: Make Laced Shoes Into Slip-ons With Inner Tubes

About: "Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end" - Spock

I got tired of my bike's pedals catching my laces, so I decided to ditch my laces and go for something else. I ended up with using inner tubes to turn them into slip-ons. They stretch out to put your foot in, and stretch back tight. Mine are incredibly comfortable and very convenient.

All you need is a pair of shoes (laced), an inner tube, and scissors. Go to your local bike shop and ask for old inner tubes. Explain why you need them and they will most likely always give them to you.

Step 1: Unlace Shoes

A very easy part. Take off the shoes' old laces. Keep them around to get a sense of how long the new ones need to be.

Step 2: Cut Inner Tube

Lay out the inner tube and cut it the same length as the shoe lace. Then take that tube and cut two 1 cm. wide strips from it. Some tubes already have markings around 1cm. like in the third picture. Do not leave any jagged edges as they could get worse and rip when stretched.
(You can use scissors, x-acto knives, or rotary cutters to cut it)

Step 3: Lace the Shoes Up

Another simple part. You can get all fancy with this if you'd like. Just lace the shoes with inner tube strips you cut.

Step 4: Adjust the Laces

Adjust the laces so they are tight, but can still slip off when you want them to. When they are nice and tight, keep the shoe on your foot and do the first step of tying a shoe, like in the picture.

Step 5: Tie the Knot

It doesn't really matter what kind of knot you tie. Just tie a tight, small knot and the rubber will keep it tight. Cut off the excess tube hanging off (pic. 2)

Step 6: Lace Other Shoe

Follow steps 3, 4, and 5 for the other shoe.

Step 7: Go Out and Enjoy Your New Shoes

Go enjoy your comfortable and carefree shoes. Post pictures of your shoes in the comments if you can. After a while your feet may outgrow the laces. Mine snapped after I outgrew them. Simply make new laces to fit your bigger feet.

Please don't forget to vote for this instructable in the inner tube re-use contest too.
Thank you!

Alchemy Goods Inner Tube Reuse Contest

First Prize in the
Alchemy Goods Inner Tube Reuse Contest



    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    what a good idea,gotta do this,thank`s

    An update on the pictures I posted beforehand - I retired this pair of shoes today. I wore these shoes every day for a year after making the laces, until one recently snapped (Probably of my own doing anyways... there were a few thin spots in the rubber strips.). These laces could probably outlast the lifespan of any shoe.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful idea and intructable.


    I did this with my bike shoes with laces. It works fine, and I don't have to worry about my laces getting caught on the chain ring any more.

    My only issue is that the shoe is a little narrow, and sometimes slipping my heel into the shoe is a bit of work. I should just buy a shoe horn (do they still make shoe horns???)

    2 replies

    The hell is occasionally problamatic for me too but a shoe horn should do the trick for that. I do believe thouse are still around too as one of those cheap 99 cents with free shipping items on ebay.

    I believe you meant to say heel, however, it makes the statement somewhat humorous.

    Loved this, and had to do it as soon as I got these new hightops.

    1 reply

    What brand are those ridiculously beautiful shoes? I simply must get myself a pair.

    I cut mind a bit thinner for a five-year old's sneakers. I also had to taper the ends to fit in the soccer sneaker little holes.

    3 replies

    I couldn't find a good system for getting them through but tapering them should work.

    It did! I just taper cut mine at a shallow angle for about 3/4 of an inch, and they went through the tiny holes of my 9-year-old's Asics perfectly.

    My daughter suffers from a sensory processing disorder that makes tying shoelaces a huge frustrating deal every morning, but none of the decent, supportive brands of cross-trainers or runners have velcro fastenings. We have experimented with a few different kinds of stretchy lace, but they look terrible and untidy, or the elastic wasn't high quality enough for a shoe.

    Like darlingtom, I also made them narrower. Additionally, I laced them straight-bar method rather than criss-cross. The finished shoe looks amazing - very neat and tidy! I will add a picture when she comes home.. I whipped this up in the 10 minutes before she went to school today, and didn't get a chance to record it for you. :)

    This is the best idea. Thank you!!

    wrap clear hockey tape (best), duct tape (not as good), or scotch tape (preferably not) around the end.

    If you do this in a spiral fashion so you have a long "tail" of tape it should be easy to lace the shoes. Simply push the skinny tape tail through the hole and pull through.

    You don't need to worry about removing the tape as you're going to be cutting the excess tubing off anyway.

    I don't have any to try it on, but you might as well try. It might be slightly challenging to get your foot in depending on how tight you make it though.

    Could you use shrink tubing to make the "knot" more permanent? Such as, lace the shoes, wrap the ends in shrink tubing, then heat the tubing to make a permanent seal?

    2 replies

    I have never used shrink tubing, so I wouldn't know. A few people have commented about using it, but no one has told me if it works. Might you be the first?

    Heat-shrink tubing is much less flexible than the rubber, especially after being heated and shrunk. One of the problems using it in electronics is that if it is flexed too much it cracks and becomes useless.

    Perhaps some kind of silicone adhesive, say clear RTV between the knot and tongue?

    Great Instructable! But I think your holding out on us. Keep em' coming.

    1 reply

    Thank you! I have more, but I just can't find time to post them. I will try to get some up soon.

    Great tutorial, thanks! Really happy with the result. I made one a bit tighter than the other, in retrospect I probably would have made both a bit looser overall.

    Also, the amount of times Instructables tried to get me to pay money was ridiculous.

    1 reply

    Thanks! I really love the re-use section of Instructables for the fact that you don't have to go out and buy stuff to make something awesome.