Paracord Shoelaces




Introduction: Paracord Shoelaces

Less active, but always curious.

   Ever since Paracord and Canvas first met, they've been best friends. So, it only makes sense that they should be together, like on converses. This Instructable will show you how to switch out your lame old shoelaces for some hardcore 550 Paracord.
  Psst! (This is in the paracord contest... You should vote for it...If you want to, thanks!)

Step 1: Materials

 To successfully up the cool factor of your shoes, you'll need:

@ 550 Paracord, about the same size as other shoelaces. (If you're buying new paracord just for this, because I'm so convincing (Ha!) I would get no more than 50 feet.) You'll use about 4 feet per shoe, depending on what kind of shoe you have.

@ Scissors, or a Pocketknife, if you prefer.

@ A Pair of shoes (Shoelaces Optional)

@ A Cigarette Lighter

Step 2: Measuring the Paracord

  You'll need to measure out the paracord, to make sure that it is the same length as your shoelaces. Remember measure twice, cut once. You don't need a ruler for this, just take out one of your shoelaces and straighten it as much as you can,  then put one end of the paracord next to one end of the shoelace, and wind out the paracord, and cut it at the end of the shoelace, so it is the same length as the shoelace. It doesn't have to be perfect, but close enough. Done with step 1!

Step 3: Fusing!

  Achtung! There is fire involved with this step, so be careful, unless you like melted Nylon on your skin / pain.

  For this part, you'll want to fuse the paracord, not whip it, fusing will just make it easier to work with, and double as aglets. If you are using a brand new bundle of paracord, or are at the very end of the cord, one end will be fused already. If not, you'll just have to do this step twice.

  Holding near the frayed end of the paracord, but not at the very end, light it up! Wait for the inner cords to start melting. It's alright if there's a tiny flame, it will probably burn itself out, but be careful!

Step 4: Lacing

  Now, lace your shoes up any way you want, there are a myriad of instructables about just that (1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6etc.) I laced mine up the normal way, but it's all up to you. You'll find that it helps that you fused the paracord, it makes going through the holes easier. It is a bit different using paracord, but you get used to it. Once you're done lacing your shoe, put your foot inside and tie that sucker!

 If you are planning on lacing both shoes with paracord, repeat this process twice.

Step 5: Closing Comments

  Well, now you're ready to hit the town in style, knowing that your shoes will fall apart before your shoelaces come apart!
   Secretly, I was planning on taking this off after I was done, and switching back to my old shoelace. But, I'm really happy with the results, and am sticking with this.
  Thanks for reading!!



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    24 Discussions

    we used to replace our combat boot laces with paracord. this is a great one, i never ever thought of using the same concept for my civilian footwear.
    awesome and simple ible, 5 stars!

    I am having trouble figuring how to knot my paracord laces, but they look just like the original just super durable, I got some clear heat shrink tubing, it shrinks down 3:1 and it starts out at pretty much exact size of the 550 cord. Oh it also is the shrink tubing that has adhesive in it! Good stuff!!! So when I put it on the cord and got it where I wanted it, I used my heat gun and blew enough hot air on it they formed into somewhat of the perfect aglet. Give it a try if you don't know what to do with the ends! Now if I can just tie them and keep them tied for the day!

    what if instead of tieing a knot just put a cord lock?

    In a very old Popular Science, I saw a way to tie the laces so they don't come undone, yet can still be untied in the usual way. Use the method of tying them that begins with an overhand knot and then makes a second overhand knot with "rabbit ears." Begin with the first overhand knot, and the variation is that you wrap the "rabbit ears" around one another one extra time than you would for a simple overhand knot. This kind of knot can still be untied by pulling on one of the lace-ends.

    In the photos in the instructable, the knot shown is actually three smaller knots, the initial overhand knot, the "rabbit ear" overhand knot, and then the rabbit ears are tied in a third overhand knot. The method I described only uses two knots, but with an extra wrap-around on the second. I hope this is clear-- it's hard to describe knots without pictures.

    Like the commenters before me, I also do this with all my daily-wear shoes, both because the paracord wears better than shoelaces, and because I'd like to have some paracord if I ever find myself in a really tight spot. To make the ends easier to thread through small eyelets, I suggest shaping the ends while fusing them. To do so, wet your fingers and start fusing the ends. Once the ends are molten, you can use your fingers to quickly shape the plastic before it cools. Of course, you have to keep your fingers wet; the Leidenfrost effect won't protect you for very long.

    I have always loved using 550 cord in place of laces for both my daily wear con's and even my work boots. matter a fact when I first get a pair the first thing to go before I even wear them are the laces to be replaced for some 550. First stared doing this when I was in the Army. nothing beats having the 550 on hand if needed too. we use to (and I still do) make our 550 laces bit longer on our boots and wrap the excess around so that if we needed some in the field we always had a little extra. great instructable love it!

    1 reply


    I've been using 550 cord for boot/shoe laces since I joined the Army 23 years ago. It makes the best shoelaces. If you find that the bow is loosening up quick, you can try removing some, if not all, of the gut to "thin" the lace out. On my military boots I just melt the ends, but on civilian footwear, I'll take some gut and whip the ends to give it a clean look, almost like those plastic ends on regular shoelaces. I can upload pics if anyone is confused.

    I have to be completely honest, I'm taking a course on defending myself, learning tactics and moves like the SEALS, and escaping capture ( i.e. escaping handcuffs, trunks, zipties ect ) and one of the things they taught me was using Paracord as a friction rope to cut/ burn through zipties, and I was looking for an easier way to carry around my paracord and not forget it ( guy is something of a hardass, don't wanna forget anything to class ), so that's why I'm here.

    Also I must say, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love you now! You are probably now my favorite instructableser(?) !

    Shoelaces are SO last year. I wear no ties. (By the way, I found that picture off the internet)

    1 reply

    i finaly did this! you can use electrical tape for aglets instead of fusin g the rope if you want, at least thats wat i did.

    I took the inner strands out so the laces are flatter. Still tough, and seem to stay tied better.

    1 reply

    yeah, when the paracord is flatter, the eyelets on the shoe doesn't hurt as much when you tie them tight... good call....

    The reason I do this is so I can have shoe laces that are the exact correct lenght!